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>> Molly Wood: Now, there's a lot of reasons you might decide you need a Ford F150. Maybe you're a contractor. You got a couple of horses like Bailey [assumed spelling] here. But even if you're buying this truck to put groceries in the back, there's no reason to travel like a low dyke [phonetic]. The F150 is, after all, Jack Bauer's truck. I'm Molly Wood from CNET.com. Brian Cooley told me I could get inside and check the tech on the 2009 Ford F150.
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>> Molly Wood: Now through thick and thin, the Ford F150 is the best-selling car in America. No gas prices seem to be able to change that. For 2009, this truck gets a minor redesign. It's a little swoopier. There's a lot more chrome on the front, and up close, this truck is gigantic. Luckily, getting in and out is helped a lot by these optional box sidesteps. There's also this optional tailgate step here, and then there's even a handrail to help you climb up into the back here. Now, Brian Cooley tells me that this is getting a reputation that's kind of a sissy thing. The sissy system will cost you around $350, so you might want to think about just getting up into your truck like a man. [Music] Now, the F series if available in about a million different configurations. We're driving a 4 x 2 Lariat edition super crew, which means it seats five, and it's got four doors. I do have one little nitpick, though. Actually, it's a pretty big nitpick. How is this considered an acceptable key fob in this day and age and especially for a truck with this much tech in it? At least make it part of the key. The first thing you notice when you get in this truck is that the cabin is incredibly luxurious. There are these wood touches. There are nice, big leather captain's chairs. And then check out this center console, which is big enough for not one, but two laptops. Now, the second thing you notice in the cab is this command and control center right here. I know this car can do a lot of things, but you could probably knock a house while you were trying to find the right button. There's an optional rearview camera on this truck, and it actually displays right up here on the mirror. It also includes a proximity sensor, which, you're going to need. [beeping] Now, the F150 Lariat that we drove comes standard with possibly the biggest reason to buy a Ford. Ford's Sync. You're probably already familiar with this Microsoft-powered system. It basically lets you connect any Bluetooth phone or media player using USB or an auxiliary input, and then control the whole thing with a series of voice commands.
>> [Ring] Line in. Please say a command. [beep]
>> Molly Wood: The stereo system on our car was an upgraded Sony unit with a six-disc changer that does support mp3 playback. Another high-tech option on this car is the Ford work solutions. It's a suite of options that include Internet access, a dashboard monitor, a wireless keyboard and pointing device, and this truck supports log me in for remote access to your PC or Mac. Plus, it support RFID tool tracking. Like I said, Jack Bauer's truck. [Music] We've got a 5.4 liter V8 engine with 310 horsepower. It's all controlled by a six-speed automatic here. This engine delivers plenty of power for passing, but I found the pick up a little bit sluggish, and the shifting was a little on the slow side. It almost feels like it could use a little bit more power than it has. Gas mileage on the F150 is rated at 14-20. We averaged about 15 miles to the gallon, which is not a feel-good number. Once you get over the power issues, the Ford F150 is a dream to drive. The cabin stays incredibly quiet, which is great for using Sync, and especially for those Bluetooth calls. You don't find yourself yelling like a weirdo. It's also incredibly easy to drive. The steering is super simple, and this is the type of truck that just makes you want to mosey. It's definitely not speedy, but you just sort of poke along, and since you take up so much of the road, it's not like anyone's going to rush you. Now, the base price on our Lariat edition F150 was $34,800. Throw in about another $400 for the upgraded Sony CD system, $500 for the chrome step bar, another $800 for the Lariat plus package, which includes that backup camera and rear sensor, and $900 for these leather captain's chairs. With a few other extras all in, our car ran us $38,900 with about $1,000 destination fee. Now, I want to thank the folks at Redwood Ranch in Oakland, California for loaning us their horse. This is the kind of place that me and my favorite truck here feel right at home. For CNET.com, I'm Molly Wood.
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