Ford has done it again with its all-new 2009 F-150 pickup truck. The top-selling pickup is better looking, more powerful, more refined and offers a long list of available amenities, making it irresistible when compared to its competitors.
The new F-150's rugged styling and massive grille were inspired by the Super Duty series trucks. The F-150's tough new exterior is quite functional thanks to an impressive cargo box chockfull of nifty features.
Some of those include a box side step for easy access to the front of the pickup box. There's also an available tailgate step that makes it easier to step up into the bed and it remains hidden in the tailgate when not in use.
Of course there is an available bed extender, clever cargo management system and all-new backup camera, but the coolest all-new option is called Ford Work Solutions. It transforms the F-150 into a true mobile office.
Ford Work Solutions includes an in-dash computer with Internet access, a cable to lock power tools in the bed and Tool Link to monitor and keep tabs on tools stored in the bed via radio-frequency tracking.
Ford continues to offer many different configurations of the F-150, including three cab choices (Regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew), three box lengths (5.5 feet, 6.5 feet and 8 feet) and unique trim levels like the athletic STX, hardy FX4, lush Lariat, unique King Ranch and an all-new top-of-the-line trim called Platinum.
Under the hood, the F-150 features one of three V-8 engines mated to either a four-speed or a new fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission.
The base engine is a 4.6-liter V-8 that makes 248 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. This engine is mated to the fourspeed transmission.
The next level is a high-output version of the 4.6-liter V-8 and it makes 292 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. The high-output 4.6-liter and the more powerful 5.4-liter V-8 (rated at 320 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque) are mated to the new six-speed automatic transmission.
You can get the F-150 as a rear-wheel drive or a 4x4. My F-150 tester was a SuperCrew cab in Lariat trim with the 5.4-liter V-8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. The 5.4-liter V-8 is flex-fuel rated and I like the capless fuel filler neck.
There's a bit of a step up into 4x4 models.
My tester's cabin was quite luxurious and extremely spacious.
Ford has increased the length of the SuperCrew cab by about 6 inches and you can comfortably fit five or six full-sized adults inside. The SuperCrew also provides plenty of interior space for transporting large items that you want to keep protected from nature.
I enjoyed the commanding view of the road and the comfortable and luxurious seating. But as expected, this rig requires a large parking spot and it's a challenge to park at the grocery store or mall.
On the plus side, the bed easily swallows up large loads of supplies from the local hardware store and can comfortably tow a boat or travel trailer.
The cabin in my tester remained surprisingly quiet and the ride was smooth while cruising at highway speeds. Acceleration provided by the 5.4-liter V-8 was very good both from a dead stop and for passing.
Anyone who spends a significant amount of time behind the wheel of their work truck will greatly appreciate the refined feel this new F-150 offers. If you like technology, you'll also like the available Ford SYNC system, Sirius Travel Link, voice-activated navigation and 700-watt Sony audio system.
2009 FORD F-150 4X4 SUPERCREW
ENGINE: 320-horsepower 5.4-liter V-8
TRANSMISSION: six-speed automatic
DRIVETRAIN: four-wheel drive
FUEL ECONOMY: 14 city/18 highway
BASE PRICE: $37,990
AS TESTED: $44,800 (including $975 for destination)
WEB SITE: www.Ford.com