There was a time when I wasn’t overly enamored with the styling of the F150, before 2004. It was a bit to aero and smoothed out for me. A truck should look like a truck, for crying out loud.
Well someone shared those opinions, because every since then, the F-150 says, in effect, “The wind tunnel be damned…I’m a truck!” And so it is tall, blunt and shares a family resemblance with not only its big brothers but with the Ranger as well. The big square grill is the only garish thing on the truck, screaming, “say it loud, I’m chrome and I’m proud.”
Inside, the Ford is perhaps even more impressive. While both Chevy and Dodge have nice, truck-like interiors, the Ford moves the bar. Flat, squared off shapes dominate giving it an industrial simplicity that fits the job at hand like a well-worn work glove.
The SuperCab configuration with rear, half-doors was very roomy and ought to suit small families who don’t need any more room. But the SuperCrew is there if they do, with its full-sized rear doors and of course there is a regular cab.
Power for the F-150 comes from the 5.0-liter V8 which makes 360 horsepower. It also cranks out 380-foot pounds of torque, although it is a bit high on the rev band at 4000 rpm.
The truck is stiffer thanks to its hydroformed frame. The ride is excellent and the suspension in our 4x2 was comfortable on the road, but capable of handling the bit of gentle off-roading we did with ease, almost sneering at our little jaunt into the tall grass.
Our moderately loaded XLT came to about $27,000.
So how do the trucks stack up now? Well, with the looks of this generation, the 5.0-liter V8 and that wonderful interior, I would have to move the F-150 out in front. And it has to be the class leader because Ford quite frankly has a reputation to maintain. The F-150 should continue their truck sales dominance but the truck market is incredibly competitive now.
It’s a jungle out there in Truckville, and the race for Mayor, goes to Ford, for now. But no one can afford to relax, especially not in truck-drunk Texas. The stakes are just too high.