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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