“2017 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4×4 SuperCrew”
The Smartest, Toughest, Most Capable F-150 ever
The Ford F-150, jokingly referred to by some as the “beer-can” truck because of its extensive utilization of aluminum in its body and bed construction mounted on a strong and light frame. The move to aluminum construction trimmed 700 plus pounds from the previous model F-150, and the innovation doesn’t end there.
Ford’s F-Series has been America’s best-selling truck for 39 years as well as the best-selling vehicle for the past 34 years. The Ford F-150 provides several significant driver-assist features to enhance utility, comfort and convenience:
• An Active Park Assist that utilizes two ultrasonic sensors and electric power-assisted steering to help drivers parallel park. The sensors measure the gap between two vehicles to determine if there is enough room for the F-150, and after confirming that it can fit, the truck automatically steers into the space, while the driver operates the accelerator and brake.
• A class-exclusive Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support that uses radar in the front of the truck to measure the distance and speed of vehicles ahead, automatically slowing to keep a consistent following distance set by the driver. Collision warning triggers visual and audio alerts if the system detects the following distance is diminishing too quickly and a collision may occur. It also pre-charges the brakes if the driver needs to stop suddenly.
• Curve Control is an innovative system that was developed exclusively by Ford engineers to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles if they take a curve too quickly by automatically reducing torque and applying four-wheel braking. This can reduce vehicle speed by up to 10 mph in approximately one second, helping drivers stay on their intended path.
• A Class-exclusive smart trailer tow module that shows the driver which lights on a trailer connected to the truck aren’t working, making it unnecessary to exit the truck and walk around the trailer to personally find inoperative lights.
• Class-exclusive multi-contour massaging seats that provide relaxation following a hard day on the job site.
• An available Blind Spot Information System that uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver. The sensors trigger a warning light in the side view mirrors to indicate another vehicle is in a blind spot if the driver is attempting to change lanes. The same sensors are also able to detect a vehicle coming down an aisle when the driver is slowly backing out of a parking space
• An available lane-keeping that’s designed to help prevent a driver from drifting outside of the intended driving lane. The system automatically detects the left- or right-hand road lane markings using a camera mounted between the windshield and interior rearview mirror. A vibration in the steering wheel also alerts the driver. The system can provide steering torque to help guide the vehicle back into the lane if necessary.
• A 360-degree camera with split-view display is available 360-that uses four exterior cameras to give the driver a bird’s-eye view of up to seven feet surrounding the F-150 to assist in parking, maneuvering in tight spots and navigating narrow roads and trails at low speeds.
• Hill Descent Control™ is available uses the anti-lock brakes to give the driver control while descending a hill. With the push of a button, the truck’s speed is set automatically
• An Individual tire pressure monitoring system shows air pressure amounts for each tire, alerting the driver when an individual tire is low.
Other innovative convenience features include: available SYNC Connect with FordPass® that allows smartphone users to lock and unlock doors, remote start; fuel level check; and locate a misplaced vehicle; rear bumper corner steps; forward retractable bed steps; a rear bed step integrated into tailgate; a flexible and innovative bed Box Link; LED bed lighting; a damped, locking tailgate with remote open/close/lock via the key fob; an available dual ramp set that locks into place using a slide track; and unique new front signature LED running lights and tail lamps. A seamless sliding rear window is another feature improves looks and functionality, while reducing components and simplifying manufacturing complexity. The 2015 Ford F-150 was the most patented truck in Ford’s history, and it just keeps improving with its new innovations bolstering the next-generation light-duty pickup.
There will be four engines powering this new aluminum pickup: a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost 325 horsepower V6; a 282 horsepower 3.5-liter TI-VCT V6; a 5.0-liter 385 horse V8; and a new second generation 375 horsepower/470 lb./ft. torque 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
All engines mate to either an electronic 6-speed with availanle SelectShift automatic with tow/haul mode and available progressive range select; or a new ten-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode and SelectShift® with progressive range select. Both Front and Four-Wheel Drive configurations are offered in three cab styles – Regular Cab, SuperCab and SuperCrew, with three bed length choices: 5.5 foot, 6.5 foot, and 8 foot depending upon cab configuration.
Ford F-150 trim levels or Series offered include: the base XL; XLT; Lariat; King Ranch; Platinum; Limited and the off-road specialist Raptor. The new trucks will be produced at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan and at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.
The new F-150 is capable of towing up to12,200 pounds and can haul up to 3,300 pounds. Fuel economy ratings increase from 5 percent to 20 percent depending upon the model.
My test 2017 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4×4 SuperCrew cab’s starting price was set at $53,704., with the final total reaching $64,724. Extras included: the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with auto stop/start; SelectShift electronic 10-speed automatic transmission with Tow/Haul Mode; King Ranch Chrome Appearance Package; Adaptive Cruise Control; Max Trailer Tow Package; telescopic/folding side mirrors; Active Park Assist; Technology Package; Wheel well and Bed liner and Destination and Handling.
SUMMARY: The 2017 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4×4 SuperCrew cab may best be described as a luxury truck. The entire F-150 lineup makes for a most impressive hauler in any of its trim levels but the King Ranch is perhaps the most unique and my personal favorite. There are several specific grille treatments that differentiate the trim levels. Obviously some are more appealing than others. Overall, the new truck lineup displays a simplified attractive and clean appearance. In other words, it’s now really attractive – not as cool as the iconic 1940 Ford ½ ton truck in my opinion, but then I’m a prejudiced owner of a street-rodded ’40.
Piloting this newest light-duty Ford truck is more like to driving a family sedan, but with considerably more flexibility, versatility and purpose. The ride is comfortable in the front or back seat of the SuperCrew models and the handling is both responsive and athletic.
Acceleration is brisk with either of the new V6 engines, which deliver performance properties to rival many V8s. The transmission shifts quickly and seamlessly, and the F-150 handles better than many competitive examples.
In the final analysis, the 2017 aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 lineup obviously has its plusses and minuses. The perceived vulnerability of the aluminum bed vs. competitive truck’s steel beds continues to be an issue due to competetive advertising practices with deceptive depictions, while the lighter overall weight adds to its performance and more economical operation. Let’s face it, nobody in their right mind would actually dump pavers out of a loader from an extended height.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4×4 SuperCrew
Base Price: $53,704.
Price as Tested: $64,724.
Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter EcoBoost, DOHC, 24-valve V6 with auto Stop/Start
Horsepower (bhp): 375 @ 5,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 470 @ 3,500 rpm
Transmission: Electronic 10-speed automatic with Tow/Haul mode and SelectShift® with progressive range select.
Drive Train: Longitudinally front mounted engine / Four-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent double-wishbone, heavy-duty coil-on-shock, long spindle, with stamped steel lower control arm.
Rear – Hotchkiss-type, non-independent live, leaf springs and heavy-duty outboard shock absorbers.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS and AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control.
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain 275/55 R20-113T mounted on aluminum alloy wheels with six “V”- chrome spokes.
Wheelbase: 145.0 inches
Length Overall: 231.9 inches
Width: 79.6 inches
Height: 76.9 inches
Curb Weight: 4,822 lbs.
Turning Circle: 47.8 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 36.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 17 mpg city / 23 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.