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2013 Ford F-150 First Impressions

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Taking it all on
Drumheller, AB - The 2013 Ford F-150 not only takes on competitors, but takes on the countryside as well, with or without roads. Driving on the road is like being in a Lincoln, while off-roading is like having your own tank. In a word: Awesome!

What is the Ford F-150?
Simply put, the Ford F-150 is Canada’s best-selling pickup truck, and has been for the past 47 years.

Technicalities
Ford wisely chose to leave the powertrains in the F-150 alone. The 302 hp 3.7L normally aspirated V6 is still the base engine, followed by the 365 hp 3.5L twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. First up on the V8 list is the 360 hp 5.0L V8, followed by the 411 hp 6.2L V8. The 6.2L option is limited to use in select models, such as the Platinum and Raptor.

All 2013 Ford F-150 engines are backed by a 6-speed automatic transmission, and an available 4X4 drivetrain.

A basic, regular cab F-150 in two-wheel drive can be ordered for $19,999; while the Platinum edition starts at $61,099.

Driving the F 150
Trailer towing gets a bit easier with the 2013 Ford F-150 thanks to available towing packages. With the Max. trailer tow package when combined with the Lariat trim or higher, the trailer-towing mirrors become electronically adjustable and can telescope in and out, as well as fold, and the mirrors themself are still fully power-adjustable. This is something that GM has yet to do with the Silverado and Sierra; Ram and Toyota Tundra mirrors are only power-adjustable, as well.

The 2013 F-150 is offered in regular, Super Cab or Crew Cab versions with three different box lengths also available. All of the trucks can tow conventional trailers, but it is not recommended to use a fifth-wheel hitch with the short box. Towing capacities vary slightly amongst the 2013 Ford F-150 models, but properly equipped the F-150 is rated at 11,300 lbs.

I drove a normal 2013 Ford F-150 (equipped with EcoBoost) hooked to a trailer with 11,000 lbs. My partner and I took to the highway and proceeded to get up to the 100 km/hr speed limit. Aside from a little trailer sway dampened by the trailer-sway control program, it stayed stable and was hardly noticeable.

The only time a heavy load was obvious with the Ford F-150 was under braking or while traversing an 8% grade. Braking took a bit of extra time and distance, but not a lot of extra pedal pressure. Going up the hill took about 50% more throttle pressure to keep slightly above the posted 70 km/hr speed limit.

Next on my list of real world tests came a 50 km fuel economy run. Ford says the EcoBoost motor should get 9.6 l/100 km on the highway and 14.1 l/100 km in town. My average for both town and highway, including headwinds and the 8% grade was 11.8 l/100 km. That is certainly much better than I thought it would be!

Ins and Outs of the Ford F-150
As far as new looks go on the 2013 Ford F-150: The front grilles have changed, HID headlamps are widely available, and the front fascia has changed a bit to accommodate these new lights. New 18” and 20” wheel packages round out the differences.

Exterior definition for the average F 150 depends on the trim level chosen. Side badges are distinctive and depend on the trim level chosen. And while the front fascia has been updated, designers managed to keep the “Built Ford Tough” image.

The most distinctive exterior belongs to that of the 2013 Ford F-150 Raptor. With an instantly recognizable grille, a slightly different front end treatment, and a more aggressive stance, the Raptor means business. Even the Raptor’s tires have a more bad-ass tread design, and the wheels are equally angry-looking. Paint and badging stand out as well, adding to the predator look of the F-150 Raptor.

Interiors are as distinctive (and important) as exteriors. Basic seating is a 40/20/40 split bench that can be upgraded to bucket seats with a centre console that can be used as an office. Add space through ordering a Super Cab or Super Crew Cab F-150 and buyers gain both seating capacity and storage space. Rear seats may be comfortable to sit on, but they also fold up to open up interior storage space.

SYNC™ with MyFordTouch® is now available in all 2013 Ford F-150s, and has been redesigned specifically for the truck buyers. That means, owners can now work SYNC™ with gloves on, just like all the other controls.

Comparing the F 150
Main competitors, such as Ram and GM’s Silverado and Sierra are closing in where sales are involved, but haven’t managed to outdo the F-150 just yet. The other players in Canada are Nissan with the Titan and Toyota with the Tundra, but neither of these companies offers the depth of model lineup that Ford has with the F-150. None of the companies goes to the effort that Ford does to ensure there is an F-150 suited to every customer.

 

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