Ford F-150 Reviews
Model Overview:There are four different engines offered on the F-150: a 302-hp, 3.7L V6; a 360-hp, 5.0L; a 411-hp, 6.2L V8; and a 365-hp, 3.5L turbocharged V6. All four come connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode and they can be had with either 2- or 4-wheel drive. There are also several bed lengths as well as Regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew cab styles.
The newest of the four engines--the "EcoBoost" turbocharged V6--is the star of the lineup. It produces V8 levels of power, but with V6 fuel efficiency. Peak torque for the EcoBoost V6 is 420 pound-feet, which starts as low as 1,700 rpm, and models with this engine are tow-rated as high as 11,300 pounds and with a best-in-class payload of 3,060. What's more, this engine, which Ford promotes as an alternative to step-up V8 models from competitors, runs just fine on regular unleaded gas.
F-150 trucks are purchased for an array of uses, ranging from simple construction work to weekend hauling to cowboy commuters and those who use their rigs as a family vehicle, so Ford offers a wide range of cab, bed and trim levels to fit almost everyone.
Ford's SYNC interface is available throughout the lineup; the feature allows an easy Bluetooth-based, voice-command-driven interface with phones and smartphones, and allows other features such as traffic reports, news, and weather. For those who truly work out of their trucks, Ford is again offering a Ford Work Solutions in-dash computer with, among several noteworthy features, a tracking system for tools.
The F-150 lineup includes eleven different models, including XL, STX, XLT, XLT Custom, Limited, FX2/FX4, Lariat, Lariat Limited, King Ranch, Platinum and Harley Davidson F-150. Base XL models have vinyl seats, manual windows and wind-up windows, but they do include air conditioning and an AM/FM stereo. The STX adds keyless entry, cruise control and power accessories, while the XLT gets a little more of a dress-up, with fog lamps, a chrome grille and upgraded wheels. On the XLT, you can option up to the V8, but the Lariat includes it, along with some of the features of a luxury vehicle, including power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, SYNC and Sirius Satellite Radio. Lariat Limited and Platinum models add even more luxury, including remote start, power seats, ventilated seats and wood/leather trim. The Lariat Limited also gets huge 22-inch wheels. Harley-Davidson and King Ranch models put it over the top in luxury, with a moonroof, heated second-row seats, a navigation system and special badging. The Harley Davidson model of course bows to its motorcycle namesake in appearance, while the King Ranch's interior is swaddled in top-caliber hides.
If buyers want a truck that's equipped more for sport, they should go for the FX2/FX4 models, which include a power driver's seat, SYNC, telescopic steering adjustment, blacked-out trim, 20-inch off-road wheels, and a power inverter. However, for those looking for the most extreme truck in the lineup, there is only one choice: the F-150 SVT Raptor--featuring the 411-hp, 6.2L V8 plus a long-travel off-road suspension, skid plates, wide fenders, a new locking front differential and special electronic off-road controls, the Raptor is built for serious off-roading at serious speeds.
Model Changes:2013 sees only minor changes to the F-150 lineup. A new grille is the most obvious external change. New HID headlights are much more powerful than the units they replace. SVT Raptor models get "beadlock" wheels for 2013, providing extra insurance that the tires will stay stuck to the rims during serious off-roading.
A new trim level has also been released in 2013, the F-150 Limited. The Limited features heated and cooled leather seats, subtle ambient lighting, a standard moonroof, aluminum trim, an 8-inch screen with rear backup monitor and 22-inch polished aluminum wheels. The F-150 Limited is powered by Ford's 3.5L "EcoBoost" V6.
Model Value:Ford claims class-leading fuel economy, as well as best-in-class towing and horsepower for both its base V6 engine as well as both of the available V8s. Ford also says that it's the only automaker to offer a 6-speed automatic transmission across its entire model lineup. The F-150 also offers electric power steering, which saves fuel and gives an improved steering feel. Across the lineup, the F-150 carries through with the full redesign that the truck received for 2009; since then, the F-150's very purposeful, upright instrument panel and vastly upgraded interior materials have stood out in this very competitive class.