All-new 2018 Ford Expedition combines a spacious interior with solid capability

The Expedition gets a needed makeover.

The all-new 2018 Ford Expedition
The all-new 2018 Ford Expedition. –Ford Motor Company

The Ford Expedition is all-new for 2018, giving this full-size SUV a needed makeover. It has a new design outside, an improved appearance inside, and the capability and flexibility that buyers demand from full-size SUVs.

While some SUVs claim to easily hold up to eight passengers, the third row is often too small to be remotely comfortable for adults. The Expedition is a true eight-passenger vehicle. It has enough room for three adults to sit in back, and it’s also possible for them to get back there without having to be contortionists. It’s still best for the smallest folks, but adults will be fine on short trips.

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Seating throughout is comfortable and supportive with the Platinum trim leaning toward luxury vehicle territory. It boasts features like heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable foot pedals, and power-folding second and third rows.

Sit in the second row or up front, and the Expedition is downright expansive. There’s ample room for even the tallest passengers. If you really want to maximize space for cargo and passengers, then check out the long wheelbase, Expedition Max. This is the car we drove, and the interior is cavernous.

The standard wheelbase Expedition has 20.9 cubic feet behind the third row, 63.6 cubic feet behind the second, and 104.6 cubic feet behind the third. Move up to the long wheelbase, and there’s 36 cubic feet behind the third row, 79.6 cubic feet behind the second, and 121.4 cubic feet behind the first.

The Expedition can haul up to 9,300 pounds when equipped with the heavy-duty trailer tow package. Backing up a big vehicle with a trailer can be challenging, but Ford makes it easier with Pro Trailer Backup Assist. This lets you steer the car using a single knob rather than trying to figure out which direction you need to turn the wheel to point your trailer in the right direction.

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Boston.com Dealer Specials:

Doing all the work of moving the Expedition down the road is a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine with 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Platinum models have a more powerful version of this engine with 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Both are paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission with a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive.

The Expedition is not a small vehicle, but you wouldn’t know it by how well it accelerates. A heavy foot on the gas sends it roaring ahead, making short work of merging into heavy highway traffic. Even if you need an extra burst of speed for passing, it’s no problem at all. The transmission manages that power well with smooth shifts with a nicer overall ride.

Handling is good, but it’s hard to forget this is a big SUV. Turn sharply, especially at speed, and there is some of the top-heavy roll typical of big, tall vehicles. Overall, the Expedition’s bulk is well-managed by its suspension system, but this big SUV drives like one.

The standard Sync infotainment system is found only on the base model, while the rest of the lineup gets Sync 3 with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an 8-inch color touchscreen. There are up to six available USB charging ports and a center console wireless charger. A 12-speaker B&O audio system and dual-headrest rear-seat entertainment system are also available. There’s even a Wi-Fi hotspot that can handle up to 10 devices at once.

The Expedition offers advanced safety features available through several packages. These include lane-keeping assist, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, forward-collision warning, and auto high-beam headlamps.

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Pricing on the 2018 Ford Expedition starts at $51,695 and tops out at $75,400.