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2009 Ford Expedition ReviewThe Good
The 2009 Ford Expedition and Expedition EL are big and bold, comfortable and road-worthy, roomy and loaded with standard safety and convenience features.The Bad
Vehicles the size of the ’09 Expedition and Expedition EL use a lot of gas, don’t come cheap, and are beasts to park.
The CarGurus View
The 2009 Ford Expedition and Expedition EL do exactly what they’re supposed to by carrying a lot of people and cargo comfortably and safely to the campground and the mall. There are better-performing and more luxurious SUVs out there, but the all-around value of the Expedition and Expedition EL trims is tough to beat.
At a Glance
The five-door, five- or eight-passenger 2009 Ford Expedition is relatively unchanged from ’08, when the rear backup camera, available power-folding running boards, and the King Ranch trim were introduced. More power (an extra 10 hp), and Flex Fuel capability are among the features new for ’09. With four trim levels and two sizes, the ’09 Expedition is sure to appeal to anyone in the market for a big, feature-packed SUV. As Ford's largest SUV, however, the Expedition won’t win any prizes for fuel economy or parking efficiency. The Expedition EL (Extra-Length) adds 12 inches of wheelbase and 15 inches overall to an already impressively sized vehicle, and, let’s face it, probably won’t fit comfortably in the garage.
For ’09, the Expedition and Expedition EL are available in the base XLT, Eddie Bauer, Limited, and King Ranch trims. All are additionally available in either rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) configurations. All 4WD trims include a low gear and limited-slip rear differential for off-roading.
Reviewers and owners find the ’09 Expedition, designed to compete with the Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon, a spacious, uncommonly refined, and adequately powered SUV that, when properly equipped, can tow 9,200 pounds while carrying the whole family to their favorite camping area safely and comfortably. The ’09 Expedition was voted a “Best Buy” by ConsumerGuide Auto.
Only one engine and one transmission are available for the 2009 Expedition, but both are eminently capable. This combo consists of a 5.4-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. The 5.4-liter puts out 310 hp at 5,100 RPM and 365 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 RPM and, new for ’09, is designed to run on E85 ethanol gasoline. The EPA estimates mileage for all RWD Expedition trims at 14/20 mpg. EPA figures are not available for 4WD Expedition trims. For ’09, all Expedition and Expedition EL four-wheel-drive trims are equipped with on-demand, electronic hi-lo 4WD and auto-locking hubs.
Most professional reviewers note that the ’09 Expedition accelerates smartly and works well with the six-speed automatic. One professional reviewer mentioned towing a 5,000-pound trailer over hilly terrain with no problems. Though professional reviewers find the Expedition to have enough get-up-and-go for any type of driving, some owners complain that it’s a bit underpowered for such a large vehicle.
Ride & Handling
Both the Expedition and Expedition EL ride on a four-wheel independent suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars, a double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. Power four-wheel ventilated ABS disc brakes bring the Expedition to a safe and effective halt under normal driving conditions.
The ’09 Expedition and Expedition EL XLT and Eddie Bauer trims each ride on 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, while the Limited and King Ranch trims feature 18-inch all-weather tires.
Virtually all reviewers are impressed with the refined, well-mannered handling and ride of the ’09 Expedition, with the Expedition EL even better able to cope with bumps and potholes. Solid steering, little corner lean or nose-plowing, and other than some noted wind noise, a quiet cabin make for a placid ride. Of course, with its added 15 inches of overall length, the Expedition EL is best driven clear of tight spaces.
Cabin & Comfort
All professional reviewers and owners are delighted with the amenities offered in the 2009 Ford Expedition lineup. Most reviewers do note, however, a disappointing lack of polish to many of the interior plastic surfaces.
The 2009 Expedition boasts one of the more spacious cabins on the market, with plenty of comfortable seating, at least in the front and second rows. The Expedition offers ample storage pockets and cubbies and 108 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats folded flat.
Creature comforts are certainly not ignored in the ’09 Expedition trims either, with the base, five-passenger XLT featuring such standard comfort and convenience offerings as power windows, locks, and heated mirrors, a six-way power driver’s seat, tachometer and clock, a Class III trailer hitch and wiring, running boards, cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted controls, front and rear air-conditioning, tilt-wheel steering, and a 160- watt audio system including a single-disc CD/MP3 player with six speakers and a radio data system.
The eight-passenger Eddie Bauer trim adds a third-row seat, trip computer, outside temperature display, leather upholstery, multi-level rear seat heater, a six-way power passenger seat, dual-zone air-conditioning, memory settings for seats and mirrors, a USB connection, Bluetooth hands-free communications technology, and a 340-watt 6-CD/MP3 player with seven speakers and a subwoofer, as well as SIRIUS satellite radio.
Standard comfort and convenience features for the 2009 Expedition Limited trim include a power liftgate, power-folding third-row seats, power retractable mirrors, a universal garage door opener, a rear backup camera system, and upgraded interior trim. The King Ranch adds power rear quarter windows, retained accessory power, as well as unique badging and chrome styling accents.
Optional features for the 2009 Expedition include third-row seating for the XLT, a power moonroof, a rear DVD entertainment system with an 8-inch drop-down screen, 20-inch alloy wheels, power running boards, a Class IV trailer hitch and seven-pin wiring, leather second-row captain’s chairs, and voice-activated DVD navigation.
Imposing as the 2009 Expedition is, size-wise, it doesn’t skimp on standard safety features, including four-wheel disc ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist, traction and stability control, front, rear, and third-row head airbags, dual front-mounted side-impact airbags, pre- and post-collision safety systems, foglights, an engine immobilizer, and a remote anti-theft alarm system. Power-adjustable pedals and rear parking sensors are also available safety options for all trims.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Expedition and the Expedition EL a solid five stars in front and side impact testing, as well as three and four stars in rollover testing. Ratings were not available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
All reviewers find the 2009 Expedition one of the best safety-equipped SUVs on the market, and a tribute to Ford's commitment in this area.
What Owners Think
Owners of the 2009 Ford Expedition and Expedition EL praise its flat-folding rear seats, smooth-shifting six-speed transmission, chiseled good looks, and refined ride and handling.
Some owners have, however, complained that the ’09 Expedition line needs a tad more horsepower and a dash more torque. Gas mileage is an issue with other owners, though most acknowledge that they know what they’re getting into with this size vehicle. A couple of owners have complained that the center console in the Expedition is a burdensome waste of space that would allow for increased driver and front passenger comfort if it was eliminated.
Virtually all owners agree that the 2009 Expedition offers spaciousness and passenger comfort that is second to none. A few owners have recommended, however, the Expedition EL as especially roomy and well worth its lack of maneuverability in tight places, though others have noted it as being a bit “sluggish” performance-wise.
Price for an ’09 Expedition was an issue for more than one owner, but others are content that the Expedition represents a significant value as opposed to its even pricier sibling, the Lincoln Navigator. Almost all owners are in agreement that the 2009 Ford Expedition is worth the price.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
What's your take on the 2009 Ford Expedition?
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