Redesigned for 2004 – a move which won it more than 30 awards, including Truck of the Year from the Automobile Journalists of Canada – the best selling F-150 motors into 2005 with minimal changes. There’s a new 4.2-litre V6 with electronic throttle control and manual transmission, an entry-level Work Truck Group package, Occupant Position Sensing technology for the front air bag, and a new $50,685 Lariat King Ranch edition.

The F-150 offers the widest variety of body configurations in the industry: there are three cab choices (regular cab, SuperCab and SuperCrew), three box lengths (the 5.5-foot on the SuperCrew, and 6.5- or 8-foot box on the other two), two box styles (Styleside and Flareside), and five trim series (XL, STX, XLT, FX4 and Lariat).

All F-150s have four doors, of sorts. The regular cab has opening access panels; the SuperCab has larger rear “suicide” doors that can be opened and closed only when the front doors are open; and the SuperCrew has independent front and rear doors.

There are three engines available: the new 4.2-litre V6, 4.6-litre Triton V8, and 5.4-litre Triton V8. The V6 is limited to the regular cab line; the 4.6 is optional on the regular cab and standard on most SuperCab levels; the 5.4 is standard on the upper lines, but can be optioned even on the lowest-line regular cab, making for a powerful worker that isn’t gussied up with a fancy interior that’ll just get ruined on a job site.

There are also two four-wheel-drive configurations; both are shift-on-the-fly, with mechanical shift on the lower end and electronic on the upper line.

The F-150 is Canada’s best-selling pickup truck, and it’s easy to see why: it’s powerful but well-mannered, tough yet refined, it earns high ratings in crash tests, and it handles as well or better than any of its competition.

The V6 allows for an inexpensive buy-in, but it lacks the power to push this much sheet metal around effectively, and uses as much fuel as the smaller V8. The Nissan Titan’s 5.6-litre V8 is 305 hp to the Ford’s 300 hp 5.4-litre, and in base King Cab-to-Supercab comparison is cheaper, but with a much smaller maximum payload.

The F-150 is built in Dearborn, Michigan; Norfolk, Virginia; and Kansas City, Missouri.

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