Ford’s F-Series undergoes several changes for 2006 in all three of its sizes.

On the F-150, electronic shift-on-the-fly becomes standard on all XLT models; there are Harley Davidson, XL Décor, XTR and Lariat Chrome packages; a trailer tow package is standard on FXT and Lariat trim lines; new 17-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels are standard on STX; there are new available 20-inch, six-spoke machined aluminum wheels; and a DVD electric prep package is standard on all Super Crew models. On the XL, the 40/20/40 seat has been changed from cloth to vinyl, front and rear bumpers are argent instead of black, and the driver’s side visor mirror is deleted. A limited slip axle is standard on Lariat models, and a new Tow & Go package is available on all XLT models.

On the F-250, there’s a new Amarillo appearance package available on the Lariat Crew Cab; extra chrome accents are added to the Chrome Package on XLT and Lariat Super Crew and Crew Cab; and new King Ranch colours include Black Clearcoat/Arizona Beige and True Blue Metallic Clearcoat/Arizona Beige. Electronic shift-on-the-fly is available on XL trucks; the King Ranch package’s unique leather-wrapped grab handles are now the base type; and rear cupholders have been deleted on Super Cab XL trim. New available options include 20-inch polished forged aluminum wheels, a TowCommand system and Chrome Package; and revised options are body-colour mirror caps on the XLT Sport Package.

The F-350 also received the new Amarillo appearance package, the extra Chrome Package details and the new King Ranch colours; 18-inch wheels are now standard on SWR XLT; a rear stabilizer bar is standard on F350 DRW; rear cupholders are deleted on the XL Super Cab trim; and the passenger door key lock is deleted on trucks with Advanced Security Group. New available options include 20-inch polished forged aluminum wheels, a 10,000 GVWR Package with 17-, 18- and 20-inch wheels, and the King Ranch is downgraded to base-trim grab handles.

The F-Series offers a wide variety of body configurations: there are three cab choices (regular cab, Super Cab and Super Crew), three box lengths (the 5.5-foot on the Super Crew, and 6.5- or 8-foot box on the other two), and two box styles (Styleside and Flareside). The F-150 comes in five trim series (XL, STX, XLT, FX4 and Lariat); the F-250 and F-350 Super Duty have three (XL, XLT and Lariat)

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

Engine choices on the F-150 are a 4.2-litre V6, 4.6-litre V8 and 5.4-litre V8. The F-250 and F-350 Super Duty are available with a 5.4-litre V8, 6.8-litre V10 or 6.0-litre V8 Power Stroke diesel. Two- and four-wheel-drive versions are available.

The F-Series 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. It can be ordered from a bare-bones work truck to a seriously luxurious vehicle (it’s also the basis for the new Lincoln Mark LT pickup) and it’s doubtful you won’t be able to find something in the lineup to suit your needs. The F-150’s 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: bigger, in some cases, can be better.

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