Forget Facebook, get a pickup
You think being connected to Facebook and Twitter 24/7 is good for your social life? Will your friends and family appreciate you more or feel closer knowing what you’re up to at all hours of the day?
No. And they couldn’t care less about that stupid Farmville game on Facebook, and wish you’d stop sending them invitations.
If you really want to improve your social life, get a pickup truck like the 2012 Ford F-150 FX4 SuperCrew. You see, rationally not many people should buy a pickup, but it’s so damn handy that your friends and family will frequently be in touch with you, if only to borrow it.
EcoBoost muscle, not EcoBoost fuel consumption
Ford is currently selling crateloads of F-150s equipped with their twin-turbo 3.5L V6. This mighty mill produces 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque at a low 2,500 rpm, figures that trounce the FX4’s standard-issue 5.0L V8. This F-150 is quick.
The 3.5L EcoBoost can also tow up to 11,100 lbs when equipped with the Max Trailer Tow Package, more than what the big 411-hp, 6.2L V8 can handle. Not bad for a V6.
Alas, Ford’s presumption that the twin-turbo 3.5L engine delivers V8 power with V6 fuel economy is only half true. Our average of 14.5L/100km over the course of the week probably could’ve been matched by the 5.0L V8. And the EcoBoost doesn’t sound as good as the V8; and the EcoBoost costs an extra $1,250. Food for thought.
The Ford F-150 and Chrysler’s Ram 1500 are nose-to-nose when it comes to ride quality. Improvements to the rear suspension in both trucks rid them of the jittery ride that plagued pickups for decades. Noise levels in the 2012 Ford F-150 are also kept to a minimum. This definitely is a farmer’s luxury truck.
Need to haul a sofa? No sweat. Said sofa is longer than the bed? Again, Ford comes to the rescue with their trick fold-away bed extender which recesses into the sides of the bed and can be installed in seconds. The F-150’s tailgate step and flip-out side steps also make tying down your belongings easy.
Too easy, in fact; your family and friends will keep your number on speed dial. Because, you know, everyone’s got a sofa or a waterbed or an ATV or a fridge or a swimming pool to haul at some point. OK, probably not a swimming pool.
Our leather-lined 2012 Ford F-150 FX4 tester was nicely finished, although I’m not a big fan of easily scratched, silver-painted plastic trim and the F-150’s dash is covered with the stuff.
We also got spoiled with cooled front seats, a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, power-adjustable pedals, a power sunroof and a backup camera. The latter is pretty much mandatory in a pickup, especially if you’ve never driven one before and are parking one of these behemoths at the local grocery store.
The driver also gets a color LCD display between the speedo and tach, with a comprehensive trip computer. The audio system sounds great, and a USB key can be plugged in to call up your favourite songs via voice command with the standard SYNC system. The fussy MyFord Touch isn’t yet included in the F-150, but eventually will be.
You want choice? You got it
The 2012 Ford F-150 starts at just $19,999 for a base Regular Cab XL, but that’s far from being the most interesting one. Our sporty looking FX4 SuperCrew 4x4 test truck is listed at $46,299, and when you add up the options included on it, the final tally is more than $57,000. A farmer’s luxury truck, I said.
You can save a few thousand dollars by choosing an equivalent Ram 1500 Sport, equipped with a 5.7L V8 or spend a few thousand more on a loaded GMC Sierra 1500 Denali.
Yet the 2012 Ford F-150 is arguably the best full-size, light-duty pickup out there, albeit by a small margin because we also like the Ram 1500 a lot, too. We handed our 2012 Auto123.com Pickup Truck of the Year award to the Ford because it offers a wider selection of powertrains as well as little details that make life easier.
Your friends and family will approve, and will definitely hit the “like” button every time you post a picture of your F-150 on Facebook. They might even accept to play Farmville with you, knowing they’ll soon have a sofa to haul around.
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