- Variety of models
- King Ranch and Harley-Davidson editions
- Spring-assist tailgate
- Neither the ride nor the engines are class-leading
- No tuning knob on radio
- Resale value
The Ford F-150 is a solid truck that is due for its 2009 model makeover, but it’s good enough that it may be all the truck you need or want.
The 2008 Ford F-150 returns in five trim levels spread over three cab styles, three box lengths, and two box styles. The base version is the F-150 XL; a sport STX version and an all-purpose XLT version are a little pricier; an FX4 edition is aimed at the off-road crowd; and the Lariat is the most luxurious version, especially when the King Ranch option is ticked.
From Ford, 2008 is the year all F-150s can be ordered with the new Cargo Management System, Ford's take on similar offerings from GM and Nissan. The system includes a set of rails for the bed, a set of crossbars from which accessories can hang; side-mounted tool bins; and a pushbutton lock that secures all the bins and tie-downs with a single key twist.
The new rearview camera system aims a camera from the bezel of the tailgate handle backward. A screen on the truck's rearview mirror displays the camera view, so drivers can avoid obstacles that might be lurking behind the 2008 F-150.
In addition to those updates, Ford also adds a tachometer to F-150 XL and STX trucks with manual gearboxes; a new remote start system becomes an option; and a tire pressure monitor now comes with the heavy-duty package. The F-150 XL can now be ordered in the four-door SuperCrew body style.
So these are the updates that Ford adds in the last year of this generation of the venerable F-Series. The 11th generation has run from the 2004 model year through today's F-Series. An all-new 2009 model debuted at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show and arrives in showrooms toward the end of the 2008 calendar year.
Editors from TheCarConnection.com have driven many different versions of this F-Series since its 2004 introduction, and they find the truck comfortable and capable in just about every category of use. The truck is responsive on-road and handles off-road romps without drama. However, when compared to the Chevrolet Silverado (a new truck in 2007), the ride of the Ford isn't as smooth or quiver-free. Plus, there are some control details on the new Chevys that are just better than the Fords, including the radio controls with real tuning knobs. In general, however, the interior of 2008 Ford F-150 models still looks contemporary.
Engine choices again include a 4.2-liter V-6, a 4.6-liter V-8, and a 5.4-liter V-8. If you get the Harley-Davidson edition, you can option up to a supercharged version of the 5.4-liter that pumps out 450 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. This combination is a true burnout king. Just remember, smoking up those 22-inch tires will cost you in the end, as those tires are expensive to replace. Otherwise, the available engines struggle to keep pace with HEMI Dodges and big-displacement Chevy trucks.
The 2008 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson edition makes another important point about the Ford F-150; it's versatile in that there are powertrains, trim levels, and cab/box configurations designed to meet just about any conceivable need. This is one key to becoming and staying the most popular truck in the country.