Ford F-150 review: Runs fine on six cylinders

CNET takes a look at the newest Ford F-150, testing out the Ecoboost engine to see if six cylinders can measure up to eight.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2011 Ford F-150
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

From the outside, you wouldn't suspect the modern features found in the 2011 Ford F-150. It is a full-size truck with bed sides that run almost 5 feet off the ground. Getting in the cab requires a big step up, and the grille is a veritable cliff.

But under the hood sits Ford's latest power plant, a twin turbocharged direct injection 3.5-liter V-6. In displacement, that is a lot smaller than the 5-liter V-8 also offered. But this new engine churns out considerably more power, while at the same time getting slightly better fuel economy. In all of our testing, we found little to complain about the V-6.

And although the F-150 has the full cabin tech suite, with navigation, a Bluetooth and iPod connection, and a 700-watt Sony audio system, there is also a dial on the dashboard that switches the drivetrain between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, the latter having high and low modes.

Ford has not skimped on the new F-150's capabilities, and offers it in a wide range of configurations, with different cab and bed sizes, and various payload and towing capacities.

Check out our review of the 2011 Ford F-150.