Expedition Rebounds as Modern SUV
Roseville, CA- The prevailing trend today with regard to sport utility vehicles is they keep shrinking.
Now, we’re not suggesting SUV sales is diminishing among U.S. car buyers. Actually, sales have never been more abundant. The shrinking trend we’re addressing is the preference for smaller SUVs. Subcompact SUVs are the current rage, while compact and midsize crossover SUVs continue to be big sellers as well.
So, where does that leave the original trailblazers, the large behemoth SUVs that have always been more truck-like than today’s modern-day SUVs? Although not the first choice among overall SUV buyers, full-size SUVs are hanging in there. According to carsalesbase.com, large SUV sales rose 9.3 percent (171,647) in the first half of 2018.
One of the big sellers was the 2018 Ford Expedition. Benefiting from a complete redesign, Ford sales of the Expedition ended 2018 at 65,542. That’s the most Exhibitions sold since 2007. While 2018 sales can’t touch the glory years between 1997 and 2009 when 200,000-plus Expeditions were sold annually, the folks at Ford must be happy with last year’s rebound.
One can quickly take roll call in the full-size SUV class. Joining the Expedition are a pair of close rivals, the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon. Among the other large SUVs are the Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada. The Lincoln Navigator is another Expedition competitor, yet technically it resides in the luxury division.
The Expedition redesign, the first substantial one in a decade, added a more powerful engine that’s paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford updated the interior and made the Expedition one of the largest aluminum-bodied vehicles ever produced.
It remains an old-school family hauler that can accommodate eight people – and do it comfortably – while also providing a solid off-road capability. The Expedition has shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, a lockable rear differential, low-range gearing, and a ground clearance of nearly 10 inches.
2018 Ford Expedition
- Performance: turbocharged 3.5-liter, V6 engine, 375 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 17-24 mpg
- Price estimate: $48,300 to $78,900
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/60,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited
Performance and Trim Levels
Available in three trim levels (XLT, Limited, Platinum), the Expedition has a large interior, good cargo space, is quicker than one expects, and tows more than 9,000 pounds.
The Expedition employs a turbocharged 3.5-liter, V6 engine that generates 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It has been clocked going 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, making it one of the quickest in the class. It’s also surprisingly better than expected in regard to fuel economy, getting 17-24 mpg. The previous Expedition, which was roughly 300 pounds heavier, got 15-21 mpg.
Being a huge truck-based SUV, the Expedition naturally doesn’t possess the driving acumen of a crossover SUV. Yet it still exhibits some solid traits, delivering a respectable amount of agility in regular driving situations and is able maneuver satisfactory in a crowded parking lot. It won’t perform well on a challenging twisty road, but what big SUV will?
The Expedition provides considerable comfort for all eight passengers. Even the third row is roomy and will accommodate adults. The cabin is tall, the leg room is amble and all seats recline. The second row is capable of folding forward and also tilting.
Interior materials are overall very good and surpass some of its rivals. The cabin is no longer outdated, thanks to the redesign. The Expedition still offers a certain simplicity in operating that may not appeal to more techie people, and the 4.2-inch display screen is rather small for such a huge vehicle.
Storage space is ample throughout the Expedition, especially the massive center console. The cargo area behind the power-folding third row measures 20.9 cubic-feet, and the space increases mightily to 104.6 cubic-feet with the two rows folded down.
Modern, Solid SUV
Thanks to its complete redesign, the 2018 Ford Expedition is a far-more modern SUV that can serve as a solid vehicle for anyone seeking a people hauler with some off-road chops.
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