The Ford F-150 lineup offers a plethora of models in dozens of permutations. All are highly capable trucks, even those loaded with luxury features. The F-150 was completely redesigned for 2009. For 2011, Ford F-150 features an entirely new engine lineup, and most 2011 F-150 models come with electric-assist steering.
Smooth and quiet, the F-150 is comfortable on bumpy streets around town, over rugged terrain like construction sites, farms and utility roads, and on the open highway. Its steering is nicely weighted and requires little correction on the highway making it nice for long cross-country tows. The cabs are comfortable, whether ordered with leather or cloth.
The F-150 lineup runs the gamut from wash-off vinyl flooring and a two-door Regular Cab to leather-lined premium four-door models with as much rear-seat legroom as the front of most luxury sedans: Within those extremes lies something for everyone. Yet even the least-expensive F-150 isn't boring; it leaves room for customization, does the work required and keeps overhead down.
With one of the deepest beds in the segment, the F-150 has generous cargo volume out back and a maximum payload rating of 3,060 pounds; most versions carry 1,600-2,100 pounds. Any cab model F-150 can be optioned to tow more than 11,000 pounds; the range varies from 5,500-11,300 pounds. (The Ford Super Duty line of heavy-duty pickups is covered in a separate New Car Test Drive review.)
Two V8 and two V6 engines are offered, all with six-speed automatic transmissions. Standard on 2WD is a 302-hp 3.7-liter V6. Other choices include a 360-hp 5-liter V8 for all cab/bed configurations, a 411-hp 6.2-liter V8 on SuperCrew short beds, and a 365-hp twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 on all but regular cab/short beds. Several axle ratios are offered with each engine.
A new 2011 F-150 XLT Custom package slots between XLT and FX models. On the upper end are the King Ranch, Platinum and Lariat Limited models. The Harley-Davidson edition returns for 2011 with a 411-hp V8, the same engine now standard on the serious off-road Raptor. The Raptor adds a SuperCrew version that carries more fuel and tows a ton more than the continuing SueprCab.
Other new features for 2011 F-150: larger image-in-mirror rearview camera, new instrumentation with a 4.2-inch screen, one-touch front windows, a telescoping steering column on upper trims, 110-VAC outlet, HD radio, an integrated key/fob with remote start, 7-lug 17-inch aluminum wheels for the heavy-duty package, and a new off-road package with locking rear differential.