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2011 Ford Expedition

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2011 Ford Expedition Review

A versatile vehicle for anyone who doesn't want to drive a truck, but likes extra cargo space and towing ability.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2011 Ford Expedition serves as Ford's flagship sport utility vehicle (SUV) and comes in two different versions: the regular Expedition and the Expedition EL, which has a long wheelbase. Both come equipped with a large V-8 engine, and both have a good towing capacity. In addition they seat up to eight passengers in their spacious interiors, and the biggest difference between the two versions concerns the fact that the long wheelbase EL can carry more cargo.

This surefooted vehicle feels easy to handle, partially due to the independent rear suspension. One of its major advantages over its competitors applies to its third-row seats that very easily stow and rise. Seating feels comfortable in all three rows. This well-rounded vehicle seems perfect for anyone who doesn't want a truck but who wants to have the capacity to tow heavy loads.

The Range

Body Styles: full-size sport utility vehicle
Engines: 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Ford Expedition XL, Ford Expedition XLT, Ford Expedition EL XL, Ford Expedition EL XLT, Ford Expedition Limited, Ford Expedition King Ranch, Ford Expedition EL Limited, Ford Expedition EL King Ranch

What's New

The 2011 Ford Expedition gains a brand-new entry-level XL model, and the Eddie Bauer edition has been phased out. The back-seat video system now has dual screens mounted on the headrests, and Expedition models equipped with the hands-free system now come with a complimentary three-year subscription to a traffic and information service.


The Ford Expedition doesn’t look particularly pretty, but it impresses with its size. At 17 feet long and with a weight of more than 5500 pounds, this vehicle should not be messed with. Strangely enough, it doesn't feel so large once you sit behind the wheel.


The Ford Expedition gets attention for its passenger cabin and the versatile configurations that allow five, seven, or eight passengers to sit comfortably. The second-row bench seating features split, reclining seat backs that allow the center portion to slide forward. This provides a bonus for young families as it puts children within easy reach. If bench-style seating doesn't appeal, then second-row bucket seats come as an option on all but the entry-level models.

The third-row seating folds down simply by pressing the power folding button. The models offer a massive amount of room behind the third row, equating to 18.6 cubic feet in regular wheelbase models, while the longer EL version has a very handy 42.6 cubic feet. If you drop both rows of seating right down then the cargo hold becomes 108 cubic feet in the standard model and 130 cubic feet in the extended wheelbase version.

The well-designed interior could benefit from better quality materials, especially in the higher-end models. Some people find the number of buttons on the dash confusing.

Performance & Handling

For such a big car, the Ford Expedition handles very well. It draws its power from a 5.4-liter, V-8 engine capable of producing 310 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. This comes with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and rear drive, but buyers who plan to do a lot of offroad driving have the option of choosing four-wheel drive. Although the engine size seems adequate enough most of the time, when the SUV gets fully loaded the performance does suffer. The six-speed transmission generally shifts smoothly, but it does have trouble selecting the right gear in certain situations. The Expedition tows a maximum load of 9200 pounds.


Anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist come standard, as does the rollover-sensing stability control system, side airbags in the front seat, and full-length side curtain airbags. Ford has a programmable system that allows parents to pre-program how fast teenage drivers can go, and rather frustratingly for them, also limits the stereo volume. This handy feature comes standard.

Another standard feature, trailer sway control, detects trailer sway then applies the necessary adjustments to bring both the vehicle and the trailer back under control. In testing by the government, the Expedition receives a five-star rating in frontal- and side-impact protection for both drivers and passengers.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Expedition: 14/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Smooth ride
  • Roomy interior
  • Easy-to-fold rear seats

You Won't Like

  • Lacks engine power when fully loaded
  • Confusing array of buttons on dash
  • Poor-quality interior finishing

Sum Up

A versatile vehicle for anyone who doesn't want to drive a truck, but likes extra cargo space and towing ability.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser
  • Ford Edge

See the New 2015 Expedition.

Front & Driver Side View