Ford F-150 still rules the roost
The Ford F-150 is a perennial favorite of reviewers and consumers alike. One reason, say editors of U.S. News Rankings and Reviews, is that it "gives buyers plenty of capability, which they can enjoy from a comfortable cab that's stuffed with useful features." Still another reason, offered by Edmunds.com editors, lies in Ford's practice of listening to "truck people," and offering a version of the F-150 to meet the needs of virtually any buyer. Fresh from its full redesign last year, the F-150 returns largely unchanged for 2010, except for an expanded lineup including the return of the Harley-Davidson model and the launch of the off-road-themed 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. For a detailed review of this vehicle, consult our page on the 2009 Ford F-150.
The most significant news for 2010 is the off-road thrill ride delivered by the all-new F-150 SVT Raptor (Base MSRP: $38,020), which boasts an optional 6.2-liter V8. Plus there's the limited edition F-150 Harley-Davidson model (the 14th version in 10 years), which Autotropolis.com's Jeffrey N. Ross says follows the tradition of "extensive chrome trim, custom-styled paint schemes and trick interiors all based on what the individualized bikers pride themselves on." And Jalopnik.com's Ben Wojdyla says, "If nothing else, the 2010 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson certainly captures the Harley attitude… dark, brooding and it wears its chrome proudly."
In crash testing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2010 F-150 its highest rating (5 out of 5 stars) for frontal and side-impact tests, 4 stars for rear-wheel drive models and 3 stars for four-wheel drive models in rollover testing. The F-150 also gets "good" ratings for frontal offset and side-impact testing by the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Fuel economy is about on par with the class. Rear-wheel-drive Ford 150s achieve 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway and 16 combined; four-wheel-drive models earn 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 combined; and flex-fuel models come in at 10 mpg city/14 mpg highway and 12 combined.
The 2010 F-150 has garnered numerous awards to date including Truck Trend's Best in Class Crew Cab Pickup award, ConsumerGuide.com's Best Buy nod, Car and Driver's 2010 Editor's Choice and the Popular Mechanics' Automotive Excellence Award for the new SVT Raptor, which we cover in a separate report.
Edmunds.com editors say the F-150's one weakness is power. Noting that competing models from Dodge, GM and Toyota offer formidably powerful V8 engines, "the 2010 Ford F-150 soldiers on with the venerable 5.4-liter V8" as top engine choice. And, when pitting the F-150 against current Ram, Tundra and Silverado models in a comparison test, the F-150 came in last. Still, the editors say "The question is whether you need or want more oomph than the Ford can provide." The F-150 offers best-in-class towing (11,300 pounds) and payload (3,030 pounds) ratings.
The editors of Edmunds.com say the big news for 2010 is the return of the Harley-Davidson trim and the introduction of the high-performance SVT Raptor. Otherwise, they say that while the F-150 continues to be an excellent all-around truck, many competitors offer "a bit more grunt."
Review: 2010 Ford F-150 Review, Editors of Edmunds.com
2. U.S. News Rankings and Reviews
Based on an analysis of 35 published reviews and test drives of the 2010 Ford F-150, the editors of U.S. News Rankings and Reviews rank the F-150 number one out of eight full-size pickups. Noting that the F-150 "gives buyers plenty of capability, which they can enjoy from a cab that's stuffed with useful features," the editors also offer other picks for buyer consideration, along with details about performance, styling, safety and reliability.
Review: Ford F-150 – What the Auto Press Says, Editors of U.S. News Rankings and Reviews
The auto editors of ConsumerGuide.com conduct a comprehensive road test of the 2010 Ford F-150, offering insights on acceleration, fuel economy and ride quality, as well as steering, handling, braking, quietness and comfort, noting "the Best Buy F-150 is a strong competitor and a must-see for those shopping full-size pickups." And for those with "true wanderlust," they say the Raptor has you covered, although cautioning that its available "6.2-liter V8 engine provides serious thrust (albeit with serious fuel thirst), whether you need to tow a trailer or pound the Rubicon trail."
Review: 2010 Ford F-150, Editors of ConsumerGuide.com
Reviewing the 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150, Ben Wojdyla notes, "Upgraded hardware is nice and all, but let's be honest, the crew-cab-only Harley F-150 is all about styling, and if you're into the bike-makers design mantra, this new truck doesn't disappoint." Wojdyla also provides a brief but thorough review of exactly what awaits those rejoicing hog lovers, in terms of interior and exterior styling, right down to the heated and cooled front seats that "wear aniline leather patterned after a motorcycle jacket."
Review: 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150: Hog Lovers Rejoice!, Ben Wojdyla, Feb. 10, 2009
Calling the 14th version of the Harley-Davidson F-150 the "most stylish yet," Jeffrey N. Ross notes that the trucks are meant to mimic the style for which the legendary American motorcycles are known, noting the all-new 2010 version which "gets the job done" using Ford's powerful Triton V8 "will not disappoint these free-spirited riders."
Review: 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 Overview, Jeffrey N. Ross
The Environmental Protection Agency lists mileage estimates for the 2010 Ford F-150 and other full-size pickups. Rear-wheel-drive F-150s land in the top third for fuel economy, while four-wheel-drive models are in the middle of the pack.
Review: 2010 Standard Pickup Trucks, Editors of FuelEconomy.gov
7. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
This chart shows overall crash-worthiness for large pickups. The Ford F-150 aces all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests (rear, side and offset front).
Review: Large Pickups, Editors of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
This searchable database shows the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash-test performance and ratings for the 2010 Ford F-150.
Review: 5-Star Safety Ratings, Editors of SaferCar.gov
Few changes from year to year mean this full analysis of the 2009 Ford F-150 is still valuable. Numerous third-party reviews and sources are linked.
Review: 2009 Ford F-150, Editors of ConsumerSearch.com, June 2009