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Going Platinum: 2018 Ford Expedition Test Drive Review

Sometimes bigger isn’t always better, and that is why Ford offers two different versions of its all-new 2018 Ford Expedition. We already tested out the long-wheelbase Expedition MAX, but now we’re getting some seat time in the standard-length Expedition. Don’t be mistaken, though, the 2018 Ford Expedition is still a true, full-size SUV, and compared to the previous model, which essentially dates back to 2003, the new Expedition is four inches longer with 3.5 inches of that stretch added to the wheelbase.

While the lengthened Expedition MAX really only competes against the Chevrolet Suburban, lobbing almost a foot off the MAX’s overall length (and nine inches from its wheelbase) widens the Expedition’s competitive set. These include the Chevrolet Tahoe, Nissan Armada and the Toyota Sequoia.

Keep reading to see how this 2018 Ford Expedition Platinum 4×4 stacks up against the competition.

2018 Ford Expedition

2018 Ford Expedition Exterior

Just from a design standpoint, the 2018 Ford Expedition is easily the best Expedition ever. As we noted on our first go around with the Expedition, this SUV’s styling takes cues from both the F-150 and Explorer, but the most unique element is the front end, and how the center grille portion cuts into the headlights. Although the Expedition and Navigator still have a family resemblance, the only body panels these two SUVs share are the roof and doors.

With the new Lincoln Navigator better equipped to take on full-luxury SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, the Expedition Platinum is aimed more at tweener luxury SUVs like the GMC Yukon Denali. To help class it up, the Platinum gets satin-00finished exterior trim, body-color matched power side steps and a set of gorgeous 22-inch wheels. This tester was even more eye catching in the Ruby Red Metallic paint job!

2018 Ford Expedition

2018 Ford Expedition Interior

The 2018 Ford Expedition Platinum lacks some of the unique aspects that we loved in the Navigator (including those amazing front seats), but it is still a luxury car disguised as a giant SUV. Inside you’ll find three rows of leather seating, heated and cooled massaging front seats, heated second row, heated steering wheel, panoramic Vista Roof with a power sunroof and a 12-speaker premium audio system. This tester also came with the optional ($1,995) rear seat entertainment system.

Since all of the MAX’s length is added behind the rear seats to provide more cargo volume, there is no sacrifice in passenger comfort no matter which of the eight passengers you are. Ford did an excellent job with the design and layout of the 2018 Expedition Platinum giving its flagship SUV matte-finished wood accents, satin finished metallic trim and stitched, soft coverings on all the key touch points. The only think I didn’t like about the cabin was the placement of the rotary dials for the shifter and drive mode selector. They are both easy to use, but they take up prime real estate in the center console. Chrysler does a much better job moving the Ram 1500 shifter to the instrument panel to open up additional storage space.

2018 Ford Expedition

2018 Ford Expedition Powertrain

Opting for the Platinum trim level brings a flashier exterior and a more luxurious interior, but Ford also saves its top engine tuning for this model. Instead of the base 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, the 2018 Ford Expedition Platinum gets a special tuning to the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 cranking out 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque (premium gas required). That is far more power and torque than the base 5.3-liter V-8 found in the Chevrolet Tahoe, and the engine gives this behemoth great off-the-line acceleration.

This engine pairs to a 10-speed automatic transmission and standard auto start-stop to help this 4×4 achieve EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway**. Despite the more advanced powertrain is still only marginally better than the Tahoe, which is probably attributed to the added power. Taking a page out of its F-150 playbook, Ford used a lot of aluminum in the design of the new Expedition helping it cut weight by more than 300 pounds on this 4×4 model.

As we found in our first test drive review of the Expedition MAX, the 2018 Ford Expedition has an exceptionally smooth ride, and Ford did a great job of delivering a . If you don’t need the extra space of the long-wheelbase MAX, you’ll find that the shorter Expedition is a lot more manageable to drive. The electric power assist steering lets the massive SUV handle more like a midsize vehicle with quick and light response at low speeds, yet it doesn’t feel loose or vague at higher speeds. Another area where the new Expedition outperforms the Tahoe is its 9,300-pound maximum towing capacity.

2018 Ford Expedition

2018 Ford Expedition Safety

The big 2018 Ford Expedition has equally enormous safety thanks to a five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Platinum trim level is decked out with a host of available driver safety features including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go driving, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and forward collision warning, Lane Keeping System, Auto High Beam Headlights and a 360-degree backup camera with Split View. For added security, the Platinum trim also includes the Advanced Security Pack with SecuriLock® Passive anti-theft system and vehicle inclination/intrusion sensors.

2018 Ford Expedition

2018 Ford Expedition Overall

It seems that ever since Chevrolet released the four-door Tahoe, Ford was playing catch up in the full-size SUV segment, but as we’ve already learned from driving the Expedition MAX and the 2018 Navigator, Ford’s new lineup of full-size SUVs is a class above the competition. This fully loaded 2018 Ford Expedition Platinum 4×4 absolutely dominates this segment with style, luxury and technology.

Of course, a big, family-hauling SUV isn’t going to come cheap, but the 2018 Expedition is the highest priced in its segment – by several thousand dollars – starting at $51,790*. As you can imagine, opting for the top Platinum trim is even more expensive starting at $73,030*, while this well-equipped tester almost hit the pricing stratosphere with its as-tested price of $79,085. The good news, though, is that you are getting a boatload of content.

Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Ford dealership and test drive the 2018 Ford Expedition today!

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2018 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

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