Ford F-150 goes Platinum




When first introducing us to the 2009 Ford F-150, engineers and PR folks were so confident in their new vehicle they not only allowed us to test their product in all sorts of punishing environments but they brought out members of the competition to drive side-by-side in order to prove their point that the new Ford F-150 is the most capable, most confident, most convenient and most comfortable truck in the segment.
On-road, off-road, towing, hauling, vehicle dynamics on a slalom course ?? the new Ford F-150 quickly shone as the hands-down leader, and did so with little clamor, total confidence and complete control.
And never once did we feel unsafe while pushing the Ford to the limits.
The remake is not merely an injection of steroids or a summer at the gym as some of its competition might seem.
The 2009 Ford F-150 delivers what it has become well known and rewarded for: Capability, confidence, convenience and comfort, and all in a package that will last longer than the length of the finance contract or warranty period.
Ford??s F-150 has been the segment leader in sales for more than 31 years and should continue to do so as the automaker wades through these times of uncertain economy. As the global best-seller, F-150 is of utmost importance to the automaker, and judging by our experiences with the new F-150, everyone in Dearborn should be sleeping a little bit easier at night.
There are some 35 different cab, trim and cargo box configurations available on the ??09, and three V-8 engine choices. Gone is the V-6/manual gearbox work truck edition but the new base V-8 gets the same fuel economy and better power than that outgoing six.
??No other truck offers more capability with better fuel economy than the 2009 Ford F-150,?? Matt O??Leary, Ford F-150 chief engineer, said. ??Truck buyers will see real value.
??The 2009 Ford F-150, now with more standard safety equipment than any other half-ton pickup, offers comparable or better pricing at all three cab configurations versus the competition. The F-150 Lariat SuperCrew, for example, starts at $35,820, more than $5,000 less than a comparably equipped 2009 Dodge Ram.??
The 2009 Ford F-150 also offers more value compared with the current F-150. With the XLT SuperCrew, customers receive $1,000 more value versus the previous model with the addition of $1,600 in standard equipment for 2009.
??With the new F-150, we are offering customers more capability and choice with better-equipped trucks at a greater value than the competition,?? Mark Grueber, Ford F-150 marketing manager, said. ??With the high-volume XLT series, we are able to offer more towing capability, hauling capacity, more standard safety features, industry-exclusive Easy Fuel and V-8 power at a starting price of more than a $1,000 less than a comparably equipped competitive truck.??
All 2009 Ford F-150 pickups are equipped with more standard safety features than any other half-ton truck on the market and achieves NHTSA 5-star rating and IIHS ??Best Pick.??
In addition to all of the mechanical and engineering improvements for the ??09, rear seat legroom is almost limo-like on SuperCrew models. In fact, a large flat-panel HDTV box will fit in the second row thanks also to the flat load floor.
While we drove nearly every iteration of the new truck up in Michigan last fall, we most recently enjoyed a week in the top-of-the-line Platinum edition F-150. The Platinum model came about to offer the most luxury a pickup can allow and basically replaces the Lincoln Mark LT luxury truck (which was just a fancy Ford anyway).
Lariat used to be the high end trim level for F-150, and Platinum basically takes over from there, adding even fancier interior trim and leather, heated and cooled seats, power deployable running boards, 20-inch wheels and tires, power sliding rear window, plastichrome treatments to grill and mirrors, rear view camera and reverse sensing system.
Platinum pricing begins at $41,415 and includes the 5.4-liter V-8 with six-speed automatic transmission. Our 4×4 SuperCrew tester begins at $44,860. Make no mistake, Platinum is not the model for every (or most) pickup buyers, but rather represents the ultimate in what a truck owner can aspire to.
I just cannot say enough about how surprisingly smooth and quiet this truck is on the road. Conversations can be held at hush levels inside.
And don??t let some loudmouth shill on TV discourage you by making fun of the convenience offered in the new F-150. Those ??man steps?? on the sides of the cargo box and in the tailgate are a blessing for folks needing to access anything back there. Perhaps they are just jealous because Ford thought of it first. By our count, this puts the Platinum five steps ahead of the competition.

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