When is a truck not a truck?
The author's grandson, Jack, atop the unlined bed of the 2009 F-150. (Bill Griffith)
That was the case with this week's test vehicle, a Ford F-150 regular cab RWD pickup. It's the smallest cab size available and medium trim level among the almost limitless configurations for the company's signature vehicle. Sticker price, depending on options, would range from $25,000 to $30,000. Ours was $26,905.
There was plenty of yard debris to haul to the compost dump. There were several sections of old wooden fencing to cut up and dispose of and a trip to the fencing company for replacement posts and fencing.
However, the test truck didn't have a bed liner, and the decision was made to instead deliver a used child's train table to my grandson.
On the road, the F-150 offers car-like handling and a stable, comfortable ride. The on-board computer delivers trip mpg. We started out at 19.2 miles per gallon and by feathering the gas where possible got it up to 19.9 by the end of the 250-mile trip; however, we couldn't nudge it to 20.0.
The 4.6-liter V-8 (248 horsepower), mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission, was fine for our purposes, but those who do more hauling or towing likely would opt for the higher-output version (292 horsepower) or the available 5.4-liter (310 horsepower).
After a winter of driving by dealerships that seemed overstocked with trucks and SUVs, it was a pleasure to have a truck to drive. The only regret is that we were too polite to really put it through its hauling paces and scratch up the bed.
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee