Ford’s Biggest SUV Get a Long Overdue Overhaul

Posted by at 12:05 pm on February 13, 2017

Ford Motor Co.’s Expedition, its largest SUV, has languished for two decades without a full redesign. The full-size family hauler was freshened in 2003, but was relegated to the fringes of the automaker’s product development plans later in the decade as Ford focused on building small, fuel-efficient sedans.

Revealed recently, the redesigned 2018 Expedition could signal the big utility’s return to prominence in the Ford SUV lineup. It shares a common front structure and suspension with the venerable F-150 pickup, which means the Expedition could share in any product updates slated for the F-150.

The Expedition’s sweeping overhaul includes a slimmed-down aluminum body, updated powertrain, more interior legroom and 40 new technology features designed to make long drives more comfortable. While its U.S. sales rose 44 percent in 2016, in recent years, it has trailed competitors such as the Dodge Durango, Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban.

The Expedition went on the same diet as its F-150 and Super Duty counterparts. The new aluminum body shaves about 300 pounds, a weight savings Ford expects will result in better fuel economy, although it did not provide specifics. The current model gets about 15 mpg city/21 highway. The SUV comes with an independent rear suspension and continuously controlled damping. It will feature the same 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine the current model has, paired with Ford’s new 10-speed transmission.

Ford expects the eight-seater will come with best-in-class towing numbers as well as increases to other power figures, although officials declined to offer specifics. Pricing also was not announced.

The interior features more legroom, with sliding second-row seats and reclining third-row seats. Both rows of seats have power-folding options. It has twice the cubby space as the current model and features charging ports at every seat, including six USB charging ports, four 12-volt power points and a 110-volt power outlet. The center console also features a wireless charging pad. The Expedition will come with a Wi-Fi hot spot that extends 50 feet around the vehicle.

Built in Kentucky, the Expedition will come in three trim levels: XLT, Limited and Platinum. An XL trim will be available to fleet customers only. All trim levels come in an extended-length MAX version, which is called EL on the current model.

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