vehicle over another. Nit-picking about a few pounds of towing or cargo capacity won't really sell a light pickup. If buyers really need to haul something large, they're going to move up to the heavy-duty pickups. Buyers of these leather-clad "half-ton" pickups will use the bed occasionally, but that's not their primary focus in making a purchase decision.
In the truck department, the F-150 holds its own. The 5½-foot bed that typically comes with four-door pickups will hold just about anything the weekend warrior wants to carry. No, it won't carry sheets of drywall with the tailgate closed; with nearly two feet of tailgate length, however, the bed can almost support similar eight-foot items.
Other features that pickup buyers usually want--such as V8 engines--are offered with the F-150. My test truck featured the new EcoBoost 3.5L V6 instead of the 5.0L V8. This little turbocharged six-popper generates enough power to rival V8 engines while returning better fuel economy. Average U.S. fuel prices may be driving sales away from the traditional eights and toward more economical engines like this. The popularity of this option seems to support that concept.
Combining the good truck qualities, great interior ergonomics, and excellent gas thriftiness of this F-150, there is no question why Ford has a lock on the top of the sales charts for yet another year. Maybe those engineers actually know what they're doing.
Length: 231.7 inches
Width: 79.2 inches
Height: 74.8 inches
Curb weight: 5,128 pounds
Engine: Twin-turbocharged V6, 3,496-c.c. DOHC 24-valve
Horsepower: 365 @ 5,500 r.p.m.
Torque: 420 lb.-ft. @ 2,500 r.p.m.
EPA estimated m.p.g. city/highway: 15/21
Base price: $39,615
As-tested price: $47,465, including $995 destination
Also consider: Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan