One by one the contenders turned into pretenders. Hummer H3T, Suzuki Equator and Dodge Ram all gave it their best shot, but in the end Motor Trend gave the nod to the more capable, broader-reaching Ford F-150.
A Solid Base
The fully boxed frame, for instance, fortified even more for '09 with hydroformed and high strength steels, gives it a rigid base and a top payload capacity of up to 3,030 pounds. The solid foundation also gives the '09 F-150 tow ratings of up to 11,300 pounds.* Ford believes (and proves) the only way to get that kind of capability is with leaf springs – “big honkin' ones,” to paraphrase Mike Rowe. Already the widest in class, this year, Ford engineers made the springs 6" longer to smooth the ride and included new mounting hardware to improve on the F-150's lateral rigidity and roll control.
There's also an available new six-speed automatic, a more aerodynamic cab, and other magical engineering feats that helped boost fuel economy 8% on average across the engine line-up. The 5.4L 3V engine, the workhorse of the group, is E85 Flex-Fuel-capable and features Variable Cam Timing (VCT) for enhanced efficiency when hauling heavy loads. The new 4.6L 3-valve SOHC V8 delivers fuel economy no other truck can beat - 21 mpg.** The base 4.6L 2-valve provides improved horsepower and torque with the same fuel economy as the outgoing V6.
Another huge point in F-150's favor is the available fully integrated Trailer Brake Controller (TBC) and standard Trailer Sway Control (TSC). TBC synchronizes vehicle and trailer brakes for seamless braking while TSC builds on the AdvanceTrac® system with segment-first standard Roll Stability Control™ (RSC®) to help maintain trailer control through selective wheel braking and reduced engine power. In short, both combine to offer you added driving control and confidence.+ Factory-installed TBC with standard Trailer Sway Control (TSC) is a combination that's class-exclusive to the New '09 F-150.
Top all that off with available smart features such as the industry first Ford Work Solutions,™ a rear view camera, class exclusive Tailgate and Box Side Steps, a stowable bed-extender, and rear seats in SuperCrew that fold up with one hand to reveal a broad, flat load floor and you have the competition crying foul.
*When properly equipped. Class is full-size pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR.
** EPA-estimated 14 city/18 hwy mpg with 4WD 5.4L V8 engine, EPA-estimated 14 city/19 hwy mpg with 2WD 4.6L V8 engine, EPA-estimated 14 city/20 hwy mpg with 2WD 5.4L V8 engine and EPA-estimated 15 city/21 highway mpg, SuperCrew 2WD with SFE package.
+Remember, even advanced technology cannot overcome the laws of physics. It's always possible to lose control of a vehicle due to inappropriate driver input for the conditions.