Pros: "Ultra reliable, great utility, great engine, solid"
Cons: "Ride is on the hard side, bad sound system"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"In 2006 I was at my local Ford dealer and saw a beautiful certified pre-owned regular cab F-150 in silver, step side, XLT, with the sport package and the upgraded factory alloys. It had 32K miles on it and was basically brand new. We Bought it for 15,000 and I was happy. Now in 2014, with over 111K miles on it, this little truck has proven itself to be the most reliable and painless to own vehicle we have ever had.
To put it into perspective, we have owned many vehicles. Some include include: 69' Thunderbird with a 429, two Lincoln LTDs, an MG Midget, 72' Mach 1, 89' Bronco II, 93' Cadillac DeVille, 2003 Mustang Mach 1, 2004 Cadillac DTS, 2004 RX-8, and a 2010 Fusion Hybrid. All of these vehicles had been purchased new or had under 35k miles on them at time of purchase and all had been well cared for and had all services performed at scheduled times as well as extra things such as injector cleaner, RXP, throttle body cleaners, and many other additives. Oil changes were always at 3-4k mile periods.
The F-150 has hands down been the best of the litter in terms of not only utility, but reliability and toughness. It has NEVER broken down or even had anything break for that matter. All that has gone wrong with it is the bulb in the bed light burned out, the spring for the dash cup holder popped out and had to put it back, and the fuse for the AC panel lights blew and needed to be changed. Everything else has been scheduled services as per the factory, tires, new shocks, and break service.
The 4.6 SOHC V8 in this truck is a Jewell and a work horse. It may only put out 235Hp but it pulls hard and at cruise turns over at 1800 rpm on the highway. MPG is horrid of course, as were all trucks at the time, but it can still manage 18-19 mpg on the highway if you are careful. This motor and tranny is practically bullet proof as long as you aren't doing something it isn't designed to do like towing loads more than rated.
Mechanically, it has been a solid rock. Tranny is still excellent, motor runs like new, power steering does wine a bit but always has, rear diff is still flawless, and the A/C works way way too well. Of course, it would probably show a little more wear if I had been doing a lot of towing but I don't. This truck was for commuting and hauling home improvement materials for as long as we have owned it. Tile, lumber. Wood flooring, landscaping pavers and slate, furniture, and many other things were on the list of regular inhabitants in the bed.
The interior has held up like a champ. If it wasn't for a very small worn spot on the left corner of the drivers seat bottom, it would in all seriousness look new. Roof lining, carpets, door panels, the dash, steering wheel, even the center arm rest (this is the 40/60 cloth seats with fold down arm rest) looks like new and functions the same. The only downside to the interior is that the factory sound system is absolutely useless, especially the speakers. They are very easy to change and I recommend doing so. Changing the factory head unit is also very easy to do and I recommend that as well.
The exterior has been just as bullet proof as the mechanics and interior. No issues whatsoever. Paint has held up like a champ and has not faded (Texas vehicle but garage kept when home), the bumpers are surprisingly strong and can take a good hit and not show anything from it, and the headlights have no habit of fogging or loosing clarity like some vehicles this age do.
Working on this truck is also very easy. The engine bay is quite roomy and everything is easy to get to. Surprisingly, we are still on the original belts and hoses! Still no cracks or any other signs of needing replacement. Even the bed pan is easy to replace if you so desire.
As for driving dynamics and comfort, it's a truck from the early 2000's guys. The ride is pretty stiff and bouncy at times but surprisingly it is very smooth and comfortable when on a semi-smooth to smooth road. Going with slightly oversized tires really helps the ride quality quite a bit. The steering response is of course a bit loose and disconnected but still confident and very easy. Breaking is very good although again, it is a 11 year old truck. It isn't like the newer ones. The drivers seat is actually quite comfortable and the cab is very roomy. The passenger seat is not as comfortable and is a bit hard but still OK. Road noise is actually pretty low but the wind noise is pretty high but again, this is common with all trucks of the period.
As a comparison, our 2004 Cadillac DTS was purchased certified pre-owned with 39k miles on it. It now has 74k miles in it and has broken and required shop time on 9 different occasions. Mostly electrical issues as well as oil leaks and a few other mechanical problems. We had similar experiences with the 93' Cadillac DeVille. The RX-8 lost an ignition coil at 56k miles which was common for that car and I sold it soon after for financial reasons, we sold the 03' Mach 1 for financial reasons but never had an issue with it after 40k miles, The fusion has 42k on it as of now and has never had an issue. The 89' Bronco II was a lemon but after all the issues were taken care of it became a great little SUV. Albeit underpowered and cramped.
Overall, the F-150 has become our pride and joy. No it doesn't ride as nice as the Fusion or the Cadi, it's not nearly as fun as the RX-8 or Mach 1, and it doesn't have all the luxuries of the newer cars, but it has never let us down, has done everything we ever asked of it, and every step of the way it would just shrug its shoulders and ask for more. I love this truck and because it has been such a great vehicle and a great friend, I will never sell it. When it's beating heart finally dies of old age years down the road I will just get it a heart transplant.
Even today it still puts a smile on my face because it has been so good to us. It also helps that I have a lot of memories in it :)"
out of 3 found this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you?