2009 Ford F-150. Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s web site
Article and photos by Russell Purcell
Ford F-150 – The People’s Perspective
There is no doubt that 2009 is an important year for the automotive industry as a downturn in the global economy and volatile fuel prices have conspired to evaporate consumer confidence. The Ford Motor Company has long dominated the half-ton pickup market, but the game has changed with stand-out light truck entries from the likes of Toyota and Nissan. Ford’s traditional rival GM has been chipping away at Ford’s market share with its recently revamped GMC and Chevrolet twins, and an all-new Dodge Ram is poised to woo traditional Ford customers away from the venerable F-150.
In an effort to maintain their prominence in this segment Ford has thoroughly reworked the F-150 for 2009. The focus appears to have been improving interior room and comfort, but fresh exterior styling and a host of novel new features like cargo bed side steps and a tailgate ladder prove Ford is not pulling punches. The F-150 can also now be equipped with a factory-installed trailer brake controller, which was previously offered only on Super Duty models. The addition of a new six-speed automatic transmission will also attract attention, as the company claims it helps improve fuel economy to the tune of 12 per cent.
The truck is still available in three cab configurations (regular, Super Cab and Crew Cab), a multitude of trim levels (including two new offerings: the ritzy “Platinum” edition, and at the other end of the spectrum, the “Superior Fuel Efficiency” package), and driven by either the rear wheels or four-wheel drive.
The subject of this story is an F-150 Crew Cab Lariat featuring a six-and-a-half foot cargo box and four-wheel-drive. Options included the chrome package, max trailer tow package, skid plates, navigation, power-sliding rear window, tailgate step, box access steps, stow-able bed extender, and a back-up camera.
If you are in the market for a half-ton pickup truck there is no doubt that you have already read several reviews of the new F-150. As a result, I figured I would approach this story from a much different angle. I wanted to take the truck to meet its fan base so that they could let me know what they thought of Ford’s direction with the company’s main bread winner. I managed to gather together four individuals, each of whom is, or was a dedicated Ford customer, and is seriously considering parking an F-150 in their garage.
Jon Cimbala. Click image to enlarge
Occupation: Professional contractor.
Current truck: 2004 Ford F250 4X4 Super Crew, Harley-Davidson Edition
Jon Cimbala is a character. He is a flashy guy with a real love for automobiles. He treats his current truck as if it was one of his children. He was attracted to Ford when it came time to buy a truck as he liked the power of its diesel engine and its rugged styling, but admits he had a hard time finding the perfect model for his lifestyle.
Once seated behind the wheel of this truck, Jon took in the look and feel of the heavily revised cabin of the 2009 F150. He was impressed with the fit-and-finish and the layout, but had some issues with finding a comfortable driving position. “They make these trucks for big guys. They give us power adjustable pedals so that we can put the pedals in a comfortable position, but why isn’t there telescopic steering? The steering wheel ends up being too far away when I sit in what I consider a comfortable position. I am 5’11” which is about average height, so it seems odd that I can’t get completely comfortable.”