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All-new Ford Expedition: maximum size, electronics and...aluminum

Full-size SUVs remain the most comfortable and multi-purpose, but there are only few models: there basically just four now, though produced under 9 brands:

- the Cadillac Escalade (as well as its platform mates, the Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon)

- the Lexus XL / Toyota Land Cruiser

- the Infiniti QX80 / Nissan Patrol

- and the Lincoln Navigator / Ford Expedition, which has just made it to the next generation. Its features are as follows...

1) True full-size: 17'4" long (18.4 for the long-wheelbase version), almost 6'7" wide, and _really_ roomy


Not all the people understand the difference between the stretched mid-size SUVs (like the Mercedes GL / GLS) and the real full-sizers. It`s not a big job to make short SUV longer, but to make it wider...that is another class of vehicles.

Besides more air and room for wide-shouldered, full-size SUVs general provide softer ride, are more stable on highways,and can comfortably accommodate upto 8. The Ford Expedition is one of them.

One can say "why more space", but our opinion says that having good personal space is one of the basic human`s needs. And that is exactly what full-size SUVs are all about, giving this special feel even when driving alone.

2) The best Expedition`s interior ever, with first-for-the-model internet- and mobile functions


It`s amazing that if you compare modern inexpensive vehicles to luxury cars 10-20 years older, it often turns outs that modern budget cars are equipped better than then-premium ones.

The new Expedition features include:

- Bang&Olufsen sound system with 12 speakers

- Apple Car Play / Android Auto multimedia system

- 360 view cameras

- the dashboard and door panels are covered with leather with "designers" pattern

- the gearbox is now operated via a Jaguar/LandRover-style rotating knob

- of course, the dashboard itself is almost all-digital

- the intergrated Wi-Fi router provides internet access for up tp 10 users withing 45 feet

- both the 3rd- and the 2-nd rows of seats are power-folded, as well as the trunk door and the sidesteps

Another modern smartphone features include the wireless charging panel hidden in the center console, 10 charging ports (6 USB and 4 classic ones), etc.

But what is more important, the Expedition has become more capable and smarter on road, too

3) More power: 375 hp, about 6 seconds to 60 mph, thanks to the turbocharged 3.5-liter V6


The new Ford Expedition is build on the newest F-150 pickup chassis, and uses light aluminum allows in its construction just as heavily. Compared to its previous generation, the expedition has become about 300 pounds lighter, not without some help of the lighter engine, too.

Again, it`s interesting to compare modern "vehicles for the masses" with luxury ones from the past. The new Expedition is as powerful as the 2006 Mercedes GL550 (375 hp), and provides as much torque (470 lb-ft) as the ML63 AMG of the past.

0-60 performance hasn`t been revealed yet, but the F-150 pickup with the same power train jumps 60 in just 6 seconds, and the Expedition might be almost as fast! Not bad for a family hauler starting from 48 grand...

Also we`d like to mention that even the previous Expedition features very nice, car-like handling, which could actually handle much more power than it was provided back than. And the new generation is probably going to be a very nice vehicle for city traffic as well.

Fuel economy? No info yet, but the new Ford Expedition`s economy should provide at least 14 mpg in the city and maybe 28 mpg on highways, also thanks to the start-stop system which shuts the engine down on stops and the first-in-class transmission with record number of gear...

...10-speed transmission


It`s hard to imagine but the number of gears of the Expedition has doubled it 12 years: 10 speeds! What does it give?

First, better acceleration. The shorter the gears are, the more torque is transferred to the wheels. And then there is also several operating modes available, including the Sport one.

Second, better fuel economy: higher gears provide lower RPM for constant speed, which can same a lot of fuel on long highway trips .

Third, better comfort: the lower RPM, the less noise the engine generates

Forth, off road capabilities: again, lower gears provide greater torque.

Fifth, more comfortable and confident towing: more gears provide smaller RPM "gaps" between them, meaning that the engine revs don`t drop too much when switching to higher gears, making towing smoother and easier.

Finally, we have to mention that it`s the gearbox which has probably made it possible to use turbo engine for the truck: again, availability of gears is especially useful to compensate turbo lag and keep the engine operating at the most optimal RPM.

4) driving electronics: automatic parking, automatic braking to prevent collisions, automatic cruise control...


Everybody is talking about autopilot functions, and while the Expedition isn`t fully automatic yet (like no other vehicles anyway, speaking about legal issues), it still provides many functions:

- active cruise control with full stop: basically you might never touch a pedal on a highway cruise

- lane-departure control preventing the SUV from leaving its lane without a turn signal on (nice feature if the driver fell asleep)

- automatic braking if pedestrians or are cars are detected ahead...

Finally, here is the final argument against the myth about difficulty of parking large vehicles: for those who need, the new 2018 Expedition can automatically part itself. It`s also capable of leaving the parking space automatically: the driver only needs to press pedals, while the steering wheel will be controlled by the computer.

Mobile app with remote start and other functions


Finally, now a few "smart" functions are available via the Ford mobile app. Engine start, lock/unlock doors, "where is my car" and other functions can be commanded from a smartphone. Also the service will text you on phone or email in case the alarm goes off.

Also there is a radio remote control available, which is good for up to 1100 feet and might be better in areas with poor mobile internet.

5) Still tough-built body-on-frame SUV with low range transmission and off-road transmission modes


Though big and heavy vehicles on normal wheels are rarely good off roaders, the new Ford Expedition is built as every classic off road SUV. The F-150 pickup`s modified frame, low-range transmission for conditions requiring extreme torque and/or slow and safe movement over crossed terrain, and, for the first time, electronically-controlled off-road modes.

There probably won`t be traditional lockable rear differential, but electronically-controlled integrated system similar to the Land Rover`s Terrain Response might help, adjusting throttle reactions, traction control and other functions in accordance with the mode selected.

The modes include Snow, Mud and other options.

6) "Comfort functions": power-folding 2nd and 3rd row seats,.the class-largest panoramic roof, hands-free liftgate...


Since large SUVs are often bought by big families who actually need 3 rows of seats and buy lots of goods, the new Expedition has been upgraded with a number of functions needed when you put many people or stuff inside. Those include:

- power-folded 2nd- and 3rd-row seats

Panoramic roof, the largest in its class, going all the way to the 2nd row seats

hands-free liftgate, useful to get the power trunk open by moving a foot under the rear bumper

another small but useful feature is a shelf which, when installed, effectively doubles the trunk space. It`s especially useful when the 3rd row seats are used

...and finally, a fancy algorithm of folding of the 2nd row seats allows to do that even with child seats installed, without removing them

7) Platinum trip and more premium accessories


Just as with the smaller Explorer model, there now the Platinum version available, featuring extended leather trimming (including the front panel and door panels), chrome elements, and 22-inch wheels.

80 Even larger, long-wheelbase MAX version available (about 18'6" long)


Finally, for those demanding 7 rows of seats and a huge trunk, and/or plus very comfortable access to the rear seats, the MAX version will be available.

The Expedition MAX length is about 1 foot longer, providing. most of all, twice as bigger trunk (42 cubic feet behind the third row, or whooping 130 cubic feet with two rows folded, against 105 cubic feet in the normal Expedition).

9) Goes on sale this fall, probably for $48-70K


Though not a cheap vehicle, the Expedition is about to remain one of the best-ever offerings on market, considering size, performance and equipment previously available only from luxury brands. The new Expeditions vehicles will hit showrooms later this year.


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