2018 Ford Expedition review with video

The Basics:
Starting price: $60,150 + tax
Price as tested: $82,600 + tax
Average fuel economy over a week of testing: 12.5 L/100 kms (19 US MPG)
Competitors: Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia, etc

Ford’s largest SUV is coming back swinging for its latest fourth generation. There are a lot of best-in-class features that have been thrown into the new Expedition. And we spend a week hunting down powder stashes in the British Columbia mountains to see if all the hard work translates to a top shelf family hauler. Click here for our full video review then scroll through our report card below.


– How’s this for some key features? The Expedition boasts best-in-class fuel economy, cargo volume, towing capacity, and second and third row legroom
– It also looks really good for 2018 – much more refined and sculpted inside and out than the clunky and kind of cheap looking outgoing Expedition
– Powerplant wise, all Expeditions share the same 3.5 litre ecoboost engine – which isn’t totally new but it has been further refined for 2018. You’re looking at around a 10 per cent improvement in fuel economy – that’s from engine tuning, the new 10 speed automatic transmission and a lighter aluminium body that’s shaving around 300 lbs off its weight
– That means that over a week of driving, mostly on snowy mountain highways, we averaged 12.5 litres per hundred kilometres. An impressive feat given this SUV’s scale
– But despite the improved economy, the new Expedition gives you up to 35 more horsepower – 375 of them in lower trims and 400 HP in higher trims. And this thing has a remarkable amount of pep considering how big it is
– Provided you get the optional heavy-duty towing package – which gives you a heavy-duty radiator, a trailer brake controller and Ford’s honestly, kind of gimmicky and tricky to set up Pro Trailer Back-up Assist – the Expedition is rated to haul a pretty impressive 9,200 lbs behind it
– The Expedition has independent rear suspension which makes for a plusher ride than you might expect and also frees up more legroom for third row passengers
– It’s also way more composed, way more compact feeling and way quieter than we expected
– And just like in the F-150, the new 10 speed transmission is a surprise treat as well. It’s smooth and doesn’t frantically hunt around for gears like I expected it to
– The basic XLT trim does come with some good standard kit. Here in Canada at least, 4 wheels drive comes standard. So do 18 inch alloy wheels, push button start, an 8 way power driver’s seat, power adjustable pedals, areverse sensing system, a rear back-up camera, and a built-in garage door opener. But we wish standard equipment would’ve gone a little further (see cons)
– No matter which trim you’re cruising in, though, you’ll find comfortable seats for long haul drives, lots of clever storage spaces, USB connections galore (even in the third row on upper trims) and countless cup holders
– If you have a platoon of young kids, there are proper latch points in both the second and third row seats
– The second row has a class exclusive sliding second row – to offer up more room for third row passengers
– The Expedition also has a flat floor in the second and third rows which means there’s no uncomfortable hump for the middle passenger to perch their feet on
– A new tilting second row (like we saw in the new VW Atlas) now allows you to easily access that third row – even when a car seat is in place
– And speaking of car seats – our rear facing car seat test reveals some of the best figures we’ve ever measured on Family Wheels – 31 inches from the back of the front seat cushion up to the glove box means front row passengers will still have loads of room – no matter who’s sitting behind you
– The third row is also the most spacious that we’ve ever tested. I’d even call it dowright comfortable for tall adults – a rarity, even in large SUVs
– We’ve had a hard time even contemplating the cargo numbers in the Expedition! 1627 litres when the third row is down in the regular Expedition and over 2075 litres in the optional Expedition Max – which is almost a foot longer than the standard Expedition and gives you an extended cargo area that can haul around full sheets of plywood with the back door closed, if needed

– While you can shift up or down manually with the gear selection buttons, rather than paddle shifters, Ford has opted to put them in the centre console – which forces you to take one hand off the wheel on big downhill grades or winding corners when you might really not want to
– Disappointing that automatic climate control, heated front seats, and Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto don’t come standard. These are the sorts of things we’re seeing on many base trim SUVs these days – especially at this kind of starting price
– The Expedition is based on the same platform as the F-150 pick-up truck and looks very similar in the cabin. But, just like the F-150, even top of the line Expeditions do have some pretty cheap feeling plastics around the cabin once you start hunting for them
– Beware the nasty blind spots over both the driver’s shoulders – thanks to some big pillars that block your view. It’s probably worth splurging for blindspot monitoring in this SUV!
– And no matter how you slice it, this is a big vehicle – which makes it quite a climb for younger kids, older buyers or ageing pooches. It also might not fit into smaller garages or underground parkades… so bring out your measuring tape!
– You can get the Expedition with either seating for eight or seven. And while the bucket seats in the second row are nice, it’s not the way I’d go. It means there’s no barrier right across the second row for keeping the family dog or a trunk full of groceries contained to the back when you have to lay on the brakes
– The seven passenger version also means you also don’t get a completely flat load floor. Instead you have this big hole in the middle when all the seats are folded down
– In the regular Expedition, it’s actually a surprisingly tight squeeze for our standardized trunk test when the third row is up. But bump into the Expedition Max and cargo space behind the third row nearly doubles (546 L vs 973 L) – making it the obvious choice for larger families – or hockey squads – who are always using that third row of seats

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4/5 (63 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 4/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 39.5/50= 79%

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