Review Notes: 2007 Ford F150 Supercrew (5.4L V8 / 4 Speed Automatic)
Handsome on the outside-Sumptuous on the inside
Short on power compared to compitition
EPA Fuel Mileage
14 city, 20highway
The Final Word
The F150 is a bit outclassed by younger and stronger competitors but America’s favorite truck is still a winner.
I recently had the pleasure of taking a ride in my 16 year old nephew’s first set of wheels, a 1966 Ford F100. Hopping inside for a quick ride around the block was like jumping into Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine and zipping back more than 40 years to a time when only farmers and ranchers drove trucks.
The vinyl covered bench seat was as flat as Kansas, and without anything to grab onto, a fast left-hander sent me sliding right into the door panel. Fast right turns, as I am sure my nephew has already found out, provide a convenient way to get your girlfriend to scoot a little closer.
We took our ride at night and the only light in the cab was the dim glow illuminating the tiny circular speedometer. Air conditioning is operated by a crank on each door and the faster you go the better it works.
Spartan accommodations to be sure, but with bright orange paint, a step side bed and raised white letter tires, this is the kind of vehicle that any young man would be proud to have as his first ride. More importantly, however, it is represents the truck in its purest form. It provides space for cargo, a driver and one passenger, and enough power via its utilitarian straight-six engine to safely interact with traffic – nothing more. Creature comforts are limited to protection from the elements and padded seating – forget about gee-whiz electronics. These trucks were built for all work and no play.
Now, fast forward 4 decades. In that time we have seen 8 presidents, two wars in Iraq, the birth of the information age, and the evolution of the truck. Sure, they still have the engine up front, a cab in the middle and a bed in the back, but the similarities pretty much end there. Trucks have changed just as much as their buyers have changed. Farmers and ranchers now make up the minority of truck buyers, and now everyone from outdoorsmen to soccer moms to executives use trucks as their daily drivers. Take a look at any Wal-Mart marking lot and you will see countless pickup trucks, most of them with pristine, unscratched beds indicating that they are rarely used for hauling anything more than groceries or baseball gear.
As trucks have entered the mainstream over the last 20 years, they have become more comfortable and accommodating to mainstream buyers. It doesn’t get more mainstream than the Ford F-150, the most popular vehicle in American history.
The 2007 F-150 soldiers on in it’s 12th generation, since 1948, with the same industrially boxy body that was introduced in 2004. Exterior styling is certainly a subjective measurement, but we think the F-150 is certainly handsome but not terribly sophisticated in its design. On the 4X4Review Style-O-Meter the F-150 sits somewhere between the cartoonishly industrial Dodge Ram and the extremely conservative Chevy Silverado.
Exterior features are fairly traditional on the F-150. There are no fancy-schmancy HID or Xenon headlights or LED taillights, no slick cargo management systems or lockable storage boxes. What is there, however, works extremely well. The six and a half foot cargo box is cavernous, and the lockable torsion spring equipped tailgate is as light as a feather making closing a one-handed affair. The doors handles are big and meaty, and easy to operate with gloved hands. Our up-level Lariat was equipped with Ford’s pushbutton combination lock system, which seems almost absurd to us in an age where nearly every car on the road has a remote key fob to manipulate the locks, but I suppose it might be handy if you managed to lock your keys in the car.
The interior is where the Lariat truly shines. Ford has done a terrific job of making the interior of the F-150 stylish, comfortable and, most importantly, functional. Our Lariat was equipped with the optional console mounted shifter which gave the cabin a decidedly sporty look and feel. The cost is the loss of the center front seat, but there is still ample room for 5 adult passengers.
The sumptuous leather-covered and heated seats are the centerpiece of the cabin. While lacking in lateral support, they are as wide as Wyoming and are Lay-Z-Boy comfortable. Even with the optional sunroof there is still enough headroom up front that a six-footer wouldn’t have to remove his hat in the cab.
Back seat passengers are also treated to comfortable accommodations, although they are a little less spacious. Tall cowboys may find themselves moderately comfortable back there during a short jaunt around the farm, but a cross-country journey would make them more ornery than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Our Lariat was equipped with all sorts of luxuries that we now wonder how we ever lived without. Included on the options list were the aforementioned sunroof, DVD navigation, a reverse warning system, Sirius satellite radio and steering wheel audio controls.
While no one would consider these Spartan accommodations, the folks at Ford are going to have to bring their “A” game on the next go-around if they intend to compete with the latest full sized trucks from Chevy and Toyota. The new Silverado interior is absolutely gorgeous while the Tundra interior is ugly but very thoughtful and well designed. With competitors offering features such as power folding exterior mirrors, remote start, under-seat storage systems and stability control, good looks alone aren’t going to cut it anymore.
Ford’s not-so-new 24 valve 5.4 liter Triton V8 thrums away under the hood. With 300 horsepower and 350 ft-lbs of torque on tap, the Ford has plenty of giddy-up, but again, the bar has been raised and the Ford is outgunned by nearly every other manufacturer’s full sized truck. The 5 speed transmission works well with the Triton to deliver smooth and well timed shifts.
On the road the Supercrew was a treat to drive. Its 20 inch rims with 60 series tires gave it ample of bite in the corners with made the Ford feel quite a bit lighter than its 5500 lb curb weight would have you believe. We do have to wonder however, how much more utility the American truck manufacturers will eradicate from their trucks in the sake of adding sport.
Off road the Supercrew did well enough. With adequate ground clearance, a reasonably compliant suspension and Pirelli Scorpion tires, we managed to make it through our snow covered off-road course with out any trouble.
The ride is outstanding as far as half-ton pickups with empty beds go. It did a good job of soaking up the rough stuff while never loosing its composure, feeling floaty or out of control. The steering was a little vague but it was nicely weighted and the steering ratios were well matched for suburban and light trail duty.
The F150 is a nice truck and when you dress it up like our Lariat, it becomes a very nice truck. At $45,000 however you do feel the need to shop around, and when you do, you will probably see that the competition is putting out a better product right now. Still, Ford can hardly build F150’s fast enough to keep up with Americas insatiable demand for their favorite truck.
When you look at my nephews ‘66 Ford and how far the state-of-the-art pickup truck design has come in 40 years you have to wonder. In 2047 when some kid buys our test truck what will the state-of-the-art be then? What technological advances in his uncle’s brand new truck will make him say, “Wow, it is hard to believe that they used to drive these things every day. How did they ever make it without…?”