Ford's Supercrew Lariat F-150: This Is One Big Truck!

November 17, 2009
Lets set things straight right from the start.  The 2009 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercrew Lariat 146 WB Styleside pickup truck has one long name and is one big truck.  If there is a bigger F-150 in Fords product line-up, I havent seen it and am not exactly sure I want to.

Whats big?  Try 231.7 inches of total length, width of 78.9 inches and 76.2-inch height.  Theres nine inches of ground clearance (thank goodness for step-ins) and vehicle weight of 5628 pounds, able to tow 11,200 pounds with a maximum payload of 1560 pounds.  As such, the F-150 as driven, arrayed in an Amber gold clearcoat with black leather trim, has a yacht-like turning circle of 47 feet.

What do you need to propel a monster of this type?  Ford fits its 5.4-liter V8 engine of 310 horsepower (at 5000 rpm) that has stump-pulling365-ft-lbs of torque.  This large engine has a very nicely geared six-speed automatic transmission that is smooth shifting under all conditions.

One thing struck me thankfully not literally about the F-150 is its huge mirrors, which stand out at least a foot away from the trucks body.  They made parking a far more difficult endeavor, particularly where poles were concerned.  Even the rear camera doesnt help all that much, but at least it doesnt beep incessantly.

The exterior of the F-150 as driven is purposeful and for sure this truck sits high; you can nearly see the curvature of the Earth from the drivers seat and youre about the same eye level as 18-wheelers.  I had to climb onto the front bumper in order to close the hood after taking a look at the engine compartment which has room for a supercharger if one might wish to install one.

Ford fits airbags for front seat occupants with side protection and places head curtains in this cavernous cabin.  In addition there are four-wheel antilock brakes and roll stability control and Ford wonderful capless fuel filler.  Power steering is a bit on the light side, necessary when trying to maneuver this big vehicle into tighter spaces.

There are front and rear tow hooks, together with fog lamps and a locking, removable tailgate with lift assist, greatly appreciated when attempting to put the liftgate back in place in the 5.5-foot bed.

The interior of the F150 4x4 Supercrew Lariat is more commodious than most large sedans on the American market.  The legroom in the rear is nearly identical to most front-seat spaces.  Despite the two bucks up front, Ford says this truck is intended to seat four in the rear; they wont be terribly cozy back there with a full 40.3 inches head room, compared to the front 41 inches.

The F-150 model range had a facelift for 2009, marking the 60th year of the F-Series model Ford trucks.  With this redesign, the F-150 became a far more inviting place for the driver and five passengers.  In addition to the lack of compromises with regard to interior space, Ford made this particular Lariat model extremely luxurious.

Starting price for the F-150 with 4x4 capability is $37,990 plus $975 destination.  There are a bunch of options that lift the overall price to $45,945, even with a Lariat premium discount of $1000.

The preferred equipment package 508A brings Pirelli all-terrain P275/55R rubber on 20-inch six-spoke polished alloy rims, together, 7200-pound gross vehicle weight package and 3.73 ratio limited slip axle.  Ford charges $2430 for the delightful, Sync-applicable Sony audio that it should fit in every vehicle it sells, along with an excellent navigation system.  Skid plates are $160; the one-touch tilt/slide power moonroof goes for $995; the max trailer tow hitch goes for $100; power heated and chromed signals (with manual folding) go for $235.

The Lariat plus package exerts another $795 and includes the universal garage door opener, the helpful rear view camera and reverse sensing system, all of which are necessary on this big truck.  A pickup bed extender rates $195; the tailgate step is $350 and the Lariat chrome package of chrome step bar and chrome rims goes for $1295.  In addition, Ford charges $895 for the leather trimmed captains chairs and heated/cooled front seats.

Thats a long list that I believe Ford could have included at their initial price for the Lariat model.  With the $1000 rebate, a lot of whats considered an option reverts to standard equipment.

Lets talk fuel this baby loves the stuff and is rated 14/18 mpg by the government.  After running close to 200 miles, my average from the 36-gallon tank was a bit more than 1/4-tank at 15.5 mpg according to the onboard computer.  All things considered, thats not bad.  And regular fuel is just fine with Ford.

As a living space, the Ford F-150 offers just about anything a business driver would want, especially storage area for workbooks and other business paperwork.  In fact, Im sure a 13-inch notebook computer can fit in the central storage area, which is replete with any and all conveniences one might want and need.

Driver and front passenger have two-speed heated and cooled seats for their comfort; the drivers seat needs to be reset on entry in order to revert to the proper spot.  While there is power lumbar support for the driver, Fords seats do lack lateral support.  The sunroof is one-touch but has separate controls for tilt and slide operation; there is either wood or wood-like trim in the cabin that feels kind of out of place on this truck.

While the navigation system could use some updating to its software, it does offer dual screen operation with the audio information on the right side.  In keeping with the overall theme of this truck, the navigation system has a large screen.  The leather-wrapped steering wheel has cruise control on the left side and audio/phone operation on the right.

I'll admit to not being much of a truck person but I did like the F-150 Lariat.  It is an excellent working truck that can take a family out in comfort and luxury.  Ford is making some great vehicles these days and the F-150 is simply one of many.  There's a reason this truck has been around for 60 years; it fits all the parameters any truck owner might want and need.

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