Ford Reveals 2018 Expedition
CarBlog Goes to Texas to Experience the New Expedition
The Dallas Cowboys may not have made it to Super Bowl LI, but their organization was part of a big event this year — in the automotive world. Ford invited us to the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters to witness the debut of an all-new vehicle. We had plenty of reasons to believe we were going to see the 2018 Expedition and that’s exactly what drove out in front of us.
Correction: Two of them rolled out onto the scaled-down replica football field in the Tostitos Championship Plaza. One was the regular-length Expedition and the other was the extended-length Expedition MAX. Ford dropped the EL suffix for the longer model in favor of MAX, which was previously used for long-wheelbase Expeditions sold outside of the U.S. market.
The Blue Oval also dropped 300 pounds of Expedition weight by switching it to an aluminum body. What they made out of that lightweight metal is a handsome beast of burden. Its lines are strong, its proportions are balanced, its brightwork is tasteful. The 2018 Expedition is an all-new design, but it’s also an all-Ford design. The Expedition borrows cues from its SUV siblings. For instance, the shape of the headlights and the way the grille interlocks with them brings the front end of the 2018 F-150 to mind. The shape of the openings for the fog lights is similar to the shape found on the Explorer. We can say the same for the taillights, too.
Ford representatives were happy to tell us about a variety of the Expedition’s features, such as its available dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system, SYNC 3 system that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and onboard Wi-Fi that can be connected to 10 devices. Engineers and product specialists were ready to go into detail about the new SUV’s enhanced active park assist, available 360-degree camera tech, lane-keeping aid, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and collision avoidance detection system.
However, when it came to engines, the only one they would talk about is the Expedition’s more powerful second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and the 10-speed automatic it’s mated to. One of the Ford reps we chatted with ran out of words quickly when we asked about the possibility of other F-150 motors making their way into the new Expedition. That’s OK because we can use our own: We don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that Ford will eventually offer an alternative engine in the fourth-generation Expedition. Perhaps the tweaked version of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost or the updated 5.0 that the 2018 F-150 will be getting?
Another thing Ford’s people didn’t mention was a King Ranch package. As of right now, the 2018 Expedition will only be available to traditional buyers in XLT, Limited, and Platinum trim. (Ford will offer an XL version to fleet customers.) We expect a King Ranch Expedition will eventually appear as an option within the lineup.
Almost all of the Expedition’s interior was a familiar sight. Keyword: Almost. It was largely what we were used to seeing in a new F-150 – the steering wheel, the vents, the buttons, etc. The one thing we’ve never seen in an F-150 was right in between the two front seats: a rotary dial instead of a shift lever – making the cabin of the Expedition a literal Fusion of two different Ford models.
We took a seat in the second row of the Expedition MAX, which we found to be well named. The amount of legroom was downright opulent. The reclining seatback made sitting in the middle even more of a treat. We can only imagine how relaxed passengers will be when they’re fully laid back, watching the stars go by through the available Panoramic Vista Roof. Getting to the third row and its surprising amount of headroom (for folks who stand at or near 5’10”) was as easy as tilting and sliding the middle seats forward. Charging mobile devices anywhere inside will be a cinch because the Expedition has four 12-volt power points, six USB chargers, and a 110-volt power outlet.
The Dallas Cowboys will start their next season-long attempt to get to the Super Bowl in early September. The 2018 Expedition will arrive in Ford dealerships in the fall.
Story and photos by Derek Shiekhi