Ford F-150 4x4 Supercrew

April 27, 2006
You don't get to be the top-selling full-sized truck for 28 years without doing something right.

So in the spirit of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Ford engineers made few substantive changes to this year's F-150. There are cosmetic upgrades and a new Harley-Davidson package they're proud of, but the basic truck remains the same. An engineering modification that will be available later in this model year lets the truck use E85, a fuel that is 85% ethanol.

The 4x4 Supercrew truck I drove carried far more than just the basics. The engine, for example, was the 5.4-liter Triton V8 that puts out 300 hp at 5,000 rpm and 365 lb-ft of torque at 3,750, a nice upgrade from the 4.2-liter V6 and 4.6-liter V8 also available. The bigger engine gives the truck some real acceleration despite its 5,600-lb curb weight. It also sucks fuel from the 30-gallon tank at the rate of 14/18 mpg (city/hwy).

The Supercrew four-door cab gives the F-150 the roominess of a luxury sedan while its interior appointments maintain the luxury theme. It is comfortable to drive and easy to maneuver, once you get used to the size of the beast. The truck also looks good, especially to truck aficionados.

Gilding the lily, the truck carried over $5,800 in options, some of which might be considered overkill. For example, the six-CD changer ($300), audiophile package ($250), and Sirius radio for six months ($195) were way more than I needed. And the power moonroof ($995), power sliding rear window ($250), and power adjustable pedals ($120) were also unnecessary, though the moving pedals certainly help drivers who aren't as tall as I am. (And will someone please explain the difference between a moonroof and a sunroof?) I didn't even notice the "lower two-tone paint" job ($300). I'd swear the truck was just fire-engine red, which is a great color for it.

Another option that seems out of line is the $1,250 leather-trimmed captain chairs. They are comfortable and good looking, but are they worth more than $600 a piece, not to mention another $285 for power adjustments in the driver's seat? And that's on top of paying for the standard seats included in the basic price tag. Other options included the deluxe mirror package ($165 for power, heated outside mirrors and an electrochromic self-dimming rearview mirror), a trailer tow package that lets it tow up to 9,900 lb ($350), 20-in. aluminum wheels ($895), and a pickup-bed extender ($195). Altogether, the truck cost $41,340 (plus $850 destination and delivery charges). But that does get you an incredibly capable work truck with the refinements and comfort of a big luxury sedan.

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