A workhorse if there ever was one – every component of this truck feels massively over-engineered, from the huge frame rails to the beefy interior grab handles. If you need a truck for heavy hauling, towing, or offroad abuse, look no further.
The 5.4L V8's power is no more than adequate, but it still probably represents the best choice for most people, since the 6.0L Powerstroke has a reputation for unreliability and the 6.8L V10 swills gas to the tune of 9 mpg. If you must have a diesel, consider an older truck with the 7.3L engine. The six-speed is easy to shift and allows a judicious driver to eke out a few extra mpgs (We averaged 14-15 mpg with this truck – better than our F-150!)
This truck rides like an unladen Conestoga on all, but the smoothest surfaces - it is by far the roughest-riding vehicle I've ever driven. To be fair, our truck's spec probably represents a worst-case scenario for ride quality: short wheelbase, 4WD, and the FX4 off-road suspension package. If you value your kidneys, avoid this combination. On the other hand, the truck was very quiet, with remarkably little road or wind noise.
The interior design is remarkably simple, especially compared to the hideously over-wrought cabin of the ’08 Super Duty. Small-item storage is ample, and controls are easy to use. Build quality is first-rate; except for the rattle mentioned above, our truck was rock-solid, and the leather seats still looked like new after 122k miles. Go for the crew cab if you want to actually use the back seat.
Here in South Texas, Super Duty pickups seem to outnumber F-150s by about two to one. The fact amazes me; these trucks represent massive overkill for probably about 80% of truck buyers (Including us – we ended up trading the F-250 in for a Tundra). Unless you really need to tow 10k+ pounds, or haul loads of boulders in your bed, just stick with a half-ton truck. You will save fuel, you will save your kidneys, and you will save the headache of wiggling the thing into a hopelessly undersized parking spot.