Make us your home page
Instagram
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

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."









2011 Ford F-150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew

Price: $22,990 start for base V-6, $51,760 as tested

Powertrain: 5.0-liter V-8 FFV, 6-speed SelectShift automatic, Shift-on-fly 4x4

Horsepower: 360 at 5,500 rpm

Torque: 380 pound-feet at 4,250 rpm

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 145.5

Length, 231.9

Width, 79.2 (without mirrors)

Seats: 5

Fuel economy:

14 miles per gallon city, 19 mpg highway

Safety features: 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, airbags and curtains, AdvanceTrac with roll stability control, safety cage, trailer sway control

Options worth considering: Moonroof, 36-gallon fuel tank, towing package, rearview camera

Website: ford.com/trucks/f150

The Daily Drivers: F-150 workhorse has comfort, performance 01/27/12 [Last modified: Friday, January 27, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Marina at Hudson Beach poised to become 24-unit condominium-hotel

    Business

    HUDSON — One of the mainstay businesses at Hudson Beach is poised for redevelopment into a 24-unit condominium-hotel.

  2. Have your say Tampa Bay on the region's future transit options

    Mass Transit

    TAMPA — It's time, yet again, for Tampa Bay residents to tell officials what kind of transit options they want for their region.

    The Cross-Bay Ferry docks at the Tampa Convention Center on its maiden voyage on Nov. 1, 2016. A regional premium transit study will determine whether a ferry, or other options such as express buses or light rail, would be a good addition to Tampa Bay. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  3. SOCom seeks civilian drone pilots to develop new technology through ThunderDrone

    Macdill

    TAMPA — For the last three years, Nicole Abbett has been using drones as part of her photography business, with clients like the city of Tampa and construction companies.

    Josh Newby, 31, Palm Harbor, of Tampa Drones fly's a drone in England Brothers park, Pinellas Park, 8/25/16. As drone popularity increases as a hobby and business, local governments are navigating a legal grey area- where, when, and how should drone flights be allowed?
  4. New apartment complex delivers unique floor plans



    Business

    RIVERVIEW — A new luxury apartment community has opened in the Progress Village area touting itself as a distinct living option just 10 miles from downtown Tampa.

    Alta at Magnolia Park dubs its new apartment community, that opened earlier this year in Riverview, a modern and distinct option for living just 10 miles from downtown Tampa.
  5. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]