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2018 Ford Expedition Platinum MAX 4×4 Test Drive Review

Meet the 2018 Ford Expedition Max Platinum 4×4. This is Ford’s uber bus and the first all-new Expedition in 11 years. Like the bionic man, it’s bigger, faster and stronger than its predecessor and comes to us with more luxury and capability than most folks could ask for. It also comes in two variants in the form of the short wheelbase standard Expedition (122.2” wheelbase) and the extended Expedition MAX (131.6” wheelbase). There are also 3 different trim packages for each (XLT, Limited, Platinum) along with a host of available options. But with prices starting at $51,565.00 for a base XLT and heading just North of $80k for a decked-out Expedition Platinum Max, one has to wonder if Ford’s newest full-size people mover is truly ready to compete with the best offerings from the U.S., Europe and Asia.

For the full 2018 Ford Explorer Platinum MAX 4×4 review, specs, pricing, and data read on…

2018 Ford Explorer Platinum MAX 4×4 Exterior

Carving an attractive shape out of a rectangle isn’t as easy as it may sound. You see full-size SUVs are the big dogs in regards to family transport and must come to us with a presence that’s rugged, capable, and a wee bit elegant. To that I might add that it’s taken the designers at Ford the better part of 20-years to get it right with the Expedition. With styling queues taken from both the F-Series trucks and the Explorer, Ford has crafted—and I know this is a bold statement—what may just be the best looking extended wheelbase SUV on the market.

Following the F-150, the Expedition now employs liberal use of aluminum construction throughout, which means a lighter overall curb weight of 5,917-pounds. Our Platinum equipped model came with all the upper crust add-ons you’d expect from a vehicle costing $82,090.00. Items like body colored bumpers, a satin aluminum mirror grille with chrome accents, LED lighting front and rear, satin aluminum mirror caps and door handles, and of course, big 22-inch polished rims wearing 285/45-series tires. While opting for the Platinum package is definitely an expression of American opulence, it’s also good to know that one can choose the XLT or Limited models if they want to be a less obvious.

2018 Ford Explorer Platinum MAX 4×4 Interior

Big SUVs have one mission—to haul as much stuff as their owners can pack into them, be it people, cargo or a combination of both. With up to 121.5 cubic-feet of storage space with the second- and third-row seats folded flat, the Expedition Max can accommodate just about anything you’re likely to try to stuff in it. Starting from the rear, the Expedition incorporates a large power lift gate with an opening rear window for easy access. Electronically stowed third-row seats fold flat into the cargo area while second-row heated passenger units utilize manual adjustments for both recline and front-to-back movement. The rear mounted center console provides rear passengers with their own climate and media controls, along with twin USB ports, and a standard three-prong inverter.

Enter the cabin and you’ll notice a redesigned interior that’s free from clutter and has a warm, inviting feel. A mix of leather, soft-touch surfaces, brushed accents and wood greets occupants with an immediate feeling of comfort. Front perforated, leather-trimmed, heated and ventilated bucket seats with electronic adjustability provide fatigue free travel while the gauge cluster combines analog gauges with a large digital information and media screen.

For 2018 a rotary dial with -/+ gear selector buttons replaces the old grip style shifter. A second rotary dial controls the Expeditions 4×4 and off-road settings. Simple and intuitive HVAC controls work flawlessly and reside just below a large capacitive touchscreen with swipe capability, available navigation and pinch-to-zoom technology. From here one has access to SYNC 3 with Apple Car Play, navigation, Android Auto as well as the Harman audio system. Keep in mind that while the Platinum package does come with a high premium, it’s worth it for those looking for the best in interior materials, technology and comfort.

2018 Ford Explorer Platinum MAX 4×4 Performance

Not too long ago it would have been unheard of for an American manufacturer to equip their full-size line of half-ton trucks with a turbocharged V-6. However with the EcoBoost V-6, Ford has done just that and in the process won over a more modern buyer. With 400 horsepower and 480 pound feet of torque coming from the 3.5-liter mill, the Expedition is extremely quick for a vehicle of its size. 60-mph comes up in under 7-seconds and thanks to its new for 2018 10-speed transmission, it can also tow up to 9,000-pounds when properly equipped.

Overall ride quality is exceptional and the Expedition floats over road imperfections with ease thanks in part to an independent rear suspension. The electric power assisted steering provides better feedback than most while large anti-lock disc brakes at all four corners help to haul the 5,900+ pound beast down to a stop with confidence. Ample sound deadening throughout the cabin made for a quiet ride, while large windows and a low beltline helped to enhance outward visibility. And while the Expedition does handle well, it’s always good to keep in mind that it’s still a large vehicle and at days end, physics will always win if pushed too hard into a corner. With an EPA fuel rating of 22-mpg highway, 17-city and 19-mpg in combined driving*, the 2018 Ford Expedition is now one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class.

2018 Ford Explorer Platinum MAX 4×4 Safety:

Safety features for 2018 include AdvanceTrac with RSC traction control system, airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, latch child safety system, antilock brakes, trailer sway control, lane-keeping system, lane keep assist, blind spot assist, a 180-degree camera, reverse sensing system and hill descent control and available four-wheel drive. Further safety information can be found at Ford.com.

 

2018 Ford Explorer Platinum MAX 4×4 Overall:

It’s taken the better part of 20 years but Ford has finally gotten the Ford Expedition dialed. This 2018 model combines power, utility, technology and overall usability into a large package that works beautifully and is the culmination of three generations of development. And while a starting price of $51,565.00 for a short wheelbase XLT 4×2 may not come cheap, rest assured that those dollars will get you behind the wheel of one of the best full-size SUVs on the market today.

To learn more about the 2018 Ford Explorer Platinum MAX 4×4 and other Ford vehicles visit Ford.com. Then be sure to drop by your local AutoNation Ford dealer today to check one out!

*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.

**Vehicle MSRP of $82,090.00, excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.

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