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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
“Offers best-in-class towing…and payload”
“Raptor is one of the most formidable off-road production vehicles ever built”
Car and Driver
“Among the more agile-feeling in this class”
Although fuel economy for the Ford F-150 has been increased, it still trails the class leaders. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the 2010 Ford F-150 excels in several other performance categories, though acceleration isn’t one of them either.
The 2010 Ford F-150 lineup launches with a trio of V-8s, the majority of which will be of the 4.6-liter variety. Cars.com writes that “power plants start with an entry-level 4.6-liter V-8 that’s more powerful” than before, offering 248-hp and 293 lb-ft of torque. Edmunds writes that a second 4.6-liter mill comes “with 292 hp and 320 lb-ft and a 5.4-liter V8 with 320 hp and 390 lb-ft” is also offered. The two 4.6-liter engines are distinguished as either two-valve or three-valve versions, with the three-valve representing the more capable variant. Reviews of the engines are mixed, but tend towards the negative; ConsumerGuide says that “these trucks have good acceleration away from a stop, in around-town driving, and in highway passing,” although most other automotive experts deride the F-150’s acceleration. Edmunds says that the F-150’s 0-to-60 time is “well behind trucks like the Tundra and Silverado with their top-shelf V8s.” Even the souped-up Ford F-150 SVT Raptor draws fire for its powerplant, with Car and Driver noting that their “only real complaint with the Raptor is the 310-hp, 5.4-liter V-8” that is “woefully overtaxed by the vehicle’s mass and large tires.” Overall capability isn’t much of a problem, however, as Cars.com finds that “the F-150 offers best-in-class towing (11,300 pounds) and payload (3,030 pounds) ratings.”
It’s been quite a while since Ford offered a manual transmission with the F-series truck lineup, and by all indications Ford isn’t interested in returning to the standard setup. The Ford F-150, which is available in either 2WD or 4WD, comes with either a four-speed automatic or, as Cars.com points out, “a six-speed automatic” for the three-valve and 5.4-liter variants. The shifters are well-received by reviewers, and ConsumerGuide likes how “the 6-speed automatic transmission kicks down quickly under part-throttle application,” but they warn that “downshifts are sometimes delayed.”
The F-150’s fuel-economy numbers, even though improved, aren’t that impressive even for a truck. According to the official EPA estimates, the 2010 Ford F-150 should return 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway when outfitted with a 2WD, six-speed setup, but those numbers drop to 15/19 with the four-speed. For 4WD versions, the EPA estimates 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway with 4WD and 14/20 numbers for the six-speed.
Reviews surveyed by TheCarConnection.com read more like reviews of a sedan thanks to the F-150’s admirable composure and handling. Edmunds raves that, with the F-150, Ford has delivered a truck with “solid ride and handling dynamics,” and Consumer Guide loves the “firm, responsive steering.” Ride quality is impressive as well, and Kelley Blue Book claims that “each and every version of the F-150 we’ve driven offered exceptional ride quality.” The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is even more capable, thanks to a host of upgrades that Jalopnik lists as “internal bypass FOX Racing Shox…and an upgraded front suspension.” The improvements make the Raptor a pleasure to drive both on-road and off, as Car and Driver finds that, “on the highway, the Raptor feels much like the softer-sprung, four-wheel-drive F-150 on which it’s based.” Even the F-150’s braking performance is impressive, especially for such a heavy vehicle, and Edmunds claims that they “stopped a four-wheel-drive Super Crew from 60 mph in an impressive 127 feet.”
The 2010 Ford F-150 lags near the back of the class in acceleration, but it still manages to provide best-in-class towing—a critical stat for truck buyers.