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2018 Ford F-150 Review By John Heilig

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2018 Ford F-150 4X4 Supercrew Lariat
ENGINE: 2.7-liter Ecoboost V-6
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic with tow mode
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 325 hp @ 5,000 rpm/400 lb.-ft. @ 2,750 rpm
WHEELBASE: 156.8 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 243.7 x 79.9 x 77.3 in.
TIRES: P275/80R20
CARGO CAPACITY: 51.9 cu. ft. (interior behind first row)/62.3 cu. ft. (box)
ECONOMY: 15.7 mpg (test)
FUEL TANK: 26.0 gal.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Dodge Ram, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra
STICKER: $58,885 (includes $1,295 delivery, $10,620 options)
BOTTOM LINE: As a base pickup truck, the Ford F-150 has proven its worth by being the top seller for more than 40 years. It is also the platform for several other Ford Motor Company vehicles.

Over the course of the past few months I have had the opportunity to drive three distinctly different vehicles based on the same platform. First was the Lincoln Navigator, then the Ford Expedition and lastly the Ford F-150, the platform for all three.

All manufacturers build varying vehicles off the same platform. In this case, I found the similarities and differences to be worth talking about.

First, the Big Papa, the F-150. Ford’s pickup has been a best-seller for four decades, and it’s easy to see why. It is solidly built with a host of features. Our tester was powered by a 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6 that delivered a healthy 325 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. A 3.5-liter V6, 5.0-liter V8 are also available, but we felt the 2.7-liter offered plenty of power and performance. All are connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission with selectable driver modes - normal, tow/haul and sport.

In addition, our tester was the Supercrew version with loads of rear seat legroom for the tallest passengers. If you aren’t carrying people, there are 51.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity available away from the elements. Of course, there’s a healthy bed behind the cab with its own large cargo capacity. Our tester had a spray-in bedlinen (a $495 option). The tailgate can be lowered by using the key fob, but it still must be raised manually. The gate’s all-aluminum construction helps. There are multiple tie-downs in the bed to handle any type of cargo.

The 10-speed tranny is activated through a pistol-grip shifter that felt real manly. Choose manual mode and you have + or - buttons on the side of the shifter to activate. 

Entry and exit are aided by assist handles on the A and B pillars. All seats are comfortable and heated. The pull-down armrest between the front seats is huge.

Our tester had all the necessary safety equipment - blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and a rear view camera that also had a 360-degree “overhead” view. Since the F-150 is large, these alerts are helpful.

Of the three vehicles based on the platform, the F-150 had the firmest ride, but the other two are more “luxurious,” and therefore a more comfortable ride would be dictated. In addition, there is more exhaust noise with the F-150. It isn’t objectionable, but it’s there.

I was fascinated by the instrument panels of the three. The Lincoln’s is very modern with a unique speedometer and tachometer that offer a cleaner look. The Expedition and F-150, however, have more conventional instrument arrays with full instrumentation. 

The transmission shifters of the three are wildly different. The Lincoln’s is a series of pushbuttons at the base of the center stack that is sometimes difficult to figure out. The Expedition’s shifter is a rotary dial that, to me, was easier to use. The F-150 has a pistol grip that feels like a real shifter.

All three offer some degree of luxury. Of course, the Lincoln tops the list in this department, but the Expedition isn’t too far behind. The F-150 is more utilitarian, with straight-line interior design. 

The F-150 is the base of Ford’s profitability since it’s the brand’s best-selling vehicle. But it’s also the platform for a couple of other vehicles that are different, yet similar.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate