Ford F-150 Review:
The Ford F-150 pickup is an American icon. With more than 33 million
sold since 1948, the perennial full-size pickup leader offers bold new
styling, a huge range of choices, clever innovations and more
sophistication for 2009.
My Sterling Gray
Metallic tester flaunted an enormous three-bar chrome grille. The theme
has proliferated through the Ford line, but in this scale itís almost
overwhelming. Standing 6-foot-4, the F-150 is hard to miss.
We expect our
hardworking pickups to be chunky, and this one has banished the softer,
molded look of its recent predecessors. The side windows drop near the
mirrors like those highway-cruising semis.
The F-150 comes in a
dizzying range of configurations. There are three cab sizes, Regular,
SuperCab, and SuperCrew. The SuperCab uses small flip-out rear doors for
rear passengers that work only when the front doors are open. The
SuperCrew, with four separate doors, is six inches longer for 2009,
which means more rear seat legroom and greater cargo capacity.
For 2009 there are nine
trim levels, from the basic XL to the sporty STX and offroad capable FX4
to the volume seller XLT (like my test truck). You can step up to the
Lariat and King Ranch models, or the brand new Platinum model.
The fanciest F-150
ever, it wears a satin chrome grille with fine mesh inserts outside and
features 10-way leather captainís chairs inside. Satin gloss Lacrosse
Ash wood grain accents and brushed aluminum panels convey further
upscale ambiance. It sits glamorously on 20-inch, 16-spoke alloys.
The new F-150 offers
three V8s, no more V6s, and all come with two- or four-wheel drive. The
base engine, with two valves per cylinder, has 248 horsepower, more than
the V6 it replaces. The midline 3-valve V8 offers 292 horsepower and 320
lb.-ft. of torque and is new to the F-150.
The top engine, which
my tester had, is the flexible-fuel 5.4-liter 3-valve-per-cylinder
Triton. It takes E85 if you can find it, but is perfectly happy with
regular unleaded too. With 320 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque, it
has no trouble moving the 5,493 pound truck along. Depending on which
axle ratio you order, you can tow anywhere from 8,300 to 11,200 pounds.
My SLT SuperCab with
the 5.4-liter Triton was rated at 14 City, 18 Highway. I averaged 14.4
mpg. Interestingly, the three available engines have nearly identical
The EPAís Green Vehicle
Guide gives the 5.4-liter engine a 7 for Air Pollution but only a 2 in
the Greenhouse Gas rating. Big engines emit a lot of CO2. You can push
that to a 4 by using Ethanol, but fuel mileage drops to just 10/13.
Driving the F-150 is
great on the open road. Listening to the manly hum of the powerful
engine under the carved, domed hood you get a sensation of cruising
above it all. The interior, at the XLT level, delivers a richness of
textures and shapes and big knobs for easy adjustments, even when
wearing work gloves. My truckís navigation system screen displayed ďFord
F150, Built Ford ToughĒ each time I turned the key.
The new, lockable
console accommodates two or more laptop computers and you can use it for
a file box too. There are more than 30 storage areas built into the
passenger space. A USB port and AUX input are right on the dash, ready
for your iPod or other MP3 player.
Fordís SYNC system
integrates your phone and music player and uses voice commands. I had to
fiddle with the system to get my iPod to work, but I was able to request
artists and CDs successfully.
This new truck offers
some great innovations. Its high-strength, lighter weight chassis uses a
fully boxed frame with high-strength steel side rails, for more
torsional rigidity, which means greater durability and safety and even
improves mileage slightly.
The cargo bed offers a
few great advances. The Stowable Bed Extender also serves as a container
for a small load near the tailgate. The brilliant new tailgate
incorporates a fold-out handle and drop-down steps, greatly assisting
climbing in and out.
With Fordís new Easy
Fuel capless fuel filler system, you just pop open the fuel door and
insert the gas filler. When youíre done, it automatically seals up. Why
didnít someone invent this sooner?
Prices range widely,
depending on cab, trim level, engine, drive wheels, and optional
equipment. My tester started with an MSRP of $31,360 but totaled up to
$37,945 with a slew of options. A base XL, two-wheel-drive regular cab
with the base engine starts at $20,815 while the Platinum begins at
If youíre in the new
pickup market, check out the new Ford F-150, as itís still Americaís
first choice in trucks.
By Steve Schaefer ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Ford F-150 Review
provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Ford Home Page
Column Name: F-150,
still Americaís first choice in trucks
Topic: The 2009 Ford
F-150 Pickup truck
Word Count: 861
Photo Caption: The
2009 Ford F-150 Pickup truck
Photo Credits: Ford
F-150 Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 36
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2009 Ford F-150
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2009 Ford F-150