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2018 Ford Expedition Platinum Drivers' Notes Review | Right to the top

A massive leap forward in nearly every aspect

  • Image Credit: Ford
Autoblog Rating

This behemoth from Ford provides oodles of space, utility and a handsome exterior. The interior design is questionable, though, and upper trims are priced well into Lincoln Navigator territory.

  • Trim
  • Engine
    3.5L Twin-Turbo V6
  • Power
    400 HP / 480 LB-FT
  • Transmission
    10 Speed Auto
  • Drivetrain
    Four-Wheel Drive
  • Engine Placement
  • Curb Weight
    5,692 LBS
  • Towing
    9,300 LBS
  • Seating
    Three-Row, 8 Passenger
  • Cargo
    104.6/57.5/20.9 CU-FT (Rows Folded)
  • MPG
    17 City / 24 Highway
  • Base Price
  • As Tested Price
The 2018 Ford Expedition is the fourth generation of Ford's full-size SUV offering. It replaced a model that traced its roots to the early 2000s, though it received several heavy refreshes along the way. When it first debuted, the SUV was just kicking off. Full-sized models like the Expedition, Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon ruled the roost. It would be a few years before high gas prices shifted customers into smaller, more efficient crossovers. Ford let the Expedition saunter along while the Tahoe, Yukon and others like the Nissan Armada quickly surpassed it.

This new model is a huge leap forward in nearly every aspect. Yes, it's still a giant on the road, but it's lighter and more fuel efficient than before thanks to aluminum bodywork and an improved aerodynamics. It's powerful, too, thanks to Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6. In our tester's Platinum trim, it makes 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Inside, the new Expedition looks and feels a lot like a higher trim Ford F-150.

Compared to the crossover craze, full-size traditional body-on-frame SUVs like the Expedition and Tahoe make up a small slice of the pie. Still it's an important segment to compete in. Ask anyone from Ford or Chevy and they're likely to tell you that shoppers who want a traditional SUV won't even consider looking at an Explorer or Traverse.

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The Expedition is mammoth. It's tall and long and it gives the driver a true king-of-the-road feeling. Despite this, it's easy to maneuver. Visibility is excellent to the front and the sides. The steering is connected and nicely weighted. If you're in the market for a troop transporter, you certainly don't want to be afraid to drive it. Not a problem here — with the Expedition you're confident. The dynamic also comes through in the styling, which is chiseled and brash. Ford's Platinum is similar to GMC's Denali trim in looks and intent: big wheels, mesh locomotive-style grilles and finishings awash in chrome. They really make statements. Platinum is offered on many Ford models, but the Expedition might be the best execution.

Inside, this SUV is quiet and comfortable. The black leather with brown stitching strikes the right tone, and the infotainment anchored by Sync 3 is solid. I'm impressed with the eight-inch touchscreen, which is responsive and colorful.

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission delivers power efficiently and evenly. This big rig can really take off when you get on the throttle. The Expedition's powertrain might be the best execution of the 10-speed I've driven in either a Ford or GM vehicle so far (they co-developed the gearbox). Power delivery is even and forceful and I found myself having to dial things back to stay at legal speeds.

The Expedition is a strong entry is this segment. It looks and feels like a luxury SUV, which it is. Dressed in Platinum trim and with a few options, our tester comes in at nearly $77,000, which is more than a base Lincoln Navigator. Which do you prefer, a Ford or a Lincoln? "Experts" have been warning these monster three-row utes are going the way of the dinosaurs since nearly the turn of the century. I'll believe it when I see it.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: I wasn't particularly interested in driving the Ford Expedition. It's a little big and fuel-thirsty for my taste. That said, I did actually enjoy spending time in it. It's a comfortable hauler, roomy with an easy-to-use infotainment interface. Really, though, I mostly liked the look of it in my driveway.

I'm not usually a fan of red or chrome, but this big SUV just looks fantastic. I especially liked the look from the front. The creases on the hood, the pattern of the shiny grille, the upright proportions, and the way the red paint job reflects the trees above are all really captivating. I found myself (and passersby) stopping to admire Big Red for not-insignificant periods of time.
Associate Editor Reese Counts: For so long the Expedition has felt like a fossil in a segment that was already archaic. Body-on-frame SUVs like this don't gel with most consumer's tastes today. People prefer smaller car-based crossovers rather than these large gas chugging beasts. Ford let the Expedition falter while it focused on models like the Escape, Edge and Explorer. That said, I still have a big soft spot for full-size SUVs. There's something about them that's unabashed and honest that I really appreciate.

In my mind, the Tahoe has long been the segment leader. That's no longer the case. The Expedition is the clear class leader. It's a step above everyone in terms of handling, comfort, noise isolation and refinement. It has the best interior of the class and, in my opinion, the best exterior design by a huge margin.

Greg mentioned the Navigator. He has a point, but to get a Lincoln that's as well equipped as this Platinum-trim Expedition, we're talking about a five-figure increase in price. This model has everything from heated second-row seats to blind-spot monitoring and active cruise control.

Chevy, GMC and Cadillac have a lot of catching up to do. Until then, buy the Ford.

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Ford Expedition Information

Ford Expedition

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