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Thursday 8 December 2016
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Test Drive: 2016 Ford F-150 Limited 4X4 Review

Test Drive: 2016 Ford F-150 Limited 4X4 Review

It was bound to happen, I am turning into my father.  I bought my first house in the early 1980s and it was $67,000.

This week, I am behind the wheel of a 2016 F-150 Limited and you guessed it, the MSRP of this truck is $67,000.  The difference is, I could sleep in this truck, but could not drive my first house.


The full-sized pickup segment is the most competitive and profitable segment in the auto industry. Automakers that play in this arena are constantly trying to one-up each other. I have reviewed every new model truck that is available except the Nissan Titan XD, and simply put, Ford raised the bar on half-ton trucks in 2015 with the new all-aluminum body. There are no bad pickups made today, but now luxury goes to a new level for 2016 with the top-of-the-line Limited.

My review truck is the full-four door SuperCrew and it is a 4×4. You can get a wide variety of lesser expensive versions of the F-150. Starting from the bottom, there is an XL, the best-selling XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch. My review vehicle has the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 and a 6-speed automatic transmission.  Together, they produce 365-horses. Other engine choices are the non-turbo 3.5 V6, the 5.0-liter V8, and a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost, which is the fuel economy king of the F-150.

The Limited comes with an extensive list of standard features, including power deployable running boards, 2nd row heated seats, driver and passenger heated and cooled two-tone leather seats, power tilt steering wheel with controls, navigation system, rearview camera, remote tailgate release operated from the key fob, remote start, power sliding rear window, and push button start.

It also has blind spot warning, real eucalyptus wood inside, and the tailgate locks when you lock the truck-which is an outstanding feature given the large number of tailgate thefts.  Limited has a different grill and built into it is a front camera with a washer to keep it clean.  Limited only comes in four colors, and it has terrific 22” wheels, a huge panoramic moon roof, and chrome exhaust. 

When behind the wheel, everything operates from an 8” color touchscreen, including the all-new Sync 3 system. You operate all the radio functions, navigation system, Bluetooth, and climate from there, along with apps and settings.  The leather seats in the Limited are luxurious, and believe it or not, massage you. Yes, you can get a great massage, much like you find on expensive luxury cars.

In the center of the dash is the configurable productivity screen, which gives you all the information about the truck you could possibly need.  The center console is large and doubles as a very comfortable armrest.  The gearshift for the transmission is located there. Back seat room is incredible, and when you fold the bottom of the back seat up, you have a ton of interior space to hold cargo you don’t want in the bed, or your 4-legged friends can bunk down there. Interior quietness of this truck rivals the Rolls-Royce I reviewed last year.

This is where the new F-150 really gets cool: Ford thought of everything. It has a 400-watt, 110-volt power inverter that allows you to plug anything in for instant power, like charging your cell phone, computer, or running a blender to make your favorite beverages.

Also really neat is all the lighting, and I mean all-around lighting. Start with LED headlights and taillights. There are built-in spotlights on the sides of the mirrors that operate from switches on the dash (think police car spotlights). There are lights on both sides inside the pickup box near the tailgate, and another one that is mounted high on the back of the cab. There is even a light in the tailgate that shines on your trailer hitch for hooking up a trailer at night. 

To make visibility even better, my tester has a 360-degree camera. Cameras are mounted in the front, under each outside mirror, and in 4 other places around the truck. The end result is you can see ahead of you, behind you, and around corners.  It even has an overhead view that will show you all your surroundings. You do not need any help at all hooking up a trailer; it is now a one-person job.

Speaking of trailers, my test truck has the 3:55 rear axle and is rated to tow 11,700 pounds, truly amazing for a 6-cylinder that is not a diesel. It comes with a built-in trailer brake controller and a class IV hitch. It also has a Smart Trailer Tow Connector, which will tell you-from the driver’s seat-if any of your trailer lights are not working. I find that pretty damned incredible.

Perhaps the most amazing feature is the Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist.  You can back your trailer with just a knob.  All you do is align the trailer using the rearview camera, and the steering wheel turns itself for a perfect parking job.  This could be the greatest thing to happen to husbands and wives since Dr. Laura.

Options on this one include trailer tow package, box side steps (which are genius), Ford’s terrific tailgate step, active park-assist, which parallel parks the truck for you, and a spray-in bed liner.  Total options add up to $2925, but there isn’t a single one I would not want.

The Limited I tested exceeded the 16 city and 22 highway EPA estimates, and honestly I was not trying. I believe this truck, even with 4-wheel drive will do 25 MPG or close to it after it reaches break-in. The 700-pounds lost last year with the aluminum body makes a significant difference in fuel economy. 

In summary, the 2015 F-150 Limited is an incredibly capable pickup, it is also a wonderful family car, and it has quietness and interior luxury that rivals a Mercedes. I admit, I wondered about the price when I saw the window sticker, but that is no longer a concern after spending a week with the truck. It is worth every penny.  The F-150 Limited takes pickups to a whole new level.

  • 2016 F-150 Limited in a few words:  An incredibly capable and luxurious truck.
  • Final Assembly Point:  Dearborn, Michigan.
  • Miles When Tested:  2200 miles.
  • Trailer Towing: 11,700 Pounds
  • Weight:  4937 Pounds.
  • Dimensions: 243.7” long/96.8” wide/75.7” high.
  • Fuel Tank: 36 gallon extended range fuel tank.
  • Fuel Economy:  16 City/22 Highway, 18 Combined.
  • MSRP: Base price $61,905, as equipped $67,270.
  • What I would change: Truly nothing.
  • What I liked most:  The interior and exterior, and amazing level of equipment.
  • Warranty:  3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, with roadside assistance. 
  • Manufacturers Website:  Ford
Photo Credit: Ford