Ford F-150 SuperCrew - Short
on Bed, Long in Utility
by PickupTruck.Com Staff
think this is, the X-Files?"
GenX pedestrian at the corner of Haight & Fillmore after staring
at our SuperCrew for about 30 seconds.
Ford has ruled
the roost for close to 20 years when it comes to pickups with the
best selling F-Series trucks. We're not just talking king of trucks
sales, we are talking about the most sold of ALL vehicles.
But the F-Series
has always seemed kind of anonymous, the stereotype of the American
pickup truck - two doors and a bed. Sure you could purchase a SuperCab,
and more recently even get two additional, though hidden, doors
on the truck, but it still 'looked like a pickup truck should'.
Let's not forget you could also buy a Crew Cab with four full size
doors, but it arrives with a full size 8 foot bed - the stereotypical
construction / contractor's pickup truck.
The 2001 Ford
F-150 SuperCrew strikes a distinctive new profile, one wedged between
the practicality the performance of the traditional F-150 and a
SuperDuty Crew Cab. Call it the 'Swiss Army Knife' of pickup trucks
- able to handle almost any situation with its huge interior (for
a pickup), four full size doors and shortened bed.
The Ford F-150 SuperCrew cuts a solid profile with its four doors
and shortened bed.
We ask only one question Why has it taken Ford so long to bring such
a vehicle to market? SUVs and pickup trucks are hot. It doesn't take
a genius to figure that one out. Consumers love them for their inherent
characteristics - ride height, four wheel drive, cargo carrying capacity,
etc., but when almost every auto manufacturer on the planet is pumping
out SUVs, even Porsche is about to sell one, you need to do something
to broaden the appeal and stand apart from the crowd. Lincoln did
this last year with the introduction of the Blackwood - the consummate
American luxury sedan, four doors and a bed - but not everyone is
going to pony up $50K for a uniquely styled pickup truck. Consumer
tastes, requirements, and expectations are rapidly changing. In 1974,
70 percent of F-150 owners drove Regular Cab trucks, as opposed to
SuperCabs. Now, those statistics are exactly opposite with 70 percent
of F-Series owners choosing four-door trucks. Ford's answer to the
question is that the consumer market is now ready for a new, affordable
all-American vehicle, a melting pot blend of SUV and pickup truck
- never mind that the rest of the world has been merrily using four
door pickup truck (aka Utes) for years.
will appeal to many consumers in the marketplace. Mom can use
it to take the kids to school (and intimidate the other mothers).
Dad can use it for manly types of work (picking up fertilizer
at the nursery for mom to use in the garden) and not dirty up
the back of his pretty SUV.
Junior can move all of his stuff from dorm to apartment (and
move his friends stuff too). When they are all done the entire
family can hop in and head to Disneyland for vacation. Everyone
Green SuperCrew arrived with the XLT trim package and four wheel
drive. Not as fancy as the Lariat trim, but definitely business
class flying for a pickup truck..
The cloth interior
was cavernous, able to accommodate up to six adults (with six Big
Gulp class cupholders). We never had a problem fitting everyone
who wanted to go for a ride in the truck. Especially nice was ingress
and egress with the full size front and rear doors. No more circus
contortion acts around the front seats or through a slender extended
cab door to hop into a small jump seat or rear bench that sits at
a 90 degree angle.
The front was
a 40/60 split bench with powered driver's seat and manually adjustable
passenger. Both seats had a manual lumbar control. Between the driver
and passenger was a fold down console that doubled as cupholder
and additional storage.
was also a full size 60/40 split bench and quite comfortable for
long and short trips. During the holidays we pressed the SuperCrew
into service for several trips to SFO airport to pick up and drop
off passengers. There were no problems fitting all the luggage people
wanted inside the truck with themselves plus the driver and other
passengers. The rear seats have fold-flat capability to increase
interior space when needed.
cluster, radio and CD, and HVAC controls were neatly arranged and
ergonomic. There was never any fumbling to adjust the radio or air-conditioning,
though the four wheel drive shift knob was somewhat hard to see
and reach for by the steering wheel and gear shift. The dash is
a major expanse of plastic, but it's high quality plastic. There
is a funny kind of half-bin on the passenger side dash above the
SRS airbag. It looks like you could leave small stuff in it but
beware of taking corners too sharply, a pair of sunglasses on the
dash quickly slid their way into the passenger side map holder in
the right side door. Two cupholders (actually one cupholder and
a removable ash tray) pop out of the dash below the HVAC controls
to the right of the cigarette lighter and a 12-volt power port.
A new feature
we liked in the SuperCrew was the power adjustable pedals, a first
in a pickup truck. Found on the left hand side of the driver is
a button that lets you adjust the brake and accelerator pedals up
to three inches rearward from their standard location. Ford states
that this feature is expected to provide greater comfort for a wider
range of drivers, making the SuperCrew appealing to a greater number
The AM/FM stereo
had good, but not great fidelity. There are twelve programmable
FM stations and six AM. The CD player was a bit hard to find at
first. We eventually located it securely hidden away behind the
left hand side fold-down rear passenger seat next to the tire jack.
The CD player fits up to six compact discs.
We like small
touches of good design to demonstrate how much thought goes into
a good pickup truck. Ford lived up to expectations by using a novel
sliding rear window in the cab that requires only one hand to operate.
Two fingers were all it took to open and slide the window open or
closed. Nice job.
On the outside
the 4x4 SuperCrew sits up quite high so it requires some effort
to get in the truck. Aiding ingress are some of the most solid interior
handles we have ever seen or felt. And though some people may not
like running boards on their truck, we found them very useful.
If you look
at the SuperCrew from head-on or directly behind it, it's tough
to tell there is anything different about it from the standard F-150.
Its when you see the truck from the side that its shortened bed
and long cab make an impact. We thought that the shortened bed took
some getting used to on a truck of this size (as have some PUTC
readers have also commented in the discussion forum) but it quickly
grows on you. Ford has done an outstanding job laying out this truck.
specifically to the bed. It's almost like an optical illusion.
You think there is very little space but it's actually quite
substantial - over 44 cubic feet. At 5 1/2 feet long you might
not be able to fit a couch with the tailgate closed, but Ford
offers an optional bed extender to lengthen the bed to 7 feet
with the tailgate open. There are multiple tie down points
in the bed to help secure any loose items. For construction
work you could easily fit a toolbox in the back, but because
the bed starts just before the rear wheel wells the box would
have to be somewhat shallow.
has produced an attractive and rugged looking truck that stands
apart in the full size truck crowd.
On the Road
came with the optional 260hp/350lb-ft 5.4L Triton V-8. While
we did not get to run the truck with a full payload, we did
find that with four adults inside the cabin, plus some heavy
luggage, the truck has more than adequate passing power on
the freeway. The SuperCrew comes standard with a 4.6 L Triton
V-8 producing 220hp/290lb-ft. The only transmission option
is the 4 speed automatic which produced smooth shifts.
was a little better than expected achieving just over 14mpg
in mixed freeway and surface driving conditions. EPA testing
shows 14mpg in the city and 18mpg on the highway. You don't
buy a SuperCrew for its fuel efficiency.
road behavior was quite good but somewhat firm and harsh,
as can only be expected with a four wheel drive truck. Those
who rode or drove in the truck were split. Some preferred
the stiffer ride offered in the 4x4 while others would have
liked the cushier ride found in a two wheel drive truck. Regardless
there were never any problems with an unstable rear end even
in rough pavement, though fast acceleration from a standing
start could get the rear wheels spinning. Four wheel anti-lock
brakes provided excellent stopping power and control even
under rapid braking conditions.
it came to parking this truck we found it fairly nimble, even
in modestly cramped lots, but you have to use extra caution
when backing out. The very short bed and long cabin take a little
time to get used to when trying to estimate how close or far
you are to the next row of cars. Lots of
windows and excellent mirrors make it easy to see in every
direction during parking. If you are going to park this truck
indoors, make sure it clears the garage. Our 4x4 wouldn't
fit in one place where the roof was too low.
Ford F-150 SuperCrew is an outstanding all-around truck. With
its great looks and ability to carry a large number of passengers
and moderate payload, Ford has found the perfect balance in
a full size truck almost any consumer can enjoy.