|The Lariat Special Edition makes for a sporty looking truck. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
This thing looks fabulous! I can’t tell you how many rubbernecking stares I got while driving around town, and my neighbourhood is one of the rarer places to find pickup trucks, at least when it comes to those that live here. There are plenty of plain white work trucks with side signage scattered across the myriad building sites throughout my ever-burgeoning inner-city-like suburb, while the streets are literally littered with the bourgeois supercars of the nouveau ultra riche, from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren, and the like. Strangely, cars like that are commonplace, but a truck like this totally stands out.
Lariat sits third amongst seven trims on the F-150 hierarchy, the others being XL, XLT, King Ranch, Platinum, Raptor, and Limited. We really should consider the Raptor a completely unique model due to exclusive body panels and an extreme
|Are racing stripes your thing? (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Back to the Lariat, while third-rung up the F-150 ladder, its $46,149 price tag is considerably higher than the XL’s $28,249 starting point, or the XLT’s $30,549 base window sticker. Then again the King Ranch starts at $63,349, which is well into premium-branded luxury mid-size SUV territory, and the Platinum delves even deeper into the luxe class with a sticker of $65,549. The Raptor, incidentally, starts at $68,399, while the end-all-to-be-all luxury trucks (or at least Ford would like to have us think of its F-150 Limited this way) is a highfalutin $73,149: ranch owners and contractor/developers only need apply, plus Walmart’s Sam Walton if he ever decides to sell off his 1979 F-150.
|This Special Edition certainly pulled eyeballs wherever it went. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
That black stripe down the side and its black hood decal are part of the Special Edition package mentioned a moment ago, as are the strips of red running across the otherwise grey-tone grille. There’s much more to this $2,400 package than that, mind you, such as LED headlamps with dark housings (my tester also had the
|Sophisticated LED headlamps are available. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Inside, the F-150 Lariat Special Edition gets an exclusive red-stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel, red-stitched detailing on the unique instrument panel and doors, a red-stitched console top, and a very fine looking set of red-accented, leather and psuede-trimmed Special Edition seats, plus all of the features that come with the Lariat and the Luxury package noted a moment ago.
|Lariat Special Edition adds the black and red grille insert, body-coloured bumper, unique alloys and more. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Additional kit from this package includes rain-sensing wipers, a universal garage door opener, a heatable steering wheel rim, a powered tilt and telescoping steering column with memory, 700-watt 10-speaker Sony audio (with a sub), satellite
|These retractable side steps really aid access to the box. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
We could leave it there, but you might notice the addition of the $1,250 Technology package in the photos, which ups the ante with a 360-degree parking monitor with a split-screen display and Dynamic Hitch Assist, plus lane keeping assist.
A $550 spray-in bedliner made the box much more serviceable, while Ford’s exclusive (and still brilliant) $400 Tailgate Step made getting in and out much easier (money well spent for the 50-plus crowd). Likewise for the $300 retractable Box Side Steps, and there were more extras added on, but I will leave it there.
|Ford’s retractable Tailgate Step makes climbing up onto the bed ultra-easy. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Ford offers the F-150 with a number of other powerplants including an entry-level 3.5-litre V6 that puts out 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque, a fuel-efficient 2.7-litre
|The F-150 can be well stocked with premium features. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The mechanics of the new transmission are impressive, with a total of six clutches and four planetary gear sets fitting within a new bellhousing that’s hardly larger or heavier than the six-speed unit it replaces. Its ratio spread is now slightly wider at 7.4, with the first cog a bit shorter and final drive a tad taller than the previous sixth gear.
|A massive colour TFT multi-info display provides plenty of functions. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
|Ford’s Sync3 infotainment is amongst the best in the industry. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The F-150 Lariat Special Edition backs up this sportiest of engines with an agile chassis that noticeably benefits from the lightweight aluminum body shell overtop. I believe Ford now delivers the true sports truck of the half-ton class, and while its ride isn’t quite as smooth as the Ram 1500 or either of GM’s full-size pickups, it was
|Love these racy black and red, leather and psuede covered seats. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Yes, Ford is now arguably in the lead with engineering advancements, the various Ecoboost powertrains providing more engine tech than any rival, the new 10-speed automatic a full two steps ahead of all challengers in the forward gear count (including GM despite co-developing it with Ford, because they haven’t implemented it in a truck yet), and the lightweight aluminum body shell the truck’s ultimate fuel saving grace, the result being a claimed 12.7 L/100km in the city, 9.5 on the highway and 11.3 combined as-tested, which is mighty good. Of course, if you’re constantly pushing the 3.5’s power potential you won’t experience figures close to this, but if you go light on the throttle the new 10-speed
|The double-pane panoramic sunroof sheds light on the impressive interior. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
This engine and transmission combination can allow for a payload of up to 1,460 kilos (3,220 lbs) and a maximum trailer weight of 5,534 kg (12,200 lbs), but these numbers can fluctuate depending on the cab, bed length, driveline and more.
So there you have it. The F-150 continues to be the most advanced pickup truck on the planet, leading the way in almost every respect. Will its tech leadership somehow shame Ram and GM owners into submission, so they’ll feel foolish to stay loyal to their brands when it comes time to trade in? Hardly. That’s like telling
|Limo-like rear seat roominess comes standard with the SuperCrew. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
As consumers we win either way, because what’s good for the fleet buyer is great for us individually. We get more performance out of a lighter, sportier truck that’s easier on gas. That it happens to look this good is simply a bonus.
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