Monday, February 19, 2018
Business

The Daily Drivers: F-150 workhorse has comfort, performance

Commercials blare it: Ford's F-150 pickup has been the bestselling vehicle in America for more than three decades. Yet we've only driven the F-150's competition. We finally got one recently over the holidays, an appropriately red 2011 4x4 Supercrew (2012 changes are minimal). We were excited, especially Lyra, who tows her son's race trailer.

Appearance: The last redesign of the F-150 came in 2009 and streamlined the truck's lines. Our Red Candy Metallic pickup was a stunner. The satin-finish grille with mesh inserts gives it a touch of class not evident on the base (black) grille. The 20-inch polished aluminum wheels also stand out. Lyra got a lot of compliments on it from her fellow race parents. Our Platinum Supercrew came with a power deployable running board, which was very cool — at first. The problem: When Lyra needed to quickly grab something out of the truck, the running board deployed into her shins. Ouch. She would prefer a fixed running board.

Performance: In 2011, Ford changed the F-150's engine lineup with four new choices. Most notable was the 3.5-liter V-6 Ecoboost, which actually produces more horsepower (365 at 5,000 rpm) and low-end torque (420 pound-feet at 2,500 rpm) than our tester's 5.0-liter V-8 (360 hp at 5,500 rpm and 380 pound-feet at 4,250 rpm). Even when towing her 4,500-pound 16-foot trailer, Lyra confidently crossed highway traffic or passed other vehicles. (The capacity for towing is up to 11,300 pounds and payload to 3,120 pounds, depending on the configuration.) The truck's braking was strong, even when towing. The standard sway control kept the trailer steady most of the time, though Lyra did feel some sway on the highway. The estimated mileage is respectable for a large V-8 truck — 14 city and 19 highway. While towing, Lyra got less than 10 mpg.

Interior: Our truck's plush Platinum trim had just about everything. The quiet cabin featured comfortable leather bucket seats, which are heated and cooled for driver and passenger. (A bench seat is also available to seat six.) The white-on-black gauges with glowing blue needles were some of the most attractive we've seen and sensibly laid out. In the center is a 4.2-inch LCD driver information screen chock full of data: fuel efficiency, towing information, trailer checklist; there's even pitch, yaw and angle gauges for off-roading. Other nice features include adjustable pedals and a power tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel. The center console is nicely designed, with a large, deep bin under the armrest. The rear seats are expansive with lots of room for three adults. Bonus: The 60/40 split seat bottoms fold up for additional in-cabin cargo space.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Options, options: Ten trims, four powerplants and three configurations each for cab and bed.

Running boards: Sorry, Lyra, I liked auto-deployment.

Roomy: We loved the back-seat space.

Lyra Solochek

Rearview camera: A must-have for anyone who tows.

Trailer-friendly: Sway control, driving data and hitching checklist, integrated trailer brake control.

Power adjustments: Find comfortable settings for seats, steering wheel and pedals.

The bottom line: Motor Trend named it Truck of the Year. Peter will defer to Lyra, who tows frequently and has the need for a truck: "The F-150 is a workhorse, and it has a great balance of comfort and performance."









     
       
Comments
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Speaking in front of a small crowd gathered on the front lawn of the city’s main library, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Monday that the facility will get a $6 million renovation and be renamed in honor of President Barack Obama.The a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is formally contesting the biting citation the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration handed down in December for a maintenance incident in June that left five workers dead.At a meeting with the Tampa Bay Tim...
Updated: 5 hours ago
On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

TAMPA — Columbia Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart says he’s ready to put his checkbook where his heart is when it comes to supporting a Tampa Bay Rays move to Ybor City.So is the investment fund for the founding family of Ashley Furniture. So, it ap...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

When Cedar Hames spoke, you listened.He was a natural storyteller, always dressed sharp to match his wit and natural elegance. He grew a two-person business in St. Petersburg into a leading tourism, advertising and marketing agency over an esteemed 3...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Bi-Lo LLC, a subsidiary of the same Jacksonville company that owns Winn-Dixie, could file for bankruptcy as soon as next month, according to a Bloomberg report.Parent company Southeastern Grocer is planning to shut down nearly 200 stores either befor...
Updated: 8 hours ago
New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

TAMPA — More than a dozen bus routes in Hillsborough County will have new times, paths and stops starting Sunday.The changes come almost four months after the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority rolled out an entirely new bus network, scrapp...
Updated: 8 hours ago
The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has led to the closure of one small business.According to the Miami Herald, the owners of Sunrise Tactical Supply, the Coral Springs, Florida shop that auth...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Next phase for the Tampa Armature Works: co-working office space

Next phase for the Tampa Armature Works: co-working office space

TAMPA — The mixed-use rebirth of the old Tampa Armature Works warehouse is proceeding in stages. First up: last month’s debut of the new ballroom, followed closely by the opening of more than a dozen vendors in the Heights Public Market food hall.YEA...
Published: 02/19/18

Open-mic night at Pilars is a hot spot for Disney talent

WINTER GARDEN — At the end of the day, when the tourists are gone, Disney performers head out to their favorite spot to keep on singing after their shifts are over. Every Thursday, they perform at open-mic night at Pilars, a Winter Garden martini bar...
Published: 02/18/18