2009 Ford Expedition SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Ford Expedition SUV

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Ford Expedition Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 310 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Ford Expedition

  • With room for eight adults, loads of towing ability and civilized road manners, the 2009 Ford Expedition is an especially well-rounded full-size SUV.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Composed handling for such a large vehicle, high towing capacity, roomy third-row seat.

  • Cons

    Some confusing controls, a few cheap interior touches.

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, the Ford Expedition gets a handful of new features that include a capless fuel filler, a perimeter alarm, rain-sensing wipers, satellite radio, 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.

Full 2009 Ford Expedition Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, the Ford Expedition gets a handful of new features that include a capless fuel filler, a perimeter alarm, rain-sensing wipers, satellite radio, 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.


Recent years have seen sales of truck-based, full-size SUV fall as dramatically as fuel prices have risen, forcing consumers to be more realistic about what they drive. The growing number of crossover SUVs (which are based on lighter car platforms) has given those who need the passenger and cargo-carrying capacity of a big SUV a more reasonable alternative. Though not as capable in terms of heavy-duty towing and off-road ability, these more maneuverable and fuel-efficient crossovers are ideal for most large-SUV intenders. But for that smaller percentage of buyers who require the serious work capabilities of a traditional full-size SUV, there is the 2009 Ford Expedition.

Always a strong contender in this segment, the Expedition recently received some useful upgrades, including revised suspension and steering systems and a six-speed automatic transmission. The Expedition steers precisely, feels composed while rounding corners and has a supple ride quality. Part of the credit goes to the Expedition's independent rear suspension, a rarity in the segment that also provides plenty of room for those riding in the third seat. We found the Expedition's seats to be among the most comfortable to sit in and the easiest to fold down -- a pleasant contrast to the cramped, non-folding third-row bench in the Chevrolet Tahoe.

All is not excellent in Expedition world, however. The big bruiser has a few minor faults. Some controls and displays aren't always easy to read or use, and some plastics feel cheap. And rivals beat the Ford in a few areas. The Chevrolet Tahoe rides a bit smoother, the Nissan Armada has more off-road prowess and the Toyota Sequoia has a more powerful V8. But in the areas that typically matter the most, the 2009 Ford Expedition compares favorably. It's the king at carrying both people and cargo, it's relatively easy to drive and it boasts a lower-than-average price. For those shopping for a traditional full-size SUV, Ford's Expedition is certainly worth consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Ford Expedition is a full-size, body-on-frame SUV available in four trim levels: XLT, Eddie Bauer, Limited and King Ranch. The well-equipped XLT model seats five and comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, running boards, air-conditioning (with rear controls), front captain's chairs, a power driver seat, cruise control, full power accessories and a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Next up is the Eddie Bauer, which adds 18-inch wheels, gold body cladding and running boards, a power-folding third-row seat, leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded sound system (with an in-dash CD changer and satellite radio), the Sync multimedia voice control system, power front seats with driver memory settings, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

Topping the Eddie Bauer is the ritzy Limited, with its 18-inch chrome wheels, monochromatic paint job, rear parking sensors, back-up camera (with rearview mirror display), perforated leather seats (heated and cooled up front, heated in the second row), wood-and-leather-trimmed steering wheel and power-adjustable pedals. Finally, there's the King Ranch edition, which is similar to the Limited but wears its own 18-inch wheels, upgraded Chaparral leather upholstery in all three rows and wood trim.

Major options include 20-inch chrome wheels, a manually folding third-row seat for the XLT (increasing seating capacity to eight), second-row captain's chairs, a sunroof, a rear entertainment system and a load-leveling rear air suspension. Exclusive to the Eddie Bauer, Limited and King Ranch are a power liftgate and a navigation system with a display-based back-up camera.. Opting for the nav system gets you Sirius Travel Link, which provides traffic conditions, weather forecasts, sports scores, movie listings and local fuel prices. Expedition XLT buyers can also get an off-road package with skid plates and tubular step bars.

Powertrains and Performance

All Expeditions come standard with a 5.4-liter V8 making 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. It's matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. Two-wheel or four-wheel drive (with low-range gearing) is offered. An Expedition 4WD we tested accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, a respectable time for this heavyweight class. Properly equipped, the Expedition can tow a 9,200-pound trailer.

Fuel mileage estimates for a 2WD Expedition stand at 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined, about par for the segment.


All major safety equipment is standard on the 2009 Ford Expedition, including antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), a rollover-sensing stability control system, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear parking sensors and power-adjustable pedals are optional across the line. In government crash testing, the Ford Expedition received a five-star rating (the best possible) for all frontal-impact (driver and passenger) and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Expeditions can seat anywhere from five to eight passengers, depending on configuration. The standard second-row bench seat has a 40/20/40 split, and the middle section can be moved forward to provide easier access to an infant. Opting for the second-row captain's chairs drops seating capacity to seven but gains a storage console between the seats.

The Expedition'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. As expected, there's not much cargo room behind the third-row seat (18.6 cubic feet), but folding it down increases that to 55 cubes. Folding down the second row expands cargo capacity to a generous 108 cubic feet, nearly as much as the Chevrolet Tahoe offers with its ungainly rear seats removed. Best of all, folding down both rear rows creates a perfectly flat load floor.

The Expedition's cabin has up-to-date electronics and a generally modern feel, though there are quite a few small, cheap-feeling buttons that are hard to tell apart at a glance. One family-friendly touch is the overhead conversation mirror -- a valuable tool for keeping tabs on squabbling siblings.

Driving Impressions

Drive a 2009 Ford Expedition and you might be impressed by its handling. For such a big and heavy vehicle, its steering response and general composure are pleasing. Ride quality is fairly smooth (more so with a full load), though the big Ford isn't as plush on the highway as some competitors. Despite some noticeable noise from the tires, the Expedition's cabin remains quiet enough to carry on a conversation. The V8 offers solid acceleration in most situations and delivers its power in a smooth manner. The six-speed automatic generally makes good use of the V8's reserves but occasionally has difficulty finding the right gear during passing maneuvers. Overall, the 2009 Ford Expedition behaves like a smaller vehicle, perhaps the biggest compliment you could give a 3-ton SUV.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love it

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Expedition Limited 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A)

The Expedition Limited has been a great vehicle for our family of 5. We haven't had any mechanical issues and it drives like a dream. The gas mileage isn't too bad for this type of vehicle. I have considered downsizing but I have a hard time giving up the luxury. I really like the look and comfort.

Bad dash

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Expedition Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A)

Living in Nevada the dash gauges need to be redesigned. At night its fine you could see the dash but during the day with the sun it is difficult to see especially with the lights on We have many roads that require daylight lights on driving. Also with the chrome on the dash it reflects in my mirrors. Plus the amount of fiberglass parts I am afraid if I got hit I would be sitting on the chassis. Not like my 2000 Expedition steel bumpers etc.

2009 ford expedition

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Expedition XLT 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A)

Just purchased a 2009 Ford Expedition 2 wheel drive. Had it home for a day and the transmission broke. The dealer had it for a week and fixed it then it broke again while they test drove it. Had it for a couple more days. They gave me an antifreeze flush for free but still not sure about the transmission. Going on a big trip, I hope it makes it. still under warranty but will wreck the vacation if it fails. I paid $ 25k for it , Is that good? Say a prayer for me. I am going to need it.

Love it for the most

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Expedition Limited 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A)

We had looked at the expeditions before buying a Yukon XL. Went from that to a prius and then finally found the expedition, should have bought one in the first place. Never been a ford person but I love this car. It handles well, it's cozy, and there is plenty of room in the third row. One of the best features is the ease of getting in and out of the third row. One thing to consider is more storage SOMEWHERE. The console is good size, but that is it. There isn't anything for an emergency kit, first air, nothing. I have my owners manual in between my seat and the console so I can use the gb for other things. With the ac seats there isn't even any under there. Otherwise I LOVE LOVE IT!

Great car....second one

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Expedition Limited 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A)

If you want or need an SUV, this is the one. Traded a 2002 Ford Expedition for the new 2009. Ford really stepped this one up. The interior on the Limited is a good as you get, performance, handling, comfort and road noise are excellent. Around town or on the road it is great. I wouldn't buy if you are looking for great fuel economy, but what large SUV has it? Great for the family for travel or going out in a nice car. I bought the black on black with all the options.

Nice truck

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Expedition Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A)

Make no mistake about it, this is a truck. A very, very nice truck. I am a former multiple Suburban owner that had an Expedition in the '90s. There was no comparison between the Expedition and the Suburban just as there is no longer any comparison between the Suburban and the redesigned 2009 Expedition. This truck is quiet, rides very well and is absolutely thought through from the front bumper to back-up camera. The gauges are easy to read, the stereo has over the top sound quality, the power fold down rear seats are incredible and the backup camera is well designed and displayed. Compare - there is no comparison.

Talk About The 2009 Expedition

2009 Ford Expedition Discussions See all Started By

The reason I asked that question is because I just bought a 2009 Ford Expedition EL XLT 4x4 in March with optional features. But my friends said I should've gotten the standard size Expedition instead...

2013 Texas Small Claims Court Victory – 2003 Pre-Owned Ford Expedition: A Texas Couple purchased a used 2003 Red Ford Expedition from a private owner in 2009. In 2012, the Expedition began s...

My salesman claims (and I have some doubts about the veracity of what he's saying) that he can only get an allocation for a FEH if he agrees to take two allocations for Expeditions, presumably because...

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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