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2015 Ford F-150 Super Cab 4x4

The Champ Sheds a Few Pounds
2015 Ford F-150 Super Cab 4x4

I’ve always been one to root for the underdog. (It comes from spending decades as a Sabres’ fan.) Thus, this week’s choice for the YAK road test.

What? you say? America’s best-selling vehicle for the past 32 years, an underdog? America’s best-selling pickup for the past 37 years, an underdog? Well, not exactly. What I meant was, when I decided on the F-150, I also decided I wanted one of those bare-bones work-like trucks, not the 50 grand lux-up you see in the parking lots of fancy restaurants. And it wasn’t easy to find.

But, as Towne Ford’s Ben Indelicato informed me, dealers don’t keep many of these in stock because, well, no one wants them. Well, not really NO ONE, but as he pointed out, most new trucks are leased these days, and with the residual value (what it’s worth when the lease is up) being pretty low on these things, most new owners prefer something fancier. Although I really liked this truck, after spending time with it I can see their point.

Don’t get me wrong. For what it is this truck is well worth the 34 grand sticker price. It’s comfortable, quiet, attractive (even with that massive black front end (“One F-150 to go! Hold the chrome!”), and will perform most of the same hauling duties as your neighbor’s $59,000 F-150 King Ranch Super Crew.

You just may not enjoy it as much.

The first thing I noticed as I got in, was that if you buy one of these either spring for the running boards or carry a small step stool at all times. It’s a HUGE step up into the cab, and you’ll be shocked at the outcome if you’re wearing white pants. Once settled into the very roomy, comfy cab, I set out to adjust my mirrors and seat. The manual seat adjuster was fine; something most of us are used to. When I went to move the left outside mirror, I couldn’t find the switch. Finally realizing I had no power mirrors I searched for the window switch so I could stick out my arm and manually make the adjustment. What? Window cranks! Very inconveniently located right next to the seat. I passed on reaching over the massive front seat to adjust the passenger side mirror.

Those, folks, are the bulk of my complaints about the test drive. I knew what I was getting into when I chose this truck: no heated seats, satellite radio or comfy leather. No rear view camera or active park assist. No remote tailgate release.

What the test truck DID have was Ford’s 3.5L Ti-VCT V-6 engine connected to a six-speed automatic transmission; an approximate 700-lb. weight reduction from the previous model, due to new frame technology and the use of aluminum over steel for some of the body parts; shift-on-the-fly 4X4 system; 17-inch steel wheels with plastic center caps (nobody’ll steal those!); black vinyl flooring (hose out those coffee spills); and a great view of the road in all directions (even without all of the high-falutin’ camera and traffic-sensing technology that’s available at extra cost).

Once you’ve mastered entering the cab and put your stepstool in the back seat, getting behind the wheel of the F-150 and taking off down the highway is neither exciting nor unpleasant. The truck’s standard V-6 moves it along at a steady pace (if you need more power there are three other optional engine choices). I found my Magnetic Metallic (dark gray) test truck to be an amiable driving companion — one I could imagine spending days at a time driving for work (assuming someone has adjusted the right-side mirror for me).

I was truly surprised as all heck when I went to Ford’s media center and found the photo which you see at the top of the page. It’s not often you see the bare-bones vehicles’ photos there for press use.

They must have seen me coming.

More info at:

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