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The F-150 successfully steers clear of looking like anything other than tough truck. Every surface is flatter and less expensive to produce (Ford switched to more aluminum body panels a couple years ago) and better at cheating the wind for a fraction of a mile per gallon. The grille is tall and proud, but the headlights are faired back, with rectangular insets that are meant to evoke some of the earliest F-Series trucks. On some trims, they're lit by LEDs, a feature we expect to become standard issue on more trim levels in years to come.
Although it's almost worth skipping to the interior, where the F-150 has evolved in more pronounced ways. Ford has improved visibility in the F-150, a boon to towers who need every inch of outward visibility. We like how the tall, beveled vents on the center console reinforce its mass.
The headline for the F-150 for 2017 is a more potent 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6, with 10 more horsepower, and a new 10-speed automatic paired with it, designed to extract as much fuel economy and power available to the top-end powertrain.
The F-150 still makes use of its extensive aluminum components, helping the truck shed up to 500 pounds in some configurations. Underneath the aluminum body panels is a steel ladder frame that still uses mostly high-strength materials. At the low end, it's down to 1,600 pounds of payload and 5,000 pounds of towing—but at its strongest, the F-150 can carry 3,300 pounds and pull 12,200 pounds, over previous generations.
Paired to a new 10-speed automatic—jointly developed with General Motors, which made its debut on the Camaro already—the 3.5-liter V-6 has plenty of pull for well-heeled buyers in top-trim trucks.
One step below the EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6, is Ford's tried-and-true 5.0-liter V-8 that makes 385 hp and 387 lb-ft of torque. It's rated to tow up to 9,000 pounds, but based on our experience, we're guessing the EcoBoost's additional grunt may make dragging that weight a little more effortless. The natural V-8 rumble emanating from the tailpipe may be a point of pride for many buyers, but it's also a little more predictable when it comes to fuel economy returns too.
A truck is a truck, after all. The Ford F-150 is nothing if it isn't utilitarian and exceptionally useful. Buy one and find out how many friends need help moving the week later. Having said that, the F-150 is a work-focused machine—taking dead aim on cargo and hauling capacity than luxurious appointments.
Pricey models do their best to convince us otherwise, but many F-150s on the road will be pressed into duty and we give it points for exceptional utility and storage. Multi-contour seats swaddle passengers on top models, but most trucks will have just average thrones designed to get workers to job sites, friends to new houses. While we might prefer the style of a Ram or Sierra, or the comfortable ride and interior of a Ridgeline, the F-150 feels just as substantial as those others. Ford sells the F-150 in three cab styles: the two-door Regular cab; the extended SuperCab that has (cramped) seating for four and rear-hinged doors; and the full-size, four-door SuperCrew model with plenty of space for four adults.
Throughout the model line, the front passenger space is squared off and roomy. Ford has placed the console and door armrests at the same height, a common-sense back-saver that we appreciate.
SuperCab models are fine for passengers in a pinch, but are better used as in-cab storage space when the seats are flipped up to reveal a flat loading floor for cargo.
On four-door, SuperCrew models, four adults will fit inside just fine with 43.6 inches of rear leg room for the lankiest of co-workers. SuperCrew seats can fold up against the bed wall, too, and in both four-door body styles, there's under-seat storage that will secure some smaller, high-priced tools when the need arises.
Between the front seats in most models, there's a wide, deep center console with enough capacity to hold a laptop, in addition to the spaces it reserves for cell phones, drinks, pens and business cards. There's plenty of USB ports to charge many devices, and many trucks can be fitted with standard power plugs to run tools from the front. The driver and passenger both get a set of controls that are simplified and scaled to operate while wearing work gloves. The infotainment functions have direct, hard-button access to most key features, while things like multi-contour seats are controlled by a layer inside the interface (now called Sync 3). *This vehicle is
Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.