• 2018 Ford Expedition: Towing, Off-Road, MPG, or ? What Are You Most Interested In?

    2018 ford expedition electric hybrid
    2018 Ford Expedition FX4 off-road package

    The time has finally come for a first drive opportunity in the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition. Ford’s biggest SUV has been completely redesigned on a new chassis and with an all-aluminum body. There are still two versions of the Expedition, the regular wheelbase (competes against the Chevy Tahoe), and the long version Expedition Max that will compete against the likes of the Chevy Suburban). Can the new Ford Expedition win market share from the leading full-size SUVs from GM? This first drive event will help us figure this out.

    2018 Ford Expedition

    The more important question is: how do you use your full-size SUVs? What information are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments below and will get as much information on this as possible. We will have access to Ford’s engineering and product planning teams.

    Ford is introducing an off-road ready FX4 version of the Expedition for 2018. It is aimed to do battle against the likes of the Chevy Tahoe Z71.

    The new Expedition is powered by two versions of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6. There are two power levels (up to 400 hp), depending on what trim of the Expedition you choose. The 10-speed automatic transmission is the only gear-box choice. The SUV is rated to tow 9,300 lbs in the 2WD model.

    Two-wheel-drive version of the standard Expedition is EPA-rated to get 24 MPG on the highway.

    2018 Ford Expedition max platinum price
    2018 Ford Expedition Max

    Naturally, the new Expedition can be loaded with all of the latest technology and features: latest infotainment, panoramic sunroof, luxurious leather, and more interior space are all there. All of the capability and comfort feature push the price into the $80K+ range for a fully loaded model.

    Let us know what question you have?

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    71 thoughts on “2018 Ford Expedition: Towing, Off-Road, MPG, or ? What Are You Most Interested In?

    1. I’m mostly interested in how well you guys think this thing drives down the road compared to both the previous version and the current Tahoe / Suburbans. Interior quietness, ride quality, smoothness of the transmission (I don’t find the 10-speed to be as smooth shifting as the previous Ford 6-speed), comfort level of the seats, etc. I imagine there will be a ton of similarities to the F-150 with which this thing shares a lot of its drivetrain and interior.

      1. It better feel better than the current Tahoe/suburban, the current version feels like a brick rolling down the road. The Infiniti/Armada I think have the best ride currently (quiet, composed, smooth) say what you want about the looks.

      1. Agreed if you’re not towing you don’t need body on frame so tell us how it does.

        I’m a little disappointed with the 9200lbs rating. By the time you add 4×4, extended length and all the goodies it’ll be down close to 8500lbs (extended). That’s not really anything worth bragging about.

      2. Yes towing! What can it do going up hills with a full load!? Also there more families pulling travel trailers than I think Ford realizes. Some of need a full size SUV with the capabilities of a 1/2 ton Pick-up. Also, having a diesel option with more torque in the Expedition I think would be a good selller! Thank you!

    2. I’m looking to travel, now retired. My 1997 4×4 F-150 to old. When building an XLT w/FX4 off road package, I must include a 202A package. Which puts the price from $55,000 into the mid $64,000’s. I chatted w/ a ford rep on line, they stated that is what marketing found out. Going cross the US with the wife and my German Shepard pup, we don’t need leather trimmed seats, $7,500 of goodies ???????????????????????????? I have owned Ford’s and Lincolns all my driving life, WHY?

    3. After road tripping this weekend in my daughters 2015 SRT8 Jeep and seeing that she had automatic windshield wipers and automatic sensing to turn Hi beams on and off and adaptive cruise control over and above my 2015 Tacoma and 2017 Tundra I can tell you what I want most and that is autonomous driving. What a relief to have these features on a long road trip. And the power was amazing which gave me the ability to spot the vehicle where I wanted to be with complete effortless acceleration from this SRT with very little body roll. The only thing was comfort on the bumps which it does not do well at, where my Late Tacoma and Tundra excel at.

      Cadillac has Super cruise which would be perfect. I believe hydro pneumatic suspension would take care of both the comfort and sport like handling that we continue to fail at in the truck and SUV industry.

      This would give us body clearance for rough terrain in the lifted position, stability on the highway in the lowered position and the best ride according to Jay Leno, as the best riding suspension in any vehicle he has ever driven.

      So hydraulic suspension, supercruise and power. Turbo a V8 with low end torque like what the Santa Fe has done with the 2.0L and you will get low end power at low rpms which will save fuel to take care of the MPG.

    4. Question for Body Engineer: What is authorized repair for damaged aluminum 1/4 panels? How are new panels to be integrated?
      Question for Calibration Engineer: Previous write-ups have stated that Port Fuel Injection provides a minimum of 5-10% of the fueling for ALL operating conditions. Under towing conditions such as the “Ike”, what percentage of fueling would come from the Port Injectors? Also, what happens under rapid accel and decel conditions? (Do both fuel injections systems shut-off completely under decel?)

        1. I dont believe so. The aluminum F-150 has a higher number of hours for body repair IIRC, and there are fewer processes available before “replace the entire panel” becomes the only path available.

        2. As more aluminum body vehicles get on the road, the repair time / cost will come down, Initially, a lot (along with material cost) of the added cost was available repair facilities. We are continually getting more and more “local” shops upfitted to do the aluminum repairs in my area. I’m in a pretty rural area, so I’d imagine the ratio is higher in larger cities.

        1. I am so tired of hearing about this diesel lion. It cant compete with their own Turbo gas engines. If it comes out it will be the dumbest thing a manufacturer has ever done in the history auto manufacturing.

          1. Yeah, but the diesel will be much cleaner for our air. Those new direct injection gas motors burn so finely that the small particles they burn are real killers.

            The diesels use less fuel and emit fewer particles, especially the finer particles. So, much better for our lungs.

            1. Diesel pollutes 100 times worse than a turbo gas motor once modified and not cared for properly. The UK is suffering right now with brain, kidney, heart and lung failures due to diesel emissions, proven, not speculation. And they are having numerous child birth defects due to diesel emissions because people modify and fail to maintain them because they are too expensive to fix properly.

            2. That article is flawed in that it does narrows itself to gas vs. diesel. NOt gas direct injected vs. diesel direct injected.

              It is the new direct injected gas engines that now make worse fine particles than the diesel engines.

              This is proven and absolutely known, but not known among slow moving and narrow study groups, like academics. Nevertheless, you will find the studies that prove this.

            3. With electric infrastructure in place we will be free from both gas and diesel so its a mute point anyways. Pure electric will take over completeltly without the use of gas or diesel generators. We have batteries now that can arc charge in 7 seconds and new bateries that last three times longer than lithium. Just a matter of time before the combustion engine is almost gone entirely. Noise and air pollution will be less frequent as well.

            4. Fine, must I do your research for you again!

              “It may be surprising to learn that the modern gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines in today’s passenger cars can emit more hazardous fine particulate matter than a port fuel-injected engine (PFI), or even the latest heavy-duty diesels equipped with a particulate filter. And the potential impact to public health from these particulates is driving new developments in fuel delivery, controls, and combustion strategies.”

              “The particles that are released by GDI engines are smaller and more varied in size than diesel particles, Storey noted. And since these ultrafine particles (UFPs) are just on the heavy end of smoke size-wise, they can penetrate deeper into lungs, thus posing greater health risks. Public health authorities are growing concerned about UFP risks in urban areas and near busy highways and major roads. “

            5. True, that Toshiba Arc Charger is fantastic and very real and coming out soon.

              But, the source of that electricity will still be coal and natural gas in most places. And that loses 15 percent when transmitted through power lines to the vehicle. So, very dirty, and very inefficient.

              Until we have nuclear power plants everywhere and the like…


          2. I really hope Ford hits 30 mpg’s with it otherwise it seems like a total waste of time. I think they might be able to pull it off with the 10 speed and aluminum but we shall see.

            But at this point it seems like a waste of time.

            1. The F150 with the 3.0 diesel will absolutely hit 30 mpg or close to it.

              But this Expedition aluminum is 6,000 lbs–only saving 200 lbs. so, no 30 mpg here with the 3.0 diesel.

              Now, the hybrid F150 will all depend on if it is a mild hybrid or a real range extending hybrid.

              Imagine if the diesel was used a a range extender generator, the F150 would get about 38 mpg, and the Expedition would get about 30 mpg!

            2. Really, the new expedition is 6000 lbs? I knew the old ones were heavy, one of the limited 2×4 rentals I had was right at 6k.

              My f150 is 6200 lbs empty so I can’t really complain.

            3. Yes, the old expedition is only 200 lbs more than the new expedition.

              However, the new F150 is significantly lighter than the old one. Under 5000 lbs depending.

    5. NO v8 option? Diesel in future?

      How are the two turbo powerplants different ? Just boost levels and tuning?

      What is entry level? These things are getting beyond affordable going up to $80K

      1. I believe they are physically the same and it just comes down to tuning. It could also be as simple as ones rated on 93 octane and one is not.

        The regular 3.5 Ecoboost in the F150 isnt even that much different than the Raptor ecoboost either.

    6. I am gunna buy a fully loaded Expedition for $85,000 so I am super concerned about MPG’s because that will make up for the $1200 a month car payment . . . . /sarcasm

        1. If I pay $85,000 for an engine, I want it well engineered. Any engineer can make a motor powerful. The ratio of MPG to power is a mark of a well engineered vehicle. I’ll take a 6.2 by far.

          1. Really? I think Ford is light years ahead on engineering. All GM did was take a big V8 from the 1950s and use cylinder deactivation to shut down cylinders part of the time. The only thing it has on the Ecoboost is that it ‘sounds cool’ when you floor it.

            1. Proof is in the result, not when it was first conceived. Look a the Cummins. New does not mean better. Common fallacious thinking.

            2. Having driven multiple 1st gen Ecoboost Expeditions as rental cars, I’d say the results are damn good.

            3. You’ve driven first gen ecoboosts with their bad mileage to power ratio, and you have not driven the 6.2. So your ability to compare is flawed. The independent testing gives very high marks for the 6.2, and surely TFL will do a comparison among others.

            4. Ford light years ahead in engineering?

              The Durmax 6.6 was the first forged aluminum direct injection high compression engine ever.

              The GM Durmax 4.5 v8 was the first compacted graphite block with direct injection and turbos etc.

              These were “10 years ahead of Ford in engineering.” Not my words, those were the words of the Journal of Automotive engineering, a much more trustworthy source than you.

            5. I dont have anything against the 6.2L other than its only available in the top trim levels and they are in the least appealing of the big 3 trucks. Had I not lived at 6500′ above sea level and decided I wanted a turbocharged engine, I could be driving a 6.2L right now.

              I just get all worked up when the anti ford people get in here and start spewing crap about MPG’s or reliability with no actual evidence(or evidence counter to their point in the case of MPG’s; See fuelly.com). It’s just obnoxious.

            6. Sorry, the stillborn GM 4.5L V8 Duramax was not the first mass-market diesel with CGI block, direct injection, etc. That honor belongs to the Ford-designed, Ford-engineered, and Ford-built Lion V6 diesel, the first generation of which entered into production in 2004. See this article from a materials engineering mag in 2002: https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03246675
              The Lion was actually preceded by an Audi V8 diesel w/CGI block, but that was a very low volume engine for European A8 sedans.

            7. The 6.6 Duramax came out in 2000. Its forged aluminum and direct injection among many advancements all in one engine was a much bigger leap in technology than cg and 4 years ahead of that Ford engine.

    7. What would be interested to see is a video that shows putting five adults inside and then towing a mid-size trailer (maybe around 5,000). Then would help demonstrate real world mpg and driving characteristics doing what this vehicle is designed for. The commentary from the TFL guys inside the same vehicle at the same time would also be interesting.

    8. I think seat comfort and ride quality, smoothness, handling feel, steering feel should always be apart of the reviews. Maybe show the seats in more up close detail showing how well or how lacking in padding they are. I think too many trucks have tried to cater to the car press and make their seats hard and heavily bolstered, and for what, its not a tack vehicle.
      Quite often these are vehicles people spend many many hours behind the wheel of everyday, a lot of which are spent out on the highway.
      Virtually none are ever spent carving up a race track.

      I hope Ford has come up with some comfortable seats in not only this all new expedition but also the F150s etc.

      Steering I think its always good to know what type of steering they are using, variable electric or hydraulic etc. If electric how well it compensates for slow vs high speed steering etc.

      I second IowaFords request for rear seat comfort report in all 3 rows.

    9. Andre, you’ve given us some preliminary info and price figures for the Expedition in its 2WD version. As a Coloradan, I can’t remember the last time I saw an Explorer, Expedition or Excursion in 2WD. How about for the more common 4WD versions? (OK. Having said that, I know there are probably tons of 2WD SUVs in use and that I just don’t look closely enough to tell the difference.)

      As one of the commenters points out above, the big question is how well “this thing drives down the road compared to both the previous version and the current Tahoe/Suburbans.” Is Ford’s twin turbo 3.5L engine up to the task of providing power for a heavy SUV? Will the efficiency of this power plant be the same or better than that achieved by what’s available in the F-150? More importantly, can we buy one of these $60K (& up) vehicles and be confident that it will still be running strong in 5 or 10 years? (Sorry to be a skeptic…)

      Also, many of your videos illustrate the biggest issue when driving in the mountains; it is not going up the hill, but being able to come down the hill safely. I loved having an exhaust brake in a diesel pickup I owned several years ago; is there an option in gas-powered SUVs and pickups that works as well?

      I also echo the sentiment of another commenter who said, “IKE this puppy!” For my money, the Ike Gauntlet is still the best litmus test for determining the mettle of any tow vehicle. Ha! I still remember driving home from skiing in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when we used to wait what seemed like forever just to get up to the Eisenhower Tunnel, and that’s without towing a trailer. In those days, I never had a car that could just zoom up that hill like we do now; skiing in Summit County or Eagle County for just a day meant the trip home would be quite a sojourn. It amazes me that we can just about take a quick drive home for granted … well, except for the delays caused by traffic volume and the ones caused by those “Du MOSS” (how you say “dumb ass” with a French accent) drivers who seem to forget how treacherous winter driving can be at in the dark in the Rockies. Put this SUV to the test!

      That brings up the issue of safety while driving at night in the mountains almost anywhere. I have lived in New England and Northern California as well as in Colorado. In all of those places, winter driving at night can be a “white knuckle” experience. I have owned 4WD pickups and AWD SUVs but not one of them has ever had the capability to make winter driving at night safe. Is there a way to fix this (mostly so I don’t have to stay up at night worrying about my kids getting home safely)?

      1. This engine in the Raptor does not tow heavy loads well. It sucks fuel and it just plain sucks. Not my words.

        Troverman has a 2017 and has stated here it is not good for towing. It does not have power in the right rev. ranges etc.

        1. I suppose 510 ft-lbs at 3500 rpm is somehow worse than 460 at 4100 like the Ecotec 3? Every post I saw where Troverman mentioned that he was comparing it to his Powerstroke as if they somehow should be equal.

          Plus the Expedition is not tuned the same as the regular or Raptor ecoboost. the full 470 or 480 ft-lbs is available at 2250 rpm.

          1. That low rpm full torque is going to hold smaller gears for longer and save fuel, similiar to a diesel. Just a matter of setting the turbo properly. I think you can lower the rpm full torque even more and sacrifice HP to save even more fuel. Hyundai has already done it. Full torque at 1350Rpm in a gas turbo motor.

            1. Ford could bring the torque in even lower with no physical change. The aftermarket tunes do it no problem.

              The factory specs are irrelevent to me honestly, because any ecoboost I buy will have a tune on it and will blow the factory numbers out of the water. MPT increased the 2017 Ecoboost numbers by ~145whp and 130 wtq. Thats 450 whp and 472 wtq. Just a tune!

    10. This thing is ugly as possible. Who cares how well it goes up the Ike? Most Americans don’t tow trailers at such a high elevation and furthermore that test is stupid. It relies on the unrestricted flow of traffic not to mention I wouldn’t think that it is very safe to try to run a vehicle up a busy section of highway with Chase/camera cars alongside. Do real world testing and quit trying to rip off some Ford or GM test.

      1. I disagree. Having a pass near my house very much like the IKE, I would absolutely like to know what truck can keep up with traffic on a hill like that at altitude. I’d rather be able to keep up than worry about getting driven into by some guy doing 80mph while I try to creep past an 18 wheeler.

    11. Really interested in off road capability. I know it will not compete with smaller vehicles, but how does well does it do? Especially the FX4 version. There are a lot of unanswered questions about the FX4 version. Like, do the running boards impact breakover angle?

    12. Its off-road ability should be helped by its independent rear suspension on at least washboard.

      Be wared! Washboard roads are MURDER for solid axles and more specifically their shocks. You can easily burst your shocks within a few minutes on wasboard.

      See, I give Ford credit when it is due. Ford just doesn’t give much reason to.

    13. $66,000 to get and XLT Max 4×4 with the tow package and sync 3(forces 202a package). I can’t believe you can’t get sync 3 as a stand-alone option.

      I don’t even know what to say. My 2014 Lariat crew 6.5’ bed 4×4 with basically every option available had a $54500 msrp.

      1. Well, it seems Ford is just following GM’s SUV pricing model and banking on SUV crazed consumers to buy them. The prices have been out of sight for some time now and hopefully consumers will respond by choosing lower priced options.

    14. I notice Ford is giving two separate power ratings from the same engine. A lower power rating for the the lower trim levels and a higher one for the upper trim level. However the higher trim level power was achieved using premium fuel. Can the lower trim level also achieve 400hp using premium fuel?

      1. Only the Platinum will give you 400HP and it might be optional as an upgrade but you have to use premium at that point. Premium fuel in the lower models will only get you 370HP regardless. I believe if you add your own tune manufacturers know now with the technology in them and will void your warranty.

    15. I’d like to see a direct comparison of the short versions of the Tahoe and Expedition along with the Armada and Durango. There are really 3 separate tiers that need to be kept separate.
      1. the super expensive performance ones (HO ecoboost, 6.2, SRT)
      2. upper standard (regular ecoboost, 5.3, 5.6, 5.7 hemi)
      3. the most common, standard versions (2.7 ecoboost, 4.6?, 3.6 pentastar) Compare driving dynamics (ride, shifting, handling) then interior (comfort, features, 3rd row seating for adults, 2nd row comfort and access to 3rd row) then performance (real world MPG loop (unloaded with adults and towing). The durango belongs here because it is the longest uni-body and is RWD based. All versions should be 4WD/AWD equipped. Ike towing is down on my list, but should be included

      1. Offroading is also down on the list, but take the 2nd or 3rd group and head up cliffhanger. I think i’ve seen this with the durango, not sure you have with the tahoe or expedition?

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