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2009 Ford F-150, First Drive

Ben Wojdyla/JALOPNIK
Friday, October 17, 2008

Ford has come into this new product cycle with both barrels blazing, offering up the most capability it's ever packaged into a light-duty pickup. It boasts class-leading capabilities like a maximum 11,300 lb towing capacity and a 3,030 lb maximum payload capacity, while also offering best-in-class fuel economy (tied with the Chevy Silverado XFE) of 15 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway when you opt for the fuel-sipping SFE model. But that's only one of seven trim levels, each configurable with three powertrains, 13 wheels (that's more than the number of models of vehicles Honda sells stateside), four different bed configurations, three different cab lengths and the choice of two- or four-wheel-drive — a far cry from Henry Ford's Model T option list of "black."

I've had a chance to drive a few iterations of the new F-150, digesting Ford's new product and seeing how it stands up to the program's goals and what I've decided is at the end of the day, a truck can be broken into a few important components; the cab, box, drive system, engine and the transmission. As the variety of options for the F-150 is so immense, it's more practical to talk about the parts leading up to the sum, rather than the myriad combinations. At least, that is unless you want this review in book form. Let's get started.

Full Review at Link

 

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I think the Dodge Ram is a better package than the new F-150 in terms of innovative design (rear coils) and packaging (Ram-box storage in bed sides). The F-150 isn't attractive, doesn't handle as well, and has a lot less power from the top-line engine. However, given Chrysler's troubles the new Ram may not get much of a chance as customers shy away from Chrysler LLC products.
 

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It may not be the best looker - but it's definitely better looking than the Turdra. THAT is butt ugly - especially with a long bed and extended cab.
 

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But drive a Tundra and you'll see something is still missing on the F-150. The Tundra is a beast. You'd think it already had a cold air kit and flowmasters from the factory.The new Hemi Ram is close but the Tundra is the only one with the fun factor added.

I can't afford any of these and have only bought American so far but the Tundra is a ball to drive.
 

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I think it's bitchin' haha

Good to see they finally got a 6 speed.

Wish my Sierra had the 6 speed from the Denali. The 4 speed I have has a really annoying rough 1-2 shift when cold. Members of other forums have the same issue. Dealer says no bulletins have been issued on the matter. I love my Sierra but the tranny is a major disappointment. Still, my fuel economy is 16-17 around town and 20 highway. I have come to love the AFM, I had doubts about it before purchase, but several helpful members of this forum assured me it would be okay. Still...that 4.6 3V seems interesting......
 

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But drive a Tundra and you'll see something is still missing on the F-150. The Tundra is a beast. You'd think it already had a cold air kit and flowmasters from the factory.The new Hemi Ram is close but the Tundra is the only one with the fun factor added.

I can't afford any of these and have only bought American so far but the Tundra is a ball to drive.
and that has not translated into sales and yes I know the economy is in the crappper but they have lost more sales than the big 3 even when Toyota its giving heavy incentives on the Turda just like the big 3, IMO you buy a truck as a work truck not because its the fastest or feels more like a car if you want that get a sports car and dont buy a truck
 

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Wow they keep making the F150 more and more ugly. This thing looks hideous now. I have never been a Ford fan but the F-150 from two generations ago was the best looking pickup IMO. Current gen and now this new one I have not cared for at all. Much to square looking.
 

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I actually like the '04-'08 trucks the best. I never liked the generation that ended in '03. This new one is looking too much like a super duty, I don't really care for it but I still like it better than 2 genertaions before.
 

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Wow they keep making the F150 more and more ugly. This thing looks hideous now. I have never been a Ford fan but the F-150 from two generations ago was the best looking pickup IMO. Current gen and now this new one I have not cared for at all. Much to square looking.

agreed Ford had competing models from Chevy, Dodge and Toyota out on the proving grounds as well (I was in the area myself) and if given a choice based on my observations I'd rather have a silverado or a ram then a new F-150 the styling is too boxy and i think Ford went a little overboard with the "tough guy" look on this truck.
 

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Not sure why Ford designers chose to transplant the face of larger, work-versions of the F-series on the front of the F-150. It's awkward.

Nonetheless, I'm glad that despite troubled truck sales Detroit is continuing to invest in this large segment. Historically, when times are tough, Detroit cuts and runs... and allows foreign-branded models to make inroads into segments. We witnessed it with family cars, with minivans, with compact pickups, and with near-/luxury cars. I say the FS truck segment is far too important to neglect, and I like seeing the top sellers wear domestic badges.
 

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This is what a truck used to look like. I think that people that want a traditional truck will love this (along with the Ram), while people that want a family vehicle with a bed will prefer the GM twins. I personally prefer the Silverado and Sierra, but I can see people liking the rough and tough look of the new F-150.
 

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I think the Dodge Ram is a better package than the new F-150 in terms of innovative design (rear coils) and packaging (Ram-box storage in bed sides). The F-150 isn't attractive, doesn't handle as well, and has a lot less power from the top-line engine. However, given Chrysler's troubles the new Ram may not get much of a chance as customers shy away from Chrysler LLC products.
I love pickups, and I would love to get a nicely optioned crew cab half ton if I had the money.

But I bet a lot of people that would have bought a half ton pickup without a second thought 3 years ago are now looking at a sedan, a compact pickup, or a used half ton instead because they're nervous about the economy and afraid the price of oil may head up again.

It's a shame, too. I think Ford and Dodge did a fantastic job on their redesigns.
 
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