Planning to purchase a pickup to park on your property? Expect to fork over a half-ton of cash just to get it off the dealer’s lot.
Take the 2016 Ford F-150 Limited for instance. I just spent time – and a lot of money for fuel – with a prime example of the F-Series provided by Ford of Canada for review. I’ll give you the bottom line right off the top: it’s big, it’s capable, it’s loaded and it will lighten your bank account right at the start and every time you pull into a gas station to fill its 136-L tank.
The as-tested price works out to about $39 (GST and delivery included) per kg. or $17.66 a lb. Seem like a lot to get your teeth into? Well, here’s something to chew on, Costco’s website shows a single 10 oz. (283 gm) wagyu New York strip loin will run you $32.99 or $54.48 per lb. The truck is chewier, but lasts longer.
But, if you’re spending more than 80 grand (tax in) for a pickup, you’re not going to worry about fuel costs (or beef prices) and if you can swallow that, you’re going to be a happy camper in the Limited. This truck has EVERYTHING you could want. It’s a full meal deal.
Dressed in White Platinum metallic tri-coat that costs a shade over $500 ($550 to be exact), it glimmers in the sun, beckoning me to climb aboard. And I do, but not before noting the truck has Ford’s easy-access tailgate step system (hidden inside the power locking tailgate) as well as box side-steps. Fold-away running boards deploy like long welcome mats when you open the doors – and a high class welcome it is.
This SuperCrew cab is high-off-the-hog living: The layout is spacious, the leather is high grade, everything is power-operated and the wood trim is real eucalyptus. The two-tone leather front seats are heated and cooled and the rear perches are heated.
The new-for-2016 Limited sports a long list of standards: besides the running boards and seats, it offers a power tilt multi-function steering wheel, navigation, 360-degree camera, remote tailgate release, remote start, power sliding rear window, blind spot warning and a huge panoramic sun roof.
There’s a long list of electronic nannies like lane keeping assist, blind spot monitor, cross-traffic alert, roll stability control,
Everything is handled on the big centre infotainment screen by the new Sync 3 system: navigation, Bluetooth, climate and audio plus aps and settings. It’s one of the best, if not THE best, system available even if it is distracting sometimes, but I can always turn to the Sync lady for help. She listens and complies with a minimum of fuss. If she does get uppity, there are redundant controls on the dash for audio and climate.
Gauges – analogue and configurable centre screen – tell me all I need to know about the truck’s systems.
Okay it’s got luxury and a lot of electronic dodads. But how does it drive, you ask?
Pretty darned well.
Under the hood is a 3.5L twin turbo EcoBoost V6 engine rated at 365 horsepower and 420 lb. ft. of torque. Shift duties are handled by a smooth six-speed automatic.
Acceleration is brisk whether starting out or passing slower traffic, and this thing can pull more than 10,000 lb.
That raises one beef: You can have Eco or you can have Boost, but not both at the same time. Official fuel consumption estimates are 12.9 L/100 km city, 10.7 highway. I make 14.2 L/100 km combined over 780 km, about two-thirds of it on highways.
When winds are calm and the turbos quiet, Eco gives me 11.4 on the highway, but in any kind of breeze, the turbo boost bar opens and the drinking begins, pushing consumption to between 14.8 and 16 L/100 km.
But it’s so nice to drive It’s like being in a luxury car, really. Although the leaf-spring rear suspension can be jarring in rough going, the seats are comfortable, there’s legroom aplenty and the cabin is uncommonly quiet.
Once you get to your destination, if you need to parallel park, the truck will do it for you. And if you’re pulling a trailer, you’re not going to provide entertainment for other campers. Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist lets you manoeuvre the trailer using a dash-mounted knob: turn the know in the direction you want the trailer to go and the system steers the truck accordingly. Brilliant.
I was reluctant to give the truck back at the end of my test period. It’s capable of hard work but at the same time, it’s a terrific family vehicle with a high class interior.
Did I mention the front seats will give you a massage?
2016 Ford F-150
Price as tested (before taxes): $75,499.00 (Limited)
Freight: $1,700.00 Configuration: front-engine, four-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.5L V6 turbo/ six-speed automatic
Power/torque: 365 hp/ 420 lb-ft
Fuel (Capacity): Regular (136)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 11.8
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 14.0
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic), 5-years/100,000 km (power train)
Competitors: Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra
- Trailer Backup Assist
- Luxurios cabin
- Thirsty and costly