are Reasons Why it's the Best Selling Vehicle in the World
2000 Ford F-150
© 1994-2000 NewCarTestDrive.com
Ford Motor Company
has made billions of dollars of profit by providing a pickup truck for
every conceivable family, recreational and commercial use, with the broadest
possible spectrum of models. Over the years, Ford has continued to lead
the pack in overall design, with more and more passenger car features
folded into the truck mix every year until it's hard to distinguish between
the two from the inside.
For 2000, Ford carries
on the tradition. Changes include a more comfortable flip-up 40/60 rear
seat and an improved 18-degree rear seating angle in the F-150 SuperCab.
A new overhead console and left- and right-side visor vanity mirrors are
standard on XLT and Lariat F-150 pickups, optional on XL models. A driver's-side
keypad entry system is available on Lariat models. Chromed steel wheels
and 17-inch tires, previously available on 4x4 models only, are available
on 4x2 models as well. New colors are Island Blue Clearcoat Metallic and
Chestnut Clearcoat Metallic. Functions previously handled by the under-8500
GVW F-250 pickups now go to a new F-150 7700 payload group with all of
the attributes of the F-250, including heavier frame, larger brakes, higher-capacity
wheels and 8,800 pounds towing capability.
Like its worthy competitors,
the Ford F-series is offered in an astonishing array of models, with a
standard 4.2-liter V6 engine, an optional 4.6-liter V-8, and an optional
5.4-liter V8. F-250 models also offer a 6.8-liter V10 engine and a Power
Stroke diesel V8. Aside from engines, there are 5-speed manual and 4-speed
automatic transmissions, short and long cargo beds, standard and four-door
SuperCab extended cabs, flat (Styleside) and fendered (Flareside) bed
styles, two- and four-wheel drive models, and four trim levels: Work,
XL, XLT, and Lariat. That means, with colors and options thrown in, it's
easy to order a truck that only a few others will have, because the model
matrix is so huge.
Our test truck was
a standard cab two-wheel-drive F-150 with a Flareside bed, the optional
4.6-liter V-8 engine, automatic transmission, and the XLT package. The
near-luxury XLT offers the buyer chrome front and rear bumpers, color-keyed
door handles, a chrome grille, chrome aerodynamic power mirrors, color-keyed
wheel openings, standard pickup bed tie-down hooks, a cargo box light,
a removable tailgate panel, an underhood lamp and polished aluminum wheels
with chrome hubs.
This is a very pretty
truck, with much more attention paid to aerodynamic performance than either
the Dodge or GM pickups. It is rounder, friendlier and much more like
a car than the competition. That may be part of the reason it outsells
all other pickup trucks by a considerable margin. The new Chevy and GMC
trucks are only a year old, but they already look a bit dated next to
the Ford, which was mildly restyled last year. The Dodge Ram has lost
its luster, too, compared to the slick F-150.
We find the Ford
F-150 interior superior in flavor to the GM and Dodge competition. The
F-150 takes its interior design cues from the company's successful passenger
cars, such as the Ford Taurus and Lincoln Continental. The designers adapted
these cues to the pickup's large cab. The curves, surfaces, textures,
instrumentation and graphics inside the Ford F-150 are more adventurous,
more modern, and better executed than the competition, big and bold but
not outsized for a big vehicle.
The F-150 XLT has
dual air bags with a passenger-side deactivation switch. It comes with
air conditioning, a back panel cover and rear storage tray, dual map lights,
map pockets, an upper vinyl applique, courtesy lamps, color-keyed carpeting
and headliner, complete instrumentation including a tachometer, an auxiliary
12-volt power point, power windows and locks, an electronic AM/FM stereo
cassette system with four speakers, cloth split bench seats with recliners,
armrests, and manual lumbar support on the driver's side, speed control,
tilt steering wheel, cloth-covered visors, and speed-dependent interval
Compared to full-sized
cars, pickup trucks come with ample amounts of head, leg, hip and shoulder
room. They offer a lot of interior space for the money. Even in this F-150
XLT standard cab, which comes without the rear seats and without the extra
rear doors, there is plenty of room to stretch out. The XLT has new seats
this year with cloth covering, a recline feature and a lumbar support
on the driver's side for even more driving comfort.
Obviously, all standard
pickups share another trait: a relatively high ride height, even on 2x4
models. That can be a blessing when you're trying to see out over the
traffic ahead and a curse if you're trying to go around corners at high
rates of speed. But since we do a lot more of the former and very little
of the latter, we like the high ride. We especially like the Ford F-150
because, unlike the Dodge, Chevrolet or GMC, the aerodynamic hood falls
away very rapidly from the base of the windshield so it's easier to see
what's immediately in front of the truck; that's handy for maneuvering
and parking as well as dealing with traffic ahead.
use conventional steel leaf springs at the rear and a coil spring independent
front suspension. This yields a pretty solid ride when it's unloaded,
but quite a good ride when you're hauling a refrigerator over bad pavement.
(The 4X4 versions use a torsion bar front suspension.)
The power steering
is over-assisted to make it easier to park and maneuver in tight quarters.
We find the brakes on Ford trucks to be average in stopping power and
average in fade characteristics.
Although the optional
4.6-liter V8 engine is rated at 220 horsepower and 290 foot-pounds of
torque, we don't think it's as good a performer in many respects as the
small V8 engines from GM and Dodge. It's a good, solid engine, with millions
of examples on the road, and it sounds good at full throttle, but we find
it a little duff for all-around street use, and we would certainly find
it wanting if we had to haul anything heavy or tow a trailer up a mountain
road. For any customer contemplating those kinds of duties, the 5.4-liter
V8 engine is a much better choice.
There's not a lot
of new stuff on the 2000 F-150, since it had a major facelift last year,
and the body shell is already four years old. But Ford's F-150 is still
the most car-like of any of the domestic full-size pickup trucks, with
slick looks, pleasing performance, a nice, comfy cabin, and a proven powertrain
that will get the job done for hundreds of thousands of truck buyers.
Street trucks aren't
for everyone, but if you're looking for one, you may want to start looking
right here, at the world's best-selling truck. For less than $24,000,
you can haul whatever you need wherever you want in comfort and style.
Ford F-150 Specifications and Prices
Styleside 120-in. wheelbase Work Series ($15,285)
157-in. wheelbase Lariat ($25,990)
139-in. wheelbase XLT ($26,780)
5.4-liter Natural Gas V8
5.4-liter bi-fuel V8
airbags with passenger-side deactivation
side-impact door beams
rear antilock brakes
steering, tinted glass, tilt wheel, alloy wheels, power brakes, AM/FM/cassette/CD
V8 ($750), automatic transmission ($1095), Sport Group ($495), air conditioning
($805), upgraded tires ($125), destination charge ($665)
220 hp @
@ 3250 rpm
otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
effective as of October 21, 1999 and do not include manufacturer's destination
and delivery charges.
Information not available or not applicable.
Info Sources 1-800-392-FORD