Since its introduction way back in 1997, there have been three generations of the Ford Expedition. But the Blue Oval’s full-size SUV has been resisting change quite successfully over the two decades of its existence. Realising that relatively much more modern rivals like the Chevrolet Tahoe are chipping away at its sales figures, Ford has infused a generous dose of modernity to the fourth-generation of the SUV unveiled yesterday.
Well, the underlying formula is still the same; a full-size, body-on-frame SUV that can comfortably seat eight and tow a house if you need it to. But similarities to the previous generations end there. Featuring an all-new high-strength, aluminum-alloy body on a high-strength steel frame, the new Expedition is lighter than before by 300 pounds (136kg) and adds a raft of the latest technology and convenience features. “When Expedition was introduced 20 years ago, it set the standard for active families who simply needed a big and strong SUV to take them places,” says Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford’s American operations. “Today’s families want even more smart technology to help them cover more ground safely, more efficiently and more comfortably – all while staying connected to friends and family,” he adds.
The tech features include an enhanced active park assist with 360-degree camera technology, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and collision detection and avoidance system among others. The most obvious change is in the looks department, with the front fascia now resembling the new Explorer’s and the side profile looking similar to the Tahoe’s. Ford says its flexible seating with second-row tip-and-slide function provides easy access to the third row even when child seats are installed, while claiming the Pro Trailer Backup Assist makes backing up a trailer “as easy as turning a knob.”
Power comes from a 3.5-litre Eco Boost engine mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission, and while power or performance figures aren’t revealed yet, Ford says the all-new Expedition is the most powerful ever. But since it’s the same powertrain that does service in the F-150, we expect it to make somewhere close to 375bhp.
Built at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, the new Expedition will arrive at showrooms later this year.