Long-term Test Update 5: 2009 Ford F-150
11 Months and 20,016 Miles
"I hauled the F-150 out to Diamond Bar to pick up a pair of couches last night," says associate Web producer Scott Evans, "and came away with mixed impressions. It’s a good-looking truck inside and out and some of Ford’s low-tech features are exceedingly useful, but the truck has its drawbacks. The ride on broken freeways is disappointing, with lots of shaking and vibrating. I’m also not particularly impressed with the 5.4-liter V-8 engine. This is a big, heavy truck, and you can feel that weight every time you accelerate. Throw some large pieces of furniture in the bed and the lack of power becomes even more pronounced, especially when entering a freeway. I’m sure the truck can tow the 11,000 pounds Ford says it can, but they don’t mention how long it will take you to get anywhere if you do." Evans, obviously, is one of many eagerly awaiting the F-150’s upcoming 6.2-liter V-8.
"On the other end of the spectrum, though, Ford has come up with a slew of low-tech solutions to common problems that work beautifully," states Evans. "Chevy can laugh all it wants, but the tailgate ‘man step’ is one of the best automotive ideas in a long, long time. Just as useful is the reconfigurable bed extender, which came in handy when we needed to secure the couches. On a truck this size, the convex towing mirrors should be standard, as they make lane changes and other maneuvers so much easier and safer."
Additional thoughts? "I understand Ford needed to mount the backup camera high for a good angle, but mounting it below the massive Ford badge was a bad choice. Drop the gate to use the bed extender and the camera becomes useless. Tailgate-down, bed-loaded situations are when you need a backup camera, and yet in this situation, it’s pointing at the ground. Find somewhere else to mount it, or take a page from BMW’s playbook: Make that giant Ford badge the release handle and design it so that, to open the tailgate, you must twist it 180 degrees; that way, when the tailgate is down, the camera points backward rather than at the ground."
|Months/miles in service||11/20,016|
|Avg econ/CO2||15.0 mpg/1.29 lb/mi|
|Maintenance cost||$97.92 (2 - oil change/inspection/rotate tires)|