2011 Ford Expedition Review

Pros & Cons

  • Rides and handles better than you'd expect
  • high towing capacity
  • roomy third-row seat
  • flexible interior with easy-to-fold rear seats.
  • V8 engine feels overworked under heavy loads
  • too many buttons make some controls confusing
  • some low-quality interior plastics look cheap.
List Price Range
$10,000 - $14,999

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2011 Ford Expedition is a lot more civilized than its truck-based roots might imply, making it a fine choice for those who need a vehicle with large passenger, cargo and towing capacities.

Vehicle overview

The one-two punch of soaring gas prices and social stigma has convinced an awful lot of folks who jumped on the SUV bandwagon during the past decade that they don't really need to be driving a big honkin' truck after all. But for the holdouts or those people who truly need lots of towing and hauling capacity, there's the 2011 Ford Expedition.

Actually there are two versions of Ford's flagship sport-utility vehicle: the regular Expedition and the long-wheelbase Expedition EL. Both come with the big V8 engine, hefty towing capacity and supersized eight-passenger interior that buyers expect in a full-size SUV. The biggest difference between the two is the EL version's significantly larger cargo hold.

Among its more civilized strengths, the Expedition counts supple ride quality, relatively confident handling and comfortable seating in all three rows. The ride and handling are no doubt largely attributable to the independent rear suspension -- a rarity in the large-SUV segment. Also notable is how easy it is to stow and raise the third-row seats. In competitors like the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe, this operation is downright back-breaking.

Of course, there are some downsides, the most significant of which is the modestly powered V8. The 2011 Toyota Sequoia, in comparison, can pack considerably more punch, while the Chevrolet Tahoe boasts a more comfortable ride. Even so, the 2011 Ford Expedition is a well-rounded vehicle with enough good qualities that it deserves consideration from buyers who really do need the capability that only a full-size SUV can deliver.

2011 Ford Expedition models

The 2011 Ford Expedition is a full-size, body-on-frame SUV that's offered in four trim levels: base XL, midrange XLT, upscale Limited and top-of-the-line King Ranch edition. Buyers can also opt for the extended-wheelbase Expedition EL, which adds 15 inches of overall length.

The new entry-level XL model comes standard with seating for five (or eight in the third-row-equipped EL), 17-inch alloy wheels (18-inch on the EL), automatic headlights, foglights, a roof rack, running boards, air-conditioning (with rear controls), cloth upholstery, a power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, full power accessories and a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack and rear audio controls. Upgrading to the XLT adds 18-inch alloy wheels and a third-row seat to regular-wheelbase versions, plus a reverse-sensing system, power-adjustable pedals, power rear quarter windows, the voice-operated Sync system and an upgraded stereo with satellite radio and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

The Limited trim level goes a few steps further with 20-inch polished alloy wheels, power-folding mirrors, a power liftgate, a back-up camera (with its display built into the rearview mirror), rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic temperature control, perforated leather seats (heated and ventilated up front, heated in the second row), a wood-and-leather-trimmed steering wheel, a power-folding third-row seat, a 110-volt household style power outlet and a standard heavy-duty towing package. Finally, there's the King Ranch edition, which is similar to the Limited, but sports special two-tone paint, 20-inch painted alloy wheels, upgraded "Chaparral" leather upholstery and wood trim.

Many of the niceties found on upper trim levels can also be had as options on the less expensive models. Other major add-ons, depending on trim level, include 20-inch alloy wheels, a load-leveling rear air suspension, a manually folding third-row seat for the regular-wheelbase XL (which increases seating capacity to eight), second-row captain's chairs (which reduce the maximum passenger count to seven), a sunroof and a new rear-seat video entertainment system that features two headrest-mounted screens. A touchscreen navigation system, available on all but the XL trim level, includes the Sirius Travel Link service, which provides information on traffic, weather, sports, movie listings and local fuel prices.

2011 Highlights

For 2011, the Ford Expedition gains a new entry-level XL model and loses the long-running Eddie Bauer edition. The available rear-seat video system gets dual headrest-mounted screens, and models equipped with the hands-free Sync system get a complimentary three-year subscription to the new Traffic, Directions and Information service.

Performance & mpg

All Expeditions are powered by a 5.4-liter V8 that produces 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. A standard six-speed automatic transmission channels power to the rear wheels by default, but buyers can opt for a four-wheel-drive layout with a dual-range transfer case for optimal low-speed off-roading. The last Expedition we tested (it produced 10 hp less than the current model) accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, a below-average time for this segment. Properly equipped, the Expedition has a maximum tow rating of 9,200 pounds.

Fuel economy is about average for a full-size SUV, with the EPA estimating 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 mpg in combined driving for a 2WD Expedition. EPA estimates for 4WD versions drop to 12/17/14 mpg.

Safety

The Ford Expedition comes standard with antilock disc brakes with brake assist, a rollover-sensing stability control system, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Ford's programmable MyKey system, which allows parents to specify speed limits and stereo volumes for their teenage drivers, is also standard. All models are also equipped with Trailer Sway Control, which uses the existing stability control sensors to detect trailer sway, then applies precise braking and throttle adjustments to assist in bringing both the vehicle and the trailer under control.

In government crash testing, the Ford Expedition received a five-star rating (the best possible) for frontal and side-impact protection for driver and passengers.

Driving

There's no denying that the 2011 Ford Expedition -- all 17-plus feet and more than 5,500 pounds of it -- is one heck of a big truck. Oddly enough, though, it doesn't really feel like it from behind the steering wheel. Much of the credit goes to the fully independent rear suspension, which is a rarity in a full-size SUV. The ride quality is good overall, though some competitors feel a bit smoother on the highway. Relatively precise and responsive steering also makes the Expedition more nimble than you'd expect.

The 5.4-liter V8 under the hood is sufficient for everyday driving, but performance suffers when you've packed up the Expedition with full load of passengers and cargo and/or towing a trailer. The six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and produces quick shifts, but it has some trouble finding the right gear in certain situations.

Interior

A large part of the 2011 Ford Expedition's appeal has to do with its passenger cabin, which can be fitted with a variety of seating options to comfortably accommodate five, seven or eight passengers. The standard second-row bench seat features reclining seatbacks and is split 40/20/40, which allows the center portion to slide forward to put young children within easy reach. Second-row bucket seats are an option on all but the entry-level XL models.

Also notable is the third-row seat, which can be folded down by a simple release mechanism or by pressing the power-folding button that's standard on upper trim levels. By contrast, you must physically remove the Tahoe's heavy third row. Both Expedition body styles offer generous cargo room behind that third row, including an ample 18.6 cubic feet in regular-wheelbase models and a whopping 42.6 cubic feet in the EL version. Drop both the second- and third-row seats down and you have a cargo hold that's downright cavernous, with 108 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the standard model and just over 130 cubic feet in the extended-wheelbase EL.

The Expedition's interior design is generally attractive, though some people might find the dash's array of buttons confusing. Some low-quality interior materials also disappoint, particularly when you've paid the extra money for a premium trim level like the top-of-the-line King Ranch edition. Of all the Expedition's available bells and whistles, the voice-operated Sync system -- which, among other services, allows you to control your cell phone and MP3 player without removing your hands from the steering wheel -- is a standout.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Ford Expedition.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2011 King Ranch EL ... 3rd Expy this year (2017)
robwong@mba.berkeley.ed,08/28/2017
EL King Ranch 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
Purchasing a vehicle, any vehicle, involves the evaluation of a number of trade offs. An Expedition El is a very large vehicle, over 6000 lbs. Such a large vehicle brings a lot of benefits: room to carry 8, plus luggage with room to spare, the advantage of a truck frame, substantial towing capacity, carry stacks of 4x8 sheets completely in the interior and real 4WD. Of course a vehicle this large also carries a number of disadvantages, the gas mileage will never compare with a Prius, parking can be a challenge in tight quarters, and it will never handle like a Porsche. The real issue for a car buyer is what parameters are most important to you. Our 2011 King Ranch EL Expedition is our 3rd Expy (this year!), so Ford must have got something right in the Expedition. Our earlier 2005 (Eddie Bauer) went to our daughter, whose hubby enjoyed the 4WD which worked wonderfully in Sequoia National Park in a Christmas snow storm ... think 12" of snowfall and very steep grades at high altitude. We replaced the 2005 with a 2007 Eddie Bauer EL (purchased with 110K miles) and got 18.1 mpg driving from Monterey, Ca, back to the SF Bay Area. Unfortunately, our son thought so highly of the 2007 when we got it home, that he convinced us to sell it to him and do another upgrade ... which bring us to the 2011 King Ranch EL. The 2011 was purchased from AutoNation Katy in Texas and driven back to California. Best mileage thus far is 20.1 mpg, driving from Grand Junction, CO to Colorado Springs, CO, which includes two climbs to over 10,000 feet on I-70. Things I like about the 2011: (1) It's a big vehicle, other vehicles tend to stay away from me while on the freeway, (2) The ride is really comfortable on the SF Bay Area's pot holed freeways ... much better than my Mercedes E320, (3) Gas mileage is not great but it's not too bad. The cautionary tale here is: it's a 6000+ lb vehicle, engine has plenty of low rpm torque, abuse the gas pedal and your gas mileage will suffer, (4) 6 speed transmission has been very smooth, 65 mph at only 1700 rpm, (5) It's real quiet (6) No surprise here, the interior is really roomy with more leg room and comfortable 3rd row seats than a Chevy Suburban / GMC Yukon XL. We rented a 2017 GMC Yukon XL in Hawaii to accommodate 6 adults + 1 toddler, and neither son nor son-in-law (6'+) wanted to sit in the third row. Not an issue in the 2011 KR EL Expy, (7) Plenty of towing capacity for us, handles a 6 x 12 utility trailer like it's not there. (8) 4WD comes in handy when you unexpectedly need it (picking up 15 cubic yards of soil from a neighbor's muddy & slippery field), (9) For such a large vehicle, visibility is really excellent, due in part of the large windows. The GMC Yukon XL with its narrower windows comes in a poor second in visibility. Here are some of the things which are less positive: (1) It's been said before ... the interior of the 2011 looks dated and is plasticky. The looks weren't a big concern of mine, but I'll never rate the fit and finish of the interior as highly as my 2001 Mercedes E320. (2) Location of button to close rear hatch is poor (on inside of rear compartment). GMCs have their button located on the rear hatch and is more convenient. (3) Interior overhead lights are too dim, and there are no lights for the third row. In summary, we've enjoyed our three Expeditions as they've filled needs we considered important. In closing I would also say that the King Ranch interior is really nice with a better leather quality than in our earlier Eddie Bauers. And, we have the 2nd row Captains Chairs which ease getting into the third row. If there's someone who wants a lot of leg room, place him or her in the third row, middle seat. With no 2nd row seat in the middle, that individual can stretch out with almost 48" of leg room.
Impressed!
rlamascus,09/06/2011
XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
Thought I would never buy a Ford again but buying a travel trailer and needing the perfect tow vehicle made me check out the Expedition. Am I glad I did. Roomy, comfortable, great features, good ride, and drives like a big, solid hunk of metal on all road surfaces. Stable in wind, good on wet surfaces and in the mountains. Get the 3.73 rear end if you want to tow and get better acceleration with no mpg penalty. The nav system is quite good as is the sound system and flexibility of options. So far, I could not be more pleased. Oh yeah, folding power 3rd seat makes for easy loading and extra passenger space. Perfect tow vehicle.
2nd Expedition
yblockv8,07/04/2011
XLT 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
Our 2001 Expedition bought new was such a difference from having all pickup trucks and lasted us 139,000 miles and was GREAT. This 2011 model is far and away a diffferent animal; stronger, way more powerful and quiet; combined some features of the old Eddie Bauer. We added and K&N air filter. The truck now has 9,000 miles on it, gets 15.5 around town and from our home in Vegas to Phoenix netted 22 MPG! Trailer towing...the 6-speed gets you going faster in 1-2-3, 4th gear is about the same and it seems to like 5th for towing; 65 MPH nets 2,200 RPM's. Mileage is 10.5 overall, besting the 2001 truck by 1.5 MPG. DO NOT TOW with SRC engaged! In crosswinds it does strange things.
Great Family Car
chrismc2,05/02/2013
XLT 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
I bought a 2011 Expedition in 2012. Searched for long time and found one that had been dealer car, got it with 13,500 miles for 13,000 dollars off new price. Front bucket cloth seats are the most comfortable I have ever had. Makes long trips with the family and short trips a pleasure. It handles extremly well and has plenty of power in town and on highway. It has enough power and handling for man, and makes women feel secure and riding higher than other cars. All 8 seats will fit average size adults very comfortably. With the third row down it seats 5 with HUGE cargo space. I do not often write reviews, but had to this time because this is one of, if not the best SUV I have ever owned.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover21.2%

More about the 2011 Ford Expedition

Used 2011 Ford Expedition Overview

The Used 2011 Ford Expedition is offered in the following submodels: Expedition SUV. Available styles include Limited 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A), EL Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A), EL Limited 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), XLT 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A), XL 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), EL XLT 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), EL XL 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), XL 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A), EL XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A), EL XL 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A), King Ranch 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), EL King Ranch 4dr SUV (5.4L 8cyl 6A), King Ranch 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A), and EL King Ranch 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Ford Expedition?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Ford Expedition trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Ford Expedition EL XLT is priced between $12,980 and$14,999 with odometer readings between 127011 and128485 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Ford Expedition XLT is priced between $10,000 and$10,000 with odometer readings between 175481 and175481 miles.

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Which used 2011 Ford Expeditions are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Ford Expedition for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2011 Expeditions listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,000 and mileage as low as 127011 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Ford Expedition.

Can't find a used 2011 Ford Expeditions you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Expedition for sale - 3 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $11,989.

Find a used Ford for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $10,636.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Expedition for sale - 7 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $10,438.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 5 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $14,407.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 Ford Expedition?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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