When it comes time to fill up the tank, it's not easy to justify a full-size sport utility vehicle. But, even as you pour 28 gallons of regular unleaded into the gas tank of the 2009 Ford Expedition, you can take heart in this sport-utility's ability to make a family vacation not only possible but practical.
Ford is the first to admit that the sales of full-size, truck-based sport utilities have suffered as people turn to smaller, more fuel-efficient, car-based utilities for their daily transportation. But many experts say fuel prices have simply chased away the people who shouldn't have been driving a full-size sport-utility in the first place. Left are those who really need one for hauling people and gear and towing trailers.
The Expedition 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.
The cabin 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-length Expedition EL models add even more cargo-carrying capacity, 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 310 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. That's nice on long drives.
With its combination of utility, a smooth, stable ride and a pleasant interior, the Ford Expedition is a fine choice for families that tow or take driving vacations.