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2011 Ford Expedition: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo August 2015

The 2011 Ford Expedition is a big SUV for big families and big jobs. Although there are a number of equally capable SUVs from which to choose, including the tried and true Chevrolet Suburban/Tahoe duo, venerable Toyota Sequoia and tanklike Nissan Armada, these rivals each fall short in specific areas that matter most to big families with big hauling needs.

With a maximum tow rating of 9,200 pounds, the Expedition bests its Chevy and Nissan opponents, while the extended EL trim offers more room than the one-size-fits-all Toyota. Thanks to a unique design routing the rear-drive axles through the frame rather than underneath it, the Expedition offers a roomy third-row seat that folds flush into the floor. This same design permits the Expedition an independent rear suspension for improved handling, towing and ride comfort. Lastly, the Expedition is offered in a number of trims, from basic to near luxury, in standard- or long-wheelbase form and with 2- or 4-wheel drive (4WD).

On the flip side, the Expedition isn't big on power, with a V8 engine that falls short of the horsepower ratings from GM's and Toyota's full-size SUVs. It isn't particularly quick either, and its interior can only hold eight passengers (GM's SUVs can hold up to nine). Nitpicks aside, the Expedition is a complete package, offering safety, comfort and style in a vehicle the whole family will love.

What We Like

High towing rating; available power fold-flat third-row seat; excellent legroom in all three rows; advanced safety features; class-exclusive keypad entry feature

What We Don't

V8 could use more power; smallish climate-control buttons; poor fuel economy when running on E85

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

There is only one engine choice for the Expedition: a 5.4-liter V8 good for 310 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy for the 2-wheel-drive (2WD) model is rated at 14 miles per gallon in the city, 20 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg combined. When running on E85, those figures drop to 9 mpg city/13 mpg hwy and 11 mpg combined. Adding 4WD to the mix lowers fuel economy to 12 mpg city/17 mpg hwy and 14 mpg combined. E85 figures are unchanged from the 2WD Expedition.

Standard Features & Options

The 2011 Expedition and extended-length Expedition EL are offered in four trims: XL, XLT, Limited and King Ranch.

The XL trim includes power windows, power locks, heated power mirrors, remote keyless entry with keypad access, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, front and rear air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a 6-way power driver's seat, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary audio input, 40/20/40-split rear seats with a forward-sliding center section, a Class IV trailer tow receiver with a 4-pin connector, fog lights, flip-up rear lift-gate glass, a MyKey programmable key fob (allows owners to set limits on speed, radio volume and other settings), roof rails, rear privacy glass and side running boards. EL trims gain the third-row seat and 18-in wheels. Standard safety equipment includes electronic traction and stability control, trailer-sway control, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and front side-impact and 3-row side-curtain airbags.

The XLT adds the third-row seat, power rear vent windows, Ford's SYNC voice-activated infotainment system, power adjustable pedals, the reverse sensing system, 18-in wheels, a garage-door opener, steering-wheel audio controls and a trip computer.

The Limited trim adds a body-colored grille with blackout headlight treatment, rain-sensing wipers, body-colored running boards, power-folding side mirrors, a power lift gate, a rear backup camera, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats and a heavy-duty trailer package.

The top-line King Ranch trim brings Chaparral leather seating, King Ranch logos and wood trim interior.

Many of the features in the upper-level trims can be ordered in packages on the XL and XLT trims.

Other options vary by trim and include navigation, a power-folding third-row seat, 20-in chrome wheels, an auto-leveling rear air suspension, second-row bucket seating, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a power passenger seat, a power moonroof, power retractable running boards and daytime running lamps.

Pricing

The 2011 Expedition holds average resale values, on par with the Chevrolet Tahoe and Nissan Armada but below those of the Toyota Sequoia. To get a good idea of the Expedition's price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued no recalls for the 2011 Ford Expedition.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle's identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The Ford Expedition earned five out of five stars in the NHTSA front- and side-impact crash tests. In the rollover roof-strength test, the 4x2 model earned only three out of five stars, while the 4x4 model earned four stars.

The Expedition left the factory with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. In addition to the new-vehicle warranty, second owners can purchase extended coverage when they buy from a certified pre-owned (CPO) Ford dealership. CPO vehicles come with a 169-point inspection and a 6-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty starting from the time the vehicle enters service.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Chevrolet Suburban/Tahoe -- Chevrolet's SUVs offer more power, an equally comfortable ride and a few more high-end features. Suburban models can seat nine passengers, but neither the Suburban nor Tahoe can match the Expedition's tow ratings or fold-flat rear seats.

2011 Nissan Armada -- The Armada isn't as large as the Expedition EL, and its ride is more trucklike. The Expedition's third-row seat is larger and more comfortable, as well.

2011 Toyota Sequoia -- The Sequoia offers superior reliability and resale values, more power and towing ability from its optional 5.7-liter V8 and front knee airbags. However, the Sequoia costs quite a bit more, and its third-row seat isn't as roomy or versatile as the Expedition's.

Autotrader's Advice

Since many of the upper-level trim features are options on the XLT, we'd say look for a loaded XLT EL. The EL doesn't cost that much more and adds 12 inches to the Expedition's wheelbase and 15 inches to its length, providing much-needed cargo space with the third-row seat up. 4WD is recommended for anyone who tows or lives where snow is a regular occurrence.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 Ford Expedition: Used Car Review - Autotrader