By on September 5, 2006

05_kingranch_4.jpgOn my way to breakfast in the F-150 King Ranch, a box fresh Rolls-Royce Phantom cut me off. The similarities between the two vehicles are striking. Both are enormous rigs; BMW’s high-end Roller is one of the few vehicles on the road not dwarfed by Ford’s biggest ever F-150. Both machines are gas-guzzlers sold on image and luxury. Sure the prices are several hundred T-bills apart and the Ford’s a lot less dirt aversive, but the most important difference is that the Roller is an aristocrat by birth. The F150 King Ranch is Horatio Alger on wheels, an affordable icon. Or is it?

Make no mistake: the new F-150 is a beautiful vehicle, easily the best looking pickup truck crafted by hand of man. Head on, it laughs at the Rising Sun’s weedy take on aesthetic intimidation and shakes its head in disbelief at the overwrought big-rig wannabe nonsense peddled by The Dodge Boys. The General’s new GMT900s are (still) the F-150’s only competition, but they are just evolutions of older, uglier vehicles; the F-150 is a modern, clean-sheet design that simply nails it. If Carl Jung were alive, he would designate Ford’s brot-und-butter pickup the archetypal pickup.

05_kingranch_3.jpgA leisurely stroll around the behemoth confirms the sentiment. With bed’s walls that rise to the level of my neck (I’m 5’11”), the gargantuan machoness cannot be denied. In fact, any small design missteps that might exist are rendered moot by the sheer scale of this handsome monster. For instance, the aluminum wheels are gorgeous, but you would never know that the King Ranch rolls on 20” Dubs. They wheels appear pint-sized beneath this giant’s fenders.

Much ink has been spilled by journalists fawning over the F-150’s luxurious cabin. I’m saying it here and now; they’re all high, every last one of them. The quality of plastics found within is exactly the same as the hell-hole cockpit of the lowly Focus. It’s the same radio– in a $40,000 vehicle! Besides being cheap, most of the controls are hidden behind the Texas-sized steering wheel or literally out of reach. With my shoulders planted against the back of the chair, I could get a finger on the volume control, but not a thumb.

05_kingranch_1.jpgOf course, worrying about achieving a proper driving position in a vehicle of this magnitude is a waste of energy. Besides, the King Ranch’s pre-worn leather captains’ chairs are big enough to seat two. With your left hand holding the tiller at 9 O’clock, there’s nothing for your left elbow to even touch, let alone rest upon. Within five miles your arm will be dangerously on top of the wheel, gangsta/moron style. The situation is even worse for your left foot, which has no option but to flail about.

The F150 King Ranch drives like a… big truck. Everyday bumps make the pickup’s chassis shudder so badly you’ll swear it’s epileptic. The steering offers drivers less feel than a leper’s fingers. Even with a 5.4-liter V8 kicking out 300 horses @ 5,000-rpm and 365 foot pounds clocking-in @ 3,700-rpm, gunning the F-150 does little except increase oil companies’ stock values. Yes, you could tow your house around town if you wanted to– provided your double-wide weighs 9,500 pounds– but serious schleppers will opt for an F-250 with a turbo-diesel and 570 ft. lbs of torquey delight.

The King Ranch’s configuration could be its greatest drawback.  As a SuperCrew four-door, the bed is only 5’5” long. Even if you can get your tall, power lifting buddies to load it, you can’t haul much. Those much heralded 8’x4’ sheets of plywood? It ain’t gonna happen. Unfortunately, KR’ing the kiddies to the mall for Justin Timberlake’s latest presents its own set of problems. Chief among them: parking.

06f-150_23222.jpgThe King Ranch stretches the tape at over 18’5”. Maneuvering the behemoth into a tight spot is a task I would gladly wish upon my worst enemies. Luckily, is comes with back-up sensors. Unfortunately, there are no sensors up front. Seated as high an elephant’s eyes, the parking ain’t easy. Get used to leaving your Ranch a few blocks (counties?) from your destination. (XXXL drivers should consider the exercise a benefit, but won’t.)

Let’s be honest. The F-150 is America’s Camry, outselling every other vehicle in the nation for three decades straight. Not because Americans lead active, outdoor lifestyles, but because we’re too damn fat. Both physically and mentally. However, the permanent reality of $3 a gallon unleaded and a 30-gallon gas can are already changing things real fast. Call me an out-of-touch left-coast elitist, but going for donuts in a 5281-lbs. passenger-vehicle is irresponsibly idiotic. Unless you use the F150 King Ranch for work, you– we can’t afford it.

[Ford provided the vehicle reviewed, insurance, taxes and a tank of gas.] 

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132 Comments on “Ford F-150 King Ranch Review...”


  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    The owners of $35K+ trucks like these are the same people giving my friend a hard time about owning a BMW (a $32K 3-series).

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    Jonny, this is the final battle. Will that thing above and it’s sibling SUV expedition sell in their previous numbers. This land yacht will top 40K and will yield ford 15K in profit, or will it? This is where all the money came from in the nineties to finance the company. If we are just a hiccup in the fuel costs (it is now down to $2.62 in Pa.), then Ford can breathe again. However, if the fuel thing is permanent (ie after elections it goes back to $3.09) then this thing you pictured is gone forever. I feel that the public will not be so easily led back to the 5000lb class of vehicles this time. I’m a a big guy, and I fit in several small things ie versa, civic, corolla, etc. Being a fat nation is no excuse to have “fat” cars and trucks. Small vechicles are much more accomodating to all size people than the old days, and the ride and performance is much improved. Because ford and gm make no money selling them, will not change the final outcome that we will become more like the rest of the World in our vehicle choices. ie. cargo haulers still have trucks although not king ranch fords, and other people have efficient cars. For this I was called a commie pinko in another blog, but I stand behind the logic of this concept.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    A nice review. I disagree somewhat about the interior of the truck, although the HVAC and Stereo head unit are definitely standard Ford issue, the rest of the inside is clean, functional and pleasant.

    The F-150, even in KR trim has been (and hopefully) always will be designed with the dedicated truck user in mind. This means farmers, contractors, construction crews, field workers, etc. It was never intended (though I am sure Ford loved the business) for the suburban wannabe. As a truck, the S-Crew allows a family to be a one car unit. It can go to work, haul about the kiddies and clean up real nice for a night out with the missus.

    If you are driving forever on the open road (and there is a lot of it in America and Canada), the KR is a godsend. If you need to tow a trailer, the F-150 will tow it without complaint. Is the bed a little small? You bet, but Ford makes a regular cab and supercab with 6.5′ and 8′ boxes if hauling plywood’s your thing.

    I don’t know if you are a left-coast out-of-touch elitist but I think you have to consider the KR (and all trucks or SUV’s) in their natural environment. I live in a city where the big truck can be used as intended, either for work (construction, exploration, agriculture, etc) or for play (hunting, camping, fishing, RV ing).

    Maybe you could take your next truck/SUV and use it as the daily driver (as you have done) and then apply it to some of the tasks for which it is designed. Your perspective on the tastes of the American consumer may not change but you may see the truck in a different light.

  • avatar
    steve_e

    Call me an out-of-touch left-coast elitist

    I’m sick of this media myth. Look, I own a truck. High gas prices and somewhat shoddy contruction have made it a fairly expensive vehicle to own. Therefore, I am going to purchase a new car that meets my needs (single, I don’t haul stuff) and gets better gas mileage. I am “in touch” with my own livelihood and the only “elitists” are the folks getting their talking points from Rush Limbaugh. I am an American, I am a Texan, and I have my own automotive priorities. I also don’t make very much money. I’m sick of people calling me anti-American (yeah, I have heard that, believe or not) or subversive just because it sates their egos.

    Sorry I flew off the handle, but I get a little annoyed when I hear that line. There is nothing wrong with people who buy trucks. It is not “irresponsibly idiotic”. Especially if you need a vehicle with a bed to carry things. I mean, that’s just obvious. But pointing out how expensive it is for someone like me to drive and maintain a 5281-lb passenger vehicle is not a challenge to someone elses identity. It’s just the reviewer’s opinion.

    Good review overall. The truck is what it is.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    A complete evaluation should have included Jonny dragging a fallen tree off the road for his Mustang driving ex-girlfriend and her new lover.

    Gracias, Manuel !

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    The steering offers drivers less feel than a leper’s fingers

    LOL, for some bizarre reason, I nearly choked laughing at that one…Good article.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Steve_e,

    Just remember that being called anti-American means as much as being called anti-Swedish.

    i.e. nothing.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    One thing to remember, there is no way this is a REAL work truck.

    A real work truck is not going to spend $40k on a “king ranch”. They are going to spend 20-30k on a more vanilla F150, or get an F250 (where you can get a crew cab and an 8′ bed).

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    The owners of $35K+ trucks like these are the same people giving my friend a hard time about owning a BMW (a $32K 3-series).

    HA!!

    I had the same problem. When I was in college, in 2003, my wife and I had a child. I was driving a 1989 Prelude, which is not conducive to hauling kiddos.

    In 2004, we proceeded to check out the local Honda dealership, where we decided the best vehicle there was an Accord LX 4-cylinder (about $20k).

    I decided that I wanted to compare, so I went to the Nissan dealership and then to the Volkswagen dealership. I thought a Passat might be an attractive choice. Anyway, this was also the BMW dealer in town, so I looked at a certified 2001 325i with the premium package and manual transmission for the same $20k (actually paid slightly less) as the Accord. With a 100,000 mile warranty for 3 years (the car had 41k miles on it), it was a no-brainer. However, I was then derided by some of my classmates for being “loaded”.

    The funny part is, many of them drove trucks that cost $40k with $10k in lift kits and tires attached. Even if I had purchased a new 330i, I would not have spent that much.

    They apparently thought that all BMWs cost over $50 – 60k.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    “As a truck, the S-Crew allows a family to be a one car unit.” – CSJohnston

    I suppose, but why? For that price, you could have both a modest work truck and a nice sedan.

    “It can go to work… and clean up real nice for a night out with the missus.” – CSJohnston

    The idea of a very large, shiny, noisy, gas-sucking pick’em’up as my high-class ride for a night out with “the missus” is absolutely alien to me. I’m sure a woman in a gown or cocktail dress and high heels wants to haul herself up a few feet to get into that thing. “Here, hon, I’ll give y’all a boost up inta the cab.”

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I’ve seen a couple King Ranches that live the worktruck lifestyle and it ain’t pretty: that leather shows every abrasion and looks terrible after 80,000 miles of use.

    I’ve never been to the King Ranch where this Ford got its name, but I’m assuming it’s the only place this trim level makes sense.

    King Ranch Link

    Jonny, I too disagree with the claims of interior luxury. Its very nice for a truck, and that hunk of vinyl/leather over the gauge cluster is pretty impressive. And yeah the seats have nice leather, but overall this is a durable (as it should be) interior and therefore not luxurious.

    Maybe if the King Ranch and Mark LT had interior trimmings like a Navigator…but they don’t.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    A real work truck is not going to spend $40k on a “king ranch”.

    I know several people who have spent $40k or more on a work truck.

    Also, King Ranch is the package. Putting it in quotes either says:

    1) It is a direct quotation (e.g., “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!”), or

    2) You do not believe in or agree with the quote or, in this case, the name. (e.g., I think that some people exaggerate the facts of “global warming”.)

    So, since that was not a direct quote, I’ll assume you disagree with the fact that Mr. Farago tested a King Ranch F150. Do you think it was the FX4 package??

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I think RF tested a Superduty with the King Ranch trim.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Sajeev,

    It initially looks OK, but… it is not. All plastics are CHEAP. The center armrest is covered in great leather, but pop it open and you realize that it is garbage. Again, $40,000 with sub-basement plastic.

    And you would think “King Ranch” would merit at least one piece of wood, but no.

    It is just very shoddy, especially that sunglasses bin overhead. Or the cover for the 12V outlet… cost Ford a whole nickel.

    Also, what’s the easiest think for the driver to access? The change holder for Burger King trips.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I agree. Be glad they didn’t put real wood in there, the Mark LT has plenty of genuine (ironically-named) Blackwood but it sure looks like plastic.

    I like the interior for a $27k truck work truck with a few creature comforts, but at $40-large the F150′s interior doesn’t cut it.

    If I needed something big and expensive, odds are I don’t need a truck. Its Navigator time.

  • avatar
    gearhead455

    Not because Americans lead active, outdoor lifestyles, but because we’re too damn fat. Both physically and mentally.

    All those people I saw driving them towing campers and ATV’s up north this weekend to the U.P… Boy, they sure where fat and stupid…

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    “The steering offers drivers less feel than a leper’s fingers.” Despite the good analogy, I have to disagree with this comment. For a truck of this size, the steering is very responsive. In fact, most trucks of this size (GVW) still steer by RV gear rather than the relatively low friction, tight rack and pinion found in the F150.

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    It should not be so hard to understand the cheap plastic in the palacial F150. King ranch. First you start with a work truck all cheap plastic inside no trim on the outside. Now as the buyer moves higher on the scale for the S series of XL version etc. you layer over the cheap plastic with wood grained plastic and add stuff wherever you can,and you change the vinyl seat covers to leather. At the top of the pecking order you layer over as much of the interior as your decorators can reach, but the F150 work truck is still underneath. So if you scratch a little hard or look at a cranny like the sun glass holder, that didn’t get gold plated, you find the work truck that always was hiding there. Not so hard to imagine.

  • avatar
    radimus

    I’ll agree with just the “out-of-touch” part. Perhaps I can help there.

    It’s my observation that the target market for trucks like this are people who want a truck for the work a truck can do and can afford the thing but are too poor to buy the Lincoln Mark LT, contractor business owners who have to drive around a lot checking on their crews, and upper-middle class folks who want something to tow the big travel trailer, boat, or haul up mountain roads to remote hideaways. The first could probably do with a lesser truck, but can afford the thing so figure why not? The second want the fancy truck to show off that they’re the boss and want everyone to know it while still being to haul something between jobs or haul staff and clients aroung. The third like it because it’s a nice ride for the family or friends while being able to do the job without coughing up a major engine part somewhere. In the meantime, the first and third customer bases are probably where a lot of the “soccer moms” reside and they are the ones driving these things around on errands when they’re not hauling horses, boats, campers, large new purchases, up in the mountains, etc.

    Also, if the interior is cheap it’s not going to get noticed for being so. Especially in middle America where the idea of fine dining may be passing over Wendys for an outing at TGI Fridays. The contrast range between “cheap truck” and “really nice truck” is no where near as wide as that between “cheap car” and “really nice car”.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Also, if the interior is cheap it’s not going to get noticed for being so. Especially in middle America where the idea of fine dining may be passing over Wendys for an outing at TGI Fridays.

    Trucks are always forgiven for their genetics, but after driving a lot of them, the new F150 needs less forgiveness than its competition. I drove the Lincoln Mark LT for my first review for TTAC, and I loved it. Well…I mean I loved the F-150 Lariat underneath it all.

    The problem is that a $30,000 Lariat out-trucks both the KR and the Mark LT, with little sacrifice.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    For that price, you could have both a modest work truck and a nice sedan.

    What if you need to take the whole family or a work crew along for the ride when hauling a load or pulling a trailer? I guess it would make sense to take two cars. By the way, not all four-door trucks cost $40 – 50k. I just purchased one that snickered for about $34k. If you bought a “nice sedan”, I would assume a price of about $20k at the low end. That only leaves $14k for the truck. I’m fairly certain that $14k (sticker) will not get you an F150 V8 with the towing package, even in a regular cab.

    The idea of a very large, shiny, noisy, gas-sucking pick’em’up as my high-class ride for a night out with “the missus” is absolutely alien to me.

    The key part of your comment is “…alien to me.”. To many people, this is perfectly normal. My wife prefers large trucks just because she likes them.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    The F-150, 250 etc are great trucks and the crew and supercrew versions have their place. Like Johnny said if you are going to pick one for work the KR version is not going to be it. Hell if you are going to get one to play (jet ski’s, boats, bikes) still no need for a KR. A regular Crew or Supercrew will do just fine although I don’t see these as any worse than blinged out H2’s, Escalades or Navigators running around suburbia. At least with a KR you can haul a fridge home from the Depot.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    For instance, the aluminum wheels are gorgeous, but you would never know that the King Ranch rolls on 20” Dubs.

    I believe that “dubs” means “20″ wheels”. So you said “20″ 20″ wheels”. Of course, people also say “PIN number”, so I guess it’s no big deal.

    Besides, the King Ranch’s pre-worn leather captains’ chairs are big enough to seat two. With your left hand holding the tiller at 9 O’clock, there’s nothing for your left elbow to even touch, let alone rest upon. Within five miles your arm will be dangerously on top of the wheel, gangsta/moron style. The situation is even worse for your left foot, which has no option but to flail about.

    Wow, you must be a very small 5’11″. I am only 6’0″, and I have no problem being comfortable in my F150. I can hold the wheel at 9 o’clock and my arm can still rest on the armrest or top of the door. Also, my left foot rests on the floor, toward the front of the truck.

    Everyday bumps make the pickup’s chassis shudder so badly you’ll swear it’s epileptic. The steering offers drivers less feel than a leper’s fingers. Even with a 5.4-liter V8 kicking out 300 horses @ 5,000-rpm and 365 foot pounds clocking-in @ 3,700-rpm, gunning the F-150 does little except increase oil companies’ stock values.

    Well, I disagree. I think that, for a truck, the ride is good. The steering feel is also fine. I would agree with the acceleration comment on a new engine, but since mine has about 15k miles on it, it is much better.

    Maneuvering the behemoth into a tight spot is a task I would gladly wish upon my worst enemies.

    I have no problem parking my F150 crew cab. No, it is not as easy as a Honda, but still no problem for me.

    Once again, different people like different cars. Period. Do I use my truck every day for truck type duties? No, I don’t. However, when I need it, I have it, and I don’t have to rent or borrow.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Well, I disagree. I think that, for a truck, the ride is good. The steering feel is also fine. I would agree with the acceleration comment on a new engine, but since mine has about 15k miles on it, it is much better.

    I think the ride, handling and steering are excellent, probably best in class. But the power isn’t there. The motor is good, the transmission is now out of date. It needs a short second gear like the Tundra’s 5-speed auto.

    Heck, the Tundra’s tranny was its best selling point.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    TexasAg03,

    Go sit in your truck, grip the wheel with your left hand at 9:00 and rest your elbow anywhere.

    I dare you.

    And hey, if it is worth $90 to fill the sucker up so you have a truck in reserve for the times you need it to act like a truck, more power to you.

    I’ll gladly pay Uhaul $80 for the once every two years that I actually need a pickup and use my station wagon the rest of the time.

  • avatar
    gearhead455

    People know how much fuel it takes and how much money it takes to drive them. Most people who have the money for something like this did not get the money by being stupid.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    No, but you can argue that they spend it by being stupid.

  • avatar
    2006300c

    I would never buy a pickup or an SUV and I’m a moderate libertarian, but I must say that this site is the Moveon.org of the automotive realm. Everything from the holier than thou Coastal smugness to the sneering, contemptuous “those people in the Midwest” sentiment is present and accounted for. People are free to make their own decisions and just because you happen to reside near a large body of water does not make you superior to others.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Did I ever say it does?

    All I said was that for the money, this truck is quite handsome, of very poor interior quality (both logistically and materials-wise), handles like a drunk bus and is wretched on fuel.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    “What if you need to take the whole family or a work crew along for the ride when hauling a load or pulling a trailer?” – TexasAg03

    Nowadays, we seem to have a tendency to purchase a vehicle based on what we might call the “worst-case scenario,” which may well never arise, instead of buying one to our normal needs and improvising if the unusual situation does come along. It costs extra money (which is your problem) and increases overall fuel demand (a shared problem and I’ll remind you that $$ for imported oil ends up in the hands of terrorists and tyrants). People appear to be perfectly willing to address their lack of resourcefullness with money. I find that peculiar; I like my money too much to part with it unnecessarily.

    “I guess it would make sense to take two cars” – TexasAg03

    Bingo. Or, tell part of the work crew to meet you at the site.

    We have a minivan and four small cars. We had a truck-sized problem earlier this year. With Budget Rental, $200 one-way, the problem was easily solved. The King Ranch wouldn’t have been anywhere near big enough, anyway.

    Earlier this year, somebody recommended the Home Depot $20/hour truck to me for local hauling. Of course, you have to purchase a piece of plywood, too, but it’s still a cheap way of solving the problem of “load bigger than Corolla.”

  • avatar
    gearhead455

    Objectively if you want to knock the fuel mileage or handling it should be relatively compared to the same kind of vehicle. Is anyone surprised with poor handling and bad fuel mileage from a vehicle that was designed to do neither?

    Should I complain about the poor boat towing ability of the Malibu Max?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    G-Head — OK, it handles worse than the new GMT900s, worse than the Titan and probably worse than the Tundra, though you’ll have to talk to Sajeev about that.

    It’s fuel economy is abysmal by any standard.

    How’s that?

  • avatar
    gearhead455

    The point 2006300c is trying to make is you should be more concerned about comparing the vehicle in question and less concerned pigeon holing the people that might need a vehicle like this. Believe it or not, there are people not like you and they have no need to be like you.

  • avatar
    gearhead455

    Interesting… GMT900 quad cab pickup is not even for sale yet but somehow you can compare… Titan is not close to the size of a King Ranch.

    Its fuel economy is abysmal by any standard?

    No, not any standard… how about trucks the same GVW.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Sajeev,

    I agree, go buy a Lariat, you gain nothing but cosmetics with the KR (or an FX4 if offroading is more your thing). You’ll save a bundle.

    Jonny,

    No argument, all trucks are brutal on fuel (they average 14 mpg according to most sources). I mean you’re driving a hollowed-out brick for Pete’s Sake! However, is this news? GM talks about a possible 25% fuel economy improvement with their planned hybrid truck so even there one is going to get under 18 mpg at best; which is worse than most V8 sedans. It is a simple trade-off: a truck gives you unrivalled utility but you pay for it at the pump.

    If you don’t need a truck’s capability it only makes sense not to have one. If you need a truck then you will gladly swallow the price of gas.

    To All you non-Truck Types

    I do not own a pickup truck (I don’t need one) but both of my immediate neighbours do. They are used as intended but they also serve as very nice family vehicles. My neighbour, a 5′ 2″ lady, prefers her Avalanche over the MDX parked next to it. If you don’t understand the charms of the vehicle then comment on something you can relate to. Many people don’t “get” Sports Cars, Muscle Cars, Hot Hatches or Performance Sedans either. All of which have their drawbacks too.

  • avatar
    2006300c

    The fords fuel economy is average by the pickup truck class standards (14/19). GM’s is superior (16/21). The Titan is the pig at (13/18). The Titan’s and The QX56’s interior quality is worse than a 2001 Impala’s and the Toyota’s interior is as boring as you can get. I would rather have a cool looking, high style interior and suffer a little “bad” plastic than have a quality dose of visual Novocain. But I understand all points about fuel economy, ride, handling and usability, which is why I have a car and not a truck. I enjoy my 17/25 mpg, acres of room and 5.6 0-60 time. But many people are not like me and what they do with THEIR resources is THEIR prerogative.

  • avatar
    jerry weber

    Bill Ford released a statement today that Ford needs a new model to continue. He says that being the premier builder of pickups will no longer carry the water for ford. He said crossovers and cars must be introduced to get into a market ford has not been very successful in, if they are to be profitable in the future. This is not me, this is not the other bloggers, this is not farago, this is not the cnbc business pundits, no this is from the great grandson of the founder and current CEO. I won’t argue about the future for pickups, I’ll accept ford’s analysis, he can’t go it alone with trucks anymore.

  • avatar
    rjsasko

    Please leave the big trucks and SUV’s ALONE! For very tall drivers they are all we have left to choose from. They headroom has been removed from the coupes and sedans already. They brag about adjustable pedals only they adjust the WRONG WAY! When 6’6″ and taller drivers have CARS we can get into and out of without the Jaws of Life, legroom to drive without cramping, and enough headroom to prevent static cling I will be the first to cheer you on as you lambaste the flabby trucks and SUV’s. Give us a break!

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Go sit in your truck, grip the wheel with your left hand at 9:00 and rest your elbow anywhere.

    I dare you.
    J.L.

    I’ll amend my previous statement by saying that I can rest my elbow only on the top of the door next to the window. However, I don’t drive with my arms rested on anything. I drive with my hands on the wheel where I can CONTROL the vehicle.

    And hey, if it is worth $90 to fill the sucker up so you have a truck in reserve for the times you need it to act like a truck, more power to you. J.L.

    It is, because it is a pain to rent or borrow a truck when I need it. I called Lowe’s today, and the truck was out and spoken for until sometime tomorrow afternoon. Not exactly convenient.

    Nowadays, we seem to have a tendency to purchase a vehicle based on what we might call the “worst-case scenario,” which may well never arise,… dhathewa

    Or for scenarios that occur every day, for some. I would argue that purchasing a hybrid or other small car is also based on the “worst case scenario”, which is that gas prices will hit $4 or $5 per gallon or more. If gas gets that high, I’ll think about it.

    Bingo. Or, tell part of the work crew to meet you at the site. dhathewa

    So it would be better to have the whole crew (say 5 people plus the boss) drive separate trucks than for the boss to pick everyone up in his crew cab?

    …a shared problem and I’ll remind you that $$ for imported oil ends up in the hands of terrorists and tyrants… dhathewa

    Then open up off-shore sites and ANWR.

    I agree that not everyone that owns a four door truck needs it; but many do. I use my truck for truck-type uses all the time. I could have purchased a small truck, but there was not enough economy benefit nor was there enough room for my wife, myself, my son, and my second son (coming in December). I also bought a truck this time, because every car I drove, which was equipped like I wanted, had a sun/moon roof and my head touched the headliner.

    Drive what you want to drive and I’ll drive what I want to drive. I’ll even do it without my arms resting on anything so I am less likely to hit you.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    The “worst-case-scenario” thinking that will cause most people to purchase a truck is flawed at best. And it’s the same reason why manufacturers are trying to stuff a 3rd row of seats into every car bigger than a Yaris. Consumers, for whatever reason, are unable to realistically evaluate their needs. Also at work here is the “image” thing that will cause men with no actually need for a truck to label themselves proudly as “Truck-Guys”. We all know “Truck-Guys”. They would never consider driving anything but a truck, even if their truck’s bed lays empty for 300 or so days a year.

    Unfortunatly, trucks get a free-pass from the SUV backlash, because of all that commercial grade hauling they supposedly do. Saying your truck can haul is like saying your H2 can go off-road. It can. But it won’t.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Bill Ford released a statement today that Ford needs a new model to continue. He says that being the premier builder of pickups will no longer carry the water for ford.

    Well sure, Ford has relied on the F-Series for years to earn the lion’s share of company profits, even more than their SUV’s.

    Now that the automotive worm has turned, Ford has the equivalent of an undiverse stock portfolio.

    Good Truck, Bad Business.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    “So it would be better to have the whole crew (say 5 people plus the boss) drive separate trucks than for the boss to pick everyone up in his crew cab?” – TexasAg03

    They can’t figure out to share a ride in one other truck or a Corolla? Do you want guys that dumb on your crew?

    “[in re financing terrorism] Then open up off-shore sites and ANWR.” – TexasAg03

    Yes, let’s run out of oil first. A brilliant plan.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    If you are tall, check out a minivan before you go all SUV on your wallett.

    My uncle is 6’4″, ex pro football player and fire department battalion chief. He can actually fit in a (last gen) Civic, and a New Beatle. However, he likes his Odyssey the best.

    And its amazing how much S@#$)( you can fit in a minivan.

    The other amazingly popular “big & Tall” car is the Scion xB.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    “If you are tall, check out a minivan before you go all SUV on your wallett.” – nweaver

    Good advice. I’m 6’4″, too. I have considerable headroom leftover in my minivan. I found the New Beetle to be cramped.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Hutton,

    Trucks, pickups to be precise, get a free pass from the SUV backlash because: (a) they are not a “trend” or a “fad”, they have been around in their present guise for over 50 years (b) they are designed to have a purpose just like a fuel-sipping subcompact (c) I have actually witnessed trucks hauling, towing, offroading, herding cattle (hauling cattle in a couple of cases), plowing driveways and streets, going up the side of mountains to deliver ski lift equipment, etc, etc.

    To your point, do some people have trucks that never haul or tow? You bet. Other people have cars that go 150 mph that never go that fast. Others have WRC-grade AWD systems that never do anything more than drive during rainstorms. Others have convertibles where there are ten months of winter and two months of bad skating.

    Consumers do dumb, pointless things. They buy on emotion or incomplete information or they buy due to that nebulous thing called “the brand”. Pickups purchased for show will soon be replaced by something else that is trendier (Prius anyone?). Pickups purchased to do what they do, will endure.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    For you tall folks that need to haul stuff, check out the Honda Element.

    The F-150 is 10,000 to 100,000 times better looking.

    Once you get past that, the Element is better 90% of the time and has more headroom.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    Yes, the Element is very practical.

    I guess you could fit a cow in back with those b-pillarless doors… and you can wash the rubber floor. :)

    Hope the AC is industrial-grade though…

    CJ

  • avatar
    rjsasko

    HMMMM 6’4″. What part about 6’6″ and taller doesn’t compute?! I was taller than your midget uncle ex-football player firefighter in 4th grade-that’s right-10 years old. Honda Civic? Get me a can opener and a sledge hammer. Minivan? Possible but probably short on legroom if not both leg and head room. Maybe one with fake woodgrain panels on it? NO WAY! Either build a coupe or sedan with ROOM in it or leave the trucks and SUVs ALONE! Remember Riviera, Toronado, Eldorado, Marks, Monte’s, Regals, etc.? I used to be able to get into and out of every vehicle made in the U.S. other than the two ‘Vettes (Corvette and Chevette). I have not gotten any taller since age 12. But the cars have gotten shorter. Don’t mess with what little is left to choose from. Taller drivers MUST have those full-size trucks and SUVs. MUST HAVE! If you want to have a height requirement to purchase large vehicles that is fine by me. Short people…say 5’11″… should be forced to drive Yugos or LeCars. See how you like it.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    You know, again, being limited to only 800 words, I have to limit my gripes.

    The AC in the F-150 was very disapointing. My friend, who said I was being picky and fussy about not liking the F-150 changed his tune after a few miles in 108 degree heat with the chiller doing next to nada.

    Very surprising, actually.

    I recently helped a friend load an engine into the back of an Element. It was a VW 1500, but it was still an engine.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    They can’t figure out to share a ride in one other truck or a Corolla? Do you want guys that dumb on your crew?

    You are missing my point. If the job is going to require a pickup in the first place, why not have everyone ride in it together? If they could share a ride in a Corolla, then the initial premise of having a smaller truck versus the crew cab is moot.

    Yes, let’s run out of oil first. A brilliant plan.

    What the hell are you talking about?? My point was, if you are so worried, like many are, that our oil use is funding terrorists, then why don’t you, and others, push to open these and other areas to drilling and exploration? I don’t see what suggesting that has to do with a plan of running out of oil. Also, today Chevron (I think) announced a new finding of a deposit 5 to 15 billion barrels of oil off the coast of Louisiana.

    My uncle is 6′4″, ex pro football player and fire department battalion chief. He can actually fit in a (last gen) Civic, and a New Beatle.

    I think you mean Beetle.

    Good for him. I was not looking for cars in that class. I looked at Camrys, Accords, Altimas, Maximas, and others. My head touched the headliner in the ones that I drove or sat in. I can’t help that. As a matter of fact, the Altima with sunroof was so tight, there is no way I could have driven it comfortably. Give me cars, equipped how I like, without sunroofs. I know they are possible, but I didn’t see any.

    Also, as far as the minivan argument goes, if it were just about hauling people, then I agree. However, I don’t want dirt, rocks, junk, lawn mowers, or whatever in the back of a minivan. Once again, and I repeat this for the dense among you, not everyone buys a truck just to buy a truck. Some people do use them, some don’t. I’ll decide what I need or want.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    CSJohnston,
    Most of your points I wouldn’t argue against, because they are good points.

    “Pickups purchased for show will soon be replaced by something else that is trendier (Prius anyone?). Pickups purchased to do what they do, will endure.”

    ^ These are the people I am directing my comments at. True, most sports-cars and rally-cars are also overkill, but at least those provide a pleasurable driving experiance, and their over-the-top technology still contributes to everyday driving, braking, and handling. An empty bed contributes to everyday driving about as much as that low-range lever that no soccer mom has ever pulled.

    I’ll never understand why someone would want to drive a WORK truck off the clock. That would be like me building a cubicle in my house. I’m not arguing against trucks at all. My dad drives a truck for WORK. Then he punches out and drives an E-Class.

    The truck in question, the King Ranch, is not a work truck. It is an image vehicle, and it deserves most of the criticism thrown at it.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    The AC in the F-150 was very disapointing.

    I have had no problems with the air conditioning in the same heat levels. In temperatures that high, it takes a bit of time to cool down, but once it did, it had no trouble holding the temperature, even when I turned the fan down to 2 or 3 (out of 4).

    Is the F150 perfect? No, it is not. I wish it had a five or six speed transmission. I wish it had a little more power (you can never have enough ;), but what’s there is plenty for me). I wish it had a better stereo system (speakers, head unit, and amplification).

    I know you think it rides horribly (it’s a truck), handles horribly (it’s a truck), and has little or no steering feel (ditto), but I think it is fine. Does it perform like a 3-series on the road? No, and if you think it should, you are insane. It’s a truck.

    Does it accelerate like a Corvette, or even a V6 Accord? No, it doesn’t (it’s a truck).

    Remember, and take a deep breath here, it is a truck. Could the interior be nicer? Yes I suppose, but in my opinion, it looks as nice as any of the other trucks out there.

  • avatar
    FunkyD

    As dependent as Ford is on truck sales, and F-150 sales in particular, one would think they would have produced a truck that is superior than the Chevrolet Avalanche. Well, they haven’t.

    They are about the same size and weight. However, the Avalanche can be fairly easily maneuvered in to the vast majority of parking spots (and I’ve been in a bunch). One does not need to “Get used to leaving your Ranch a few blocks (counties?) from your destination.”

    The interior certainly can’t compare to the new GMT900′s (on which the new Av is based). And you get a radio that wasn’t stolen from the Cobalt, either.

    The only advantage I see with the Ford is the availabilty of the 3/4-ton and 1-ton chassis and a diesel option. Otherwise, why would one bother?

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    However, the Avalanche can be fairly easily maneuvered in to the vast majority of parking spots (and I’ve been in a bunch).

    I am amazed at the number of people who apparently have such poor parking skills. I have no problem getting my F150 Super Crew into parking places.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    TexasAg03:

    Stop saying “It’s a truck.”

    That’s a cop out.

    The Merecedes GL450 is also a truck, and it accelerates faster than a 3-series (M3 and the new 335i excepted), handles fantastically, rides amazingly because it is a unit-body rather than a ladder on frame, hits over 20mpg on the highway (though around town it is a hog), has a very nice interior and can tow something like 7,700lbs.

    That’s a truck.

    You’re just making excuses while admiring naked Emperors.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    The interior certainly can’t compare to the new GMT900’s…

    I purchased mine before the GMT900s were available for sale (I don’t think they are yet, but I’m not sure). Had they been available, I may have looked.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    Hmmm… I’ve never been disappointed with the AC/Heater in F-Series I’ve driven. I’ve put some long miles on a number of trucks and have always felt comfy… winter or summer. An underperforming unit perhaps?

    As for the engine, I agree, I’ve put things in minvans (a ride on lawn mower comes to mind) and cars (a pig… long story) and they were carried without fuss or bother. If I turned engine hauling and repair into a regular activity, I might look into something a little grittier than an Element.

    Now not to flog the fuel horse but do you think there was any significant degradation in the Honda’s mileage with the engine in it? Not being familiar with the Honda’s weight rating (or the dead weight of a VW 1500 cc engine), do you think there was any chance you were overloading the suspension?

    An F-150 or other half-ton would have likely suffered no fuel penalty and the engine would have helped smooth out the ride.

    Just thinking out loud, would that be something TTAC would be willing to put to the test? I would be very interested in the results of some kind of no-load, under load observation of truck performance and economy.

    Hi Hutton,

    If trucks were simply “music, heat and four black feet” then I agree, a lot of users would have a second car (back when trucks were seen as single-purpose vehicles, many people had the truck for work and a nice sedan to “go to town”.) As this review indicates, manufacturers have given buyers the option to have the work truck pull double duty as a very capable, luxurious vehicle built for a family.

    Some people (I mean, a lot) dig the idea of a luxurious truck and would prefer that versus an E-Class Merc just as there are others who would go the other way.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Stop saying “It’s a truck.”

    That’s a cop out.

    The Merecedes GL450 is also a truck, and it accelerates faster than a 3-series (M3 and the new 335i excepted), handles fantastically, rides amazingly because it is a unit-body rather than a ladder on frame, hits over 20mpg on the highway (though around town it is a hog), has a very nice interior and can tow something like 7,700lbs.

    That’s a truck.

    You’re just making excuses while admiring naked Emperors.

    You’re right. I wouldn’t want to state facts.

    The GL450 is no more a truck than an Escape. I also don’t see a bed on that Benz. Besides, I would hope for that kind of performance from a vehicle that costs $56k (base price – good luck finding a base model).

    Oh, and I can tow 9,500 pounds (and probably much more in reality) due to the ladder frame.

    Look, I would love to own a GL450. I think it is a great vehicle. Would you buy me one?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    TexasAg03:

    Yes, I would happily buy you one. And there isn’t much a bed on the King Ranch, and you can’t reach it anyhow so what’s the difference?

    CSJohnston:

    A VW 1500 probably wieghs in the neighborhood of 200 pounds. We easily lifted it into the Element as the load in height is around knee-level.

    Getting the engine into the F-150 would have been much more of a pain.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    The Merecedes GL450 is also a truck, and it accelerates faster than a 3-series (M3 and the new 335i excepted), handles fantastically, rides amazingly because it is a unit-body rather than a ladder on frame, hits over 20mpg on the highway (though around town it is a hog), has a very nice interior and can tow something like 7,700lbs.

    Jonny,

    There is a reason pickups are built on ladder frames, they can withstand way more punishment than a unit-bodied vehicle. The Merc can do amazing things but it is not designed to take a beating the way a pickup is. I mean, look at the Ridgeline (a u/b frame I believe) and it’s GVWR/GCVWR versus a ladder-frame pickup. Suspension and powertrain helps but it all starts with the frame. Regarding the Merc I am impressed that any unit-body could be tow-rated at 7,700 pounds, I mean, the stress that puts on a u/b frame would be considerable. Then again, Merc was never afraid of using actual steel in its construction!

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    200 pounds isn’t a whole bunch so I figure that the Element went happily on its way.

    Dude, lift with the legs! :)

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Yes, I would happily buy you one. And there isn’t much a bed on the King Ranch, and you can’t reach it anyhow so what’s the difference?

    Cool, when can we meet at the dealership? :

    I can reach the bed just fine. I’m not sure how you can know what I am able to do. Once again, the difference is, i can haul things in the F150 that you cannot haul in a GL450. Period.

  • avatar
    gearhead455

    Isn’t the base MSRP on a GL450 15K more than a base King Ranch? King ranch with 3 less MPG highway for an extra 15K? On top of that the KR tows about a 1K lbs more? For an extra 15K cant you just get another car for fuel savings if you are that concerned driving around town?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    And since the bed on the F-150 is only 5.5 feet long, and all the seats in the GL450 fold flat, I can haul stuff in the GL450 that you can’t with the F-150.

    And we can do this dance all day, but my point was that you were making excuses for the F-150 by saying, “Well, it drives bad because it’s a truck” and I’m saying that Mercedes offers a truck that is a truck and drives shockingly well.

    Thinking back, I’m still shicked by how that GL handled and drove.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Isn’t the base MSRP on a GL450 15K more than a base King Ranch?

    Don’t forget the deep discounts on Fords (currently $10k – 15K in the D/FW area on crew cabs). I know this kills resale, but if you aren’t paying as much to begin with, then the lower resale doesn’t hurt as bad.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    gearhead455:

    Is there any American car you won’t knee-jerk defend?

    What about the Buick Rendezvous?

    I say the BMW X3 is better than the Rendezvous.

    And prettier.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    And since the bed on the F-150 is only 5.5 feet long, and all the seats in the GL450 fold flat, I can haul stuff in the GL450 that you can’t with the F-150.

    I have the bed extender (which I have used with no problem) and I could have purchased a truck with the 6.5 ft bed had I needed it. Also, I can’t wait to see a GL450 hauling gravel or fill dirt. I mean, the seats do fold down.

    I’m saying that Mercedes offers a truck that is a truck and drives shockingly well.

    Fine, if you say it’s a truck, I’ll go with it.

    Since I could get a King Ranch F150 for about $30k after discounts, it would cost almost twice as much to get a GL450. It is probably worth it, but not everyone can afford it.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    I agree, the X3 is prettier than the Rendezvous. I own a Rendezvous. It is at best, a competent vehicle for what it is supposed to do. I am not disappointed in it because I knew what I was getting but it defines “Plain Jane”.

    I also agree that our truck debate is getting circular BUT you could also put a bed extender on the back of the S-Crew box giving you 6.5 feet.

    CJ

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    The King Ranch had a bed extender… but the gravel would fly out.

  • avatar
    gearhead455

    I’m sorry… If the facts I am stating are not true… please… refute them with something meaningful. The whole “America” thing is all you; I did not bring it up. I did recall defending a VW but you I guess would not remember that.

    Also the Rendezvous is a poor competitor to anything in its class.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    mikey

    I really like big gas hog 4 wd pick ups I can`t afford to buy one or put gas in one.But I still like em .and I like the FORD

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Mikey:

    In all seriousness, why?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    And we can do this dance all day, but my point was that you were making excuses for the F-150 by saying, “Well, it drives bad because it’s a truck” and I’m saying that Mercedes offers a truck that is a truck and drives shockingly well.

    Jonny, you cannot be serious. Nobody in their right mind would haul mulch in the back of a GL, and no way in hell it can tow a trailer/boat/antique car like a full-framed, solid axle’d, leaf spring’d pickup. Not to mention getting accessories like a brake controller on a Benz…I have a NIGHTMARE of a story on that which I will spare everyone.

    The GL performs well because of the sticky tires, pricey brake hardware, high-rpm engine performance and a blizzard of electrohydraulic gizmos that are par for the course on a Mercedes. Its complicated, fragile, and expensive to fix once the warranty runs out.

    Even with a varible timed 3V motor, disc brakes, and a few computer do-dads, the F150 is cheap and does its truck duties admirably. When the GL is fully depreciated and still needs $6000 in repair bills (Air-matic suspension anyone???) to fix its gadgets, the F150 putters along with little or no complaint. That’s because its a truck.

    Don’t judge trucks on a high-priced, utterly pointless fashion statement like the KR. There’s so much more to this genre.

    What can I say, I’m a native Texan. :)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Sajeev,

    Not only am I fully serious, but Dodge should grab its Alabama-built sister vehicle, rip out the leather and begin selling it as a Dodge.

    A decontented GL450 should have been the Chrysler Aspen.

    Again, it can tow 7,700 lbs. Who cares if it is a unit-body? It’s better.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Unless the airmatic suspension, short (both in lifespan and size) sidewall tires, complex engineering, and lack of aftermarket support changes in this re-design…the GL doesn’t stand a chance.

    I’m sure the GL can tow 7700lbs, I think the ’96 Buick Roadmaster Wagon was rated at 6000lbs: but that doesn’t mean I’d tow my car with either.

    And even if the durability thing could be proved (it really can’t) there’s no way a de-contented GL will sell for the price of a nicely loaded F150 XLT or Lariat.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Mercedes Sales: Up

    Ford Sales: Tanked

    Sajeev — you are defending drum brakes.

    Let it go.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The F-150 has 4-whl discs. This ain’t no Tundra. :-)

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    (Whaps head on the desk)

    I was speaking metaphorically.

    Drum Brakes = old tech, like ladder frames

    Discs: new, better tech, like the unit body chassis under the GL450.

    You are defending old tech.

    And yes, if you simply need to haul a bowling alley around town and take part in an excavation, by all means F-150 yourself to death.

    If you like driving on the other hand…

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    For what it’s worth, I’m 6’1″, drive a VW GTI, sit in my seat properly (not gangsta), and I cannot touch any part of the door with my left elbow when my left hand is on or near 9.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    King Ranch is a beautuiful truck – I absolutely love the leather in the interior.

    I’d take one in a heartbeat over a Mercedes, and I’m not even the pick-up type. Sure, the Mercedes “drives” nicer, but I have absolutely no interest in owning a Mercedes – it’s a car for upper middle class old women.

    I’d also take one in a heartbeat over the Lincoln LT – now there is a vehicle I don’t understand.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Why you ask Mr L ? Cause its a truck and it doesn`t pretend to be anything else.Dedicated as I am to G.M. I wouldn`t buy an AVALANCHE its sorta a truck but its not.The big FORD makes a statement about the driver.perhaps not a complimentary statement,but never the less,a statement.Thats why I like the truck.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    But Mikey, the King Ranch pretends to be all sorts of things it is not.

    Namely, a luxury seden.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Jonny L The looks of a vehicle are very,very important to me,and I`m not alone.
    You made it clear in your review that its one sharp looking truck,and couldn`t agree more,and believe me I d`ont always agree with car reviewers.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    To paraphrase Jezzo

    the F-150 is the most beautiful truck I’ve ever seen, and I’d rather chew my own hand off than own one.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    Since everyone is insisting that TRUCKS are for serious business of hauling and towing and just plain enduring whatever kind of abuse the rigors of hard work will provide, I’d say we ought to be seeing some real serious, no-nonsense, no-frills, testosterone-dripping, wood-hauling, stump-pulling, stripped out work machines. No chrome. No carpet. No leather. No nav. Hell, why even bother with paint. A diesel engine with wheels and a bed. For work. When that’s what you’re all driving around, you can claim your trucks are trucks, and not a luxo-barge with a back porch.

    You say you can’t compare the Mercedes truck, but obviously thats is what the King Ranch wishes it could be. Lux trucks will be compared with other lux trucks.

    And I am dead serious about the stripped-down truck. We have elemental, purpose-built sports cars. where is the elemental, purpose-built pickup? the Ford ain’t it.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Hutton — you don’t have them because no one would buy one.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    I guess that’s my point, and why we all need to give up the idea that trucks get a free-pass for everything because they are for work. Clearly they are optioned and equipped for the many non-truck things they are often used for.

    My imaginary work truck deserves tax write-offs, mileage loopholes, and macho cred and bragging rights. This family steakhouse on wheels does not.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    H — yeah, that is very simialr to my feelings about SUVs.

    I have owned three Jeeps and love off-roading.

    Although, to be honest, I was ten-years-younger when I got my first one and had a lot more free time and lived sorta in the boonies.

    If I owned one right now… I wouldn’t go off road. I’d just pay more in fuel costs and saccrifice everyday handling and drivability because the possibility exists that at somepoint in the future I’ll go off road.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    I also used to own a Jeep… until last year, when it only went off-road about 5 times (still 5 times more than most Jeeps) it no longer made sense to me to have it. They are easy enough to rent in the situations they are needed. In July, I drove my Subie down to the Outer Banks, NC, from Connecticut. Once I got there, I rented a Wrangler to access all of the 4×4 only beaches. Made a lot more sense than owning the Wrangler. For me, anyways.

    P.S. I’m not exempting myself from my criticisms… we all have our delusional indulgences. Mine was a Jeep. Now it’s a rally-car. If your’s is a truck, that’s fine. Just realize that it might be a delusional indulgence, and stop trying to mask it in “just-in-case” practicality.

  • avatar
    nweaver

    Actually, you DO have plenty of low cost, highly rugged, stripped down work trucks. And people buy a ton of em.

    Its called the base models.

    A stripper F150 regular cab (V6, 8′ box) is under $20k MSRP, and you can probably get it for less than that.

    A stripper F150 supercab (V8, 8′ box) is still ~$25k MSRP. A little haggling and you could probably get an F150 supercab, OTD, for less than MSRP. And there is a real, honest to gosh, hard, rugged, tough work truck.

    And if I was in a market for a real, honest to gosh pickup work truck, it would be either a stripped F150 with the V8 and AC, or a stripped GMT900 pickup.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    So let me get this straight, full-frame steel frame construction first used in the 1930′s is considered old tech versus unibody frame construction first used in the 1950′s?

    Ladder or Body On frames have inherent qualities that make them superior design and engineering choices in certain vehicle applications like say, pickups versus unibody frames which are more rigid but less durable and flexible (hence why pickups can come in a number of cab and box configurations)?

    It’s not what’s old but what’s the best setup for the job.

    Hi Hutton,

    All major manufacturers have a “beer can” truck that you can get with the biggest engine, the longest box and a bare bones level of options. Yes, they even have a rubber floor!

    All the major truck manufacturers offer the consumer choices of boxes, cabs, engines, transmissions, options, etc. For the most part my guess is that the majority of trucks are not “full-load” site queens like the KR but rather the XLT/LT/ST levels of trim which is a funtional unit with a decent level of creature comforts (AC, Cruise, Power Windows, Locks, Mirrors) and appearance (nice 17″ alloy wheels for example).

    As for the Ford KR versus the Merc, apples and oranges folks. We are comparing a luxury-first, soft-road SUV (albeit with plenty of Sport and Ute) and a truck that is built as a worker first and a daily driver second.

    Mercedes is no slouch in making ladder-frame trucks themselves most of them never see the shores of North America as they have Sterling to handle the big truck stuff and Dodge handles the lighter duty elements.

    CJ

    PS- Anyone care to educate me on the frame of the Dodge Sprinter?

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Yawn….I’ll drive my F150, you drive whatever. If I win the Mega millions tonight, I’ll buy a GL450.

    Actually, I’ll buy an M5.

    No wait, I’ll buy an S65 AMG. Or a Range Rover.

    Oh hell, I’ll buy one of each.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    CS,

    This is becoming more a thread about semantics than trucks.

    Ahem — Unit-body trucks and SUVs are new.

    Indulge me — go drive the GL or the ML — just a test drive. Get back to me.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    And I am dead serious about the stripped-down truck. We have elemental, purpose-built sports cars. where is the elemental, purpose-built pickup? the Ford ain’t it.

    Hutton, have you seen an F-150 XL or Silverado LS? Rubber floor, cloth seat, power nothing. Works for me.

    Jonny, I (finally) see your point, but can’t agree with it. I’m too set in pickup culture to see a non-pickup in this segment doing any better than a Honda Ridgeline. Then again, I’d like to see GL-style air suspension replacing rear leaf springs. Big rigs use air springs, and they work wonders.

    But its the truck culture thing again, nobody wants a rubber bag that leaks after 7+ years of use, they prefer the zero-cost proposition of the almighty leaf spring.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    It’s a copout, yes, but some of the F-150′s flaws are simply covered by the fact that it’s a truck. All the different bits that make a truck less civilized also make it better able to withstand abuse and haul crap.

    Since the idea of unibody trucks has been thrown about a couple of times, look at the Honda Ridgeline. As far as stereotypical truck duties go, the Honda seems to do ok (I’m going on hearsay, not personal experience), but when it comes to serious work, it’s not quite competetive with proper trucks. A unibody truck is best suited for suburbanites who think they need a truck, but don’t.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    It’s a copout, yes, but some of the F-150’s flaws are simply covered by the fact that it’s a truck. All the different bits that make a truck less civilized also make it better able to withstand abuse and haul crap.

    Since the idea of unibody trucks has been thrown about a couple of times, look at the Honda Ridgeline. As far as stereotypical truck duties go, the Honda seems to do ok (I’m going on hearsay, not personal experience), but when it comes to serious work, it’s not quite competetive with proper trucks. A unibody truck is best suited for suburbanites who think they need a truck, but don’t.

    …and Bingo was his name-o!

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    As opposed to suburbanites who really need a truck — all seven of them.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Guys, the Ridgeline is a unibody structure on a fully-boxed ladder frame.

    I drove the King Ranch, albeit briefly, on a three hour test. My first impression (behind the wheel) was of not being at one with the road. Steering was a bit numb, and it was high riding. No biggie.
    I then had the Mark IV for a week, same truck but wearing a tuxedo. Overall, I enjoyed it. Got through some really bad snowstorms in it, took it offroad (and yup, it can get r’ done) and downtown driving in the big city. No problem parking it anywhere, although in underground parking lots, the antennae will play Chopsticks on every low hanging pipe and conduit…
    It’s a good truck, in both guises. But… to be labelled a “luxury” vehicle, there should be a higher level of comfort than the average F150, particularly in the Lincoln (eg… nav system, adjustable pedals).
    I’ve also driven all the Toyota, Nissan, GM & Dodge trucks… favourite interiors, hands down are the SRT-10 Ram and Mega Cab Ram.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Jonny,

    Cool. ’nuff said.

    I am actually in a Merc store later this month to do some work. I will take a GL or ML for a spin. I am sure I will enjoy it.

    CJ

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    MLs are fun, be sure to try the descent feature, works particularly well when going down ski hills. :)))

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Lesley,

    OK, but I don’t think it’ll fit on the ski racks when I go in for lunch! :)

    That sounds kind of fun, there’s a 2-3 mile ski-out at Sunshine where you could really work that feature!

    CJ

  • avatar

    I think this is the first time JL has been this defensive about a review…but it’s also the most abuse he’s taken.

    I have to agree with most of what he’s said throughout the article and comments (except for the absurd Mercedes callout). Ford has gotten too comfortable with the idea that the F150 (regardless of trim) sells no matter what. It’s gotten used to building a true luxo barge in the form of the Navigator, and loading up trucks such as the King Ranch here for contractors whose accounts have gotten fat off other hard working people who don’t have the time anymore to do things like trim trees around the yard and fix a staircase on the weekend.

    I stepped out of SUVs earlier this year after a decade in them, and all I can think about now is how much I love my sporty sedan, but how I have 2 or 3 home projects just waiting and waiting until I can borrow a truck or SUV from someone to go get materials. Sure, it’s laziness on my part, but it speaks to one thing – convenience, and a whisper of utility.

    I agree the ‘truck for image’ era is coming to an end, but for those that use them and enjoy driving them because they are comfortable in them, you can’t take them away. Does it have to be a loaded King Ranch? Hell no…but I’m sure the King Ranch is only a fraction of what is actually sold, dwarfed by the base and mid model F150 sales.

    One question though…Johnny – you seemed to have taken the criticism of this review quite personally this time. That leads me to think that perhaps you let your review reputation precede your deepest darkest feelings on this vehicle – you liked the F150, just not the King Ranch, didn’t you? It’s okay, you can admit to liking a truck once…we all do, some are just more comfortable with it than others.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    This series of comments illustrates the flaw with this review – it quickly devolved into a series of accusations about who needs a truck and why, which is completely irrelevant to the review.

    Here’s a crazy idea: How about reviewing the vehicle based on its own merits and flaws and not on your perception of how a vehicle is or should be used? If you aren’t a “truck person”, then get somebody who is a “truck person” to reveiw the vehicle. If I reviewed the Corvette and said it was a lousy vehicle because it had no back seat, low ground clearance and wasn’t available with 4wd and low range, people would say “no kidding, it’s a sports car.” But for some reason we don’t think it’s unreasonable when a sports car driver reviews a truck and says “Ugh! This thing handles like a truck!”

    I don’t typically check out the sports car or luxury car reviews on TTAC (because I don’t have the slightest interest in any of them) but I’m curious: Do people go into the comments sections of those articles and post messages that say “nobody needs a sports car” or “why don’t you get a Prius and save the fast driving for the track?”

    Gearhead 455 wrote:

    Believe it or not, there are people not like you and they have no need to be like you.

    They must be ice skating down in hell, because I never thought I’d see the day when Gearhead and I were on the same page, but I agree with what he’s said here. Comparing a truck to a luxury SUV is so far beyond ridiculous that you can’t even see ridiculous from there. Unless, of course, you can imagine a rancher in Montana pulling stumps out of the ground with his Mercedes.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    A while back, we were looking to have some work done on our house. One fellow came by and made his pitch, which didn’t sound too bad, but as I showed him out, I realized we didn’t want him.

    Why? I noticed his vehicle – an H2 Hummer. In spite of its vast bulk, it’s useless as a construction work vehicle. Sure, he can get to a job site anywhere in Alaska but he works the suburbs. No cargo room plus crappy fuel economy. If he’s using this for business, he’s clearly got more money than brains and I don’t want him.

    That’s pretty much how I’d feel about a guy who showed up driving the King Ranch. It’s a truck to impress you with affluence, not a truck to impress you that the job is about to get done.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Ronin:

    I really didn’t like the underlying vehicle as it was not fun to drive, comfortable, did not handle well, was awful on fuel, had weak AC, a bad stereo, cheap plastics everywhere, bounced and shook over modest bumpts and was exhausting to drive over 30 miles in and impossible to park. The brakes were actually pretty impressive. Very linear.

    With a very tall, short bed and fancy leather I question the KR’s utility.

    Martin:

    You wrote “Comparing a truck to a luxury SUV,” etc.

    Ford’s thw one who dressed this one up as the King Ranch, not me. Couple the KR with the Harley Davidson version and almost each member of the Village people could have their own truck.

    And, since the Lincoln Navigator is essentially the F-150 with a third row and more glass, how is the comparison “beyond ridiculous?”

    Imaginging a “rancher in Montana” doing anything other than spilling his frappachino all over the leather of the King Ranch is what’s beyond ridiculous.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Jonny-

    “Couple the KR with the Harley Davidson version and almost each member of the Village people could have their own truck. ”

    Without question, the best line ever on TTAC !

  • avatar
    gearhead455

    Jonny,

    polite tone of voice

    I don’t think you understand the difference in suspensions between a pickup truck and a SUV. Even though they are on the same frame the suspension stiffness is completely different. The rear suspension on a pickup is very stiff because it is designed to carry more than 1,500 lbs on top of the rear axle without “squatting” the rear suspension too much and still stay level when empty. When the rear suspension is collapsed the front camber and tow will be in a position that will make the truck difficult to control at speed.

    The SUV is just that, a “sport” utility. The suspension will never support the kinds of loads that a pickup will support, thus it will drive better empty or with light tongue weight.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    …but as I showed him out, I realized we didn’t want him.

    Why? I noticed his vehicle – an H2 Hummer. dhathewa

    Wow! You choose the people you do business with based upon their vehicle??? So if someone is successful and can afford to spend $50k on a vehicle, you would not do business with them? I suppose you only do business with people who drive beat up Pintos.

    I really didn’t like the underlying vehicle as it was not fun to drive, comfortable, did not handle well, was awful on fuel, had weak AC, a bad stereo, cheap plastics everywhere, bounced and shook over modest bumpts and was exhausting to drive over 30 miles in and impossible to park. The brakes were actually pretty impressive. Very linear.

    With a very tall, short bed and fancy leather I question the KR’s utility.

    I know when I look for a fun to drive vehicle that handles well, I jump at a truck. I suppose if you were reviewing the Porsche 911 Turbo, you would complain that it did not have enough ground clearance and towing capacity.

    I think that “impossible to park” is a bit much. Once again, I have no problem parking my F150.

    I also don’t think that “fancy leather” has anything to do with utility. I know I prefer leather for its ease of cleaning, especially with small children.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Texas — which part of “Ford is selling this as a luxury vehicle, NOT a utility vehicle” don’t you get?

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Texas — which part of “Ford is selling this as a luxury vehicle, NOT a utility vehicle” don’t you get?

    Well, I just went through the Ford F150 web pages (except for the “Truth About Trucks” videos, since I am at work), and I didn’t find the word “luxury” used when describing the King Ranch. Of course, it is possible that the brochures use the term or that in some print or TV ad Ford used the word “luxury”. I may have to stop by the dealership and check out a brochure.

    I did find a “Luxury Package” for the FX4, but that does not mean they are selling the vehicle as a “luxury vehicle”. A Google site search only found the luxury package for the FX4. There was no other mention of luxury pertaining to the F150, King Ranch or not.

    If Ford were “selling this as a luxury vehicle, NOT a utility vehicle”, then I would expect them to mention that on the web site.

    Please, let me know where Ford is doing this and I’ll consider myself educated.

  • avatar
    gearhead455

    I heard you can haul a dead horse in a King Ranch… But not a GL450… Too stinky, yuck!

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    You and Gearhead should ahng out.

    I’m done.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    Sorry if you’re upset, but I was just trying to see where it was Ford was pushing the King Ranch F150 as a luxury vehicle.

    Obviously, you don’t like it, and that’s fine. I don’t care for Volvos or Kias myself, but I won’t accuse them of not performing like vehicles from which they are completely different.

    Bye…

  • avatar
    Joe C.

    My $.02 about this review and subsequent comment:

    Maybe, TTAC editors need to include “Virtues” and “Who Needs This Vehicle” with each review, added in a sidebar of some kind.

    Suggested Virtues for the KR:
    “Big enough to make Shaq feel like a Little Person.”
    “Can tow almost 5 tons – 5 TONS!”
    “Tells the Greenies to go pound sand.”

    Ford is intending to market this vehicle at Someone. Who would that be? And, for ground rules, let’s say the answer can never be “nobody.”

    Suggested answers here would be:
    “Built for a rancher who wants a multi-purpose vehicle,” or
    “Barbie’s new garden tool.”

    To have a Car Guy run a truck review seems like an exercise in futility, otherwise. There has to be some redeeming quality to the vehicle – and, to the review.

    Whaddya think, RF?

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    In response to a judgement over a contractor driving a Hummer – “Wow! You choose the people you do business with based upon their vehicle??? So if someone is successful and can afford to spend $50k on a vehicle, you would not do business with them?” – TexasAG03

    Yes. If he doesn’t need to drive materials, etc, around, he could drive a sedan. If he does need to move materials around, where’s his pickup? ‘Cos that thing’s got NO cargo room.

    If it has his company logo on the side, the vehicle is a representation of his business. Looks like a bad choice to me; do I want him working on my house?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    dhathewa:

    Ironically, since the thing weighs so damn much, he probably got very deep tax breaks for using it as a work vehicle.

    I forget exactly, but there is some loophole in place that exempts farmers from having to pay full tax on their tractors, which instead of being designated simply as tractors, are refered to as Work Vehicles weighing over 6,000lbs.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Hi Jonny,

    You should have leather for skin after this one! Hopefully the next review does not cause the same level of, uh, debate.

    I don’t know how it works down in the US, but in the GWN farmers are permitted to designate certain vehicles as “Farm Trucks” (pickups included) that can be amortized over time and written down as a depreciating asset. They can also write off mileage and as diesel fuel is cheaper for farmers, many of them will opt for a diesel pickup over a regular unleaded one.

  • avatar
    Paul

    Jonny, you and I live in a part of the country where attitude toward big vehicles is very negative. We can see it with our own eyes that Detroit can’t sell vehicles where we live. I live in the Washington DC area and you could not give those types of vehicles away. However, tell that to your neighbors in the south. I just vacationed in the coastal part of the Carolinas this Labor day weekend. I’ll tell you, this is the part of the country where “economy” is still an alien concept. This is the part of the country where you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than see a white male drive a Corolla or Civic.

    I don’t know what it is with people in the south or southwest – I lived down there 18 years could never figure it out. I guess it runs in their bloods. But these types of people demand the biggest and meanest looking vehicles no matter what. It doesn’t even matter whether they ever use it for their
    intended purpose. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a backwoods redneck or a sophisticated one. Most of them drive a big pickup or big SUV. You could go to Microsoft or IBM in Charlotte or Raleigh and you’ll see big trucks in the parking lots.

    That’s the reason why I don’t think Chevy and Ford nameplates will ever die. They may be a step behind Honda or Toyota when it comes to innovation, but most Chevy or Ford people do not give a damn about whether their engine is a pushrod or overhead cammer, what kind of suspension it has, or whether it has the latest high tech gizmos. It all comes down to image and name brand.

    I don’t know whether the interior quality of the F-150 is as bad as you say. I saw a Car and Driver comparison test of full-sized pickups. This is the magazine that people consider biased against Detroit products. Yet C&R rated the fit and finish of the F-150 as the best and the Titan as the worst. There’s no question that you, the editor, were biased against American products to begin with, so just admit it. I bet if they merely replaced the Honda badge with a Ford on an Accord, you would find any faults you could with the vehicle.

    Last thing, what makes you think that $3.00 gas is permanent?
    Petroleum is a commodity and like all commodities the price
    is mainly determined by futures traders. We have plenty of supply. Oil prices are at bubble levels. Oil prices will eventually collapse – it’s not if, it’s when. The last time that happened was 1986.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Hi Paul,

    I think most of the past 100 comments or so are coming to this simple conclusion.

    The vehicle you choose to drive is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a transportation choice.

    People who drive trucks (or SUV’s, or electric cars or whatever) do so because they feel that the vehicle best reflects their idea of how they wish to live their lives.

    We are fortunate enough to live in a society where we have the privilege to choose what we wish to drive, when we want to and for the most part, where we want to.

    To all you pickup fans, good on ya! To all the non-pickup drivers, we’ve got our own wants/desires/complexes to fuss over.

    OK, Jonny what’s next?

    CSJ

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    A Ford Expidition — this is too much fun.

    And Paul — not only am I not “biased” against American products, but I ask you to please read the other reviews of Ford products I’ve written for this site.

    I am actively trying to convince my own mother to purchase a Mustang GT Convertible — so I can steal it on weekends.

    RF will probably swoop in here and smack you one, but TTAC writers are not biased against nations. That’s just silly.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    This is the part of the country where you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than see a white male drive a Corolla or Civic.

    I don’t know what it is with people in the south or southwest – I lived down there 18 years could never figure it out. I guess it runs in their bloods. But these types of people demand the biggest and meanest looking vehicles no matter what. It doesn’t even matter whether they ever use it for their
    intended purpose. – Paul

    I actually drove a Prelude for about 7 years. I have also owned an Infiniti G20, a Mazda Protege, and a Chevy Beretta (barf!). Right now, I just happen to need a truck. My next car, if I get my way, will be a 3-series. If not that, then maybe a used LS430. I have seen those going for the low to mid $30k range for a 3-year old model. It just depends on whether I decide on performance or comfort.

    I am actively trying to convince my own mother to purchase a Mustang GT Convertible — so I can steal it on weekends. – Jonny

    Now there’s a thought….HEY, MOM!!

  • avatar
    Rob P

    My father drove a 1986 Ford Taurus station wagon for 10 years. During that time, he remodeled two houses, top-to-bottom. He strapped plywood and drywall to the roof rack, he piled boxes of tiles into the hatch, he transported 10′ long boards, he went out on the weekends and hauled plants and mulch from the nursery. He even drove 1000+ miles to Disney World with his wife and two kids in the back.

    No, he isn’t a general contractor; he is a machinist. Big tools, sweat, grime, blocks of aluminum that weight over a ton. Yeah, he isn’t a sissy coastal elitist. Would a truck have been easier to haul crap in? Yeah, maybe, but not by much. This is exactly the type of stuff that most people say they use their trucks for. If this is all you use it for, its OVERKILL!

    During this time, we lived in Pennsylvania, and there is plenty of snow there. Plenty of times e tothe other guys in the shop wouldn’t come to work, because they got stuck in their 4WD pick’em’ups, trying to plow thru snow and sleet, while my dad, driving slowly, responsibly, and most importantly, not like most truck-driving-dumbasses, got to work on-time in his FWD, automatic, uni-body, wagon.

  • avatar
    NEGOTIATOR

    Great review but alittle to tough on what we are talking about.

    I own a 2006 F 150 King Ranch in white. It is my very first Ford product ever and my first pick up ever. This review was informative but had the focus of reviewing a high end luxury car. comparing the KR to a Rolls Royce is entertaining for sure, but not very helpful or informative to a buyer.

    I feel qualified to give such a review as I also own 2 Jaguars (the new XK and an XJR), an Audi Allroad and a Porsche Turbo. To compare the handling of the KR to my Porsche or Jags would qualify me for a section 8 in the military. It is irrational. However, I do drive those carsoften and have a basis to compare ride quality in the context of the enormous differences in the use, price point and intended use of these vehicles. The Ford KR drives truly remarkably for a truck. Period. I also drove the Titan and Ram before making my fifth car purchase and they simply do not compare. The KR is quiet at highway speed and very comfortable. And no, it does not handles the twistys as my XK or Turbo does. But then again, I cannot trailer my Harleys while enduring g forces on turns either.

    The 5’5″ bed is a draw back as discussed in the review. That is why god made bed extenders, which is a $195.00 option and which allowed me to put my Kawasaki ATV in the bed with no problems last weekend. I have hauled justabout everything I wanted to haul with no complaint.

    The trim? Well, lets just say I love it, although does it compare to Connolly leather in the Jag and the walnut trays, etc..? A resounding no is the answer. Again, however, don’ get lost in the part. This is a truck. An expensive one no doubt but a truck. (BTW, I am not fat and I am not lazy). I do like playing with my toys and this is the vehicles to take them along with the wife and kiddies.

    Handling? You must be kidding me. No one buys a truck to corner. But, guess what, the KR has minimum oversteer for such a large rig. As for the leper comment, it only applies to parking, where I do have to park in a remote leper colony location in order to fit this thing in a spot at the mall. Love to burn those carbs though.

    On thing that was conspicuoulsy absent in this review is commentary on the basic functuion of this truck – off road capabilities. Did the reviewer ever consider taking this machine off road, where it was designed to function, or simply tool around at the track? You have tremendous abilities here in deep snow and mud unrivaled by any other pick up bar none. The 4L setting gives enough torque at low rpm to move mountains. Such is not only my opinion, but that of every other reviewer who actually took the time to review what a 4 x 4 is meant to do.

    Do not buy a KR if you want to drag race, get Prius like economy, luxuriate in hides unblemished by insects, or have a forest of wood at your fngertips. Do not buy it to get donuts or that slice of pizza at that strip mall with Yugo sized spaces. But if you need a vehicle that has true utility, and does all that you can ask in a functional context, while looking good doing so, then consider a KR, seriously.

    And, btw, my KR takes regular fuel, which is now about fifty cents less a gallon than premium, which is demanded by my Jags, the Porsche, the Audi and, oh yeah, the Rolls.

  • avatar
    qeorqe

    I rented one. Boy it’s big. I needed a truck, not a passenger truck. They didn’t have the truck. Why would anyone need a passenger truck? It did do my Lowe’s trick OK however… however I needed a truck, not a passenger truck. Am I repeating myself about the passenger truck? Yes it’s a passenger truck.

  • avatar
    merc

    Well, out of curiosity, how about comparing these new trucks to trucks built 20 or 30 years ago?? Hell, these new trucks drive better than most sedans built 20 years ago. For a vehicle that is designed to be loaded, either with cargo, or with a trailer, it honestly isn’t going to handle at its best while empty. No pick up does, short of an F150 Lightning or a Dodge SRT-10. As for Vehicles like the Mercedes GL450, they start out as a passenger vehicle first and for most, and then factor in towing/off-roading/etc. F-150′s startout designed for off-road/towing/hauling/etc. and later take into account passenger’s. Would I buy a king ranch? No, I’m pretty happy with the XLT myself. But then I’m thinking back to previous trucks we’ve owned (1966 Ford F-100, 1974 Ford F-100 4×4, and 1983 Ford Ranger 4×4), base model trucks now days are down right luxerious. I’m not comparing it to the 1993 Mustang Cobra I almost bought, or to the GL450 someone bought to haul themselves to a “remote” cabin that has paved roads up to the front door. I don’t compare it to the 1978 Honda Civic my mom bought new, to drive on her 40 mile one way drive to work.

    Besides, let’s see how the Honda Ridgeline or the Mercedes GL450 hold up to life on a farm for 10-15 years. Let’s not cut down a vehicle for not being something it’s not supposed to be. I want to know how well it does what it’s supposed to do.

  • avatar
    Austin

    First, everyone is wrong assuming people buy trucks as “cars” I own an F-150, and bought it to use as a truck. Try putting a wet, muddy dog in your average sedan (I have one of those too). Or tow a boat, RV etc. People assume most people never use their trucks for its intended purpose, but many people do. If you are going to review a truck, part of your test needs to be to use it as a truck. Otherwise, I want to see sedan reviews were you complain that the ground clearance is too low when driving on dirt roads. I want to know how the tuck performs as a truck, not a commuter car.

  • avatar
    dcbaseball13

    I am about to turn 16 and am getting my dads F150 King Ranch. This truck is made for truck people. I hate it when people complain about its gas mileage. IT IS A TRUCK trucks are not made for great gas mileage they are made to haul stuff. If you want great gas mileage get a car stop knocking this great truck for doing what a truck is supposed to do and doing it better than anyone else. And also those truck seats are the most comfortable thing I have ever sat in so this Johnny Lieberman guy must be trying as hard as he can to knock this truck. It is a great truck and it would be the first thing I would recommend to someone looking for a serious truck.

  • avatar
    oratuner

    Asserting that people buy this because they are fat is an ad hominem attack on the owners.

    This type of unsupported derogatory assertion just reduces the tone of the article, unless there is a study showing that truck drivers have obesity issues.

    Otherwise, please don’t rely the worn-out stereotype of overweight, triglyceride-fueled American morons in their underutilized, oversized vehicles to make your point. It adds nothing to the argument except personal malice.

    Also, one thing the article doesn’t mention is that the 5.4 can drink e85.

    Consuming 15,000 miles a year @ 20MPG, this works out to be 112 gallons of regular gas.

    Contrast this to the 250 gallons of gas that the Prius consumes a year.

    Ever wonder where Iran got the billions to create nukes? The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars.

    Yes, e85 might be used by the Big Three to drive up CAFE. Not very surprising, since their mission is to use features of their environment in their quest for profit.

    Doesn’t change the fact that this truck *can* (not does) reduce oil dependency while making a nice suburban light-work vehicle.

  • avatar
    aspenedelen

    Granted there are some of these yuppies out here that buy the King Ranch Fseries or Expedition to drive around in as a daily driver with nothing to tow, haul, or use the way it was meant to be used.

    I on the other hand own a disaster restoration company, have 3 trailers, a 5×7, a 6×9 and a 7×18. I am in the business to make money and I promise you a Chevy Colorado or a Chevy S10 would not be able to pull at highway speeds my 7×18.

    If I am buying a beautiful truck I know what it is going to cost me in gas but business is business and a flooded house isn’t going to wait for me to dilly dally around and drive 40 mph on the hwy. The truck gets 15mpg on the hwy and I fully understand that but I use it for business and I have to have something that can two a 8,000lb trailer. If any of you have any other bright ideas to get my big trailer loaded with equipment from point A to point B with less gas used please tell me because I would love to know.

    If there are idiots out in this world that can’t understand why they can’t afford the gas in their pickup truck when gas is $3.50 or $4.00 per gallon then they have no reason driving a truck like this.

  • avatar
    pbarnes

    I have worked on and owned Fords since I was 12 yrs old- I have owned new ford trucks since 1977
    Bought – first ford f150 4×4 in 1996/ it was the 97 new body style- still have it with 300,0000 miles on it
    new – explorers had 3 of them
    new – expeditions had 3 of them
    04 f150 crew cab 4×4-
    and now the 09 F150 4×4 king ranch-

    Bad-
    1. Terrible acceleration from -0- to 40-mph// it feels like the transmition is geared to low and you have to wait for the gears to change before you can get any speed// I have had to pull over to the shoulder to get speed up before I can get back in the traffic—this is really bad
    2. Steering wheel is not as easy to turn as my 04 –f150
    3. Front door will swing Wide open before you can stop it- the hinge stop is not strong enough, it can easily get away from ya—no problem with the 04 f150
    4. Low profile tires-20in- 4×4-do give you a little bit of a rough ride/ not to bad
    The worst of these is the terrible loss of power from the tranismition at take off- so much so compared to my 04 that I had to show my wife before she started driving it—
    I have had this discussion with other people who have purchased same truck- this situation can be dangerous , be careful not to get yourself in a position where you need it—it won’t be there
    5. Obstruction under dash driver side has scratched/ bruised my left leg- be careful moving your legs around under dash
    6. Navigation system software needs up date
    7. Step side bar is nor worth anything to help you get out- you end up sliding off the seat to the ground- same problem with our -04
    8. Dash light for gauges does not come on when there is still light out// problem sometimes you can’t read gauges because you can’t see them just before dusk
    9. Front brake dust still blackens wheel- we have black spots on our driveway from the -04- / stains can’t be removed// looks like this 09 will be just as bad

    Great-
    1. Blue tooth – this is by far the best option
    2. Very roomy
    3. USB enabled sound system is great/ lots of uses
    4. Microsoft software system is also great
    5. Very quiet, more so than our – 04

  • avatar
    Robyn

    We own a black 03′ King Ranch F150 4×4
    To everyone talking about how it isn’t worth it, fine, don’t buy it. Obviously it is NOT what YOU are looking for. But if you can lookpast some of the “cheap plastic” you will see where the money was spent. The king ranch has an upgraded suspension and frame, giving it a better tow capacity. And to say it is “slow” baffles me… I have owned and worked on several different types of trucks, SUV’s, and cars, and this truck will really get on it. GRANTED we bought it used, with a few “tweaks” (it was formerly a metro DTF truck, so it has a performance exhaust and computer upgrades, along with black-out tint and a fiberglass bed cover). The upgraded exhaust lets the world know it’s ass-hauling power too. Maybe we are just tall (I’m 5’9 and my husband is 6’2) but everything fits us perfectly from the pedals and step sides, to all the controls… I think you people just need to stop whining about a real truck or just start walking. (we use the truck for family and work purposes…ironically our other vehicle is an expadition since it’s big enough for two tall parents and three kids in carseats.)


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