By Barbara & Bill Schaffer
For the umpteenth time (actually 42 years) the Ford F- Series was the bestselling vehicle in the U.S. While that’s almost become a ho-hum statement it’s an impressive accomplishment that shows Ford’s obsession with making their trucks better and better to maintain their appeal competitors are working hard to knock them out of first place.
While we can’t claim to have driven all the iterations or models – that would be a near insurmountable task – we’ve driven many over the 28 years we’ve reviewed new cars and trucks.
The Bright Red Ford Truck
Our latest was the 2019 F-150 4×4 SuperCrew with the new 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine. The color, Race Red, was nearly blinding under the bright Idaho sun and would have made a good addition to any fire department driveway – just add signs and sirens. In fact, it was so red, that even the front grille was the same color instead of the normal chrome.
Easy Access with Power Running Boards
Climbing up into the black, leather clad interior was easy even for us old-timers thanks to the optional power-deployable running boards that slide out from under the cab when the doors are open. Once inside we were treated to a massive interior filled with soft, supportive leather seating. If you’re going to ride three to a rear bench seat, this is the vehicle to do it in, there’s lots of head, shoulder and leg room. A front bench seat is also available for those who prefer that over the cushy bucket seats.
Massive Interior Space
And if more in-cab cargo space is required, the split cushion rear seat easily folds up against the seat back to make a massive space. This is great for shopping and keeping things secure and protected. This is another reason these trucks are so popular…there’s a ton of room inside. And with the ($7,050) Lariat Series package it has some niceties like heated seats all around (and ventilated in the front), a heated steering wheel, remote start system, reverse sensing system with 360-degree camera, blind sport warning system and trailer tow monitoring along with a beautiful-sounding Bang & Olufsen sound system. There’s also a massive ($1,495) twin panel moonroof.
Then for owners who what to use the F-150 to it’s full potential, there’s the bed, which in this case, had the available ($595) spray-in liner. With its SuperCrew seating and the 5.5-foot Styleside bed, the pickup measures 232-inches long, so it might crowd some garages. But the Boise, Idaho area where we live, is noted for the quantity and size of garages, so it’s an easy fit for most garages here.
The truck bed tailgate locks and unlocks electronically and it has the available ($375) tailgate step that makes getting up into the bed much easier. One of best features is the Pro Trailer Backup Assist, what can help make any driver look like a pro when backing a trailer. Then there are all the other great features like power telescoping mirrors, trailer brakes, Dynamic Hitch Assist and on and on. With the 3.31 Electronic Lock rear axle and the four-wheel drive, the F-150 has a 10,100-towing capacity.
The number of features included and available on the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup is mind boggling, and this is only the Lariat model, which is third from the bottom. The King Ranch®, Platinum, Limited and Raptor models have even more.
Power Stroke V6 Diesel Engine
New last year, is Ford’s 3.0L Power Stroke V6 diesel engine. Turbocharged and intercooled this engine produces 250-horsepower and 440-lb.ft. of torque plus has an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. We averaged 23.2 mpg during our week of testing. The diesel Power Stroke is one of six-available engines which include three turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 engines and a natural aspirated V6 and V8.
10-Speed Automatic Transmission
The transmission in F-150 Lariat is an impressive 10-speed SelectShift® automatic. It’s smooth, positive shifting and it has a manual shifting mode using a toggle on the side of the console-mounted shifter – we’d rather have steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, but this works okay for a truck. The base model 3.3-liter V6 comes with the 6-speed automatic. A 0 to 60 mph acceleration run takes 7.2 seconds according to buff magazine testing.
The 2019 Ford F-150 pricing starts at $29,750, including the destination charge, for the XL with V6 engine and 6.5-foot bed. The Platinum SuperCrew starts at $56,515 and aggressive shopping can run the price to more than $72,000. Our Lariat test vehicle has a base price of $49,580 with $20,520 in options. Ford incentive brought the final price to $68,100. That’s big bucks for a truck, but it has every feature you can imagine.
We’re not truck people, but if you need to have a truck to pull or haul toys or just get around town or the hills, this is a good one. The diesel engine is powerful yet very economical. The ride and overall comfort rivals big luxury sedans. It’s easy to see why so many people love Ford trucks.