Truck Review : 2005 Ford F 150 4x4 Supercrew


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THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG

SEE ALSO: New Car Buyer's Guide for Ford

SPECIFICATIONS
MODEL: Ford F-150 4X4 Supercrew
ENGINE: 5.4-liter V8
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 300 hp @ 5,000 rpm/365 lb.-ft. @ 3,750 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 4-speed automatic
WHEELBASE: 138.5 in.
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT: 224.0 x 78.9 x 73.1 in.
TIRES: LT 275/65R18 all-terrain
ECONOMY: 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway
PRICE: $40,140

Ford redesigned its F-150 full size pickup trucks last year after the trucks had been redesigned just a couple of years earlier. The new design is more "masculine," with a raised hood over the engine and cut-down doors by the rear-view mirrors that mirrors the larger Ford Super Duty trucks. It almost makes the truck look like a Dodge Ram wannabe.

I felt the previous redesign, which remained popular, was rounder and softer, thus more "feminine." It is sold this year as Heritage. I'm certain Ford's idea was to attract more female buyers, and considering the amount of market research that goes into pickups these days, I'm sure the strategy worked. Now Ford is back to a more masculine truck, although the ride quality is more sophisticated and less "truck-like."

Our tester was equipped with a 5.4-liter V8 rated at 300 horsepower. A 4.6-liter 231 hp V8 is also available. The engine was connected to a four-speed automatic transmission with a column shifter. The 5.4 is a great engine and provided more than enough power for a truck that weighs two tons. Acceleration was very good and maintaining Interstate speeds was not a problem.

The front seats offer excellent support and legroom. Our tester had leather-trimmed captains chairs ($1,150). The rear seats are full sized as well and also offered excellent legroom so you never get the feeling you're riding in the back seat of a pickup. Access to the rear is through full sized doors and there are assist handles on the A and B pillars to aid entry. Our tester also had optional bright tubular running boards ($350) that made entry easier.

Up front, there was a complete instrument panel, with speedometer, tachometer, fuel level, water temperature, battery and oil pressure gauges. For front passengers there was a standard Ford audio system and HVAC, while there was a rear seat entertainment system for the rear seat passengers that included a DVD player ($1,295). I liked the 12V outlet in the front which, with the lighter, gave two power ports.

I liked the design of the air outlets in the dash. When they're closed, they look like simple aluminum discs, but these can be pushed to offer full air exhaust.

Between the front seats is a huge console with two cupholders for the front and two for the rear passengers. There's also cupholders in the doors. There's a large tray on the top of the dash that's good for cell phones and smaller objects.

Overhead there's a rail storage system that offers packages for metro, freeway or interstate.

The outside rear view mirrors are large and heated with power adjust. They have turn signals embedded in the mirrors as well (a $165 option). Many manufacturers have begun adding turn signals to the mirrors and I think it's a great safety measure. The more information you can give to other, crazier, drivers, the better.

Vision out the front window is excellent. The A pillar widens some at the bottom but doesn't impede on the view. There's also good vision out the rear, with a power sliding rear window ($245).

This is a big truck with big performance. The F-150 has been the best selling truck in America forever, and should continue. I felt it was long, but had a smooth ride. But then, I'm not the most confirmed truck buyer in the world.

2004 The Auto Page Syndicate

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