2009 Expedition EL New Car Test Drive
True expeditions require additional transportation conveyances: horses, boats, cars, for example. With a towing capacity around 9,000 pounds, the Ford Expedition can tow any of these.
After redesigning the Expedition for 2007 while also lowering the price, Ford adds a new top end King Ranch model for 2008, as well as an available rear backup camera and power-retractable running boards.
The Expedition is meant for utility, not posing. It carries people, hauls gear, tows boats, and pulls campers. When it's equipped with four-wheel drive, the Expedition will also get you there whether the road is dry, wet, snowy, or even when there's hardly any road at all.
Inside, the Expedition features rich materials and generous space in all three seating rows. The second- and third-row seats fold flat to create a useful rear cargo area. Extended-wheelbase EL versions add even more cargo-carrying capacity, which is especially noticeable when trying to load groceries or gear behind the third-row seats.
All Expeditions are powered by Ford's 5.4-liter V8 that makes 300 horsepower and offers towing capacities in the 9000-pound range. Thanks in part to independent rear suspension, the Expedition offers a smooth ride that is more car-like than most big, truck-based SUVs. Due to that size, however, the Expedition is prone to lean in turns and is not easy to maneuver in close quarters.
With its combination of utility, a smooth, stable ride and a pleasant interior, the 2008 Ford Expedition is a fine choice for families that tow boats and take driving vacations.
The 2008 Ford Expedition comes in two lengths, the standard model with a 119-inch wheelbase, and the Expedition EL with its 131-inch wheelbase. Every Expedition is powered by a single-overhead-cam 5.4-liter V-8 that is rated at 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment. Every Expedition model is available with either rear-wheel drive (2WD) or electronically engaged four-wheel drive (4WD) that can be driven on dry pavement and includes low-range gearing. A Class III trailer hitch is standard.
Four trim levels are available: the entry-level XLT, the outdoor-styled Eddie Bauer, luxurious Limited, and the new top-of-the-line King Ranch.
The XLT ($30,620) and 4WD XLT ($33,529) come with cloth upholstery with front captain's chairs (driver's seat is six-way power adjustable), a 40/20/40 split-bench seat in the second row, and a rear cargo bin. A tilt steering wheel (leather-wrapped for 2008), front and rear air conditioning with rear controls, remote keyless entry, automatic headlights, alarm and an AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 player connectivity and rear controls are also part of the package. Exterior standard equipment features 265/70R17 tires on alloy wheels, running boards, roof rails, fog lights, power-adjustable outside mirrors (now heated), and a rear liftgate with flip-up glass and a rear defroster/wiper/washer system. Also added as standard for 2008 are keyless entry keypad, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, overhead console, and illuminated visors. The 2WD models have highway tires and the 4WD drive models have on/off-road tires and front tow hooks.
The XLT EL ($34,145) and XLT EL 4WD ($37,045) are equipped the same as standard wheelbase versions, except they come with a split-folding third-row seat and a conversation mirror.
Options for XLT models include second-row captain's chairs ($530), a manual- ($875) or power-folding ($1370) third-row bench seat, leather upholstery ($1295), rear load-leveling air suspension ($485), a heavy-duty towing package ($395), a premium AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer ($300) and Sirius satellite radio ($195). A Convenience package ($675) offers rear obstacle detection, power-adjustable pedals, power rear quarter windows, and a universal garage door opener. An Off-Road package ($200) for 4WD XLTs has tubular side steps and skid plates.
The Eddie Bauer ($35,865) and Eddie Bauer 4WD ($38,675) are trimmed as outdoor adventure vehicles and are distinguished by a longer list of convenience features as standard equipment, notably the Expedition's unique power-folding split third-row seat. Other standard features include leather upholstery, 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, six-way power adjustable front passenger seat, memory for the mirrors and driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, an AM/FM stereo tuner with 6CD changer, trip computer, conversation mirror, mirror-mounted turn signals, and protective cladding for the lower body panels. The Eddie Bauer EL ($38,515) and Eddie Bauer EL 4WD ($41,415) are equipped like the standard wheelbase versions but have front tow hooks and 255/70R18 tires instead of 17s.
Options for Eddie Bauer models over and above those of the XLT include heated and cooled front seats ($625), new-for-2008 power running boards ($995), power rear liftgate ($495), a navigation system ($1295), rear-seat DVD entertainment system ($1995), the new rear backup camera ($455), and P275/55R20 tires.
The Limited ($38,025) and Limited 4WD ($40,925) add heated and cooled front seats, 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, universal garage door opener, power rear quarter windows, power-adjustable pedals, and 255/70R18 tires on chrome alloy wheels. The Limited EL ($40,675) and Limited EL 4WD ($43,575) are equipped the same but also have front tow hooks.
The new King Ranch ($39,965) and King Ranch 4WD ($42,865) have upgraded Chaparral leather upholstery, King Ran.