Traveling with a family is no easy task. If you’re like me with a toddler then it makes it a bit tougher and requires more space as you need to bring a diaper bag, extra clothes, plenty of diapers, toys, snacks and of course a stroller. By plane this requires a lot of bags to carry to either check-in or attempt to bring through security. So the next best option is a good old family road trip to reach your destination.
Enter the 2018 Ford Expedition. The problem with SUV’s is that with their large size can be tougher to drive and requires more gas. However, Ford has created solutions to these common issues with the new Expedition. I had the opportunity to take the family on a road trip to Flagstaff, Arizona to attend the annual Overland Expo. The close to 500 mile-trip would be the perfect testing ground for the SUV.
On the outside the 2018 Ford Expedition looks fierce with its sharp lines and boxy angles. The auto LED headlights are sleek and flow into the mesh grille nicely. The large 22″ wheels (on the Platinum model tested) added a touch of sportiness to the large vehicle.
Inside the cabin is where the Expedition (Platinum edition) really shines. There’s a touch of luxury and comfort with the supple leather seats and leather wrapped steering wheel. The seats are not only soft to the touch, but the driver seat is also heated and ventilated as well as includes the premium massage option, which came in handy through the long stretches. Passengers aren’t forgotten as their seats are also heated for the front and 2nd row passenger seats. One large (pun intended) detail not overlooked is the Panoramic Vista Roof that provided a gorgeous view of the sky and let in more light for the family. My kid was kept entertained as he often stared upwards towards the grand view of the sky.
The overall cabin is spacious. The vehicle fits up to 8 passengers, although I would say closer to 7 comfortably, unless they are children. The 2nd row seats comfortably fit adults to child seats and 3rd row I found large enough for kids and shorter adults.
There’s plenty of storage space in the rear and if you need more then with a simple touch of a button the 3rd row conveniently folds down flat. The handsfree liftgate also opens and closes with a touch of a button. If you are in need of even more storage capacity the vehicle comes equipped with factory roof rack side rails to easily mount cross bars and various items from cargo boxes to bicycles. There’s also plenty of interior storage compartments, cup holders, and USB ports throughout that came in handy.
The Expedition tackles the driving challenges that some may have when driving larger vehicles through technology. While reversing the back-up camera is supplemented with a 360-degree camera to aid in showing every angle and blind spot. Taking it up a notch, the vehicle is equipped with Enhanced Active Park Assist with Side Sensing System, which helps in parallel parking, pulling vehicle out of a tight parking situation, and even helps get into or out of a perpendicular parking spot.
On the open road, the drive was smooth and comfortable. For more spirited driving, the large vehicle also has a few driving modes including Eco, Normal, and Sport. I found myself mainly in Normal mode for this adventure, but did occasionally go into Sport mode to have a bit more fun. Even through some tight corners the SUV managed gracefully despite the 22″ wheels. There is a bit of power behind the wheel of the Platinum edition with 400 horsepower from the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. I ended up averaging just about 20-miles to the gallon on this trip, which I was happy with especially from such a large vehicle.
One feature that came as a pleasant surprise was as I had the vehicle in cruise control another vehicle in the slow lane cut in front of me and even before I had time to react the vehicle slowed itself down and once it was clear again sped itself back to the cruising speed. The adaptive cruise control option not only provided better fuel economy on the flat highway, but also peace of mind.
The new Expedition is also packed with plenty of entertainment features to make the drive a bit more pleasant. From the SYNC3 with an 8″ touchscreen to the premium sound quality from the B&O Play audio system. Voice activated controls helped keep my eyes on the road as I made calls and changed stations on SiriusXM.
For those that want to tow something from a car trailer to a boat, the trailer tow package makes it convenient and comfortable. On this trip I wasn’t able to go off road much, but the Expedition is capable in those conditions with the 4×4 package.
Overall, the 2018 Ford Expedition is an amazing vehicle and great for family road trips. All of this does come at a price. The Platinum edition 4×4 will cost you about $77,000, however if you don’t need all the bells and whistles then there are plenty of other packages that start at about $51,000.