2018 Ford F-150 4×4 XLT Quick Spin Review

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2018 Ford F-150 4×4 XLT Quick Spin Review

The 2018 Ford F-150 is the latest love in America’s long affair with full-size trucks. For decades, the F-150 has ruled the roost. Ford sold nearly 900,000 of them in 2017 and is on pace to eclipse that for 2018. Ford is going so in on trucks and SUVs that it’s dropping all but two cars from its North American lineup. Money talks, so give the people what they want.

The F-150 was updated for 2018. The basic truck debuted back in 2015 and is one of the most extensive and risky redesigns in automotive history. The truck ditched steel bodywork in favor of lighter-weight aluminum. The 2018 refresh brought some new styling both front and rear, updated engines, including a new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 that should be hitting a dealer showroom near you.

Our tester is a lower mid-grad XLT trim. This one comes in the four-door Supercrew configuration with a short box and four-wheel drive. Rather than one of the more modern EcoBoost turbo-V6 engines, this one has a roaring 5.0-liter V8.

Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I think the F-150 is the most well-rounded large truck. It performs in almost every area. Some trucks, like the Ram, I’d argue have better styling, but nearly every part of the F-150 is very good. It’s like the five-tool baseball player.

This one has the potent 5.0-liter V8 teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which makes for strong acceleration and smooth power delivery. Done up in chrome-laden XLT trim, the F-150 also makes a statement, and the step bars and grille add just the right amount of bling.

The cabin is solid, though I’ve never liked the F-150’s as much as the Ram’s. I’d place it in a deadlock with the Chevy Silverado in my personal ranking of Detroit truck features. I’m really digging the new Sync 3, though, and after trying it in several Fords, the infotainment system is a demonstrative step forward from its predecessors. The clear, colorful screen is functional and feels much more logical than older Sync systems.

Like I said, the F-150 is strong in almost every area. I enjoyed my stint in the truck that remains Ford’s workhorse, cash cow and flagship product.

Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: This is a really handsome truck. At some point recently, either Ford stepped up its design game, or I finally started pay attention and appreciate what the Blue Oval is doing with its trucks and SUVs. I was smitten with the looks of the Expedition we had last week, and my first instinct when I headed down to the parking lot to check out this F-150 was to start posting photos of it on Twitter. Somehow, my son’s sixth sense told him I was taking a truck home, and when I walked in the door, he asked to see it. His reaction was one of awe:

It’s mostly comfortable going down the road, but I noticed some odd behavior in congested highway traffic. When going from coasting to mild acceleration, I notice some thrash from the drivetrain a moment or two after the transmission downshifted. I couldn’t get it to happen on command, and it wasn’t a consistent issue, but I noticed it more than a handful of times on my commute home. My other complaint was that the F-150 tended to drift around in its lane more than other trucks I’ve driven lately, requiring constant adjustment.

Despite that, it’s a pretty calm truck to drive, driving more like an SUV than a pickup. I didn’t notice a ton of movement through the suspension, and with 10 gears, the engine operate at sane rpms under normal driving, whether on the highway or in the city. For daily driving duty, the F-150 feels like a really livable truck.

Senior Producer Christopher McGraw: It’s a truck. It does truck stuff. If you need to do truck stuff you can get this truck.

Honestly, I can’t get over the price tag of this truck, but more specifically the pricing of every truck on the market. The average full-size truck transaction price last year hovered right around $50,000. That’s ridiculous. People spend way too much money on trucks. For $55k things like push-button start and keyless entry should be included.

That being said, of the full-size trucks, I still like the F-150 the best, though the new Ram is definitely creeping up on it. This specific one just didn’t do anything for me. Yeah I was able to throw my WRX wheels in the bed super easily this morning, but I could’ve done that with any full-size or mid-size pickup. It was precisely OK. And that’s disappointing considering the cost.

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