What will those traditional truck buyers think of the F-150's biggest change for 2013? This year, Ford's slotting in the MyFord Touch suite of voice, steering-wheel, and LCD touchscreen controls into the full-size truck. Standard on Lariat, Platinum, King Ranch, and the new Limited trims, the system works as it does in other vehicles. It replaces some knobs and buttons with the screen and wheel controls, enabling better control of the vehicle on the road with less distraction, Ford says.
MyFord Touch was retooled this year after complaints throughout the first two model years of buggy software, slow responses, and overly complex information screens. We've driven a couple of vehicles outfitted with the new system, including the 2013 Ford Escape and the 2013 Ford Flex, and it does seem simpler and more straightforward. It still may be a generational issue more than anything, with some younger tech-happy drivers more inclined to play around with the voice controls and scroll around with steering-wheel buttons.
And yet, in the handout photos of the F150's MyFord Touch system, it's obvious that a lot of hard keys have returned to the system. Buttons for climate controls and media volume and track control are prominently in place beneath the LCD screen, and the tuning and volume knobs are large. On other applications--as in the initial launch vehicles for MyFord and MyLincoln Touch, the 2011 Edge and MKX--the volume control is a touch-sensitive strip, and the redundant buttons simply aren't there.
It's likely a wise decision to keep MyFord Touch off the basic trim levels, but all F-150s at the XLT trim level and above get SYNC, the Bluetooth-driven voice controller for phone and audio. It's a simpler integration with a smaller 4.2-inch LCD screen and lots of hard keys left intact on the dash.
Other changes to the F-150 lineup include new wheel choices, a new Alcantara seat trim on some FX versions, and new high-intensity discharge headlamps on the luxury trim lines. A power telescoping steering wheel and power-folding side trailer-view mirrors are also new to the options list.
Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but the 2013 Ford F-150 lineup will go on sale late in the summer.
For more information, see our full review of the 2013 Ford F-150.