Strong Capable Large Pickup, Passable MPG
By some_pickup_driver on Monday, April 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Excellent heavy hauler, strong off-road"
Cons: "no cabin air filtratoin."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The 2012 F-150 (3.7L V-6 engine, fuel injected with no turbocharger) Regular Cab with 8-foot bed has been equipped with Linex(r) Spray-In Lining and a Leer Camper Cap with color matched fiberglas construction.
Around town, it gets a pretty reliable 15-16MPG depending on driving style, with no real load, in-town driving with frequent stops. On the highway in medium traffic on roughly 100-mile drives over mixed terrain, the maximum mileage was just under 21MPG. This is a very heavy truck as well as a heavy-duty truck. This is made for work and for hauling, it's for business rather than pleasure, although it is quite comfortable to drive and came standard with air-conditioning and a very good sound system.
Off-road on mixed rock-and-dirt ATV trails, and on-road in heavy snow, this has been an extremely capable truck. It has started reliably even in temperatures of zero-F degrees. It is also an excellent highway cruiser. It feels safe and well-controlled at 70MPH on the interstate highways.
This is a tall heavy truck. It is not made for fast turns and irresponsible driving. This is meant to haul loads. There is a traction-control system which works in part by cutting engine power, very disconcerting if you are the sort of person who wants to corner quickly by applying over-power to launch controlled skids.
Towing a trailer weighing 3000+ pounds was not a problem at all for this vehicle, even crossing interstate mountain pass routes. The truck was able to tow the load uphill at 55MPH, although at times it had to drop down into 4th gear, the direct-drive gear. With the tow-hauling package selected "on", descending hills is as easy as climbing them.
The 3.7L V-6 engine is very strong throughout its range, and has a red-line at 7000 RPM. Best performance for power is from about 2K-RPM to 6K-RPM. Best performance for mileage is about 1K-RPM to 2.5K-RPM. The stock exhaust system is quite large for very free exhaust gases flow and it can be somewhat loud when the engine is operating at high RPM.
The transmission has 6 forward speeds, with gear 4 being direct drive and with 5 being fairly overdriven and with gear 6 being for speeds of about 53MPH and above. At any speed above about 30MPH the transmission can go into gear 5 but this is with significant slippage at the torque converter and you might get better mileage and performance by manually selecting gear 4.
The transmission can require a period of adaptation on the part of the driver. At many speeds, depending on throttle position, the vehicle could operate in any of as many as 4 or 5 gears. If you drive at 30MPH and give wide-open throttle, this could drop down to gear 1 which will give top acceleration, which may not have been intended. The transmission shifts down very quickly and will respond according to throttle position. If you are driving 30MPH and give half-throttle, you should drop down only to gear 2 or 3, which will give good acceleration within reasonable parameters for close-spaced driving conditions such as interstate on-ramps. However, once you understand the transmission's operation, this is a very sweet vehicle to drive, in terms of throttle/gear control.
The 4-wheel drive is extremely capable but still has the traditional "Ford 4-wheel Reverse Problem". When turning in 4-wheel drive in reverse, the freedom of movement is related to how hard the front wheels are turned away from straight. Keep this in mind as you drive off-road.
This heavy tall vehicle is also long, and does not have a very tight turning radius. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of room to back-and-fill, and remember that you cannot make very tight turns as you might with some older and smaller light 4WD pickups. One good thing about the large turning radius, it's hard to roll over in this vehicle due to steering too tight. Consider it an added safety feature.
This is an excellent truck all around and I would recommend it to anyone needing a good all-weather/most-terrain work truck. The only drawback may be significant to some potential buyers: there is no cabin-air filtration available from Ford and there is no aftermarket kit for this model year. Despite this being an otherwise excellent truck, if I had known that you can't get filtered cabin air, it would have been a deal-breaker. Ford needs to fix this, especially since many of these trucks can reasonably be expected to operate frequently in high-dust/high-pollen environments.
Still, if you don't mind sneezing now and then, this is a BUY."
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