Choosing the right spec of a pickup is fraught with danger since it is unlikely any two truck customers have the same needs. Jim might need a base two-wheel-drive regular cab for chores on the farm while Bill could be after a Crew Cab monster to tow the family camper.
Nevertheless, we shall try. Consider the following as a selection of F-150 which is likely to be pressed into runs to the hockey rink and the scattered bit of towing on the weekends, mixed with a decent amount of useful new tech. In other words, the one this author would buy.
The only reason a right-sized SuperCab with a 6.75-ft box is not selected here is thanks to Ford’s steadfast refusal to fit this bodystyle with a quartet of forward-swinging doors, the type found in just about every other extended cab truck on the market today. Blue Oval beancounters have probably done the math and ascertained there isn’t enough of a take rate of SuperCab to warrant the expense of engineering an entirely new cab design and assembly process. And since the usefulness of a 5.5-ft box is questionable at best (try loading a full-sized couch or John Deere lawn tractor aboard one), we’re selecting a long-box SuperCrew XLT.
Ford made great waves when they introduced the 3.5-liter V6 hybrid powertrain. Called the PowerBoost, it’s good for 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque, numbers which were the domain of diesel engines not that many years ago. Four-wheel drive is a must-have where this writer lives; your needs may vary. At this end of the scale, PowerBoost is a $2,500 option but its cost yo-yos as one moves through the F-150 trim walk. A 3.73-ratio locking rear axle is part and parcel of the 4×4 hybrid, permitting this specific truck to tow 12,400 pounds.
Well, it’ll haul 12.4k if the $1,995 Max Trailer Tow package is selected. Opting for the $900 less expensive Trailer Tow package limits this Ford truck to 11,000 pounds – still no slouch. Your extra scratch picks up slightly beefier tow gubbins but both packages include a trailer brake controller and Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Note that Ford irritatingly makes the elephant ear towing mirrors a stand-alone option. Judge yourself accordingly.
The 7.2kW onboard generator is a no-brainer at just $750, representing one of the best option feature values on any order sheet. A 360-degree camera is a standalone item at $765 and worth every penny. Splashing out $1,995 on the XLT Sport Appearance package satiates this author’s need to rid the truck of most of its chrome trim, substituting it with color-keyed items (Antimatter Blue, in this case) and 18-inch wheels which help keep a lid on replacement costs compared to 20 inchers. Plucking that pack from the menu also bins the old-school bench seat in favor of buckets and a console shifter. And for the sake of convenience and practicality, we’re tossing in a $350 power sliding rear window which is a feature this driver has included on every single pickup truck to bear his name on its ownership papers.
So equipped, this Ford F-150 swells its base price of $49,370 to a shade under sixty grand. And while that is certainly a chunk of change, it’s miles away from the near-six-figure Cowboy Cadillacs that seem to permeate every parking lot from Boston to Boise.
Please note the prices listed here are in Yankee bucks and are currently accurate for base prices exclusive of any fees, taxes, or rebates. Your dealer may (and should) sell for less (obscene market conditions notwithstanding). Keep your foot down, bone up on available rebates, and bargain hard.
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