The 2018 Ford Expedition is massive and well worth its cost

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The 2018 Ford Expedition is massive and well worth its cost

  • The Expedition is incredibly impressive, with composed road manners and a driving experience that is years ahead of similar body-on-frame trucks.
  • With Ford's latest powerplant technology and all of the convenient tech features consumers want, the Expedition represents the modern choice among full-size SUVs that often feel behind the times.
  • At $75,260 as-tested, the Expedition is pricey even for the segment. It justifies the cost, but it's still a big check to write.
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX
Mack Hogan | CNBC
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX

After a decade of iterative changes, the Ford Expedition finally received a full top-to-tires redesign. With fresh, all-aluminum skin and a powertrain designed around Ford's wonderful 3.5-liter EcoBoost motor, the Expedition represents the modern choice in a segment that typically tends toward primitive design.

It's great to look at, comfortable and quiet to drive and topped off with all the technology you'd expect of a luxury SUV. The 2018 Expedition is easily the class leader, years ahead of competitors. If you're alright with the price, we absolutely recommend it.

The Good

The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX
Mack Hogan | CNBC
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX

The first thing that you notice about the Expedition is its size. We tested the Expedition MAX, the extended version with an even more massive cargo area. Size-wise, it's comparable to a Chevy Suburban rather than the smaller Tahoe.

If you need to fit a massive amount of people and things inside a vehicle you can't really best an Expedition. Seven adults can fit without complaint, with a massive cargo area on deck to swallow their things.

The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX
Mack Hogan | CNBC
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX

The cabin is also refreshing, with a panoramic roof helping to brighten the passenger compartment. The new Expedition has a higher-quality interior and a more modern design than earlier versions. Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system lives in the Expedition's center screen, and we're happy to report that it's easy to use and quick-responding.

The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX
Mack Hogan | CNBC
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX

The Expedition's fully-redesigned body is more muscular and clean than in years past. It's particularly impressive that this MAX version of the truck still looks handsome and well-proportioned.

The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX
Mack Hogan | CNBC
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX

The most important change to the new Expedition is how it drives. Segment stalwarts have often been described as lumbering, bouncy or otherwise sloppy. The Expedition is solid and composed on the road. Despite its size, the rigidity of the Expedition means it never suffers from the shake or flex you might expect of a vehicle in this class.

The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX
Mack Hogan | CNBC
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX

The powertrain also copes with the heft quite well. Once again, Ford deploys its excellent 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 for propulsion duty making 375 horsepower. It's mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed with GM. With a whopping 470 lb-ft of torque and 10 cogs at its disposal, the Expedition never feels out of breath.

The Bad

The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX
Mack Hogan | CNBC
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX

This power comes at a cost. Fuel economy is unlikely to be a high priority for buyers of a truck this size, but it was hard to hit the Expedition 4x4's claimed 17/23 city/highway fuel economy figure. Especially at high speeds, the aerodynamics of a truck this big are hard to argue with and we struggled to crack 20 miles per gallon. That's still good for the class.

The Expedition MAX only really has one direct competitor, but its price point is noticeably higher. Our Expedition MAX Limited 4x4 costs $75,260 and isn't quite top-of-the-line, while a Suburban with every substantive package and option comes in around $72,000.

The Expedition is worth the extra cash.

How you should configure it

The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX
Mack Hogan | CNBC
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX

Start with an Expedition MAX XLT 4x4, assuming you need the space. Add $5,605 for package 202A, which brings leather, blind spot monitoring, upgraded infotainment, heated and cooled seats, dual zone climate control, a power-folding third row, remote start and other quality-of-life upgrades.

$715 buys you the driver assistance package, which brings lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, rain sensing wipers and pre-collision warning into the mix. That brings our total to a clean $65,000.

Final Thoughts

The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX
Mack Hogan | CNBC
The 2018 Ford Expedition MAX

The Expedition isn't cheap, but it offers good value in the segment. $65,000 for a truck that looks as good as the Expedition, can tow 9,000 pounds, seat eight people and drives well is impressive enough that we recommend it.

Rating:

Exterior: 4

Interior: 5

Driving Experience: 4

Value: 2.5

Overall: 4

Price as configured: $75,260