By KBB.com Editors
If Ford does one thing better than building tough trucks, it's selling them. Rising fuel prices and a move toward smaller vehicles have forced the company to revise its 2008 F-150 line-up by offering more features and options with an aggressive new pricing strategy. Determined to keep the F-150 America's best-selling pickup, Ford continues to offer a dizzying array of configurations as well as a new 5.4-liter V8 Flex Fuel engine that can run on E85, a blend of 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent gasoline. Tough competition from Dodge, as well as new lines from GMC and Chevrolet, will keep the fire under the F-150's tires, which could very well translate into some great deals for the savvy consumer.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're a pickup-truck kind of person to begin with, but your spouse is not, this truck could very well win him or her over. Bold colors, outrageous trim packages, a lavish interior and the all-American big Blue Oval should win thumbs-up approval.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you like your trucks rough, loud and shaky, this one won't cut it. On a serious note, the 2008 Ford F-150 cannot claim the most horsepower or torque in its class, an important bragging right for some truck owners. Safety-conscious consumers won't care for the lack of side-impact and side-curtain airbags.What's Significant About This Car?
New options include a factory-installed cargo management system, remote start, manual telescoping trailer mirrors and a rear backup camera which displays its image in the rearview mirror. New trims include the Lariat Limited, STX Wheels and Stripes package and the XL SuperCrew. Fleet buyers can opt for a mid-box cargo container that fits between the cab and the bed.Driving It Driving Impressions
Power is the name of the game when it comes to full-size trucks, and here Ford has made some significant advances. The Triton 5.4-liter V8 features a three-valve-per-cylinder design and variable cam timing to generate 300 horsepower and a healthy 365 pound-feet of torque. A beefed-up version of the 4R75E automatic transmission has been assigned to handle the engine's added muscle. Gone are the long-familiar Ford power steering system and torsion bar front suspension; replacing them are a modern rack-and-pinion steering and front coil-over-shock suspension. The combination of these features makes these the best-handling, best-riding F-150s to ever leave a Ford factory. If you grew up driving older F-150 models (2004 or prior), you'll be duly impressed by the dead-on steering feel and straight-line tracking of today's F-150s.Favorite Features
Cargo Management System
Installed at the factory, Ford's new Cargo Management System (available only on short-bed Styleside models) consists of two rails, a pair of bins, a pair of crossbars and a header bar.
Small Rear Door
Regular Cab models have a small rear door to help load items behind the back seat.
The F-150's interior is as close to car-like as you'll find in any pickup. Not only is the new F-150 better looking inside, it's also more quiet, safe and spacious. The dash and interior design on the base models look good enough, but the addition of leather, wood, chrome and center console-mounted shifter found on the high-end models combine to raise the bar on the plush pickup concept. Seating is firm and upright, and SuperCrew models feature lots of rear legroom and amenities such as DVD-entertainment and power windows.Exterior
The 2008 Ford F-150 carries over with only minor exterior upgrades. The recently redesigned shapely Ford body, egg-crate grille and Blue Oval badging remain intact, surrounded by some new chrome trim and a crop of fresh new colors. The F-150's silhouette is easy to spot, thanks to its tall bed wall (about two inches taller than the previous-generation F-150). Though it looks different, some may find the tall bed walls make it difficult to reach a toolbox from the side of the truck. The Regular Cab features a set of small, rear-hinged doors that allow easy access to the narrow space behind the front seat. Those who like to have as much fresh air in the cabin as possible will appreciate the SuperCab's optional rear roll-down windows, a first in this segment.Notable Standard Equipment
The base F-150 has a 202-horsepower V6, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), 26-gallon fuel tank, AM/FM stereo, dual side mirrors, vinyl split-bench seat, tilt wheel, power steering, locking tailgate and 17-inch steel wheels.Notable Optional Equipment
The F-150 offers numerous trim levels, engine choices and bed and cab lengths. Notable options include a 300-horsepower 5.4-liter Triton V8, power seats, power windows, power locks, remote entry, keypad unlocking system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, leather seats, DVD navigation, trailer and towing packages, power sliding rear window, cruise control, power moonroof, Reverse Sensing System, limited-slip differential, 35.7-gallon fuel tank, Rearview back-up camera, mechanical or automatic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, power-adjustable pedals and 18-inch alloy wheels.Under the Hood
Base Regular Cab models are powered by a tepid but fuel-efficient (for a big truck) V6. We don't recommend this engine for towing or hauling heavy loads. The 4.6-liter V8 engine might save you some money, but it, too, seems to lack the punch this truck deserves. We prefer the 300-horsepower 5.4-liter V8, which has the power to move, haul and tow that fits this truck's can-do image.
202 horsepower @ 4350 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 (manual), 14/19 (automatic)
248 horsepower @ 4750 rpm
294 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD), 13/17 (4WD)
300 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
365 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 (2WD Gasoline), 10/13 (2WD E85),
12/16 (4WD Gasoline), 9/12 (4WD E85)
The 2008 Ford F-150 covers a broad range of the pricing spectrum. Regular Cab XL models have a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $18,000, while a nicely loaded XLT SuperCrew can run as high as $40,000. Special-edition trim levels, such as the four-wheel-drive Harley-Davidson and King Ranch, start in the $40,000 range and blur the boundary between truck and show car. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price being paid for the F-150 in your area, so be sure to give it a look before you set out to buy. The F-150 is expected to retain a better-than-average residual value, with the Super Cab models at the top of the chart, followed by the SuperCrew and then the Regular Cab. Over a five-year period, the F-150's projected residual value is expected to be on par with the new Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra and Dodge Ram, better than the Nissan Titan but slightly below the Toyota Tundra.