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Roadshow Video Reviews
2011 Ford F-150 LariatIs it a real truck without a V-8?
-The F-150 is a big selling icon, sure, but along with that comes a big target on your back, the gen Chevy trucks are not slouches. Let's drive the 2011 F-150 Lariat and check the tech. Ford has doubled down on the tech in recent years, but it that really a big deal in full size truck or kind of forcing the issue. Well, they set is a Lariat, which is mid to high trim with 4-wheel drive and an extended cab, but also sync, the old school version that kind of missed. First think you notice about getting the F-150 since we don't review many is this nice and roomy, I mean, I cannot reach the door by you. There is no way without climbing up here on the console or something. You don't get vehicle this big unless you're in a full size body on frame truck on frame truck. Now, we're in a high line vehicle here. This is a lariat edition. It's about midway up the F-150 line, which is a really big family, nice elaborate, really [unk] I've expect those more in a higher end vehicle than even a Ford. Lots of ersatz would trim all over here. Notice the navigation head unit, which is optional, but it's the old school sync right before they went to the My Ford touch era of sync and things real complicated and weird. The map quality isn't the best. It's kind of crunchy, but you know what as sure as easy to use this thing, but the buttons are popped are all real clear, a combination of software buttons here, hardware buttons for major features. Of course, this truck has sync at this trim level. That would mean you've got the USB jack here, the aux right next to it of course. You can plug in a Zune if you still have one of those antiquities or more importantly you can plug in the thumb drive or your white iPad or iPhone cable, but if I just upgrade at the audio system and didn't go for the nav, you can do a Sony System that gives you 700 watts. There's the sitting down there onto the rear seat, 10 speakers around the cabin, and you get a disc instead of a single slot, and we've got backup cameras part of an optional package on this vehicle. As you can see, it doesn't show trajectory. It shows distance, and you do have a digital zoom here that kind of basically crops into the image. It's not really zooming anything with the physical lens, so it's not limited use I think and the camera qualities a little soft on this one. I only point that up because if you ever need a backup camera it's a vehicle like this where you've bed and high tailed gait in this F-150. There's a lot of stuff back there. It's gonna be hiding like, you know, a family of 5 is possible. One choice on the gearbox on this guy, you've got a 6 speed automatic with this big old manly shifter right here. You got a little shifting rocker on the side, no paddles in the vehicle like this as well as all these off road instruments here I have again. It's only unique to a pickup truck. We'll see how this work when we're on the road, but they show angle of the truck this way as well as this way and give you some indication of what your drive trains is doing because we have 4 wheel drive. Here's the nav for hat. It's electrically selectable from too high to for 4 high, which can do on the fly and then for a low of course, you've got to be a neutral for that. Now, the interesting part of our F-150 is the way the engine bay is equipped. I can get up here and see it. There it is, 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6. That means it's a turbo direct injection V6, real high tech one. They also have a low tech V-6, not too exciting and this gives you the power of a V8 they claim. with the economy of 6. Let's sort it out, 365 horsepower, 420 foot pounds of torque while delivering 1521 MPG in this 4 X 4 big boat, Add MPG on city and highway to go forth by 2. Comparing that to the V8 the 5 liter you normally expect in an F-150 it looks like this. The EcoBoost motor has 5 more horses and a crucial 40 more foot pounds of torque while delivering a modest economy bump of 1 to 2 MPG. Now, notice, I didn't mention anything silly like 0 to 60 times and such. That's doesn't matter much in a pickup compared to what does payload and towing capacity looks like this. -The V8 truck has wider range of towing weights, but the maximum is virtually the same as the EcoBoost V6 model and the payload max is identical between the 2 power trains. Now, one thing we don't get much chance to talk about here in CNET car videos are things like bed length and cab size, but in this case we do, 5.5, 6.5, or 8 foot boxes available on the F-150 and then you can couple that variably with 3 different cabs, the standard cab with the just front row of seats, pretty rare these days unless you're driving a service truck. Then you got the extended cab and the super crew. We have the one in the middle, the extended cab. And by the way all of those are available with this kind of sleek power back window. It's a little small, but it served the purpose. It has some nice ventilation or lets your buddies use it as a trash receptacle for here [unk] or Marlboro empties. Underway, the first thing you know notice especially since you're aware this thing has a V6 is how old is the power come on and you just simply to my feel anyway wouldn't notice that's it's without a V8. Now, I'm not towing anything. I don't have it loaded up. So maybe it behaves differently under those conditions, but as a driver with normal passengers and maybe a few lightweight things on the back is a good feeling engine. The ride in this high trim F series is really compliant even though we're still dealing with, you know, old solid axle rear leaf suspension. I'm looking here at these road gauges. I'm going, a windy hillside road here that's giving me, you know, within a degree. It's red on my altitude and my angle here in terms of it. Another impression I can leave you is if you're not a truck driver, you find it real fast. These things are pain in the ass. When you're driving in, you know, in a town, or in a city unless you're out in Wal-Mart land, these are a drag apart. They are pain to get around garages. I know a lot of folks drive these in urban settings. They must have the patient a saint because I kind of get over it pretty quick and of course as always if we have a truck in, which isn't that often. I'm a little sad. I didn't have anything I needed a whole this week. Of course, it's nice to have a truck and I have to go pay 80 bucks a day. Okay, let's price our big boy. F-150 Lariat is $35,000. It's mid to mid-high in the trim range. You're getting a lot of niceties as you saw. This is no cable installer truck. Now, some things you're gonna add to that tech-wise, 25 for that navigation head unit. I would pass at that price. It's just got a damn clamp for my android phone, but that's your call. 435 for the Sony Audio, that's a worth one. Bear in mind, you don't get to add anything to get sync in this vehicle. It will come with it, but with a more basic blue dot matrix display and of course no navigation or hard drive. Now, the big hardware. The stuff we don't normally talk about in cars because they're kind of truckish includes things like drive train and engine. You're gonna pay more for less of this car. What I'm talking about is the V6, the EcoBoost V6 is 750 more above the base 5 liter V8. 3270 to go 4 x 4 on this guy and as I noted with the EcoBoost mode you only give up 1 MPG City and high way and a couple of truck only Configuration options to consider, 6-1/2 or 8 foot bed, those are a pick at the same price, which is to say they are included. If you want the shortie 5-1/2 bed, that's actually like 2500 more and you will pay about that much as well if you wanna go for the big cab. If you wanna go for the small cab or this extended cab that's also a pick at the same price.