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What is the best-selling vehicle in the United States? You may think it's the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, but it isn't. It happens to be the Ford F-150. If you are scratching your head as to why, there are two reasons for it. The first is that the F-150 appeals to buyers who are looking for a work truck, and the second is that the F-150 also appeals to shoppers who choose it as a daily driver.
The F-150's exterior looks like a Tonka truck with such details as a boxy shape, flared out fenders and hood, and large grille. The F-150 is offered with three different cabs – regular, extended and crew – and three different bed lengths. The bed features some clever tricks such as a step integrated into the tailgate and a remote tailgate release.
The big story for the F-150 deals with the skin itself. Ford took a big gamble by using aluminum for the hood and body panels to cut around 700 pounds when compared with the outgoing model. We should note that this isn't the same aluminum found in pop cans. Ford says the F-150 is built with military-grade aluminum to provide the durability and strength of steel. The benefits of aluminum include an increase in overall towing capacity and fuel economy.
There are four different engines available for the F-150. The base F-150 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 with 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. Next up is the turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 with 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. Those wanting V8 power for their F-150 will want the 5.0-liter V8 producing 385 horsepower and 387 pound-feet of torque. The top engine for the F-150 is the turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. All engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and the choice of rear- or four-wheel drive.
The F-150 comes in five different trims ranging from the basic XL all the way to the luxurious Platinum. For most buyers, the XLT is the sweet spot in the F-150 lineup. This model gets a front bench seat and 60/40 split rear seats (on extended and crew cabs), Bluetooth, Ford's voice-activated Sync system, 17-inch alloy wheels and extra chrome trim on the exterior. The list of options is quite extensive with heated sideview mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, MyFord Touch with an 8-inch screen, an off-road package and much more.
Competitors to the F-150 include the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra.
The last-generation Ford F-150 was introduced in 2008 as a 2009 model. This generation was evolutionary in many ways. The exterior is similar to the model it replaced aside from a larger grille and headlights. Body styles include a regular cab, an extended cab, and a crew cab. The interior boasts a simple control layout and better materials that the previous F-150.
At the beginning, there were three engines available. The base engine is 4.6-liter V8 with 248 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. Next up was a high-output version of the 4.6-liter V8 with 292 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. Wrapping up the engine lineup was a 5.5-liter V8 with 320 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. The base V8 gets a four-speed automatic transmission, while the remaining engines boast a six-speed automatic.
2010 would see the introduction of SVT Raptor, which is a unique high-performance offering. Fitted with a modified suspension to allow for high-speed off-road travel, the Raptor came with the choice of two different engines. The base was the 5.4-liter V8, while an optional 6.2-liter V8 produced 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. Both engines came with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Ford made a big change to the F-150 in 2011 with the introduction of an all-new engine lineup. The base engine was a 3.7-liter V6 with 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. Next came a 5.0-liter V8 producing 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The third engine option was a turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Rounding out the engine lineup is the 6.2-liter V8. Two other changes came to the Raptor model for 2011. The 6.2-liter V8 became the standard engine and a new crew cab model was introduced.
2013 brought minor changes to the F-150 with the introduction of xenon headlights and hill-descent control. The MyFord Touch infotainment system would also make its debut this year.