Ford redesigned its F-150 pickup truck for 2004 by giving it a new look, a wider track and new rack-and-pinion steering. Torsional stiffness was claimed to be nine times better than that of the previous model.
A limited-edition Harley-Davidson Package for 2006 includes a menacing monotone black exterior, 22-inch polished-forged-aluminum wheels, Piano Black interior detailing and black aniline leather seating surfaces. The package is available for 4x2 and all-wheel-drive models.
Regular-cab, SuperCab and SuperCrew body styles are offered. Five trim levels are available: workhorse XL, youth-oriented STX, mainstream XLT, offroad FX4 and luxurious Lariat.
New 20-inch wheels are offered for 2006 FX4 and Lariat trucks. Sirius Satellite Radio and 5-inch tubular chrome running boards are available.
Ford's F-150 trucks have a half-ton rating. Heavier-duty F-250 and F-350 pickups are listed separately in the cars.com Research section.
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Some F-150 styling touches were borrowed from the Mighty F-350 Tonka concept truck. Stepped-design side windows improve mirror visibility and enhance the tough-truck look.
F-150 grilles are trapezoidal. A chrome surround and honeycomb insert go on the Lariat trim level. Both regular and SuperCab (extended-cab) pickups can have a 6.5- or 8-foot cargo bed. Short beds are available with flared fenders, called Flareside; otherwise, the bed is a slab-sided (Styleside) design. SuperCab models can have a shorter, 5.5-foot cargo bed.
Regular cabs and SuperCabs have narrow rear-hinged back doors — called access panels — on both sides. They can't be opened unless the front doors are open. A power sliding rear window is offered. Either 17- or 18-inch wheels are installed.
Either a 40/20/40-split three-place bench seat or optional dual captain's chairs can be installed in front. The SuperCab adds a three-place rear seat.
Interior layouts vary according to the series. A full-length floor-mounted console with a shift lever is available. At the lower end of the price scale, the XL has hose-out rubber floormats in a plainer interior with a column-mounted gearshift. On SuperCab and SuperCrew versions, a modular overhead rail system can hold a DVD player and other components.
Under the Hood
The base F-150 engine is a 202-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-6. Two V-8s are available: a 231-hp 4.6-liter and a 300-hp 5.4-liter. A four-speed-automatic transmission is standard with V-8 power, but V-6 models can team with a four-speed-automatic transmission or a five-speed manual. Four-wheel-drive models have a floor-mounted transfer-case lever that permits shifting in and out of 4WD High on the move. A dashboard switch activates an optional, electrically engaged transfer case.
Four-wheel antilock brakes and front seat belt pretensioners are standard. Dual-stage front airbags work with an occupant classification system sensor.
Significantly more substantial than its pre-2004 predecessor, the F-150 has a heavier, more solid feel. The suspensions react more positively to pavement flaws by rebounding rapidly and only as far as necessary. They recover quickly from bumps. Imperfect surfaces can produce quite a bit of body motion, though it's not bad for a truck.
The 5.4-liter V-8 produces quicker acceleration than the 4.6-liter, though neither engine is phenomenal. Even with the larger engine, the F-150 takes a while to really get rolling — but when it does, it feels pretty powerful. Interiors are roomy, but the A-pillar grab handles aren't helpful to every rider.�
SuperCrew versions of the F-150 full-size pickup have four, conventional, front-hinged doors like those on passenger cars. Rear occupants sit on a three-place bench seat. The F-150 SuperCrew has only been offered with a 5.5-foot cargo bed, but a 6.5-foot bed will be available later in the 2006 model year.
The SuperCrew can be equipped with either a 231-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 or a 300-hp, 5.4-liter V-8. A four-speed-automatic transmission is standard. A DVD player is optional. A King Ranch version, which includes Casta�o leather upholstery and special badging, is available for the Lariat SuperCrew model. Back to top
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