A very good, all-around pickup truck
Driver's seat belt retractor operated poorly from the beginning. The dealer claimed to have replaced it after two hours in the shop, but later admitted that the mechanic had cut himself and bled on the belt, necessitating ordering a new belt. I was angry enough with them at the time over the long delay in getting my truck into the shop that they were afraid to admit what had happened.
The rotating, plastic headlight switch broke twice before 30,000 miles. Both times, the dealership (a different one from the first) had to replace the whole switch assembly - the actuator handle wasn't available as a separate part.
Front upper ball joints replaced at about 40,000 miles. The sockets in the A-frames were stretched to the point where new balls couldn't be pressed in, and they had to be tack-welded in place.
Original tires aged prematurely and cracked, causing the right front to go flat during a week's stay in an airport parking lot. Attempting to change the tire, I was unable to remove the wheel - as was the AAA tow truck driver. The dealer replaced the tires under warranty, and claimed the insulating glop between the alloy wheels and steel hubs which normally prevents galvanic corrosion had not been installed when the truck was built, and the wheels and hubs had corroded together.
I lost control of this truck on ice at 45mph last week. The first impact was between the right front corner and a guardrail; the second between the left front corner and the opposite guardrail. The frame was bent, there was serious front-end damage, the doors were jammed, but the airbag didn't deploy and the driver's seat belt inertia reel didn't lock up.
This was the base-model F150 with 4-speed Overdrive manual transmission.
It was not equipped with a limited-slip differential and was, thus, one-wheel drive on ice and snow. LSD was available as a factory option for about $200 US, but retrofit was quoted at about $2000.
There are no rain gutters on the doors, so opening the side windows even a crack in rain will send water into the occupants' faces. A/C is, therefore, essential, but isn't part of the base trim package.
The truck handled comfortably and consistently delivered 17-20 mpg on local drives and at highway speeds of 75mph. 1st gear was a higher ratio than in my previous, 1986 F150, and was more appropriate to a car than a truck, but didn't prove a problem. I just didn't get the sense it would climb a tree like my older Fords.
Ride was very comfortable, although the cloth seats wore heavily. Dog traffic may have contributed to seat wear.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd February, 2009