Cars

What's It Like to Drive the New Ford F-150

It’ll come pretty handy in certain situations.
IMAGE PJ Cana
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I wanted to borrow my friend’s mountain bicycle so I could ride it around during this pandemic. The problem was he lives in Laguna and I live in Quezon City. There was no way it would fit inside my beat-up old sedan, and I wasn’t quite ready to ride it all the way from point A to B.

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Luckily, Ford had scheduled some drive time with the F-150 with me one weekend. Problem was immediately solved. 

Photo by PJ Cana.

We wrote about the launch of the all-new F-150 earlier this year. “It’s really the full package of the vehicle: the features, the tech and the competitive pricing,” Ford Philippines’ marketing director Ryan Lorenzo had said. “It’s built up that ‘Built Tough’ image of Ford.”

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It was no boast. For the uninitiated, the F-150 has been the top selling vehicle in North America for 38 years and is the number one selling pick-up in the US for 43 years. Today, the F-150 is still turning heads, and that was my first impression when I first laid eyes on the test unit. 

There’s much to compare about the new F-150 against Ford’s other massive carrier, the Expedition. Climbing into the driver’s seat, the interiors are almost as massive as the full-size SUV. Leather seats, ambient lighting, a twin-panel moonroof, and tons of space all contribute to a feeling of luxury and sophistication. Even the dashboard and control panels are idiot-proof, ensuring a hassle-free ride. And the seats, pedals, and even steering wheel are all adjustable electronically.

Photo by Ford Philippines.

I tried sitting in the rear seats, and even the space there is significant. Pick-up trucks are not the first thing that comes to mind when you’re talking about comfort and legroom, but if I weren’t driving the F-150 I wouldn’t mind sitting in the back. I also liked that there was a power outlet and air vents that just added to the passenger experience.

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Ford has always made it easy to connect devices to its infotainment system and it’s no different on the F-150. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available, but even a simple Bluetooth connection is seamless and uncomplicated. There’s a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system that produces the best audio for driving music (or podcast, if you’re into that). 

Driving the Ford F-150

While riding as a passenger is nice, I’d always to choose to take control of the wheel. With a 3.5-liter V6 engine, power isn’t an issue with the F-150. On cramped city streets, it was tricky to maneuver, as expected, but a 360-Degree Camera with Split-View Display feature—with four cameras in the grille, tailgate and sideview mirrors—allows occupants to see all around the vehicle.

Photo by Ford Philippines.

The advantage is also clear when faced with rough, pockmarked roads. The truck had no trouble toning down the bumps. This is a truck you’d want to have in the city during a flood. 

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On long highways, the drive is smooth and effortless. Despite its size and heft, the F-150 is also fast. Think of it as an elephant with the speed of a cheetah and the gracefulness of a gazelle. No such animal exists, of course, but thankfully, a vehicle does.

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The question now is, who is the Ford F-150 for, exactly? Fuel costs will have to be a non-issue, of course, because the truck only gave me about five kilometers per liter on city roads and an average of about nine km/l on the expressway and provincial roads. That’s not a lot, but that’s expected with a gigantic truck like this. You also must need to haul a lot of stuff to make the bed space at the back worth it (up to 1,500 liters), but even if you’re not in the pick-up and delivery business, a truck like this will come in handy in certain situations, like when you have relatives who need to move house, or you need to borrow a bike from a friend who lives in Laguna.

Photo by PJ Cana.
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The Ford F-150 comes in Lariat and Platinum variants. SRP starts at P2.698 million.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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