Test: 2007 Ford F-150 King Ranch SuperCrew4x4
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With apologies to mssrs Duvall and Coppola, I love the smell of Castano Leather in the morning. The rich aroma of this Texas saddle skin hits your nose as soon as you open the door to a King Ranch edition Ford F-Series pickup and behold an interior of chocolatey tan, cowhide covered surfaces that taste as good to the eye as any shot of cocoa flavored moo juice ever could to the palate.
Inspired by and co-branded with the largest cattle ranch in the United States - located in (appropriately) Kingsville, Texas - Ford offers the luxury King Ranch trim package across its entire line of 2007 light and heavy duty trucks.
To be sure, a King Ranch isn’t for everyone. It’s the Prime beef of American pickups with a premium to match - around $3K over Ford’s top of the line Lariat trim before you add cool toys like navigation and satellite radio. And although it retains all of the working class capabilities of its blue collar brothers, it would be painful to watch such a purebred grind its life away in the fields. No, a KR skinned and trimmed F-Series is a trophy truck, sure to appeal to the most enterprising of buyers who’ve earned their way to a higher station in life by pulling themselves up by the bootstraps and want a luxury vehicle that shows where they’ve come from.
For our test, we drove the half-ton F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 Styleside version of this highborn hay hauler with a 5.5-foot short box.
After the sights and smells of the King Ranch interior get the heart pumping, the driver can take their rightful position seated well above just about any other traffic on the road. From here you can also survey the rest of the four-door cabin.
I think Ford continues to have the best looking interior of any full size truck. It’s upscale and the gaps are tight, but age is starting to weaken some of its features. For audio / visual entertainment and assistance, our rig came equipped with the optional integrated satellite navigation, six-disc CD changer, and Sirius satellite radio. My kids loved the dynamic mapping but I found the controls to be unintuitive, especially switching between the navi and stereo to change audio sources and lookup artist information from Sirius. Having a touchscreen helped but fingerprints quickly covered its surface, making it difficult to read in bright sunlight. The HVAC could use an overhaul. It lacked dual zone climate controls for the driver and passenger, par for the course today in the new GM pickups and 2007 Toyota Tundra. The King Ranch also had an optional power moonroof and heated front seats that radiated enough thermal energy to make your backside feel like it was getting a little too friendly with the King Ranch’s Running W brand.
The King Ranch’s two-tone, slab sided exterior is also well executed, with prominent KR badges on the sides and tail to identify this truck’s heritage. It has near perfect proportions for a crew cab, and its optional six-spoke 20-inch aluminum rims nicely fill the wheel wells to round out the truck’s profile. However, the visual advantage of the F-150's tall ride height becomes a challenge if you're trying to access the cargo box from the sides. Its 5.5-foot bed is modest for a full size pickup. If you want more surface area in the back you can order the KR with a 6.5-foot hauling platform, or use an optional bed extender with the 5.5-foot box so it can still swallow 4x8 sheets of plywood.
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