By 2020 in the U.S., there will be 80 million grandparents, and that will be nearly one in three adults! And these baby boomer grandparents are traveling — and taking the grandkids. During a recent Ford Motor Company presentation in Orlando, I learned about Ford trends including road tripping grandparents and how Ford is catering to the 50-75 age demographic. I also previewed four new models, with the 2018 Ford Expedition still a perfect fit for my multigenerational family travel.
For five generations, Ford Motor Company has been designing cars — that’s 113 years and counting. With my adult children already driving and two of my grandchildren approaching their teens, my multigenerational family will soon have three generations driving — at the same time. Road tripping grandparents, new Ford models, and technology for older drivers are just a few of the Ford Trends discussed at a recent Ford Motor Company presentation I attended with my fellow TravelingMoms in Orlando.
Interview: Ford Motor Company Marketing & Brand Manager Cristina Aquino
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SheBuysCars.com Founder Scotty Reiss interviewed Ford Motor Company Marketing Manager Cristina Aquino to get the scoop on the new and improved 2018 Ford Expedition, Explorer, and EcoSport. The following video also includes a live demonstration of Hands-free, Park-assist technology in the 2018 Ford Fusion.
I personally experienced the park assist technology in the Ford Fusion. As cool and awesome as this experience was, letting go (literally!) of the steering wheel and allowing the car to do it all was a little unnerving.
Still a Fan: 2018 Ford Expedition
When your mechanic Dad says, your first car will be a Ford, your first car is a Ford (and mine was a Pinto). When you come from generations of Ford owners, breaking the car-buying cycle is just not an option. Although my adult children have fallen by the wayside, our driveway contains a Ford Escape, Ford F150, and Ford Expedition, the latter we fire up to use as road tripping grandparents.
And after all these years, I’m still a fan of the Ford Expedition. Even though I upgraded to the 2014 Ford Escape, we kept our 2003 Ford Expedition. Why? Because we just love the extra space and seating for 8. When our multigenerational family gets together, we can almost pack all of our 7 grandchildren in (if I leave Grandpa at home…)!
Features I Love in the 2018 Ford Expedition
Many of the features in the 2018 model I fell in love with when I purchased my 2002 Ford Expedition, and the biggest reason is its spaciousness. Seriously you cram a whole lot of family and stuff inside these four doors. I’m also a fan of that third seat — now because I can squeeze in three generations into one vehicle.
When my daughters were teens, we used the Expedition to pack in almost the entire softball team. As a road tripping grandparent, these features are equally important today as they were back then.
Highlight 2018 Ford Expedition Features
- Refined and spacious cabin for both people and cargo. Even adults can have fun getting the most stuff into the new Expedition. (See TravelingMom team doing just that below.)
- Towing capability is still impressive.
- It’s up to 300 pounds lighter, due to that aluminum construction on a steel frame.
- Up to eight passengers spread out over three rows of seats.
- The second and third rows fold flat at the push of a button with huge cargo area — even with all three seats in place. (And if you want even more space, consider the 2018 Expedition MAX.)
The Expedition has come a long way since 2002, and the 2018 model embraces all the smart and innovative Ford technology that I’m loving in my Ford Escape. Technology-driven features now include:
- Hands-free tailgate
- Wireless phone charger
- Wi-Fi hotspot
- Ford’s pro trailer backup assist feature.
- Stay connected with four 12-volt power points, 110-volt outlet, and six USB ports keep all your devices topped up.
Safety features include lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree camera. Users can also remotely start, lock, and unlock the Expedition with a touch of their phone. You heard that right, and all you have to do is download the FordPass smartphone app.
Ford Trend: The Parenting Trap
“As summer nears, people and their families are looking to escape their day-to-day responsibilities and hit the road for adventure,” according to Ford Futurist Sheryl Connelly. “And a perfect way to do that is in a Ford SUV, with better tech and new driver-assist features to keep everyone in the family happy.”
I agree the Ford SUV has been a staple in my family, and I’m sure it will continue into the third generation. One of these reasons is that Ford really cares about ALL ages of drivers.
As part of that process, Ford Motor Company created “empathy suits” to help vehicle engineers and designers build vehicles with special needs and limitations in mind. These Third Age suits simulate the limitations of people aged 50 – 75. I’m on the younger side of that age range, but still sometimes my joints just don’t work like when I was in my 20s. The design of some vehicles simply impedes older drivers from even getting into the car. Modern technology gives these engineers and designers insight into physical and mental limitations.
But grandparents just got to have road tripping music, right? (Thanks to Tim Jones, Traveling Dad, for providing the tunes!) And the speakers in these new Ford models are topnotch.
What is your favorite feature in a Ford model?
Read more about the 2017 Ford Motor Trends here.