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Auto industry, Driving, Marketing, Safety, Technology, Trucks

My week with the Ford F-150

Ford's 2015 F150 is big and tall but also nimble and comfortable

Ford’s 2015 F-150 is big and tall but also nimble and comfortable

I have to admit: I was pre-disposed to like the Ford F-150.

I’ve long harboured the idea that I am, at heart, a truck guy. Trucks give off this ready-for-anything vibe; an “I Got This” attitude. They display a sturdiness and sense of purpose that you just don’t find in a car.

But, the truth is if I had paid the $77,000 price tag for the top of the line Platinum version of the the F-150 that I drove for a week, I’d probably be worried about scratching the paint if I had to load some garbage or scrap metal in the bed (not that I have any of that lying around. But if I owned a pickup, I might drive around looking for some to haul away. I could earn extra money. And if I spent nearly $80,000 on a pickup truck, I might need to. But I digress.)

The 2015 F-150 is a strikingly handsome machine. Inside, the big seats are comfortable and keep you secure and they’re easy to customize. The view from the driver’s seat is spectacular (as is the view through the twin-panel moonroof) and frankly it’s hard to go back to being at road level in my typical family hauler after spending a week feeling like I’m riding above the traffic.

The 3.5 L EcoBoost V6 engine (with six-speed transmission) runs smoothly and the truck feels handles a vehicle half its size when you accelerate from a stop. It pulls away so effortlessly it feels like you’re driving a performance car (with, you know, running boards.)

Speaking of which, the Platinum version has running boards that drop down when you unlock the truck and fold back up when you climb in and close the door. Very cool.

The truck did have its drawbacks however. Given Toronto drivers’ penchant for leaving mere millimetres between themselves and other parked cars, I rarely tried to parallel park the thing, even with the excellent rear view camera and the Active Park Assist system. And parking garages were another challenge. Even though the F-150 was just short enough to enter a garage in Yorkville, for example, its roof gently touched the bottom of the plastic directional signs that hung from the ceiling. And the antenna brushed the concrete ceiling itself. Of course, I realized this after I cockily entered the garage.  As I watched my insurance deductible flash before my eyes, I decided the best course of action was to exit, gritting my teeth all the way, and park unscathed on the street.

One of the advantages of driving the F-150 is that truck guys give you the nod — that acknowledgement that you’re part of a nearly secret club. I had a few from other Ford drivers and at least one from a Ram driver.

As Ford F-series trucks continue to be the top-selling vehicles in Canada, the club of course is not that exclusive. Still, it’s fun to be a part of it, if only for a week.

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About Paul Ferriss

Paul Ferriss is a writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He is editor of CAA Magazine (published for the Canadian Automobile Association by Totem, a custom content agency.) He's also Totem's director of creative and editorial. Previously he was executive editor at Marketing, a magazine covering advertising, media and marketing, where he also covered automotive marketing and managed an editorial team. He also works as a freelance writer and has written for a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and Canadian Business. He's the author of Never Too Fast: The Paul Tracy Story.

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