The 2018 Ford Expedition is tailor-made for anglers, hunters and outdoor-lovers.
My current vehicle is a 2005 Ford Escape Limited, a trusty SUV that's taken me down countless dirt roads and helped launch my fishing boat hundreds of times. With the odometer reading 205,000 miles, it's the type of workhorse that just won't quit.
And as much as I enjoy the features of the Escape, it's the top-of-the-line 2018 Expedition that truly takes my breath away.
Back in August, Ford Canada graciously reached out to me, as well as six other Ottawa-area outdoor writers and bloggers, with an invite for a two-day "Fishing Expedition." Not only would we get the chance to drive the most powerful Expedition built to date, but we'd also wet a line for rainbow trout in Quebec's wondrous Kenauk Nature Resort.
Meeting at the local Ford dealership the morning of Sept. 14, I was instantly blindsided by the three shiny 2018 Ford Expeditions they had lined up for us. In terms of looks, these vehicles are simply stunning. And as luck would have it, my good friend Ashley Rae and I were handed the keys to the jaw-dropping Platinum Edition.
The 2018 Ford Expedition is a massive vehicle, but when sitting behind the wheel, it's more than comfortable to drive. Don't get me wrong, it's long and wide, but the features that come standard help make the journey an easy and stress-free one.
Ashley and I set off for Kenauk Nature Resort, a drive along highways and back roads that takes about an hour and a half. With a powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, our full-size SUV cruised down the pavement as I can only imagine a race car would. It sports a 10-speed automatic transmission and is capable of delivering up to a maximum of 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Additionally, the engine performs flawlessly in terms of responsiveness. The ride was also remarkably smooth and quiet. Talk about being spoiled!
In terms of cruising, I clicked on the Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go as we traveled down Highway 50. With this feature, you'll always maintain a safe and uniform distance from the vehicle in front of you. To accomplish this, it uses sensors, which manually apply the brakes and gas.
One feature I relished was the air-conditioned massage seats. It was literally like having a masseuse along for the ride! For those who do long hauls, this Platinum-only perk would definitely extend driving duration and comfort.
The expansive moonroof was pretty epic, too.
We arrived at Kenauk Nature Resort excited and giddy. I've driven in a lot of vehicles over the years, but this ride was second to none.
Before we settled into lunch, we met with two Ford technicians to learn about a couple of revolutionary features. First up was the Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which uses a rearview camera and a measured decal applied to your trailer to expertly guide you through the backing-up process. And, you can do all of this by simply turning a knob. For those who tow big boats or trailers, this feature is certain to be a hit.
Speaking of towing, the 2018 Ford Expedition offers a best-in-class, 9,200-pound maximum capacity. Let that digest.
The other demonstration highlighted the hands-free parallel park function. As you can imagine, fitting a truck of this size between two other vehicles could be problematic. But with this feature, which uses side cameras to notify you of a spacious-enough spot and then expertly steers you in, was truthfully mind-blowing.
Once we finished lunch, the plan was to fish a back lake for rainbow trout, which was 30 minutes away. The dirt road was narrow, bumpy and steep, but the Ford Expedition handled it with ease. To be honest, I'm pretty certain our super-duty SUV laughed at the thought of some off-road terrain.
Here's our expert guide and good friend, Jamie Pistilli, coming to meet us at the dock.
The sun was high and the air was hot, and according to Jamie, the fish would be deep. Casting was out of the question, so we trolled flies for these sure-to-be-sulking fish. I ran the electric motor in our boat while Ashley and Ottawa Life Magazine's Tory McNeely held the rods.
Ashley caught our only fish, but it was a beauty.
The other boat lost a few, and let this one hilariously slip away. I happened to be at the right place at the right time to snap this candid shot.
After a few hours of fishing and taking in the wonderful scenery, we loaded up the Expeditions in preparation for our trek out. But first, we had to get a self-timer shot of the gang as a keepsake.
We meandered our way back through the park, playing with the 360-degree cameras and testing out the four-wheel drive. Once at the gates, it was a short jaunt to our next stop, which was the elegantly impressive Fairmont Le Château Montebello.
This 5-star luxury resort and hotel would be our rest stop for the night, and Ford Canada spared no expense with the incredible rooms they put us up in. After a quick shower and a 10-minute "nap" on my king-size bed, I joined the group on an outside patio for happy hour.
Shortly after, we were treated to a decadent meal consisting of steak, chicken, fish and all the fixings, served outdoors at a private table. What better way is there to end a fishing expedition than with glorious food?
We spent the starry night gathered around a wonderfully warm fire, enjoying wine as we laughed and told tall tales. As for music, we simply parked one of the 2018 Expeditions beside us and rolled down the windows. Now that's what you call a DJ on wheels!
I snapped this shot as I made my way to bed, which shows the cavernous inside of the main hotel. What a beautiful place to spend the night!
After a wonderfully restful sleep, I arose to a scrumptious breakfast in the main dining area. You haven't experienced a top-notch buffet spread until you go to Fairmont Le Château Montebello. They definitely spoil you.
We spent the afternoon lounging around the outdoor pool. Tough life, I know.
All good things must come to an end, and at 4 p.m. we boarded the trio of 2018 Expeditions and headed home. Tori was behind the wheel for this drive while I rode up front. This gave me a chance to play with the navigation system and all the console features (and there are many). I could also check messages on my phone using the on board SYNC 3 and Apple CarPlay.
Some noteworthy features I may not have mentioned include the ability to seat eight comfortably, the fold-flat cargo floor which allows you to transport sheets of plywood with the liftgate closed, Blind Spot Information System and Lane Keeping Assist. If you want even more cargo space, be sure to check out the Expedition Max.
I'd like to give a big thanks to Ford Canada for giving me such an amazing experience. It was beyond unbelievable and the 2018 Ford Expedition is truly a stunning vehicle. You owe it to yourself to check one out!
For more information on the 2018 Ford Expedition, click HERE.
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