Ford's industry leading F-150 Series pick up truck has certainly taken it on the chin a lot lately. Over the past three decades the truck has been the best selling vehicle in America, but its top position for 2008 is threatened as motorists avoid big trucks in favor of smaller, much more economical cars.
For its part, Ford isn't taking high gas prices and a tougher consumer market lightly, offering a counter punch in the form of its next generation 2009 model. No, it isn't the class leading towing capability of the Ford (11,300 lbs. ) nor is its big 3030 lb. payload.
Instead, Ford is fighting back by including a fuel saving six-speed automatic transmission across its entire line. Paired with a 4.6-liter V-8, the F-150 SFE (Superior Fuel Economy) matches the 15/21 mpg city/highway fuel economy of the Chevrolet Silverado XFE, the Ford's chief rival.
Though the fuel economy numbers for Ford's truck seem quite low compared to many vehicles being sold today, the offset is that large pickup trucks are true multiple duty vehicles for families who need them. Farmers, ranchers, and people living in rural areas rely upon their pick up trucks to haul wood, feed livestock, deliver farm products to the market, pull a boat or camper, or do a myriad number of other chores that no passenger car can possibly do.
Outfitted with a quad cab, the Ford F-150 can be used as a family vehicle or do double duty as a work vehicle, one that is prized by contractors, plumbers, electricians, service people, and a whole host of working class adults.
Ford believes that in the F-150 truck enthusiasts will find just the vehicle that they want. Quoting Matt O'Leary, Ford F-150 chief engineer, “F-150 customers have come to expect the best capability. That's why our team has been working so hard to deliver the most capable trucks for our customers, including a new, improved chassis that helps deliver additional payload and towing capacity as well as an 8 percent average fuel economy improvement across the lineup. "
Of course, lower gas prices makes owning any big truck or SUV much more palatable and the trend for the rest of the year shows gas prices dropping, perhaps below the $3 per gallon threshold. Regardless, if you want a big truck that has a lot of towing capacity, a big payload, and good fuel economy, then the Ford F-150 is certain not to disappoint you.
Copyright 2008-2012 - Matthew C. Keegan is the owner of a successful writing and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several websites and is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport, a retailer of quality mufflers and exhausts .