2009 Ford Expedition EL SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Ford Expedition EL SUV

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Ford Expedition EL Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 310 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 0/0 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Ford Expedition EL

  • Thanks to roomy seating, plenty of cargo capacity, impressive road manners and solid towing capability, the 2009 Ford Expedition EL is a solid choice for a full-size SUV.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable seating in all three rows, 60/40-split third-row seat folds into floor, agile handling for its size, all key safety features come standard, hefty tow capacity.

  • Cons

    Three-ton curb weight drags down gas mileage and performance, enormous size hampers maneuverability, a few low-grade interior plastics.

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, the Ford Expedition EL gets a handful of new features that include a capless fuel filler, a perimeter alarm, rain-sensing wipers, the Sync multimedia voice control system and Sirius Travel Link. Additionally, the 5.4-liter V8 adopts flex-fuel capability, meaning it can also run on ethanol-blend fuels.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (10 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Perfect for babies

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Expedition EL

With a 20 month old son and twins on the way, my wife and I began searching for a vehicle that could easily accommodate our growing family and special needs. We needed a vehicle that had three sets of LATCH points in the same row as well as accommodate a Triple Stroller without using up all the cargo space. The Expedition EL was the only vehicle to do so. We now have our three sons in the middle row bench, all secured by LATCH. With the smaller portion of the third row folded to accommodate our stroller, we still have the ability to carry two more people back there in comfort along with all our stuff! Brilliant packaging job by Ford.




Best family vehicle we've owned

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Expedition EL

This is the best family vehicle we have ever owned and we love it. We already have 40K miles on it (never in the shop except for oil changes and tire rotations) because we love taking vacations in it. We traded in our '03 Town and Country and the difference is night and day. So much more interior room and versatility without much difference in parking or gas mileage. We average 16 in every day use and 18 on highway at 75-80 mph. Our van only averaged 19 and got 17 with the cargo topper on the roof! Now we have so much room we don't need it (family of 6 plus a large dog). Very quiet and comfortable ride. Cheaper but much better value than imports or Sub/Tahoe. Can't say enough, great truck!




No more van mom

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Expedition EL

I have 3 kids and was sick of having a van that never had the horse power or the actual room that I wanted. We got the King ranch package and dark cooper exterior. I absolutely love it. There is more storage in the back than a van and more seating room. Very comfortable and we can move around without stepping on seats. I can pull the trailer now where I could not with my town and country. I was disappointed with the ford van, but would go back for another expedition anytime. The only things the kids miss is the satellite tv. I had to pay extra to add the moblie ease for the phone, but the truck is well worth everything else. The gas mileage is not so different from my van.




So far, so good.

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Expedition EL

Bought this vehicle for road trips for a family of six. It is the only vehicle we could find that had a full size third row and plenty of luggage room. All of my other vehicles are Toyota. Would have bought a Toyota if they built a model big enough. This vehicle is not Toyota quality, but I did not pay the Toyota price either. You can feel the transmission shift. Doors have to be slamed to completely shut. A lot of cheap feeling plactice surfaces. However they clean easily. MPG is 17 with six people and a full luggage rack on the roof. The vehicle has adequate power and is easy to drive. Everyone has a comfortable place to ride. Bottom line, we got what we thought we were getting.




Forget the suburban!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Expedition EL

Spent 1 week test driving several Suburbans (LTZ/ZR1) but I constantly went back to the Expedition. This is my first Ford so I did my research. The Expedition has significant more leg room for the 3rd row which is great for adults but is also huge when you have 2 car seats back there. The 3rd row fold flat feature carries significant weight against the Chevy Suburban. The actual trunk space is 1" shorter than Suburban but is almost 3" wider. Compare to a comparable LTZ the Ford is $8000 less and still has more features. The 6 speed transmission is smooth and responsive. The ride is much better than the Suburban. The independent rear suspension on Ford is much more forgiving as well.




So far, so good

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Ford Expedition EL

Purchased 08 Silver color Limited w/ DVD, Rear Camera, Cpt. Chairs, High Tow, etc. We've had this vehicle for just over a month and my wife is very satisfied. We have 4 children, we used to have an 05' Odyssey, 2 kids middle capt.chair and 2 in 3rd row. In the Expeditoin now, we have the triplets in the 3rd row and our eldest in the middle row. Tons of room for family! 6 speed auto! Rear cargo capacity is very satisfactory and we really like the autofold seats! The rear camera integrated into the mirror! very quiet ride vs. Odyssey. DVD system has been working great! smooth ride and so many options, For our needs, it's a keeper! Gas is what it is, 6k lbs weight!



Full 2009 Ford Expedition EL Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, the Ford Expedition EL gets a handful of new features that include a capless fuel filler, a perimeter alarm, rain-sensing wipers, the Sync multimedia voice control system and Sirius Travel Link. Additionally, the 5.4-liter V8 adopts flex-fuel capability, meaning it can also run on ethanol-blend fuels.

Introduction

Extra long, extra large, extended length. Though the last is Ford's official designation, any of the three could explain the "EL" moniker of the 2009 Ford Expedition EL. Debuting a few years ago to battle the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL, the Expedition EL stretches 15 inches longer from bow to stern than the standard Expedition. It also boasts an extra foot of wheelbase. Thusly supersized, the biggest SUV in Ford's stable is virtually identical in size to those GM brutes.

Ostensibly, folks buy such beasts of burden for maximum passenger and cargo space, and there's plenty of both inside the Expedition EL, especially in the third-row seating area. Scrutinize the spec charts and you'll see that the Expedition EL gives up a bit of ultimate cargo capacity to the GM twins, but its third-row seat is much more spacious. That's made possible by a lower floor that in turn is allowed by the independent rear suspension. The EL's way-back seat also folds flat into the floor, as opposed to the Suburban's hernia-risking third-row removal-only process.

New features for the Expedition EL this year include a capless fuel filler, a perimeter alarm, rain-sensing wipers, satellite radio, the Sync multimedia voice control system and Sirius Travel Link. Also, the 5.4-liter V8 is now capable of running on ethanol-blend fuels. But once again, the Expedition EL sees no significant changes under that big hood. Whereas the GM competitors offer a choice of powerful engines, the Ford makes do with just the workhorse 5.4-liter V8 that's rated for 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. Certainly, those are decent numbers, but the EL's rivals offer considerably more power and weigh less to boot. As a result, this Expedition's performance when loaded up can be sluggish when swift acceleration is needed, especially at higher speeds such as when merging or passing on the freeway.

But by most other measures, the 2009 Ford Expedition EL bests the GM mega-utes. Handling and ride qualities are both superior, and the Ford may offer a price advantage. Although the Expedition EL's higher trim levels are priced similarly to the competition's upper trims, the entry-level XLT trim stickers for a few grand less than anything else in its class. It may not be the quickest extra-large SUV around, but its ease of usability and comfortable demeanor should put the Expedition EL at the top of shoppers' consideration lists.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Ford Expedition EL is a long-wheelbase version of the standard Expedition. It is available in four trim levels: XLT, Eddie Bauer, Limited and King Ranch. The XLT is well-equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, running boards, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, air-conditioning (front and rear), cruise control, full power accessories, front captain's chairs (with power adjustment for the driver), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The Eddie Bauer trim adds two-tone exterior paint, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, a 10-way power driver seat with memory, a six-way power passenger seat, a power-folding third-row seat, a back-up camera, the Sync multimedia voice control system and an upgraded sound system with a CD changer.

Stepping up to the Limited means getting the Eddie Bauer's equipment plus chrome wheels, a monochromatic paint job, rain-sensing wipers, perforated leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a 10-way power front passenger seat, power-adjustable pedals and reverse parking sensors. The range-topping Expedition EL King Ranch is similar to the Limited but wears its own 18-inch wheels and has upgraded "Chaparral" leather upholstery in all three rows and wood trim.

Option highlights include 20-inch wheels, a load-leveling rear suspension, second-row captain's chairs (which reduce maximum seating from eight to seven), a sunroof, a rear entertainment system, satellite radio, a power tailgate, a navigation system with its own rearview camera, and power-deployed running boards. Opting for the nav system also gets you Sirius Travel Link, which provides traffic conditions, weather forecasts, sports scores, movie listings and local fuel prices.

Powertrains and Performance

A 5.4-liter V8 that makes 300 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque powers every Expedition EL. No other engine choices are offered. The 5.4 is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. All trims can be had in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (with low-range gearing).

Because the EPA isn't required to conduct fuel economy testing on vehicles heavier than 6,000 pounds, we expect the Expedition EL will achieve a couple of mpg less than the lighter, regular (2WD) Expedition's ratings of 14 mpg city20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined. The Expedition EL's maximum towing capacity stands at 9,000 pounds for the 2WD version and 8,750 for the 4WD version.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control with rollover protection, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard across the line. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing, the 2009 Ford Expedition EL received perfect five-star ratings in all of that agency's frontal and side impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Expedition EL's cabin boasts an attractive design and easy-to-use controls. A few points are lost because of some low-grade plastic trim, but overall fit and finish is good, and a number of clever features make this SUV ideal for large families. The second-row bench seat has a 40/20/40 split and allows you to scoot the middle section close to the front seats for easier access to a youngster. If you opt for the second-row captain's chairs, seating capacity drops to seven, though you get a storage console between those seats.

The Expedition EL's 60/40-split third-row seat is one of the most comfortable in the full-size-SUV class. It folds flat with a quick and easy release handle in XLT models or powers up and down at the press of a button in the higher trims. The EL offers 42.6 cubic feet of luggage space with the third row in use. If that's not enough, fold the third row for 85.5 cubic feet of cargo space. When it's time to move the kid to college, flip down the second and third rows and you'll have nearly 131 cubes.

Driving Impressions

Drive a 2009 Ford Expedition EL and you'll likely be impressed by its smooth ride and agile handling. It's still a big vehicle and demands that you respect it as such, but its steering response and general composure are quite good for a full-size SUV. Still, the parking lot will always be a multiple-turn adventure. From behind the wheel, the Expedition EL's hefty 6,000-pound curb weight is apparent, and even with 300 hp on tap, advance planning is required for highway passing attempts. The six-speed automatic makes the most of the engine's power band but sometimes falters when choosing the right gear in passing situations.

Talk About The 2009 Expedition EL

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • Not Available
  • cty
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  • Not Available
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs