Published: Thu, February 09, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Ford Expedition takes a softer approach to full-size SUV toughness

The introduction of the new SUV is a step in Ford's plan of announcing a basket of SUVs in the market by the year 2022, 13 more new models are expected to be launched.

Ford Motor revealed Tuesday its 2018 Expedition, a full-size sport utility vehicle that's bigger, lighter, and loaded with 40 new features-the kind of vehicle the automaker says is attractive to Generation X, the sometimes overlooked customer base squeezed between millennials and baby boomers. Despite the lack of details to date, experts believe that the Ford Expedition 2018 model will approximately have the same power as the F-150. Despite some initial concerns about durability, the F-150 has proved to be a rugged best-seller. A bolder grille more closely resembles F-Series Super Duty, plus there are new headlamps and LED running lamps, along with new wheels.

The fourth-generation Expedition made its global premiere at a private event in Dallas ahead of its public unveiling at the Chicago Auto Show later this week. Consumers who will need much more space can choose a long-wheelbase model called the Expedition Max. Adaptive cruise control will ensure the auto maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front, and blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assist will take the stress out of highway driving. Occupants are treated to a WiFi system that can handle up to 10 devices and has a 50-foot range, a dozen different power points, and an optional rear-seat entertainment system equipped with Sling TV.

The company redesigned the center console, which has several charging ports and an electronic shifter dial on the console, removing the mechanical shifter. The second and third seat rows can fold into the car's floor to make the SUV a cargo vehicle with quite a lot of room. The third row also reclines. The Autotrader senior analyst says, "The 2018 Expedition arrives on the market at a good time".

The all-new Expedition has some performance-related changes, too.

It comes available with Ford's 360-degree camera which should help with towing, parking and the general lumbering known as driving a full-size SUV. Thanks to the use of advanced materials, the all-new Expedition saves up to 300 pounds, and the team reinvested that weight savings everywhere it counts to give customers more technology and convenience features than ever before.

Both the 2018 Expedition and extended-wheelbase Expedition L will be available in three trim levels-XLT, Limited, and Platinum (there's also an XL for fleets). Pricing hasn't been released. The 2017 Expedition gets an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, and starts at $47,125. Sales of Ford SUVs are up 80% during the last five years globally. The Expedition is the only Ford-branded product to get the active shocks. While sharing many chassis elements with the latest F-150, the Expedition has offered independent rear suspension since 2003 and serves as the basis for the 2018 Lincoln Navigator, previewed with the gullwing concept from this time previous year.

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