There is a reason that the Ford F 150 has been America’s best selling vehicle for years. The first quarter of 2017 saw a 10% increase in those sales despite an overall downturn in new vehicle sales. What is the reason for the tremendous success of Ford’s half ton pickup? It combines function, comfort and style while offering decent mileage and maintaining good resale value.
We had a 2017 F 150 crew cab XLT model to drive for a week. The XLT is a mid-level trim and probably the most popular offered by Ford. In the base configuration the F 150 offers a great deal of equipment, but the most sought after items are all added cost options that quickly drive the price of the truck from the mid-thirties to the mid-forties. Our test truck stickered at $48,000, and as I have said was not the top of the line model.
Truck sticker prices are very misleading.
All of the Big Three have regular discounts and incentives that can reduce the sticker asking price by ten thousand dollars or more. That makes internet price comparisons useless in most cases. After talking with my local Ford dealer I learned that our test truck could probably be purchased for under $40,000.
Our Lightning Blue, 2 wheel drive truck came equipped with Ford’s Pro Trailer Assist system that will help even a novice back a trailer like a pro. Using cameras and the trucks electronic steering controlled from a dash mounted knob you guide the trailer into the selected spot effortlessly. While this is an option, the trailer anti-sway and brake controller come as standard equipment.
Our truck had cloth seats that proved very comfortable. While they lacked the heated and cooled option found on the leather and the Lariat edition, they did have 10 way power adjustment with lumbar. Combined with the standard tilt and telescoping steering column a good driving position is easy to find.
The Eco Boost V6 3.5 liter engine
sports twin turbo chargers and produces 375 horsepower and 470 pounds of torque. The ten speed automatic transmission allows for better control and keeps the engine in the its peak output band under acceleration. Shifting is almost transparent as the 10 gears allow the engine to stay in a narrow rpm band creating unexpectedly powerful acceleration. Ford claims best in class towing ability, but does not currently post the numbers on its website.
Infotainment is handled with Ford’s Sync 3 with Sync Connect that uses conversational voice commands. I found it very easy to set up and use. Connection to your smart phone is quick and it reconnects fast each time. The system offers both Android Auto and Apple Car Play as well as an apps icon that will allow you to run the apps on your smart phone.
With the available SYNC Connect you can use FordPass to track your vehicle’s location and remotely access vehicle features, such as start, lock and unlock, and vehicle status, including fuel level. You can also schedule specific times to remotely start your vehicle so it’s ready to hit the road as soon as you are.
Ford continues with the all aluminum body and this year expanded it to the Super Duty line doubling down on their commitment to the technology. Despite all of the commercials bemoaning the weakness of aluminum in the Ford F150 bed buyers continue to express their confidence with their check books.
Other equipment that make the F 150 useful include a 110 volt 400 watt power outlet, multiple USB and power point outlets, power sliding rear window, fully flat floor making storage easier inside the cab, trailer apps including blind spot monitors that cover the trailer, and a backup camera that includes a low angle view to making hitching up a snap. The single most missed accessory was a smart key system allowing push button start with the key in your pocket. This is a huge oversight on a vehicle that touts high tech. For a full list of what’s available on the F 150 go here
The F 150 is a pleasure to drive, offering good performance and a smooth ride over most roads. Fuel economy is good for a pickup and we got over 20 mpg on our week long drive of combined city and highway. Comfort, Style, economy and a feature rick option list make Ford’s F 150 the most popular pick up on the road.
Reviewed on air August 5, 2017. Listen to the review here.