The latest generation of Ford’s 2018 Expedition is officially out of the bag, and the biggest news is that the Blue Oval’s venerable three-row people mover will have an aluminum body.
Given that the F-150 made the jump to alloy back in 2015, the move isn’t totally unexpected, but it’s virtually unheard of for a vehicle this size. Land Rover debuted its fourth-generation, all-aluminum Range Rover back in 2013, and while we’re still impressed that the Brits can make something as spacious as a studio apartment hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, an Expedition is still bigger than the luxury off-roader. So chalk up another industry first for Ford.
According to the company, going aluminum will save the Expedition 300 pounds, even though it’s longer and wider than the outgoing model. Power comes from a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 mated to Ford’s latest 10-speed automatic, in current trim, that puts out a respectable 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and we don’t expect those figures to change. Max towing capacity should also remain at around 9,600 pounds. What will change are the appointments in the cabin.
With four 12-volt plugs and six USB ports, charging points abound, and there will also be wireless charging support for compatible devices. Internal storage capacity has been doubled, and will provide acres of space for all kinds of kid-centric peripherals, and we suspect, lots of stale Cheerios. Of course, the Expedition will also serve as a WiFi hot spot, and will provide service when users are as far as 50 feet away from the vehicle.
A lot of the other cabin improvements seem to be well thought out. There’s a new Advanced Cargo Manager behind the lift gate — make sure to ask your AutoNation Ford dealer for a demo on this — and third-row passengers will be able to recline. The second-row seats will now be able to move forward without removing a child seat, which is sure to be a boon to any parents who dread the often-arduous process of securing them.
Be looking for 2018 Expeditions to begin arriving at dealers this fall. Until then, we’ll keep you posted about everything we learn about the new family-friendly SUV.