The Ford F-150 is an icon, especially here in Texas as we’re the nation’s largest truck market. This is why you are starting to see big announcements about trucks and SUVs either here at the State Fair of Texas or the Houston or Dallas auto shows. Some manufacturers are just now taking note of this, but Ford has been in ties with Texas and more notably King Ranch for over a decade. We’ll look at the King Ranch announcement separately, but it does show Ford’s 12-year commitment to making the best truck for Texas.
Last year, once again, the F-150 won as Truck of Texas by votes from the Texas Auto Writers Association. This year, though, we’ve seen a great new 2013 Ram 1500. So is Ford ready with its new F-150?
Let’s look at what’s new for 2013. Obviously, you get the restyled front grille to distinguish this truck from the previous year. Up front, you also get all new, and a segment-first, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps. Not only do these emit light that’s brighter and whiter than the standard headlamps, they also look very cool. You even get a F-150 decal inside the headlamp, as many manufacturers are doing these days as an Easter egg of sorts. Continue around the side of the vehicle and you’ll see much of the same lines carrying over, but models like the FX, King Ranch, and Limited get new and special badging. Around the tailgate, you’ll also notice some special lines and badging, depending on what trim you’re checking out.
Speaking of differentiating models, the F-150 lineup now includes no less than 9-nameplates. This is more than some manufacturers have of total vehicles. You start with base packages like the XL, STX, and XLT. Stepping up, you’ll be looking at an FX2 or FX4, a Lariat, a King Ranch, or Platinum. You also have the insanely off-road capable SVT Raptor to consider, and as if that wasn’t enough, you can now get a F-150 in Limited trim. We didn’t even get into Super Duties. There really is a truck for everyone with this massive lineup provided by the F-150.
Ford has equipped this new truck with the newest and best MyFord Touch with a 4.2-inch multifunction LCD display. The display is mounted higher in the dash than it previously was as well, keeping it more in the line of sight of the driver and easier to reach. You also get repetitive controls under the screen that allows you to operate all the essential functions with manual controls. Ford, and many truck or off-road manufactures, does this so you can control the system while wearing work gloves. The MyFord Touch system also allows you to make many voice commands. This was a difficult operation even a year ago, but we’ve been messing with the new operations and they seem extremely solid. If you’re subscribed to satellite radio, you also get functions like weather map or weather forecast readout. You can display fuel prices from nearby gas stations and compare to find the bargain. You can even look up sports scores, but as we found out, the system will not pull them up while the truck is in motion.
Other than the MyFord Touch, they have packed more technology as standard into the 2013 F-150, such as a Hill Descent Control. This used to only be offered on the SVT Raptor, but Ford has decided to bring it as standard to its entire lineup.
Inside, Ford continues with their outstanding interiors. Depending on the model you choose, obviously, depends on how the interior is trimmed, but every F-150 has some great quality inside. The all-new Limited model, which Ford says will be the new pinnacle of truck luxury and style, features a distinct black leather interior with red accents. Sitting inside the Limited F-150, you can see how this truck has become more of an executive transportation in Texas. The truck is quiet and comfortable and packed with the latest technology, not to mention it’s capable as well.
We took a long blast out leaving the Renaissance hotel just west of downtown Dallas heading east. We headed out of Dallas on I30 going out toward Rockwall to our first pit stop at the Flying Saucer. We kept heading east on I30 getting in some good highway miles. Right now we’re in the 2013 FX2 F-150. It’s dark gray with a blacked out grille, blacked out headlights, black wheels, and red accents. This truck is seriously cool and eats highway miles. Under the hood is Ford’s great 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, so unsurprisingly we’re getting some great fuel economy for doing 75-mph in a truck! It’s time to get off the highway and head south toward Quinlan, but first, another checkpoint where we’ll switch out trucks.
I’m not a big vehicle kind of guy. I’ve always been more into the smaller, sports cars, and as such, the F-150 is a big vehicle for me. Hopping out of a FX2 F-150 and into a Super Duty was quite a shock to my senses. This thing is big, and with its 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel engine, it was loud as well. This insane engine is good for 400-hp which is decent but it’s also pushing 800 lb-ft of torque. This much power is good to push you back in the seat under full acceleration.
This truck was a monster, compared to my daily driver, but I definitely see the appeal. Thundering down the road people certainly pay attention to you. Although the truck’s diesel power plant under the hood is loud outside this truck, it’s actually quite quiet inside. Not just quite, but comfortable and seeing that this is a Platinum Edition Super Duty, it’s as nice inside as you’d expect from an expensive sedan.
We passed through Quinlan and headed down toward Terrell to pick back up the highway and head back to Dallas.
Although I could never see myself buying a Super Duty truck, like I said, I can see the appeal of it all. This is a perfect workhorse for the Texas businessman that needs comfort and capabilities. I’m always seeing guys in their Super Duty trucks hauling horse trailers from one city to another or even making trips across Texas, and I see why this is their first choice. The FX2 on the other hand is something I could more see myself buying. It’s a handsome truck with all the technology, power, and comfort I need. Maybe Ford can finally talk me into becoming a true Texan and finally owning a truck.