2018 Ford F-150Review and Road Test

2018 Ford F-150Review and Road Test

If you think modern full-size pickup
trucks are big and dumb you're only partly right. Case in point, this F-150. It might be big but it is not dumb. Quite the contrary
Ford has approached this generation F-150 as a literal test bed, switching its
bed and cabs construction from steel to lightweight aluminum helping improve
fuel economy and performance.

Inside the aluminum body is a seriously functional
cabin. The seats are comfortable and supportive, the armrests are well
positioned, even though that one is way over there, there's lots of door storage
space, and a really huge bit of storage here in the center console. Look there
goes the medical tape. Up front you've got a couple of itemized spots where I
guess I can put my wallet with more space than I really need.

Up top
yet another – storage bin. The F-150 is a little like an industrial loft. It is a
great place to live and work. Buyers can spec their F-150 in regular,
super cab, and super crew layouts but for carrying people the super crew is
definitely the play.

Legroom is outstanding, unlike the cozier super cab. A flat floor means sitting in the middle position is not some sort of punishment
and easy flip up seats mean you can store your gear safely inside away from
the elements and thieves, Tim. And these channels look like they're expertly
crafted to carry, I don't know, large shipments of wine. Maybe my mom needs an f-150.

Sorry, mom. Of course cabin plushness varies by trim. The basic XL trim comes drenched in easy to clean plastic but higher trims offer
increasingly luxurious appointments. Nothing caps a hard day on the job like
cooled and massaging seats…I'm assuming.

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Reviewing cars isn't a real job Speaking of real jobs if you plan to
haul more than just air you've got three choices. A six and a half foot bed or
optional 8 foot cargo box come on the regular and super cab models while the super crew offers bed lengths of five and a half and six and a half
feet. The F-150's bed is a perfectly functional
space to haul stuff but it should be noted that a damp tailgate does not come
standard. F-150, dropping at old school.

Also, the optional tailgate step does
make it easier to get in and out of the bed but this one doesn't have it so roll
the b-roll while I parkour my way into the bed. For easier bed loading check the option
sheet where you'll find pop-out side steps, integrated loading ramps, a bed
extender / divider, and a damped remote release tailgate or an assistant closing
tailgate with an integrated step. As a big capable truck you might expect
the F-150's road manners to be unrefined but that's not really the case. Okay
there are the normal live rear axle jitters over bumps but otherwise ride
quality is good.

The brakes feel confident, interior noise is suppressed
unless I'm making my bag bounce around in back, and outward visibility is
surprisingly good in all directions. A PT. Cruiser! I'm so sorry.
A slow steering ratio and comparatively wide turning circle make confined maneuvering a challenge but if you've got the dough the option list makes nearly
every aspect of driving much much easier. Ok, not this one.

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All the others. And, I'm up over the curb. There's a 360-degree camera system for confident parking, automatic Park Assist for
effortless parking, and Pro trailer backup assist that makes backing up a
trailer as simple as turning a ****. On top of that there's full range adaptive
cruise control, pre collision assist with pedestrian detection, Lane Keeping Assist,
and blind spot monitoring that even accounts for a trailer.

Clever. Where
engine choices are concerned there are plenty including an eager and reasonably
efficient 3.3 Liter V6, a 2.7 Liter EcoBoost v6, a 3.5 Liter EcoBoost v6, and
for those who hate forced induction a naturally aspirated 5 liter V8. The base
V6 features a 6-speed automatic but the rest of the lineup uses a 10 speed unit
that knocks out nearly undetectable shifts. Standard on all engines is a fuel
saving automatic engine start/stop system though you'll need to deactivate
it on hot days to keep the air-conditioning working at stoplights.
To exploit the F-150's 13,200 pound maximum tow capacity choose the 3.5
Liter but for less extreme towing we highly recommend the 2.7 Liter EcoBoost.
The two-seven will tow 8,500 pounds, it costs a modest 995 dollars versus the
base engine, and it returns the best fuel economy in the f-150 lineup…At least
until the 3 liter turbo diesel finally shows up.

Before moving on we should mention the
$51,000 f-150 Raptor whose wide track, high output 3.5 Liter EcoBoost v6, and
Baja-worthy suspension enable unsurpassed off-road thrills. Seriously
don't you wish this was you? For more-grounded off-road adventures non-Raptor f-150s can be equipped with four-wheel drive and an FX for off-road
package. MSRP for a regular cab XL trim with six airbags, trailer sway control,
manual AC, an am/fm radio, and a backup camera with dynamic hitch assist begins
below 29,000 dollars including $1,300 worth of destination chargers. However we think the volume leading XLT is a worthwhile upgrade.

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It starts around
$34,000 for a regular cab with power windows and mirrors, a power tailgate
lock, and a six-speaker audio system featuring bluetooth and USB ports. Budget an extra $2,900 for the Super Cab and $5,200 for the super crew. With even more budget you can nab an intuitive
eight-inch Sync infotainment system, navigation, heated rear seats, inflatable
rear seatbelts, LED headlights, LED box lighting, a factory spray in bedliner, and
passive entry with push-button start, a feature inexplicably not offered by GM
and Toyota. Spend lavishly and you can spec an F-150 limited trim to the tune of
$67,000 though prices for pickup trucks are frequently
incentivized so shop around.

Given the loyalties of truck buyers you probably
already have a brand allegiance but if you're curious the full-size pickup
truck field includes the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado twins, the RAM 1500 with
its smooth riding coil spring rear suspension, the Nissan Titan with its
standard 390 horsepower v8, and for resale value enthusiasts and Toyota
devotees the Toyota Tundra. Each entrant has its strengths but the Ford stands
out as exceptionally well suited to the needs of truck buyers. The Ford F-150 is smart, capable, and
ruggedly-styled. In essence it does all the things a pickup truck should do and
it does them really well.

It's also a handy reminder that innovation comes in
all sizes.  .

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