Ford Expedition Goes Aluminum for '18

Like the 2015 F-150, the next-generation 2018 Ford Expedition will have an aluminum body-in-white and panels over a "redesigned high-strength steel frame", Ford announced Tuesday. Hopefully this design detail is only reserved for the luxury models and not all Expeditions.

The best part about a real SUV is that you can tow truck-sized loads.

Ford has introduced its first all-new full-size SUV in 15 years. To help with trailering duties, the SUV receives a tow/haul mode on the shifter that allows for more engine braking and a cool backup feature that helps novice drivers back up a trailer into hard spots, like the F-150 pickup has now.

Let's talk about that body, though, as the Expedition has clearly gotten a bit softer for this generation, channeling more Explorer than F-Series. However, the company promises the Expedition will deliver best-in-class towing capacity even though it lags on displacement compared to Chevrolet's Tahoe and Suburban, which both offer a big V8.

More than 40 features and driver-assist technologies new to Expedition help make the journey as enjoyable as the destination. If passengers want, the second row can be folded down - not into the floor - and the third row becomes a limo seat for tall passengers to stretch their legs. The 8-seater is about an inch longer and wider than the outgoing model, according to The Detroit News.

And between the adaptive cruise control, emergency braking assistance, a lane-keeping system, and blind-spot awareness function, the Expedition should give moms the peace of mind to take their eyes off the road long enough to yell at the seven kids packed into the auto. The third row will recline and retains its previous power-folding feature. The list of convenience features now includes a hands-free tailgate, a wireless phone charger, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Ford's pro trailer backup assist feature, which makes backing up with a trailer a breeze. The new SUV also gets Ford's Terrain Management System that allows owners to set the traction control system to help manage specific needs, like driving on snow or grass or while towing a trailer. To maximize fuel economy (no EPA ratings have been released as of yet), the V-6 includes a stop/start system as standard.

2018 Ford Expedition
2018 Ford Expedition Supplied Ford 2018 Ford Expedition Supplied Ford

The all-new Expedition has a roomy, flexible interior. The Dearborn automaker partnered with the National Football League franchise to refurbish Dallas firefighters Station 43 in 2016, and will present a local first responder with an all-new Expedition, according to the release.

Three trim levels will be available to retail customers, XLT, Limited and Platinum. An XL version will be produced for fleet customers, such as law enforcement and emergency services.

Ford had announced a year ago that it will be introducing four new SUVs by 2020, and this will include a long-awaited revival of the Bronco.

The all-new Expedition arrives this fall.

The SUV, which will be manufactured at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Ky., is also equipped with a blind spot warning feature and a collision avoidance detection system, which is created to help drivers avoid other vehicles or pedestrians.


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