By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.0
That the F-150 is the best selling truck in America for 33-years running tells you Ford must be doing something right when it comes to their full-size pickup line. Ever increasing competition, however, has forced Ford to step up its game, especially in the one area the F-150 has shown vulnerability in the past: Power. In what Ford bills as the most extensive powertrain overhaul in the 62-year history of the F-Series pickup, a total of four all-new engines and a new six-speed automatic transmission move the F-150 to the top of the horsepower and fuel economy charts. But Ford has not forgot the core purpose of its fabled truck, and knows that the bulk of its sales will come from buyers who genuinely need the unique aspects full-size pickups offer – big payload and towing capacities among them – instead of those who simply want to be seen in a pickup. With this in mind, Ford engineers have built in class-leading capabilities in both these areas while, at the same time, boosting fuel economy across the board. But don't think they skimped on creature comforts, as the 2011 Ford F-150 offers increasing levels of luxury from among its 35 variants.
If you want a truck with serious towing and payload capabilities, yet as quiet and comfortable as many luxury sedans, then the F-150 should surely be on your shopping list.
Despite this year's new round of engine choices, the 2011 F-150 still doesn't offer a diesel option, so if you are a firm believer in diesel you must shop elsewhere.
Four new engines mark the big changes for the 2011 Ford F-150: a 3.7-liter V6, 5.0- and 6.2-liter V8s, and a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. For the first time, a six-speed automatic is standard on all F-150 models. Other new features include the use of electric power-assisted steering, an available 4.2-inch LCD message center, a larger in-mirror rearview camera system, and a telescoping steering wheel.
Driving Impressions Ford is so proud of the F-150's payload and towing capabilities that it might be natural to assume the 2011 version would "ride like a truck." The surprising news is...it doesn't. Instead, each and every version of the F-150 we've driven offered exceptional ride quality – no shudders, hops or hiccups – and a level of quiet that was startling. Each version also offered ample power, good acceleration and, thanks to the new electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), a level of steering feel and control that belied its size and heft. Perhaps most impressive was the towing demonstration in which we hauled 20-foot trailers with absolutely zero drama, thanks in large part to the pickup's trailer sway control, rearview camera and integrated trailer brake controller. Our off-road excursions in the well-equipped four-by-four versions of the truck demonstrated it has the goods to get it done in muck and mire as well.
Designed to deal with the awkward and potentially dangerous chore of getting into the pickup truck's bed, the integrated tailgate step scored big. It deploys easily and even offers a safety hand-hold.
Roomy SuperCrew Cab
The cab in the 2011 SuperCrew is so roomy it out-measures some full-size sedans. In fact, the rear-seat legroom is absolutely limousine-like, and the mechanically articulated second-row seat flips up and out of the way, delivering an ample 57.6 cubic feet of space behind the front seats.
The 2011 Ford F-150's interior is both attractive and functional. Knowing men's hands would most often be using the controls, Ford designers made the knobs, buttons and switches brawny and put them within easy reach of the driver. The center console is both long and wide enough so it can easily accommodate two or more laptops, and it even has ridges so it can accept file folders. It is just one of more than 30 storage areas built into the interior for things like cell phones and music players. We especially appreciate the dash-mounted USB port and auxiliary music player input, plus the two easily accessible 12-volt outlets – one on the dash and one in the console – and even an available 110-volt outlet. Ford also paid special attention to the seats, which are some of the most comfortable in our experience.Exterior
Two generations ago Ford designers penned a swoopy, almost Ferrari-like F-150 that bowled over critics but didn't play as well with truck buyers. In the two generations since, Ford has made the F-150 much huskier, with an imposing front end, strong shoulders and a deep, deep pickup box. One drawback are the box's tall sides that make reaching into the center of the bed a difficult chore for all but the tallest among us; an available extendable side step somewhat alleviates this problem and is an option worth considering. The three-bar grille is the most important element of the design and if you're paying attention you can tell an F-150 trim level simply by the grille treatment – ranging from simple in the more work-oriented versions to more luxury-car-like looks for the up-level Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum versions.
The 2011 Ford F-150 comes in flavors ranging from plain vanilla all the way to banana split with whipped cream, nuts and sprinkles, but one thing all levels share is a robust, hydro-formed, boxed-section chassis that offers superior torsional rigidity while actually being lighter than the old-fashioned ladder frames of the past. The level of standard safety equipment is truly outstanding, including AdvanceTrac with RSC traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags with roll-fold technology for enhanced head protection in rollovers and side impacts. Safety is also enhanced by front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, "smart" airbags and seatbelts, a new second-row center head restraint and integrated spotter mirrors.
For those who really use their pickup trucks as trucks, the F-150 offers some exclusive options that are right on the money. Our two favorites are the integral tailgate step that makes clambering into the box easy and the spring-out box side steps that make reaching into the vehicle's deep cargo box much more convenient. Also earning high marks are the stowable bed extender and beefy cargo management system. And for those who have ever left a tool on a work site, never to see it again, the Tool Link radio-frequency identification tracking system enables you to maintain a detailed real-time inventory of the tools and/or equipment stored in the pickup box. When it's kick-back time, Ford's SYNC, SIRIUS Travel Link and a high-powered Sony brand audio system help you while away the time.
Do you want a gasoline engine or a gasoline engine? Perhaps the only shortfall with the 2011 F-150 is the lack of a diesel option, but the four new gasoline engines available – two V6s and two V8s – offer reasonable fuel economy, aided significantly by the addition of a six-speed automatic transmission. A twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is offered, a first for this segment and an engine that promises both strong performance and good fuel economy. Both the 3.7-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 are fitted with fuel-saving twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) technology, and for towing needs, nothing can beat the two-valve per cylinder 6.2-liter V8s best-in-class 11,300-pound tow rating.
302 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
278 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 14/18 (4WD)
3.5-liter V6, twin-turbocharged
365 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
420 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: TBA
360 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250
EPA city/high fuel economy: TBA
411 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
434 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: TBA
By 76_umatt on Tuesday, July 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Hard to beat!"
Cons: "These trucks can cost more due to the options"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The 2010 is a great truck! Plenty of room inside for the family. My 95 F150 was a Lightning (i loved it, but needed more cab room) and I had zero issues with it. The 2010 costs more but has so many more features: more power, more seating, Sync system (unbelievable!), better ride. Overall this truck is everything i could ask for!"
By Iknowvehicles on Monday, July 07, 2014
I owned and sold this caroverall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Starts and drives."
Cons: "almost everything"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"It starts and drives, but the benefits kinda end there. I don't know where to start. First I'll mention that it is in my best interest that these trucks are good, quality, useable trucks. I work for someone that has a large stake in these trucks. I mean really large, but alas we are consumers of these trucks. Here's the truth. The visibility is horrible in any direction that isn't straight ahead or out the driver's window. You cannot look over your shoulder for traffic, or backing out of parking spaces. Well you can look, but all you see is the wall behind the side window, and headrests. Folding the center seat down is nearly impossible from the driver's seat. If you have long arms and large hands like I do, it can be done, but you just might dislocate your shoulder. The seat folds down to be an arm rest that is a different height from the arm rest on the door. So if you're driving far, make an appointment with a chiropractor. The lever that you pull to adjust the seatback is nearly impossible to get your hand on too. You have to reach down and back, and lock your elbow to reach it, then try to adjust the seat while it's against your locked elbow. The climate control is just a big clutter of buttons and knobs. The blower fan has four settings: #1 barely moving, #2 I can feel it, #3 It's starting to work, and #4 put on motorcycle goggles and wear hearing protection, because that sucker is obnoxious. The doors dent in if the wind blows too hard on them. Well not really, but I can push them in more than an inch with two fingers. The shifter detents are all wrong, where you have to pull to get from drive to neutral, which results in going straight to reverse or park most of the time. What ever happened to being able to safely and easily slip from drive to neutral for convenience or safety? The crank window model has the window crank between the seat and the door, so you basically have to open the door to be able to crank the window, unless your arm is outfitted with a hook or something. I've looked at a LOT of these trucks (literally hundreds), and with the vast majority of them, the body line from the bed doesn't line up with the cab. It's either left or right of center by about 3/4 of an inch, sometimes more. I've seen many of them with only 3-10,000 miles on them where the steering column is scraping against the steering wheel when you turn. When you drive over bumps, the whole truck shudders and shakes, and the empty seats shake around. The cup holders are almost not useable. If you have someone in the center seat, of course they're not useable at all. This new turn signal design that's being used is just downright dangerous. Nobody should be changing lanes with only 3 flashes (it automatically flashes 3 times when you just bump it part way), but you can hold the lever just like we have been doing for 50 years to get the 5 or 6 flashes needed to sensibly change lanes. Where it gets bad is cornering. You push it all the way, the lever returns all the way to center, of course the signal stays on. You push it in any direction to turn it off. If you make a corner, then need to make another corner, or change lanes to get into position to make another corner, you'll just end up with no signals, or no way to signal the right direction at the right time. It's horrible. It's no wonder nobody signals. Overall, these things are awful failures of engineering."
By Sarry on Saturday, July 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,600overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Great vehicle but to large for us I traded in my Ranger for this not realizing it was quite high off the ground."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By JANITOR on Thursday, July 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great ride"
Cons: "sync is just ok..."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Drive great, comfy too, mileage is 18-24, flex fuel is less, overall a great solid truck, pulling out of this world, 4x4 never a issue, 1st Ford and im well ok with it... over all a 9 just b/c the radio design needs updated and sync is not advanced as on star...."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By PGHTucson on Monday, June 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "The price was right, the drive is smooth and quiet"
Cons: "I can't find anything negative to say"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned 1 Nissan and 2 Chevy trucks over the last 30 years. My last truck was a fully loaded 2003 Silverado crew cab. I wasn't really in the market for a new truck, mine was still in great shape and running condition and I certainly hadn't considered a Ford, but we were out one day and my wife convinced me to look at the new 2013 Ford F-150s. I was really impressed with this truck and then went to compare the equally appointed Chevy.... no comparison. The dealer gave me top dollar on my trade and with several concessions brought the truck price to a point I could work with. I have owned my truck for a little over 6 months now and drove it from Tucson to Southern Florida and back. The ride was smooth and the interior noise was minimal, my wife and I could hold normal conversations even on noisy roads. I never thought I would hear myself say I really like Ford over Chevy, but this truck has changed all that. I am really impressed with everything about it."
45 people out of 83 found this review helpful
By logan on Monday, June 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The rear compartment has more room than any auto. the seats fold up and you have all kinds of room. I even put a sleeping bag on floor and sleep comfortable. the only downside is the spare tire goes in wrong so you have to drop it to check air pressure."
18 people out of 41 found this review helpful