By Nauman Farooq
Earlier this year, I tested the new Lincoln Navigator, and simply fell in love with it. It looks good, has one of the best interiors in the business, and it even has good get-up-and-go!
If there is a ‘fly in the ointment’ with the Navigator, it is the price, as the very base model starts from $88,150 – that’s well out of the reach for most!
So, what if you want the size and capability of the Navigator, but at a much lower price? Well, maybe the 2018 Ford Expedition might do the trick for you.
The Expedition is the sister vehicle to the Navigator, as in they both have the same platform, both have the same engine (with slightly different power tune) and the same 10-speed automatic transmission – but has a starting price of $60,149.
Sure, for the extra $28,000, the Navigator gives you more power, better seats, better suspension, and a lot of other goodies you won’t find on the Expedition, but the question is, after you peel away the luxuries, is the Ford version still satisfying?
Before I get to that, let’s look at it in detail!
Styling: From an aesthetics point of view, the Expedition is actually quite good looking. Sure, the Navigator strikes a better pose, but the Expedition is nothing to embarrassed by. I love the macho front grille, and think the rear-end is actually better on the Ford than the Lincoln version. You’d be proud to park this on your driveway.
Interior: This is where the Navigator and the Expedition really stand apart. Whereas the Navigator is full of luxury, the Expedition really shows the roots of this platform, which essentially is the Ford F-150 pickup truck.
As a result, while it has plenty of features, it doesn’t look all that luxurious, and very much like a work truck. Space wise, there is lots of it for passengers (up to 8 people) and cargo. In terms of practicality, the Expedition might actually be better than the Navigator, but I know where most people would prefer to spend time in!
Powertrain: While the Expedition and Navigator might have a similar engine (3.5L turbocharged V6), the performance tune is very different – so in the Expedition you get 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, while the Navigator gives you 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.
That is a big power gap, and it feels it. Sure, the Expedition is fine at moving about, but it isn’t as effortless as the Navigator.
The lack of power does help keep the fuel bills lower, as I averaged 13.5 L/100 km in the Expedition, a full liter less than what I averaged with the Navigator. Power is fed to all-wheels via a 10 speed automatic gearbox.
Driving Dynamics: As you’d expect, anything this big and heavy (5333 mm long, 2551 kg curb weight) is not going to be nimble in the corners or accelerate away like a gazelle, and it doesn’t.
It prefers being gently nudged along, rather than an aggressive driving style. On the road, the Expedition rides well, but not as well as the Navigator – and the Expedition certainly picks up road undulations much more.
So while the Expedition might be a sister vehicle to the Navigator, it is better seen as a fully enclosed F-150.
Verdict: Yes, the $28,000 price difference between the base Expedition and the base Navigator, is a large chunk of money, but after spending time with both vehicles, it becomes very clear that the Lincoln version is worth the extra cash, and then some!
The Expedition might satisfy some, but not me.