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Motoring: F150 a lot of truck

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | August 30th, 2010

Ask anyone in North America to name the first pick-up truck that comes to mind and chances are, it'll be the Ford F-150.

It has been the best-selling pick-up truck for 34 years and for 24 of those years it was the best-selling vehicle (that includes, cars, vans, trucks, etc.) in North America.

So it is a popular means of transportation, but is it any good?

To find out, I spent a week with one to see what the fuss is all about. It doesn't take long to get the point.

From the moment you approach this vehicle, it will plant a smile on your face. The F-150 has been an attractive truck for some time, but this new twelfth generation model is probably the nicest-looking one yet. You will notice the bright chrome grille, the massive tires, and a useful cargo bed, but most of all, you will notice how gigantic it is. Trust me, its size became quite entertaining in parking lots, because parking this massive truck between the lines was not an easy job. Thankfully, my test vehicle was equipped with a reversing camera, which came in handy on more than one occasion.

As you would expect, a vehicle this big would have a big interior, and it does. Not only do the front seat passengers have ample room, but in Super Crew Cab trim, even the rear seat passengers had enough space to lounge around. After all, this vehicle is designed mainly for construction site crews and those fellas are usually not small in dimension.

Depending on how many boxes you ticked on the options list, you will get plenty of toys to play with. My tester came with a touch-screen navigation system, which is neat, but I ask, seeing how guys on a work site have to do dirty work, is it a good idea to have a touch-screen system in a vehicle like this? I think not. Plus, this navigation system was the slowest and possibly most annoying device I have seen on any production vehicle. My advice is to skip this option and buy a TomTom from BestBuy.

Other interior features are quite pleasing, though. I loved the power-operated pedals which brings the pedals closer to you at the touch of a button (for those who are of average height), and I also loved the power-operated rear glass, which works as a great vent on those hot, humid days.

I also loved its engine. While you can choose between a few different motors, my tester came with the current range-topping motor, the 5.4-litre V8. This engine produces 320 hp and 390 lb/ft of torque. This amount of torque is useful when you are lugging around a 2595 kg vehicle. Since it is mated to a smooth six-speed automatic gearbox, progress on the road is surprisingly quick. Not only does it get off the line quickly, but it also gains speed on the highway rather quickly when you're overtaking. Yes, it is heavy on fuel, but at 16.2 litres/100 km, this 4x4 pick-up is much more frugal than I was expecting.

It also turned out to be a much better handling vehicle than I imagined, and as for comfort, it is up there with the likes of an Sclass Mercedes-Benz. Honestly, the F-150 is that comfortable.

So it is a very good truck, and thankfully it also comes at a very decent price. You can get into a new F-150 for under $25,000. My rather well-equipped 4X4 XTR Super Crew Cab model was well above $40,000. Throw in all the bells and whistles and you can be spending nearly $60,000 on one of these.

So if you need a vehicle to either carry large friends or tow large trailers, the F-150 is going to suit you just fine. My personal favourite F-150, though, is still the Raptor.
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