2011 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide: Which Truck Is For Me?

September 29, 2010
2011 Ford F-150 XL

2011 Ford F-150 XL

When the 2011 Ford F-150 begins to arrive in showrooms this fall, it will mark the most extensive overhaul of the big pickup's powertrains in almost 62 years of production.

The F-150 doesn't look that much different outside, though--and Ford's making a special effort to canvas the country, demonstrating just how different and how much more efficient these new powertrains make its premier pickup, though the style isn't much different from the 2010 model.

As with each year, the vast range of F-150 body styles, powertrains, bed lengths, drivetrains and features makes ordering one as distinctive an experience as any vehicle you can buy today--except maybe for Porsche 911 owners, who can specify dozens of custom leather, paint and trim options. For big pickups, the different versions are aligned not with fashion, but with different needs and missions in mind. Want a sport truck that's good for light off-roading as well as line dancing? Or a luxury truck that can haul adults, a fifth-wheel trailer and all the race weekend coolers?

They're all here in F-150 trim packages. You just have to know which one to order--which is why AllPickupTrucks has put together a quick buyer's guide to the 2011 Ford F-150.

Which truck do you need? Follow this shorthand:

Work Trucks

Ford's most basic F-150s are the ones you'll often see in fleets and utility use, but that doesn't mean they come stripped. The basic XL, STX, XLT, and Lariat F-150s have standard six-speed automatic transmissions and a 3.7-liter V-6 with 302 horsepower. Each comes with a choice of regular, extended and crew-cabs--and all of them can be fitted with four-wheel drive. As they move up the pricing scale, each adds some bundled equipment and interior features that may make it simpler to move up a trim level.

2011 Ford F-150 XL (above)

Body styles: Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew

Engines: 3.7-liter V-6, 302 hp; 5.0-liter V-8, 360 hp; rear or four-wheel drive

Features: AM/FM stereo; air conditioning; manual door locks and mirrors (power on SuperCrew); vinyl seats; tilt steering; 17-inch wheels

Owners: Anyone wearing a reflective vest. Fleets and utility crews will get the most use out of the XL--as will Ford truck fans who need to replace the outgoing Ranger with something nearly as fuel-efficient, if not as small or as cheap.

2011 Ford F-150 STX

2011 Ford F-150 STX

2011 Ford F-150 STX

Body styles: Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew

Engines: 3.7-liter V-6, rear or four-wheel drive

Features: All XL features plus power locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; cruise control; CD/MP3 player with auxiliary jack; power windows; new grille

Owners: The toe-in-the-water trucker. These buyers want a more basic truck but want the ordinary features you'd find on a new passenger car, including the sticker price.

 

2011 Ford F-150 XLT

2011 Ford F-150 XLT

2011 Ford F-150 XLT

Body styles: Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew

Engines: 3.7-liter V-6, 302 hp; 5.0-liter V-8, 360 hp; rear or four-wheel drive

Features: Everything in the STX, and floor mats, fog lamps, and the V-8 option; a Custom edition comes in 4x2 with cloth seats and a special grille

Owners: The majority of new F-150 buyers. The XLT's the most popular trim level of all big Ford trucks, and it's equipped as most dual-users expect their trucks to be, for work and casual use.

 

 


2011 Ford F-150 Lariat

2011 Ford F-150 Lariat

2011 Ford F-150 Lariat

Body styles: Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew

Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 360 hp; rear or four-wheel drive

Features: Everything included in the XLT F-150 along with an LCD screen to adjust vehicle features and settings; steering-wheel controls; power-adjustable pedals; leather seats; Sirius satellite radio; SYNC; chrome trim; 18-inch wheels; towing package; and an optional off-road package with a locking rear differential, skid plates and new shocks

Owners: The self-starter. Really the first step up the luxury ladder, the Lariat appeals to truck shoppers who want the latest Ford technology features, like the Bluetooth-driven SYNC controller, so they can stay in touch with their assistant and their work crew.

 

Sport Trucks

2011 Ford F-150 FX2

2011 Ford F-150 FX2

2011 Ford F-150 FX4/FX2

Body styles: Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew

Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 360 hp; rear or four-wheel drive

Features: Everything included in the XLT plus a power inverter; the LCD dash screen for setting up vehicle functions; cloth bucket seats; power driver seat; Sirius satellite radio; telescoping steering wheel; SYNC; black exterior trim; 18-inch wheels

Owners: "That guy" at the gym who lives on five-hour energy drinks, creatine and not quite enough cash to swing a huge payment. A distinctive look with exaggerated fenders, black-out trim and a new grille insert give the FX versions a sporty look. It's no Raptor, but it's a first step--in either rear- or four-wheel drive.

 


2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

Body styles: SuperCab, SuperCrew

Engines: 6.2-liter V-8, 411 hp; rear- or four-wheel drive

Features: Skid plates; long-travel suspension; off-road tires; tow hooks; electronic off-road controls; power everything; telescoping steering wheel; flared fenders; new "FORD" grille; SYNC; Sirius satellite radio; healthy dose of bad-assery.

Owners: Nutso off-roaders who see themselves strafing Baja Mexico for totally legal reasons.

Luxury Trucks

 

2011 Ford F-150 Lariat Limited

Body styles: Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew

Engines: 6.2-liter V-8, 411 hp; rear or four-wheel drive

Features: Everything found in the Lariat, plus remote starting; power front seats; trailer-brake controller; metallic trim inside and out; 22-inch wheels

Owners: Blingers on a budget. It's no Platinum, but this special Lariat gives a few with the means to spend a little more, the swanky wheels and metallic add-ons to fit in at the mall valet stand--and the big V-8 for bragging rights.

2011 Ford F-150 Platinum

2011 Ford F-150 Platinum

2011 Ford F-150 Platinum

Body styles: Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew

Engines: 5.0-liter V-8, 360 hp; rear or four-wheel drive

Features: All the stuff from the Lariat, plus second-row heated seats; ambient lighting; a rearview camera; remote start; front power seats; CD changer; wood-and-leather power telescoping steering wheel; satin-finish metallic trim; ventilated front seats

Owners: Fans of the Lincoln Mark LT. Ford no longer builds a Lincoln truck, so the Platinum gets you as close to a Navigator's sense of style as you can with a bed hanging off the back end.


Fun Trucks

2011 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson

Body styles: SuperCrew

Engines: 6.2-liter V-8, 411 hp; rear or four-wheel drive

Features: Everything found in the Lariat, plus remote starting; power and ventilated front seats; heated second-row seats; moonroof; navigation system with DVD player; rearview camera; universal garage door opener; all those Harley badges and trim

Owners: Bike Week refugees who need a way to express their black-and-orange pride when it's wet outside. There's nothing quite like the Harley-Davidson F-150s; we still can't decide if it's excess, marketing brilliance, or both. (Or why there's been no H-D car yet.)

2011 Ford F-150 King Ranch

2011 Ford F-150 King Ranch


2011 Ford F-150 King Ranch

Body styles: Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew

Engines: 6.2-liter V-8, 411 hp; rear or four-wheel drive

Features: Everything found in the Lariat, plus remote starting; power and ventilated front seats; in-dash CD changer; memory controls for mirrors; rearview camera; yards of rich, great-smelling leather

Owners: Ranchers in exile--or just out on the back 400. The King Ranch plasters its interior with cow hides and contrast stitching; you'll either feel like a baseball nestled in a glove after a 90-mph pitch, or like you're waiting in an exceptionally clean "green room" at the local slaughterhouse.

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