The 2018 Ford Expedition has earned a five-star rating — the top possible score — in recent crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That makes the Expedition one of the only full-size SUVs to have hit NHTSA’s highest safety mark. The Expedition scored perfect five-star scores in front- and side-impact crash testing, along with a four-star rating for the truck’s predicted resistance to rollover collisions.
Rivals for the 2018 model year like the Chevrolet Suburban, Nissan Armada, and Chevrolet Tahoe have registered four out of five stars in NHTSA’s overall crash-test scoring. Other key rivals, such as the Toyota Sequoia and Infiniti QX80, have either not been tested or have not received an overall government-endorsed safety score.
That’s primarily because not every new vehicle is put through the full NHTSA driver crash-test regimen. Frequently, the best-selling models, or vehicles that have been significantly updated for a new model year, receive priority. That explains why the Expedition was nudged to the top of the full-size SUV field.
Not only did the 2018 Expedition get a complete revamp — one that helped trim a little more than 100 pounds from its curb weight — but this large SUV is proving to be a sales hit even as gas prices nudge upward. Ford reported that Expeditions through May were sitting on dealer lots an average of 19 days. That might not sound hugely impressive, but it’s about half the time it normally takes for most cars and trucks to find a new home.
In our review of the 2018 Expedition, we praised everything from this SUV’s “slick … and thoroughly modern” exterior to its cabin that comes loaded with vehicle tech goodies, along with the accelerative force provided by the 375-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6.
Behind the driver’s wheel, we noted the Expedition “exudes comfort and stability,” while the ride proved nothing short of “outstanding,” even in base models that don’t feature the available electronically adjustable suspension settings. Backing up its strong solo performance, the 2018 Expedition also took top honors in our 2018 Full-Size SUV Challenge, where the Ford SUV outperformed rivals including the Chevrolet Tahoe, Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia.
In terms of overall safety, the 2018 Expedition is available with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, parking sensors, a 360-degree surround-view camera (a rear-view camera is standard), blind spot monitors and park assist.
In total, NHTSA tested four versions of the 2018 Expedition SUV. It’s worth noting there were some variances between the vehicle models, particularly related to whether they were rear- or all-wheel drive. The two Expeditions tested in rear-wheel-drive format registered a three-star rating in their rollover-resistance scores; meanwhile, the two Expeditions fitted with all-wheel drive scored the higher four-star score. This is measured in a lab, not in physical tests, using a NHTSA measurement known as the static stability factor.
The only current full-size SUV that matches the Expedition’s strong NHTSA vehicle safety score is none other than the Lincoln Navigator. Unsurprisingly, the 2018 Navigator shares the same platform and powertrain as its mechanical near-twin, the Expedition. The starting price for a 2018 Ford Expedition is around $49,000 (prices include destination) for the base model in rear-wheel-drive format; a fully loaded Expedition Max Platinum 4×4 will cost upwards of $85,000.
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