2013 Ford F-150 Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

The F-150, like the other best-selling pickup trucks in America, can be tailored to fit just about any need--whether it's for play, or for work. Getting comfortable in any of these versions is a given, at least up front, and hauling lots of cargo is a snap, too. It's mostly a matter of picking the right version to match the task at hand.

Every version of Ford's full-size pickup will tote at least three passengers. In the least appealing reality, that means three burly guys sitting shoulder to shoulder in the vinyl-seat Regular Cab after a double shift at the mud mines. Few drivers get to experience that kind of F-150, though, as it's mostly the workhorse special, purchased by fleets and utilities. Regular Cabs have just the bench and very little room behind it, but the Super Cab gets a longer body with a pair of rear-hinged access doors and enough room behind the front seats for a pair of flip-up jump seats that can be stowed, leaving behind more cargo space behind locked doors. These are offered with either a 6.5-foot-long bed or an 8.0-foot-long bed.

SuperCrews have the best cabins, but shorter beds; SuperCabs and Regular Cabs are for the work-truck crowds.

Still, it's the Super Crew that most truck buyers have lust for in their hearts. It comes with either a 5.5-foot-long or a 6.5-foot-long bed and a second pair of front-hinged doors. Six inches longer than other versions, the Super Crew is essentially a full-size SUV with a fair-sized truck bed hung off the back--all the extra length is applied to rear-seat leg room, not to the cargo well.

Paying attention to the seats inside the F-150 will pay off in the long run. The basic bench seat that comes standard in many F-150 pickups isn't uncomfortable, but you'll need to leverage its fold-down armrest to create any lateral support. The higher you climb, the better the support: King Ranch editions have supple natural-hide cushions that pocket your butt like a baseball in a well-worn mitt. All F-150s have exemplary head, leg, and knee room in the front seat in every direction, unimpeded by the dash shapes at all.

Super Cab rear seats are emergency-use only, so we'll skip ahead to the rear seats on Super Crews, which get a truly flat floor that makes it very comfortable for passengers on long rides. The bench-seat cushions fold up against the back on four-door models so that in-cab storage is flexible without resorting to the kind of midgate design that makes the Chevy Avalanche so distinctive--and soon, extinct. A tailgate ladder and a side box step are stamped into each F-150, for easier cargo loading.

As a pickup truck, versatility and utility is the F-150's primary reason for being, and the Ford F-150 doesn't disappoint in the cargo category. Likewise, inside some F-150 trims come with a lockable center console good for large items like laptops or small briefcases—or even file folders—while there are plenty of smaller storage cubbies, for notebooks, smartphones, sunglasses, tools, and the like.

Ford has made huge strides in terms of interior quality, and although the materials aren't free of imperfections they are well ahead of what consumers are used to from Ford. Otherwise, however, build quality is tight.  The F-150's cabin is superbly quiet and refined, although in some models—especially those with the new V-8s—engine noise can be a bit much, depending on your expectations.

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