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2009 Ford Expedition EL

Posted: 12/08/2008 - 3:29 PM ET

Genuine expeditions require gear and equipment - and you can tow up to 9000 pounds of yours with the 2009 Ford Expedition EL. The EL is a full-size family SUV that can seat up to 8 passengers in addition to pulling your boat, camper, trailer or whatever else you have in store for it. It's loaded with luxury too, featuring show-off optional attributes like power-retractable running boards and rear backing cameras.

The Expedition EL has been designed and manufactured with utility in mind first. It is not a poser. Make it 4WD and you own one of the world's most capable vehicles and are ready to tackle any given terrain scenario. High-quality, soft yet durable materials grace the interior and there is more than enough room to stretch and rest comfortably in each of the three seating rows. The extended base EL adds even more cargo carrying capability as well.

Regardless of which of the four available trims you choose (XLT, Eddie Bauer, Limited and King Ranch), the Expedition EL comes with a 5.4L 300hp V8 and a 6-speed automatic transmission. It provides excellent power and offers independent rear suspension to make the ride smooth and stable - feels more like riding in a car than in a truck. It is really large though, and sometimes leans in corners and is also tough to maneuver in tight places.

Although it is a SUV by classification, the Ford Expedition is a truck - and it likes being a truck. It serves its owners with practicality, dependability and superior utility. It doesn't play around with your safety either. It has been rated as a 5-star performer in frontal crash teats by the NHTSA. Standard safety equipment on all trims includes front, side and side curtain airbags; occupancy sensors, ABS braking with brake assist and electronic brake force distribution; remote keyless entry; 2-stage door locks and panic alarms.

Appearance-wise, the 2009 Expedition EL looks tough and ready, but with a subtle sense of softness for the ladies. A bold 3-bar grille accentuates the nose along with large halogen headlights. It keeps it real with solid design standards and avoids trying to come off as overly-futuristic like, say, the Nissan Armada. Its wheelbase is 131 inches and it is 14.8 inches longer than the standard Expedition. That translates into an extra 24 cubit feet of cargo hauling space behind the third row of seating (130 cubic feet total) .

The average weight of the 2009 Ford Expedition EL is about 5500 pounds - trim/option dependent. That is no light load and you can definitely appreciate that weight when you experience the solid strength that is so evident while in motion. It doesn't do badly with fuel efficiency either. You will get an average of 14/20 mpg city/highway - not stellar, but you have to remember the size of these truck-like SUVs. There's absolutely no doubt that the EL will continue to be a fantastic seller, especially for families that like to get away - and have a lot of gear and equipment to haul.

More Ford Expedition EL reviews:
2012, 2008
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