Buyer's Guide / Ford / 2008 Ford F-150



Ford redesigned its F-150 pickup truck for 2004 by giving it a new look, a wider track and new rack-and-pinion steering. For 2008, little has changed beyond the addition of options and packages. The full-size F-150 truck competes with the Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram and Toyota Tundra pickups.

Regular cab, SuperCab and SuperCrew body styles are offered. Five trim levels are available: workhorse XL, youth-oriented STX, mainstream XLT, offroad FX4 and luxurious Lariat. A new Lariat package, Lariat Limited, adds 22-inch wheels, a billet-style grille, stainless steel running boards and unique interior upholstery patterns.

Some F-150 styling touches were borrowed from the Mighty F-350 Tonka concept truck. Stepped-design side windows improve mirror visibility and enhance the tough-truck look.

A cargo management system is available on 2008 F-150s with the 6.5-foot Styleside bed. The cargo management system is dealer-installed and includes lockable storage bins that can hold 60 pounds.

F-150 grilles are trapezoidal. A chrome surround and honeycomb insert go on the Lariat trim level. Regular F-150s have 6.5- and 8-foot beds, while the SuperCab (extended cab) can have a 5.5-, 6.5- or 8-foot cargo bed. The SuperCrew is only available with a 5.5-foot bed. Short beds are available with flared fenders, called Flareside; otherwise, the bed is a slab-sided (Styleside) design. SuperCab models can have a shorter, 5.5-foot cargo bed.

Regular cabs and SuperCabs have narrow rear-hinged back doors — called access panels — on both sides. They can't be opened unless the front doors are open. A power sliding rear window is offered. Either 17- or 18-inch wheels are installed.

A new optional rearview camera mounts in the tailgate handle and displays a video image in the truck's rearview mirror. Ford says the system helps with hooking up a trailer. The system automatically activates when the vehicle is put into Reverse. A DVD-based navigation system is available.

Either a 40/20/40-split three-place bench seat or optional dual captain's chairs can be installed in front. The SuperCab adds a three-place rear seat.

Interior layouts vary according to the series. A full-length floor-mounted console with a shift lever is available. At the lower end of the price scale, the XL has hose-out rubber floormats in a plainer interior with a column-mounted gearshift. On SuperCab and SuperCrew versions, a modular overhead rail system can hold a DVD player and other components. Lariat Limited models include two-tone leather seats and leather-trimmed interior pieces.

Under the Hood
A flexible-fuel version of the 5.4-liter V-8 engine that can run on E85 is optional. The base F-150 engine is a 202-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-6. Two V-8s are available: a 248-hp 4.6-liter and a 300-hp 5.4-liter.

A four-speed automatic transmission is standard with V-8 power, but V-6 models can team with a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. Four-wheel-drive models have a floor-mounted transfer-case lever that permits shifting in and out of 4WD High on the move. A dashboard switch activates an optional electrically engaged transfer case.

Four-wheel antilock brakes and front seat belt pretensioners are standard. Dual-stage front airbags work with an occupant classification system sensor.

Driving Impressions
Significantly more substantial than its pre-2004 predecessor, the F-150 has a heavy, solid feel. The suspensions react more positively to pavement flaws by rebounding rapidly and only as far as necessary. They recover quickly from bumps. Imperfect surfaces can produce quite a bit of body motion, though it's not bad for a truck.

The 5.4-liter V-8 produces quicker acceleration than the 4.6-liter, though neither engine is phenomenal. Even with the larger engine, the F-150 takes a while to really get rolling — but when it does, it feels pretty powerful. Interiors are roomy, but the A-pillar grab handles aren't helpful to every rider.

F-150 SuperCrew
A new workhorse XL SuperCrew package combines a crew cab with the basic XL trim and includes power side mirrors, an overhead console and a 40/20/40-split front seat. SuperCab and SuperCrew models with the Styleside box can be equipped with an FX2 Sport package that offers a body-colored grille surround, 18-inch wheels (with 20-inchers optional), fog lamps and unique captain's chairs with a center console and floor-mounted shifter, among other appearance touches.

SuperCrew versions of the F-150 full-size pickup have four conventional, front-hinged doors like those on passenger cars. Rear occupants sit on a three-place bench seat. The F-150 SuperCrew is only offered with a 5.5-foot cargo bed.

The SuperCrew can be equipped with either a 248-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 or a 300-hp, 5.4-liter V-8. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard. A DVD player is optional. A King Ranch version, which includes Castano leather upholstery and special badging, is available for the Lariat SuperCrew model.



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Ford F-150

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First Drive: 2004 Ford F-150



Retail Price:
$17,900 - $36,300


4.2-liter V6
202 hp
260 lb-ft
@4350 rpm
@3750 rpm
4.6-liter V8
231 hp
293 lb-ft
@4750 rpm
@4000 rpm
4.6-liter V8
248 hp
294 lb-ft
@4750 rpm
@4000 rpm
5.4-liter V8
300 hp
365 lb-ft
@5000 rpm
@3750 rpm

- Four-speed automatic
- Five -speed manual

Fuel Economy:

4.2-liter V6 4x2 Automatic
16 mpg
20 mpg
4.2-liter V6 4x2 Manual
15 mpg
20 mpg
4.6-liter V8 4x2 Automatic
15 mpg
19 mpg
5.4-liter V8 4x2 Automatic
14 mpg
19 mpg
4.2-liter V6 4x4 Automatic
14 mpg
18 mpg
4.6-liter V8 4x4 Automatic
14 mpg
18 mpg
5.4-liter V8 4x4 Automatic
14 mpg
18 mpg

NHTSA Safey Ratings:
Frontal Crash Test
4x2 Regular Cab
- Driver Front: 5/5 Stars
- Passenger Front: 5/5 Stars

Rollover Crash Test
4x2 Regular Cab
- Rollover: 4/5 Stars

IIHS Safey Ratings:
2004 Ford F-150 Tested
- Overall: Good
- Structure / Safety Cage: Good
- Head/Neck: Good
- Chest: Good

- Leg/Foot Left, Right:
Good, Good
- Restraints: Good



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