Being an urban dweller that is not in the construction industry, driving a pickup truck was not on my radar. However, I like the idea of ‘big’ and have caught myself gazing at the Ford F150’s in my ‘hood. I therefore could hardly say no to test one out for a few days. I picked up the truck and drove home in the gorgeous 2012 Ford F-150 FX in bright red with a big grin on my face, riding high over the crowded roads of Vancouver feeling the thrill of being the biggest kid on the road.
The first thing I noticed was despite the size and height, this is a very nimble vehicle. It managed to navigate the tight downtown streets and haphazard driving skills of myself and my fellow road travelers with ease. This is helped by their new ecoboost 3.5 litre V6 engine that felt like a V8. I purred along. I also loved the Hill Start Assist. Willingdon and Boundary Road red lights have always caused me trepidation, especially on rainy days and having not only the 4×4 auto mode that senses loss of traction, but the security of the Hill Start Assist stopping me from rolling back gave me a lot more confidence in driving in our wide range of weather conditions.
Parking in town is another issue with bigger vehicles and I will freely admit that I did NOT try to parallel park this baby. I avoid parallel parking in my own car. However, we fit in the tight spots at the various malls and so on that we hit during the week. The length is really the only issue to contend with when finding parking and the bigger doors too. I noticed this issue with the Ford Explorer too. Big doors mean bigger parking spots needed.
Big doors also mean easier to get kids in and out. The back seats of the super cab have an insane amount of leg room, more than any car – SUV or sedan – that I have been in. We had no trouble fitting Tara’s Britax car seat in the middle the anchors we were easy to reach and didn’t make for too much problems with the buckle systems on either side. I find most anchor systems on bench style seating are still designed more for having the car seat on one side or the other instead of the safer and more practical centre. I like having the older kids separated by the car seat and they like being the one’s by the HUGE windows too.
I am sad to say that the timing was not right to take the truck out of the city. I think the true test of a truck is not how pretty it is, but how well that technology does when putting a truck to work. I would love to try towing something with the truck; a tent trailer would be a nice idea. I know many people buy trucks like the F-150 as their vacation towing vehicle and I would love to see how well their technology does it making that a less hairier experience for the uninitiated like me. This truck came with the truck brake controller and an amazing dash display showing the trucks angle and stability for traversing off road scenarios.
This 2012 model had many bells and whistles to enjoy too. The kids liked the tailgate step and handle to help you climb into the truck bed. I loved the moon roof and automatic sliding rear window too. The folding giant rear view mirrors are a must when you don’t trust the parking abilities of your neighbours. The rear view camera is a must on a long vehicle like this. I was surprised it didn’t have the Proximity Alert feature that many of the Ford vehicles have. With just a big vehicle, and if I was towing, I would love that. Ford Sync is a joy in all their vehicles as is their many hands free or steering wheel controls.
What I was pleased with was that if fit our family of 5 plus dogs with relative ease, and if we had a cab for the back or some sort of storage for ‘stuff’ it would be a fun if not a tad expensive second vehicle to maintain. The HUGE 136 litre gas tank would be a bit pricey to fill. It laughed at my paltry $25 contribution to refilling the tank and only a little over a quarter tank was used in my test drive. However, for a family like mine IF we had a nice caravan parked in our drive, this would be a great second vehicle to explore the great outdoors.