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2009 Ford F-150 FX4 4WD SuperCab 133

2009 Ford F-150
Trim Info:
4-Wheel Drive, SuperCab 5.5' Styleside
14 mpg city / 18 mpg hwy
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Expert Reviews

November 18, 2009 by Brian Alexander, Content Editor

2009 Ford F-150
2009 Ford F-150

DriverSide Overview
Light duty truck sales might be down for the year, but the Ford F-150 remains poised to be the best selling vehicle in the US yet again this year. Thanks to aggressive incentives, the truck market is experiencing sales roughly on par with those of one year ago. While gas prices remain tolerable for the moment, the lessons of a price spike have been learned and, as a result, Ford is refocusing its F-Series trucks for its core customers – the people who use them out of necessity. The result is an F-150 with more available storage than before, new and innovative cargo management options, a refined interior and powerful software and navigation options that prove useful to both everyday drivers and contractors alike. Naturally, efficiency has come to the forefront of design and Ford has managed not only to strip weight from the F-150, but has also added a six-speed transmission and optional SuperCrew SFE model that can achieve up to 21 mpg highway. Couple that with a comfortable, modern cabin that can be decked out with anything from barebones cloth to plush leather with wood trim, heated and cooled seats and premium sound, and you understand why the F-150 has done so well for so long.

2009 Ford F-150

2009 Ford F-150

2009 Ford F-150
What's to Like
Labeling the F-150 as “highly customizable" would be a gross understatement – the combination of 35 different cabs, beds and trim lines means there’s an F-150 for everyone. Space management has been meticulously thought out and is arguably superior to the competition. Cross-country trailer haulers will appreciate the 5.4-liter engine’s class-leading towing capacity of 11,300 lbs, as well as its optional integrated trailer brake controller.

What's Not to Like
The rough ride of the FX4 creates a dilemma for those who want a daily driver with off-road capabilities. The brake pedal has a good amount of travel in it and isn’t as confidence inspiring as one might hope for in such a large, heavy vehicle. Some interior plastics, such as the gearshift housing, feel low budget in the high-end Lariat and Platinum models.

The Drive:
DriverSide Driving Impressions

Around town, the F-150 is surprisingly nimble, with properly weighted steering that’s neither numb nor too heavy resulting in good, consistent feel. Punch the throttle and you’ll get an earful of the big V-8’s bellowing vocals, but back off it uses its inside voice, as if to avoid interrupting the quiet cabin. Wind noise has been reduced nine percent and road noise is down five percent, furthering the in-cabin comforts. Acceleration is brisk thanks to the closely-stacked ratios of the new six-speed transmission, though the four-speed in the base model still feels as if it’s being asked to stretch its legs a bit too much. When equipped with four-wheel drive, the F-150 is an off-road menace – traction control isn’t overly intrusive, and is automatically switched off below 25 mph in 4H and the rear differential can be electronically locked in both 4H and 4L.

Engine and Drivetrain
Three separate engines are available for the 2009 Ford F-150. The base engine is a 4.6-liter, two-valve V-8 that produces 248 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque and is equipped with a four-speed automatic. A more powerful, freer breathing three-valve 4.6-liter V-8 is also available which makes 292 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, driving the wheels through a six-speed automatic. If that’s still not enough, an E85 compatible 5.4-liter V-8 with 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque is available with the six-speed automatic. All engines can be mated to either two- or four-wheel drive.

Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
A lot of attention has been put into the towing capabilities of the F-150, and trailer-hitching amateurs will look like seasoned veterans thanks to trailer sway control and a tow/haul function that holds gears longer uphill and downshifts when the brake pedal is tapped to take advantage of engine braking downhill. Inside and out, you’ll find more than 30 storage compartments. Surprisingly convenient is the integrated box side step – a “booster step" of sorts – that properly complements the pullout tailgate step introduced in the Super Duty. We really like the optional rearview mirror integrated backup camera, which is more intuitive than traditional dash-mounted camera screens.

Key Technology Evaluation
New for 2009 is the in-dash computer with productivity software, including Crew Chief, which lets fleet managers digitally track and manage their trucks and equipment. Ford’s voice-activated next generation navigation system with SYNC can be added as an option and is amazingly capable, providing you with everything from trivial information like sports scores to more important commuter features like local gas prices and real-time traffic. A Sony premium audio system can also be specified, representing F-150’s first branded sound system. For a “work-oriented" truck, the F-150 is surprisingly 21st century.

Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
This year fuel economy went from being the tenth most important purchase decision for truck buyers to the third most important. As a result, mileage has been improved by an average of eight percent across all powertrains. In two-wheel drive configuration, the 4.6-liter four-speed returns 14/19, the 4.6-liter six-speed manages 15/20 and the 5.4-liter does only slightly worse at 14/20. When equipped with four-wheel drive, the 4.6- four-speed, 4.6- six-speed and 5.4-liter engines return 14/18, 14/19 and 14/18 respectively. All engines are rated LEV-II.

A Closer Look:  Vehicle Details

Cabin ergonomics have improved over the outgoing model, and overall material fit and finish are impressive across all trim lines. The Crew Cab has been extended six inches to increase rear legroom, and the B-pillars have been moved back to aid driver visibility.

While the large, flat front-end of the F-150 appears rather blunt, the overall aerodynamics of the truck have been improved. It’s blocky, sharp-edged exterior evokes an overall sense of utility and purpose. The XLT’s Super Duty-esque front grille is especially rugged.

Market Segment and Pricing
Just as the F-150 has increased in capability for 2009, so too has the price of admission. Prices start at $20,345 for the base-model XL, increase to $33,630 for the popular FX4 Off Road model and top out at $40,440 for the top of the line Platinum model. With so many different models and configurations, working out all possible pricing combinations would require a team of NASA engineers. Competitors include the $22,390 Toyota Tundra, $19,550 Chevrolet Silverado and the newly refreshed $22,170 Dodge Ram.

What We Think
Times change, and while gas prices mean light duty trucks may no longer be viable as a daily driver, many consumers still need them for business, towing and hauling. For these essential users, the F-150 should not be overlooked. It manages to blend utility and convenience with a level of refinement that proves difficult to match. Ironically, in a world gone mad over compact, hybrid and electric cars, the pickup is better than ever.

Other Resources

First Drive: 2009 Ford F-150 – Survival Of The Fittest: This Pickup Has To Be The Biggest Hit In Blue Oval HistoryThis time, Ford has brought every possible F-150 configuration to the table where other makers are being measured. In other words: No one will accuse Ford of bringing Source:

2009 Ford F-150 – 2009 Ford F-150Will the F-150 remain Ford's savior at a time when the automaker needs every penny it can scrounge up, or is the bigger and badder F-150 too much truck for today's market?Is Bigger Still Better? Photo Gallery: 2009 Ford F150 - New Ford Source:

Review: 2009 Ford F-150 – Although the U.S. pickup truck market is suddenly a lot smaller, it's not small. And while Ford is scrambling to make something, anything profitable in the car segment, the F-150 is still a large part of the reason why the company remains out of ban Source:

Pre-Review: 2009 Ford F-150 – This week, I went to Detroit on an all-expenses-paid junket extravaganza, where I drove the snot out of the new Ford F-150. What I took away from the experience, in addition to the F-150 (full review tomorrow) is twofold. First, Ford may have seriou Source:

Ford highlights F-150 with "unsurpassed fuel economy" – Filed under: MPG, Ford, USAGreenwashing or no, at least Ford is moving to green up its lineup. The company recently highlighted some of the reasons to buy a new F-150, including great residual value, powerful towing capacity, lots of award from all s Source:

SHORT STINT: 2009 Ford F-150 XLT: – OUR TAKE: It's hard to beat a good 4WD extended-cab, full-size pickup for most of your everyday needs. But it gets even better if your needs include any hauling or towing or you're driving through snow. Source:

2009 Ford F-150 named Motor Trend Truck of the Year – Filed under: Trucks/Pickups, Ford Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Ford F-150 Realistically, Motor Trend had two choices when it came time to pick its Truck of the Year for 2009. On one hand, Ford's redesigned F-150 has been the best se Source:

2009 Motor Trend Truck of the Year: Ford F-150 – Roll of the Dice: Ford Bets the Farm on its Best Truck YetThis is it. Crunch time. The 2009 Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram are rolling onto the market like a pair of gigantic craps dice, and the companies tossing them are each betting big on this game. Unf Source:

2009 Ford F-150 - 2009 Truck Of The Year Winner Video – Motor Trend editor-in-chief Angus MacKenzie names the 2009 Ford F-150 Motor Trend's 2009 Truck of the Year.... Source:

5 Stars for '09 Ford F-150 – Filed under: Trucks/Pickups, Safety, FordFord's 2009 F-150 has garnered five-star government crash ratings and a "Top Safety Pick" award from the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), which Ford says makes its newly redesigned full-sizer the Source:

VIDEO: Mike Rowe takes on dirty job of comparing full-size pickups – Filed under: Trucks/Pickups, Videos, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Toyota Click above to watch the video In today's world, you'd imagine that any new full-size pickup truck can handle the daily grind with ease. And for the most part, you'd be right. But wh Source:

In the Autoblog Garage: 2009 Ford F-150 Platinum 4x4 – Filed under: In the Autoblog Garage, Trucks/Pickups, Ford Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2009 Ford F-150 Platinum 4x4 The Blue Oval delayed the introduction of its all-important 2009 Ford F-150 by two months late last summer. The compa Source:

2009 Ford F-150 Platinum Lariat 4x4 – 2009 Ford F-150 Platinum Lariat 4x4Sophisticated, quiet, and huge.There are nearly seven different trim levels offered on the 2009 F-150, but this new Platinum is about as swanky as they come. While the marketing folks might not admit it, this decked Source:

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