By on September 28, 2016

2016 Ford F-150

There are a few reasons why I and others choose to freelance for TTAC. One of those reasons is the opportunity to write under the oppressive regime helpful tutelage of our Managing Editor. Another reason is the conversation and feedback provided by you, the B&B. The comments section of many other auto sites can often be described as incomprehensible at best or downright hostile at worst.

Since this series’ inception, I’ve asked for suggestions of base wheels that check all the right boxes for you. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I laugh heartily at your suggestions on TTAC’s Slack channel. When Principal Dan mentioned the F-150 as a potential Ace of Base candidate, it got me thinking: What exactly constitutes a base F-150 these days? Certainly they’re not the hose-’em-out trucks of my youth, featuring face-eating metal dashboards, searing hot vinyl seats, and no headliner.

Since FoMoCo saw fit to bin the Ranger in 2011, what can buyers expect from an entry-level F-150?

Not that you’ll be able to find one of these on the lot, of course. As Jack has explained to us many a time, the OEM’s real customer is the dealer … and you can be assured the person with their surname on building is not going to stock his store with low margin work trucks, consuming valuable floorplan and lot space better occupied by a high-gross Crew Cab Platinum. Not unless the regional distribution manager is in a bad mood, anyway.

Nevertheless, Ford — probably reluctantly — does make an entry-level work truck. The base 3.5-liter V6 will handle everyday jobs while keeping a lid on operating costs. Power ratings are 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque, not far off the mighty 302 V8 and 300 straight-six of yesteryear.

Ford made many noises about this F-150’s added high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy, and it seems to have paid dividends in capability and economy with an EPA highway rating of 25 miles per gallon. Inside, the standard dual front airbags are present, but thanks to economies of scale (you slept through that in Econ 101, right?) side airbags will also pop out of the seats and curtain airbags will drop from the ceiling in the event of a crash. My grandfather’s base model 1986 GMC truck could only dream of such luxuries.

What is similar to Pop’s GMC is the roll-your-own windows and hose-it-out floor covering. Want to adjust the side mirrors in your base F-150? You’ll leave a thumbprint on the mirror’s surface when you do. A cloth bench seat is a no-cost option, a step up from the standard vinyl bench in this author’s mind, where childhood memories of peeling my legs off vinyl seats that had reached temperatures approximately the surface of the sun remain fresh. Feel free to disagree. Vinyl seats are arguably more functional.

AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control are standard equipment now, and Trailer Sway Control combines these electronic nannies to keep your tag-along on the straight and narrow. Seventeen-inch silver steel wheels don’t actually look that bad when the F-150 is painted in $0 Shadow Black, a hue which hides the unfortunate expanse of black plastic on its front fascia. At least when Chevy did this on its work truck, it had the good sense to market it as a benefit.

So, is the 2016 Ford F-150 truly an Ace of Base? Not quite. I would shell out $50 for the optional 3.73 rear axle gear as a cheap way to increase towing capacity to a burly 7600 pounds — but that’s just me. Being able to tow 5000 pounds out of the box is hardly anything to sneeze at. Other than that, though, the $26,540 base XL represents good capability for the cash. Don’t say we don’t listen to you, B&B!

Not every vehicle at the Mr. Noodles end of the price spectrum has aced it. The ones which have? They help make our automotive landscape a lot better. Naturally, feel free to roast our selection and let us know if there are other models you’d like included in this series.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. In this particular example, current incentives are byzantine and vast, so do your research and bargain hard.

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118 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2016 Ford F-150...”


  • avatar
    mustang462002

    Drove a two door 5.0 liter F150 XL power everything for work. Loved it! Had great power and felt very refined in comparison to other work trucks. This was also before you had the stupid LCD screen million button space shuttle dash. I’m actually contemplating getting one for daily driver. 4 door trucks are too big.

    Issues with the truck were.
    -Bent the rear tailgate loading dirt with a wheel barrel.
    -Axle got loose and after I accelerated it would take a moment to move.
    -Dented the bed to hell.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      My daily driver is an ’04 Ford F-150 Heritage XL Reg cab, long bed, 4.2L, 5-spd, cloth bench seat, rubber floor mat, crank windows. Dead reliable, comfortable and relatively fuel efficient. It has hauled countless loads of mulch, topsoil, gravel, river rocks, sheetrock, lumber, cement, etc. Yeah, the bed is beat up even with the 4 x 8 sheet of plywood that is there all the time.

      It took me about a year to find it back in ’09 because I didn’t want a white one, or one that looked abused……mine is dark blue with gray interior.

      Even if I was far younger don’t know if I’d plunk down $26K for a new one. I remember when the base work trucks were $13K.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    At least we know the rear window defroster is standard. Man does it stick out with no tints!

    I can’t wait until the truck regulars show up to turn this comment page into savage arguments about GWVR, payload, engine sizes and trims, and trucks only available in other markets – complete with specifications! So excite!

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      I came over specifically to say that I love the base steelies on this truck. In fact when I was seriously looking at Tacoma’s I had found a few SR5’s that had the base steelies and considered that a benefit. Trucks should be as simple as possible. Very excite over base!

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Coop add me to the list of people who love the way painted steel wheels with modest center caps look on pickup trucks.

        The most offensive looking truck to me is a F150 FX4 (the offroad package with rear locker) that is saddled from the factory with huge wheels with low profile street tires. What sort of nonsense is that?

  • avatar
    jrhmobile

    I don’t know what you’re talking about when you’re saying that stripped out F-150s can’t be found.

    All you have to do is go to a large Ford dealer which does a lot of fleet sales. Not only will you find several examples in your choice of bland colors — white, black, silver and maybe Safety Yellow — you’ll find them for short money because the dealer is used to pricing these units close to the bone to get the business.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Ford doesn’t offer any yellow F-Series right now, even on fleets. :(

      When the F-Series comes in yellow, it’s always a special occasion. The 2004-only “halo color” for the F-150 was Blazing Yellow, there was a special Amarillo Edition 2007 Super Duty, and let’s not forget the 2009-only Amber Gold Metallic F-150.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      or just custom order.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Agreed. Dealers that do a lot of fleet sales will always have some base model trucks in inventory. I was looking at base model F150’s this summer with my son. 4×2 with e-locker 3.73’s and spray in box liner. They had a 6 in different colours and both short and long box. Red looked good with the flat black nose clip. So did black and sterling silver.

  • avatar

    Has TTAC spoken about RAM work/Fleet trucks as an AoB Candidate? My father was looking at these as his everyday truck a few weeks ago.

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    i like your article, but i take issue with dissing vinyl seats. i love vinyl seats, and am dismayed that so few car makers offer them.
    advantages of vinyl – 1. easy to clean 2. do not attract and hold on to animal fur/hair. 3. last a very long time 4. are perfect for being the base for sheepskin or any other seat covers. 5. do not crack like leather, and do not have to Lexol them every summer 6. do not stain forever like fabric does . 7. are usually less money than leather or fabric. 8. are waterproof –
    disadvantages of vinyl – 1. do not smell like leather (easy to fix – just throw an old baseball glove under your vinyl seat). 2. passengers think you are cheap (console yourself with sheepskin cover) 3. do not feel “soft” (solution – see #2).
    i had a 1993 911 once with leather – best upgrade i ever did on a car was replacing the leather with vinyl. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      If you’d care to reread: “Vinyl seats are arguably more functional.” Also, you didn’t include a disadvantage that was addressed in the article: how are vinyl seats in direct sunlight and hot weather?

      • 0 avatar
        wintermutt

        i honestly do not see much difference between vinyl and leather on a hot day. depends on color – dark vinyl and dark leather are equally bad. with a seat cover – preferably sheepskin – no difference. my core argument is that almost everyone who likes cars will cover their seats with a seat cover – and then vinyl seats will always be superior to leather. fabric seats without a seat cover will be less hot than leather or vinyl without a seat cover – they might also breath better -but who would drive a truck without a seat cover?

        • 0 avatar
          86er

          Who would drive a truck without a seat cover? Me. I’ll get one of those Wrangler saddle blanket seat covers for the ’96 like my eponymous ’86 had, if the need ever arises.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Drzhivago138 – vinyl seats are a joy in -45C. Frost on the windows and on your azz.

        We used to have Tradesman van ambulance conversions. Talk about a miserable place to spend a 14 hour night shift.
        Vinyl did have a fun side, if you wanted to prank the day crew you wiped them down with Armor All.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Ah, -45…below the point where Fahrenheit and Celcius meet, so it’s actually colder in Fahrenheit! Though honestly, once it gets down to -30F the subtle temperature differences begin to be lost on me.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      uh, vinyl eventually does crack, once the plasticizer solvents gas out.

      • 0 avatar
        wintermutt

        my 1971 el camino with vinyl OEM seats took 15 years to crack. vehicle always parked outside with no windshield cover. also please note that most motorcycle seats are vinyl, and seem to last 10+ years. way better than leather, after 15 years fabric is pitiful.

        • 0 avatar
          86er

          25 years later the velour in the Roadmaster still looks pretty good…

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            They really knew how to make velour in the old days – and in so many colors! They could even match the exterior paint, like my copper inside-and-out Buick Regal.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Meanwhile, the Japanese carmakers scratched their heads and wondered why it was so necessary to have so many colors because gray coordinates with everything, yeah?

            FWIW, I think the 1997-98 F-150/250 LD had it right with four colors: Cordovan (bordello red, and unique to the F-150), Willow Green (also available on contemporary Expeditions, Explorers, Rangers, Crown Vics, and Grand Marquis), Medium Graphite, Prairie Tan. Everything was color-matched in the finest plastic except the black steering wheel, head unit, and door handles.

            http://www.lov2xlr8.no/brochures/ford/97fp/bilder/13.jpg

            http://pictures.dealer.com/s/superiorsiloamspringsfordfd/0380/dbb9c365

            59a6da86c50acbbf676b31aax.jpg

            http://images.dealerrevs.com/gallery/photo.php?id=24004982
            [This is actually an Expy; bonus points for a front bench seat 9-passenger SUV!]

            Lariats were only available with gray and tan, no colors. And after 1998, those two colors were gone on all trims. :(

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Yes vinyl cracks and when it goes it just splits wide open, with leather the surface cracks but stays together for a long time at least half way quality top grain leather. Of course there is the bonded leather which will also split wide open.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelovescars

      It seems to me that vinyl seats are actually more common today than they have been for the past 20 years. It’s just called “Leatherette” and seems the popular choice for European cars. The Mazda6 has this in their mid-level model as well. It doesn’t seem common for trucks like it used to be, however, as trucks have moved pretty far upmarket.

      MB-Tex was legendarily indestructible but some vinyl seats do seem to crack as they age. Unlike small cracks like in leather they just split open. Perhaps the chemistry is better today? I have no idea how the newer leatherette holds up over time.

      • 0 avatar
        spookiness

        EXACTLY! Tons of people have vinyl but they think it is leather. Much leather these days is so processed its practically vinyl anyway. Or you have low-end cars such as mine (’10 Focus) that advertise “leather seating surfaces”, which means the part your butt and back touches is leather, but the sides, back, and headrest are all vinyl.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          All leather in motor vehicles is plastic-coated.

          I believe Porsche charges more for Alcantara, synthetic suede, than leather. Original name was Ultrasuede, and both are essentially owned by the Japanese Co. that invented the product, Toray.

          I prefer cloth.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        I’ve had MB-Tex fail, but after 25+ years and with the help of degraded padding underneath.

        It’s good stuff, and any really good “vinyl” should be an excellent fit.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Second that.

      A friend recently bought a truck with vinyl seats and floors, and “no way, Jose” would I want one any other way. Particularly the floors, but the seats as well. And I tend to drive barechested, barefoot (and the truck was a manual Cummins) and in speedos (To have fresh clothes and socks at my destination, not solely to be maximally disgusting). Always thought that would render vinyl uncomfortable, but 800 miles in one sitting later, I’m converted.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    If I was single or had no kids, this would be high on my list of vehicles. I like simple: my old T100 had all the pleasures of an 80s truck, was slow, and unrefined, but is sure had a sense of solidity like I could run over zombies all day. ;)

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Throw in the 101A package (windows/locks/cruise, mostly) for $1300 net, and $800 for the EcoBoost 2.7, and you have just the truck I want.

    Several local dealers have this combo priced at $25k, in any color you want, as long as it’s good old Oxford White.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      In a truck that light, especially with the dinky XL spec tires, even the 5.0 has enough low end to lay rubber pretty much at will and past 4000 or so it starts to sing like no 2.7 ever will.

      Tempting indeed and one of the true bargains on the market.

  • avatar

    Work trucks remain basic, it has not changed in decades. The only options are those deemed as a requirement to have the truck work. It would usually be an F250 to be a worthwhile work truck.

    AS trucks have become a replacement for cars with 4 doors (crew cab) and a shorter box than the usual 8 foot box to fit a sheet of plywood. The work truck has become the “odd” truck.

    Dealers that do a good amount of commercial truck business will have a work truck spec for a 1/2 – 3/4 – 1 ton truck to make it easier to do a multi truck deal all at the same price.

    What is rare is a regular cab pick up with an 8 foot box, similar to the old days of pick ups.

    Vinyl seats have been the mainstay of work truck for decades, vinyl seat, black rubber on the floor, no chrome, dog dish hubcaps, rear step bumper, HD springs. In white, red, blue with one color for the interior usually tan.

    The “toy” truck was a short bed fender side with usually a bigger engine.

    In areas where pick ups are still used extensively for work a 1/2 ton is known as a city truck.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Roll down windows ?? I thought you could no longer get them in a new vehicle, on that alone I would say Ford Failed, the 101A package ( thanks egg salad) needs to be standard. I assume AC is standard but after hearing roll down windows maybe not.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      As long as Ram and GM offer roll-down windows on their base model trucks, there’s no reason for Ford not to.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Fleet owners prefer crank windows. Less junk to break and techs/hourlies need to suffer a bit. Especially since it saves $1,000+ per truck. Middle management and supervisors get XLTs!

        • 0 avatar
          thattruthguy

          It’s a way to separate fleet buyers from private buyers and give them different pricing.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          From what I hear, hand cranks have been more breakage prone than motorized windows for the past decade or so. Joe Gorilla laying into it, is just much harder to engineer for, than a known torque motor.

          Where hand cranks really shine, are in really long term fixability. Even if the specific parts are not available where you are at, you can more easily fab up a workable solution for hand cranks. LA dealers have told me many Hispanics specifically ask for hand crank windows and full manual mirrors, for that reason. They want to take the truck with them to the inner Amazon or wherever, where parts availability and dealer access may be difficult. I’d assume the Taliban may have similar concerns wrt their HiLuxes, although those guys may be content to simply break the window once whatever mechanism it came with, no longer works.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Crank windows have most of the same parts as power windows. Regulators and guides are the same. The only things crank windows don’t have are the switch and the motor. The motor isn’t usually the part that breaks, and it’s just as easy to break a crank as a switch.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            But if you break the crank your local hardware store always has a set of cheap locking pliers to replace it.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            That.

            I’ve never had a motor failure in any vehicle.

            I’ve had to tweak or repair regulators, and had crank windows be finicky honestly more than power ones.

          • 0 avatar
            Lack Thereof

            I’ve never had power windows that DIDN’T eventually have a motor failure. Both front windows in my daily driver are currently rolled up and down by Dorman replacement motors.

            But very few new-vehicle purchasers keep them long enough for those failures to appear. Just trade it in as soon as it’s paid off or when the warranty expires, whichever comes last.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          The cost of scheduling and outfitting a slim minority with roll-up windows can’t possibly be less expensive than power windows for all. And with the exception of Toyotas 10-20 years back, when’s the last time anyone has had a power window fail?

    • 0 avatar
      eggsalad

      Roll-down windows are found on trucks where the actual buyer (the business owner) will never, ever drive the truck, his or her employees will.

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      My small children think roll down windows are some sort of fancy feature you’d have to pay extra for.
      Instead of hitting a mousy button, you get to crank some gears and the handle has a knob you can spin if you slap it from the right direction. LOOK! MINE SPINS LONGER THAN YOURS!

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    “Certainly they’re not the hose-’em-out trucks of my youth, featuring face-eating metal dashboards, searing hot vinyl seats, and no headliner.”

    Excellent line! My face and a dipped ice cream cone got eaten by the dash of Dad’s 1974 F100 Custom, when he braked suddenly in a Dairy Queen parking lot. The shell of the cone was pierced by the metal glove compartment button. I’ll never forget it.

    That had vinyl seats too, but it was a strange woven vinyl material that didn’t last very long. Then again, neither did the rest of the truck. By 1978 it was a rattling rustbucket.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      That sounds like “knit vinyl.” It was just vinyl, but made so that it had a different texture.

      http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=25177&stc=1&d=1277573833

      Often, straight vinyl was the basic offering on Customs, with knit vinyl optional. Higher trim levels had cloth and vinyl on the same seat. 100% cloth seats seem to have made their way into pickups sometime in the mid ’70s, and then only as part of special packages.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    I’m not sure what I have in my 32-YO F-250 XLT Lariat, but the blue velour-type fabric captain’s chairs have worn like iron. Come to think of it, the carpet is incredibly well-made too.

    Back when it was my DD, I used a Rug Doctor with upholstery suds every couple of years to keep it fresh. It was insane how much spilled coffee came out of the seats.

    And it has never been garaged since I bought it from the original owner in ’97.

    If I could be assured of that kind of quality in the next truck I want to replace it with, I’d go with cloth in a heartbeat.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Didn’t the STX make a comeback? Basically an XLT with deleted carpet, cloth and chrome, but with color-keyed bumpers? Plus available in a variety of colors and various options, like Power Group, limo tint, running boards, and rear slider?

  • avatar
    brettc

    Wow, you can get it in Green and Brown (aka “Caribou”). $26k for a base unit though, you can get a base Frontier much cheaper.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The base 3.5-liter V6 will handle everyday jobs while keeping a lid on operating costs. Power ratings are 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque, not far off the mighty 302 V8 and 300 straight-six of yesteryear.

    Well that would take my 4.6 V8 mod motor F150 out back and spank it.

    One thing not mentioned, does the base model come with an honest to god manual transmission? Manual options seem to be disappearing even on trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      eggsalad

      Dan, the only full-size truck you can buy today with a proper clutch pedal is the RAM 2500/3500 with Cummins. Sad, isn’t it?

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        It’s not sad when you realize the last time any pickup manual could even hold its own against the automatic option was 2010.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          “Hold it’s own” at what? Spec sheet, or a 10 minute or less max tow contest?

          In case you haven’t noticed, most trucks are rarely used for that. And many, many of them are sold to young males just to drive around in lightly loaded. Pretty much the exact demographic that in other parts and times bought/buy sports cars, coupes etc.

          Ford not offering a manual to go with their Mustang 5.0 in the F150, borders on criminal. They could just drop the tow ratings a bit, say down to 2.7 levels, if they are concerned about Bubba and Bo frying the clutch on takeoff.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            2010 was the last year of the manual Super Duty. In terms of tow ratings, manual Super Duties have always been rated lower, all the way back to 1999.

            http://mustangattitude.com/graphics/brochure/1999fordtruck_superduty_17.jpg

            In terms of performance under load, they’ve been about the same, at least until tow/haul mode was introduced. That pretty much removed the last advantage a manual had over an automatic. Why should any company offer something that’s mechanically inferior and less than 10% of buyers even wanted? What’s “criminal” about that?

            And it’s “holds its own,” not “holds it’s own.” If you’re gonna quote someone, Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V are your friends.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            “Why should any company offer something that’s mechanically inferior and less than 10% of buyers even wanted?”

            Because 90% of pickup uses falls within a range where both are suitable. Hence, a range where a manual is not “mechanically inferior” to an auto. Rather the opposite. And 10% of pickup buyers, are still an awful lot of people.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The reason they don’t offer it for the small amount of buyers that would prefer the manual is because it would cost them more to offer it and people aren’t willing to pay more for a manual trans.

            Yes it would cost more, since a manual trans requires a separate calibration and certification which is not cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            The opposite of mechanically inferior would be superior, and any manual offered in a full-size pickup after 1997 or so is, at best, equal to the automatic offered.

            What’s the last comma doing there, anyway?

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            @Drzhivago138

            Per my ranking, a manual is indeed technically superior to an auto, as long as both are able to fulfill the objective needs of the vehicle. So, tah-dah, opposite of inferior. Of course, I am also one of those prone to consider a lowly Miata superior to an Allison equipped Chevy HD, for most uses where both suffice. Heck, for many uses, I even consider something as archaic as a “manual” powered bike, superior to a motorized one. Maximum rated GCWR be damned…

            @Scoutdude
            I’m sure the truck makers have done their studies, convincing them of what you say. Still, there is at least one, perhaps many, manuals on offer in the midsize class. And one in the HD class. Both seemingly economically viable, despite both classes being far smaller than the half ton one.

            A class of vehicles where various entrants are equipped with a “Corvette” engine, a “Mustang” engine, and a Hemi… But no manual in sight! It really is bloody sad, whatever the reasoning behind it.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Ford hasn’t offered a manual trans in the F150 for many years.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        The writing was on the wall in ’97 when Ford made the 5.4 auto-only, since there wasn’t a transmission heavy enough for the 5.4 that would also fit in the F-150 cab. It was all over when the manufacturers developed tow/haul mode that would hold gears longer, as well as a gear select function, eliminating the last advantage of a manual.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          So my 4.6 V8 Mod motor F150 is a 4-speed auto, but that is due to buying used and scouring to find a truck that wasn’t used up and overpriced.

          However now that I have a Dynomax system on it I’d love to be able to hold a lower gear while going up hill and listen to the OHCs sing.

          Sometimes it all about the vanity. :-) Plus on the dirt paths around here it can be easier to leave things in a lower gear and crawl a bit without riding the brake.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            You can hold that lower gear, and you can even start out in second gear, since it is a Ford, if that is what you want to do. Look at your shifter, there is that OD off button and in the instrument cluster to the right of the D there is 2 and 1.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Does putting it in 2 actually start it out in 2? I had always read in the owner’s manual that that just locks it in the lower 2 gears.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            I dunno about F150s and that particular transmission, but if you’re on a dirt path, I always put my SuperDuty in “1” and “4WD Low” if I want to go slow.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @drz, in Ford products putting it in 2, if there is a 2 will have it start out in 2nd, in other mfgs yeah it will start out in first and shift to second at the same time it would normally do it if it was in D. Now if you get it rolling in 1 and move it immediately to 2 it may or may not complete the shift early.

            Heck our 5sp equipped Mountaineer you could start in 3rd (2nd over) by placing the shifter in that positon. Being able to start out in second is a tradition at Ford that went all the way back to the “dual range” or “green dot” C-4. Though in those models it was the “normal”, white dot, or the first position past N that made the transmission start in second and shift to 3rd and you selected the green dot if you wanted the quicker acceleration of a first gear start. It was sort of a transition from the 2sp auto era and their first 3sp transmissions that would start in second unless you floored it and engaged the kickdown linkage. It quickly was replaced with the PRND21 shifter that allowed second gear starts and using it for increased engine braking. The odd ball is the non electronic AOD.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Thanks for the tips guys – I’ve gotten used to hitting the overdrive lockout when ascending a certain steep grade on my way into Gallup, I get tired of the transmission hunting as it desperately wants to drop in and out of overdrive.

            But, I wasn’t aware that it would actually start in 2nd if placed in 2nd.

            “I’m chillin’ on a dirt road, laid back swervin’ like I’m George Jones…”

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Try putting it in 2 from a stand still the next time you drive it. You’ll feel the sluggish acceleration for certain. Of course the idea is to reduce the torque multiplication when starting in slippery conditions.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    “Power ratings are 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque, not far off the mighty 302 V8 and 300 straight-six of yesteryear.”

    Whahuh?

    300 I6: ~145 hp, ~265 lb-ft
    302 V8: ~170 hp, ~270 lb-ft

    So torque is pretty comparable, but the 3.5 can spin far faster in any given gear, and generate almost twice the power of the 300. I’ll take today’s engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      But-but-but muh straight-six!

      And don’t you know the 300 gets more unkillable every time its story is told?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I do have to admit that it feels kind of weird to wind a pickup engine out to 7000 rpm.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          you should hear the gas (usually CNG) V10s in the F-650 and F-750. The gearing has those engines *screaming.*

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Maybe it’s the rear end? Our F-350 V10 has a 4.30 rear end and it doesn’t like to go faster than 65. Even in OD, it feels like it needs another gear. Pulls great, though, and you can start it from a dead stop in 3rd.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            My F250 with the 5.4L and a 4.10 rear really doesn’t *feel* like it wants to cruise above 65, though not because of revs.

            (I’ve gotten it up to 90-some in southern Idaho, empty, and the engine was perfectly happy* … it’s just the thing generally just feels “right” at about 60-65.

            * On the way home with the brand new rebuilt engine, after the original died outside of Twin Falls on a road trip. They said “don’t baby it, but don’t keep it at the same speed” for the drive back to Portland, so … yeah, brand new engine was really nice and smooth and happy to go fast.)

      • 0 avatar

        300 6 is the only Ford motor I ever really liked. (OK the Duratech v6 and 7.3 powestroke were fun). That said everyone I drove was hooked to a manual so it may have tainted my view of it. Seriously I liked them so much I made an offer on a 95 reg cab short bed, but the guy wouldn’t budge and I ended up with a Toyota pickup instead.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’ll take the Barra.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    No low-spec trucks in stock?

    Depends on where you shop, too – If you find a *commercial* dealer, you can find ’em.

    Northside Ford (my nearby work truck dealer) has *three* short-cab F-150s with 2WD in stock right now, under $30k.

    At that price, I think the only option they have is the 2.7TT – I think nobody even in that market wants the 3.5L.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Is anybody goin’ to San Antone?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      We have one local Ford dealer (Horizon Ford of Tukwila, WA) that is located next to our main industrial area and specializes in commercial and fleet sales. Stop by there and you’ll see all the work-configuration F-150s, Super Duties, and Transits you could possibly want.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I was curious if you don’t mind my asking, but do you practice criminal law, business law, or something in between?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I want to give my guess before he answers. And I don’t think he’ll tell ya exactly.

          He has said it’s niche and there aren’t very many of them – so it’s something weird on the business side. Patents or something.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I just wonder if he’s working for a certain firm out of Seattle I have a connection too, six degrees of separation and all.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Corey is right. My practice is very specialized. I won’t say exactly what it is because there are few enough of us that it would out me, but it’s a specialized type of tax law.

          For the most part it ends up being business-type work, but occasionally we’ll get a controversy matter where we have to fight the IRS on behalf of a client.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Gotcha. I was recently introduced to the legal world… you people work like *crazy*.

            Additional: Could you please tell me what “Of Counsel” means?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Better call Dal, at 1-877-EVADE4U!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            We do love our billable hours (sigh). Seriously, the constant hours pressure is the only thing I dislike about my job.

            “Of Counsel” is a title that law firms tend to use to indicate that a lawyer is more professionally advanced than an associate but is not a partner. It can mean a few different things. Often it’s a later-career lawyer who is working part time or would rather draw a salary than a percentage of profits. Some firms also use it as an “in-between” title for associates who may still make partner. And sometimes it’s used for someone who practices in a firm “on the side” and has another job, usually professor at a law school.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I see that here – all of our later career lawyers are people who used to do criminal or big firm law. Now they have a salary and can work a lot less -ish.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m not sure how you operate but I have learned about the six minute billing mindset. I realize successful lawyers make major bank and usually younger folks carry heavy debts and thus need the money, but just: wow. I could never work like they do, heck I’ve never been so busy as I am now but even I am not in their mindset (hence me being able to even write this post).

            Thanks for the explanation, I keep seeing that and was just confused.

  • avatar
    crazymonkey

    Droll, comical (same thing?), urbane and debonair, mon-see-or Gay is one of the best writers I’ve read in a long time.

    Sincerely,

    Another writer

  • avatar
    Commando

    Ten years ago, this is exactly what I did. Bought a base 150 Sunday newspaper loss leader, bait and switch, for 15.5. To this day, I swear this is the best vehicle I ever bought. Absolutely 0 problems. Just recommended maintenance. I may even wash it someday.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    “Building” one online now nets an 8-foot bed (as God intended true pickups to have) in color “Blue Jean” for $25,035 after $3000 incentives. Good luck finding one from dealer stock.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Maybe not in Blue Jeans which is a nice color but lots of Oxford White if you find a dealer that has a strong fleet business. If you are willing to wait any dealer with a fleet desk will order one in Blue Jeans without a lot of squawking.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Fun fact: GM didn’t make an 8′ bed pickup until 1955, and Dodge didn’t make one until 1959. They did make 9′ beds on one-ton trucks, though. The long bed on half-tons and standard bed on 3/4-tons was about 7.5′ long, and most pickups sold were short bed half-tons.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Mathew, thanks for your thoughts.
    If I had to have a pick-up, this would probably be it.
    Black with (as god intended) the eight foot bed.

  • avatar
    scottcom36

    Don’t hose out your truck just because it has a mat floor.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    Replacing the 3.7 with a 3.5 v6 is a dick move Ford.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    “Not that you’ll be able to find one of these on the lot,…”

    A BASE F-150? Are you serious? When I went looking for a regular-cab (four door trucks move too far into “family car” status), standard bed F-150 in the XL trim but equipped up close to an XLT a couple of weeks, virtually EVERYTHING I found on dealer’s lots were BASE models – crank windows, vinyl seats, no carpeting, and every damn one painted white. Ford dealers seemingly stock only the base models (~$23K with incentives), or $45K-plus models, and NOTHING in between. I did what I should have done from the start – order one.

    And why oh why do they call regular-cab trucks “work trucks”?

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