Ford F-150 Snags Motor Trend Truck of the Year

December 16, 2008
We already knew that Texans like the new 2009 Ford F-150; now the editors of Motor Trend add their vote to Ford's bread-and-butter pickup truck. The F-series--and the SUVs whose architecture it shares--was once Ford's lifeblood, and while it still sells in respectable numbers its sales are significantly down from the heyday of the American truck. No doubt Ford is extremely pleased with this award, needing every boost it can get to sell V-8, full-frame trucks in a reticent market trending toward efficient compacts.

Editor-in-chief Angus MacKenzie found the new truck to be "a thorough, thoughtful upgrade of a highly successful formula." This marks the third consecutive Truck of the Year award for the Ford F-150, with the truck receiving the award upon rollout of its last two generations in 2004 and 1997. Editors praised the truck's gains in fuel economy (an average of 8 percent for the lineup), interior quality, best-in-class towing/hauling capabilities, and a host of trick convenience and storage features.

This is a decided loss for Dodge's new 2009 Ram pickup. The company in seemingly worse shape, and with less total competitive products to bring it back from the brink--Chrysler really needs wins like these. And its new Ram is no doubt an excellent truck, as confirmed on our recent drive that revealed remarkable handling from the first-ever coil-sprung rear axle in the segment. But weighing the Ram's sole endorsement from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada ("Best New Pickup Truck") against the F-150's win both with Motor Trend and in the Truck of Texas competition makes us believe more and more that Ford is getting the 10-gallon tip of the hat.--Colin Mathews

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