America's favorite truck adds several comfort and convenience features for 2000 and rolls out a new four-door crew-cab body style as an early 2001 model.
Called the F-150 SuperCrew, the new crew cab (pictured above) has four conventional doors that are hinged in front; this is the first half-ton full-size pickup to come with that feature. The SuperCrew has a larger passenger compartment than the F-150 SuperCab models (extended cab), and the cargo bed shrinks from 6.5 to 5.5 feet.
A limited-edition Harley-Davidson model goes on sale this spring as the first product jointly developed by Ford and the famous motorcycle company. The Harley F-150 SuperCab is all black on the outside, with orange pinstriping and chrome trim. It comes with a black leather interior, 5.4-liter V-8 engine and 20-inch-diameter wheels and tires.
Ford has dropped the light-duty F-250 model name but now offers similar payload capabilities as options on the F-150. Ford's heavy-duty pickups are listed as separate models under the F-Series Super Duty.
Ford blends traditional truck styling cues such as a bold grille with rounded body panels in the F-150, which comes in four sizes (excluding the 2001 SuperCrew). Both the regular-cab models and SuperCabs come with a choice of 6.5- or 8-foot cargo beds. The short bed is available with flared fenders that Ford calls Flareside on regular cabs and SuperCabs.
SuperCabs have narrow rear doors on both sides that are hinged at the rear and cannot be opened unless the front doors are opened first.
In a first for pickup trucks, power adjustable accelerator and brake pedals are a new option on XLT models and standard on Lariat models with automatic transmission. A dashboard switch allows you to move the pedals over a 3-inch range to help drivers find a more comfortable position behind the wheel.
Both regular-cab models and SuperCabs come with a three-place bench seat or two front buckets. SuperCabs add a three-place, folding rear seat that is split 60/40 and is now reclined 18 degrees for more comfort.
Under the Hood
Ford boasts that the F-150's base engine, a 4.2-liter V-6, is the most powerful V-6 in its class with 205 horsepower. Most buyers, however, choose one of the V-8s, which are smoother, quieter and more potent. V-8 choices are a 220-horsepower 4.6-liter or a 260-horsepower 5.4-liter.
Four-wheel-drive models come with a standard floor-mounted transfer-case lever that allows shifting in or out of 4WD High on the move. An electrically engaged transfer case operated by a dashboard switch is optional.
Rear-wheel antilock brakes are standard on base Work and XL models. A four-wheel antilock system is standard on XLTs and Lariats and optional on the others.
General Motors, Dodge and Toyota are all trying to catch the F-150 the perennial sales leader but Ford finds new ways to keep its full-size pickup at the front of the herd. The F-150 at least matches its rivals in the work categories and exceeds them in the convenience and comfort areas with features such the adjustable pedals and four-door SuperCrew.
If you are shopping for a full-size pickup, the F-150 is a good starting point.