Ari Henning, road test editor for Motorcyclist magazine, was planning to test a couple of dirt bikes in an off-road fun zone called Hungry Valley, so he asked if he could use the F-150 for a weekend. He was quite impressed with the truck. He noted, "The last pickup I was in was a mid-'90s F-150, and that vehicle was decidedly utilitarian, with a Spartan interior. This truck is more like a luxury SUV with a small bed. We kept commenting on how quiet and smooth the F-150 was.

"I floored it getting on the freeway just to see what it felt like, and the rig really moves! Power delivery is smooth, the brakes are terrific, and the truck feels very stable at speed. It accelerates/stops/turns much better than I'd expect a vehicle of that size to perform. At Hungry Valley, the truck flew down the graded dirt roads silently and smoothly; the cab is incredibly well-insulated and the suspension is supple without being squishy. At one point, I put the truck into 4-Hi and climbed some steep hills. The dash app told me I hit a 17-percent grade, which I found pretty exciting."

Ari also loved the tailgate step. "What a clever invention! You see a lot of guys using their cooler or toolbox as a step when loading bikes, so this feature makes a ton of sense for motorcyclists. The truck bed is pretty small, however, and even though we were hauling child-size bikes, I had to angle them across the bed to get the tailgate to close."

2012 Ford F-150 Lariat 4x4
Months/Miles in Service 13/30,207
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 15/21/17 mpg
TT OBS Fuel Econ 14.6 mpg
Unresolved Problems None
Maintenance Cost $161.47 (3-oil change, rotate tires, inspection; 1-cabin-air filter; 1-engine-air filter)
Normal-wear cost $0