The concept of pickup trucks and big burly V-8’s are about as American as warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream. You just can’t have one without the other. So when Ford introduced the F-150 with two twin-turbocharged V-6’s that were just as powerful and just as capable as a gas-guzzling V-8, it left some of the hardcore truck buyers scratching their heads and rethinking the possibilities. Yet, Ford still decided to bring back a V-8 for those junkies that still aren’t convinced.
While the thought behind a large 5.0-liter V-8 has one thinking it’s more geared for hauling, think again. The smaller 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 provides 420lb-f torque, 10,600lbs of towing capacity – that’s 1600 more than the V-8 and cost about $400 more than the $800 tacked onto our 8-cylinder here. Which makes us think, has the V-8 engine gone soft? Being the same motor used in the Mustang, it certainly has no problem scooting along taking just over 6-seconds to 60 mph producing 385-horsepower and 387lb-ft of torque. It can lay down some impressive linear power through the smooth shifting six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. While the new 10-speed is hitting the EcoBoost Engine’s – this six speed here allocates the gears fairly promptly when called upon. Of Course the EcoBoost and all those 10-forward gears is aimed towards fuel economy, however this good ole fashion V-8 comes in roughly the same EPA eating up as much fuel as pavement averaging 16 mpg combined on regular octane gas. However having the $395 36-gallon fuel range extender meant fewer stops at the pump, just more money came out of our pockets in one giant lump.
There is something oh so right about having a V-8 in a full-size pick-up. Its smooth operation send tingles through our bodies as it smoothly accelerates. The lightweight aluminum body makes the F-150 nimble and somewhat agile. And because its light-weight, it’s easy to maneuver around through the lightly weighted steering wheel which also makes it a breeze to park. Ride quality is supple through the 18-inch wheels like a premium sedan absorbing most of the day to day rough stuff – almost smooth enough to drink your venti soy no foam latte with an extra shot of expresso while on the go.
Our samplers hefty 58-thousand dollar price tag was sure to shock the public’s ear when called open the infamous, “how much” question. And while this is the mid-level Lariat trim, just think there are three more trim levels above this: King Ranch, Platinum and Limited, that can all push way beyond that $65k range. It is to say however, our Lariat was a $6995 trim upgrade that included a series of tech like blind spot, remote start, LED-Side Mirror Spot Lights, Navigation and a few other trinkets.
This F-150 wasn’t without its comfort features of generous leather, 10-way power seats, a power adjustable steering wheel and pedals with memory, heated/ventilated front seats and heated outboard rear seats. Cabin space is loaded with soft touch materials and faux wood trim to simulate the finer side of luxury – if you go lower than the Lariat, you won’t find such elegance. And for those that still don’t quite understand how to reverse with a trailer, the Trailer assists as is as easy to use as… well pushing the button and twisting the knob I suppose – after going through a rigorous detailed catalog through the digital information cluster.
Apple pie without ice cream is just apple pie – it’ nothing too exciting and a bit dry. A truck without a V-8 is, well, is it really a truck. Ford has proven that theory wrong with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. But if you need a city going pick-up that can tow your household trailer to discharge some lawn clippings at the local dump or some water recreations to the lake, than the 5.0-liter V-8 might just be all you’ll need – plus who can deny that sound of a good ole V-8.
|2016 Ford F-150 4X4 Supercrew Base Price:||$45,440|
|As Tested (including Options & Destination):||$57,455|
|5.0-liter V-8 – 385-Horsepower/387lb-ft torque, 6-Speed Automatic – 0-60MPH: ±6.5 seconds|
|EPA MPG: 15/21/17 (city/highway/combined) – SSB Average: 16 MPG’s – Fuel Range: 665 Miles (with 36-Gallon Fuel Range Extender ($395 Option)|