Ford F150 Ecoboost
Aerodynamics don’t really play a big part in the styling of the F-150. The truck 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 dearly departed 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.
Of course, the King Ranch package on our 4X4 includes some of the nicest leather found in any vehicle, from anywhere, at any price. I’m not sure but what it’s just too darned nice for a working truck. I mean, who’s going to get this stuff dirty, for cryiing out loud?
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.
But that’s the base engine. Our truck had the new Ecoboost V6. This is a 3.5-liter, direct injection V6 with twin turbochargers. That gives you V8 power, 365 ponies, and 420 foot pounds of torque. It is also supposed to give you better fuel economy.
The specs say it will return 18-19 miles per gallon in combined city-highway driving. We got 16. I have to wonder if the plain, 5-liter V8 could give you roughly the same performance and mileage with less complication.
Put me down as skeptical.
The truck is stiffer thanks to its hydroformed frame. The ride is excellent and the suspension in our 4x4 was comfortable on the road, but capable of handling the bit of off-roading we did with ease, almost sneering at our little jaunt into the tall grass.
Our F-150 in the King Ranch tuxedo came to right at $50,000.