The redesigned 2018 Ford Expedition follows the trail blazed by the Ford F-150, trimming weight via an aluminum body and lightweight components. All told, this massive vehicle shaves 300 pounds off its previous weight, while piling on new comfort, convenience, and safety features.

Lower weight typically aids fuel economy and performance. This would be welcomed, as the current Expedition EL returned just 14 mpg overall in our tests—low for even this thirsty class. And, with pronounced wind noise and a cheap interior, it felt seriously dated compared with fresher competition from General Motors.

2018 Ford Expedition driving

Dynamics promise to be improved through a new optional Terrain Management System that will allow drivers to optimize handling and powertrain performance to suit conditions, with Eco, Normal, Sport, and Towing modes.

The updated 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine adds a start/stop feature to turn off the engine to save fuel during stops, such as when waiting at a traffic light. This turbocharged engine will be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, as opposed to the six ratios used in the current model. Ford claims this will be the most powerful Expedition yet, putting output at greater than the outgoing model's 365 hp, but the company has not released specific horsepower figures.

2018 Ford Expedition interior

The modern, button-festooned cabin provides seating for eight, with Ford claiming that third-row passenger room has improved. Both the second- and third-row seats can be folded flat with a button push, which Ford says creates a flat load floor that can accommodate a 4-by-8-foot plywood sheet.

A full complement of infotainment features will be offered, including Sync 3 with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a B&O Play premium sound system, wireless charging, WiFi hotspot, and Sync Connect app-based vehicle controls. Head-rest-mounted screens will be offered to entertain second-row passengers on long road trips. Making the Expedition feel even roomier is an optional panoramic sunroof, letting the sun shine in over the front two seating rows.

The Expedition will offer a 360-degree camera and park assist system that can make parking this tour bus much easier. Available safety features will use both camera and radar technology, and include automatic braking, lane-keep assist, active cruise control, and blind-spot monitors that can see to all the way to a trailer’s flanks.

Retail customers will have a choice of three familiar trim levels: XLT, Limited, and Platinum, though fleet customers will be able to choose a less fancy XL. An extended-length Expedition MAX supplants the outgoing Expedition EL, offering customers even more cargo-toting space.

The road-test score for the current Expedition is near the bottom of its class, but this aging titan has its virtues, as evidenced by high marks from owners for reliability and satisfaction. The lame-duck 2017 Expedition can be found with significant discounts. We would expect those deals to sweeten as dealers count down to the fall, when the new 2018 Ford Expedition goes on sale.

Read the complete road test for the current Ford Expedition.

2018 Ford Expedition rear driving