By KBB.com Editors
It is hard to imagine a more inauspicious time to introduce a new full-size pickup truck – with the possible exception of the Eve of Destruction – but the all-new-for-2009 Ford F-150 is shouldering its way into the U.S. market on a crest of increased capabilities across the board. With credit tight and leasing options for new pickups shrinking, Ford figures 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 built in class-leading capabilities in both those areas while, at the same time, boosting fuel economy across the board. But don't think they skimped on creature comforts, as the F-150 offers increasing levels of luxury from among its 35 variants.You'll Like This Car If...
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.You May Not Like This Car If...
For the short-term the F-150 doesn't offer a diesel option, so if you are a firm believer in diesel you must shop elsewhere, at least until next year.What's New for 2009
Though it utilizes a great deal of what has made the F-150 a perennial bestseller, the 2009 model is all new. Key changes include rugged "big-truck" exterior styling, a roomier and more refined interior and a new top-of-the-line Platinum trim level.Driving It Driving Impressions
Ford is so proud of the F-150's payload and towing capabilities that it might be natural to assume the new 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 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, a segment first. 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 2009 SuperCrew has been stretched six inches compared to the 2008 model, and the interior is transformed. 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.