• 36
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Ford F-150

Realistically, Motor Trend had two choices when it came time to pick its Truck of the Year for 2009. On one hand, Ford's redesigned F-150 has been the best seller in America for, well... decades, and offers tireless capabilities and hundreds of possible configurations at an affordable price. It's never been better. On the other hand, the latest Dodge Ram, also redesigned for 2009, features that truck's characteristically macho styling turned up to 11 and gets the segment's first-ever set of coil-overs propping up the rear axle. It too has never been better.

The other two contenders were the Suzuki Equator, which is really nothing more than a rebadged Nissan Frontier (not that it's a bad truck, mind you) and the HUMMER H3T, which is a perfectly fine vehicle that's cursed with a currently-hated nameplate and a reputation for a major thirst for fuel. As you can tell from the headline, the Blue Oval's truck emerged the winner after a process that Motor Trend describes as the closest vote in history.

[Source: Motor Trend]



- Editors call 2009 the closest vote in Truck of the Year history -

LOS ANGELES, CA (December 18, 2008) - Motor Trend (www.motortrend.com), the leading automotive authority and part of Source Interlink Media, LLC, a subsidiary of media and marketing services company Source Interlink Companies, Inc (NASDAQ: SORC), today announced the selection of the all-new Ford F-150 as its 2009 Truck of the Year™. The complete report on Motor Trend's 2009 Truck of the Year is available online and will be published in the magazine's February issue, available on newsstands January 6, 2009.

"The stakes were high and the field of contenders was among the best yet for this year's voting," said Angus MacKenzie, editor in chief of Motor Trend. "Despite the downturn in the economy, the pickup truck remains the automotive backbone of America, providing a tough, durable workhorse for business and recreational users alike. No matter what shape the American auto industry emerges from the current crisis, the pickup truck will remain a key part of the American automotive landscape.

"It was a tough call, but ultimately the F-150 prevailed for the third time in its production history," said MacKenzie. During judging, editors praised the low noise levels and interior materials quality. Handy features like the Tailgate Step, Box Side Step, a stowable bed-extender, and rear seats that fold up with one hand to reveal a broad, flat load floor helped tally a strong superiority score.

To achieve high payload and towing numbers, Ford retained traditional leaf-springs on the rear axle but made them longer to smooth the ride and wider with new mounting hardware to improve lateral rigidity and roll control. The chassis engineers tuned the steering for pleasing heft and remarkable accuracy that had many judges lauding the F-150 for feeling smaller and nimbler than the competition.

Ford claims it sells more of its half-ton pickups to work and commercial customers than its competitors, and the company predicts this segment will grow to 45 percent of F-150 sales. To that end, the truck's fully boxed chassis is further fortified to provide best-in-class rigidity, payload capacity (up to 3030 pounds), and tow ratings (up to 11,300 pounds). As such, the new F-150 is well positioned to capture contractors migrating down-market out of Super-Dutys to save money and gas with a new six-speed automatic, a lighter, more aerodynamic cab, and other tweaks to boost fuel economy by 12 percent with the 5.4-liter engine.

MacKenzie continued, "In the end, we do believe work trucks will come to dominate this segment and we happily give the golden calipers to the highly capable, broad-reaching Ford in the closest vote in Truck of the Year history."

The 2009 Field of Contenders
The Ford F-150 was one of four trucks eligible for the Truck of the Year title. The other contenders were the Dodge Ram 1500, Suzuki Equator and the Hummer H3T.

To be eligible for Truck of the Year, a vehicle must be totally new or redesigned, and released in the 12 months prior to January 1, 2009 (cars with modifications such as new engines or that are variants of existing models are not eligible).

About the Testing and Evaluation Process
Motor Trend subjected all Truck of the Year contenders to a series of rigorous on- and off-road testing at the Yucca, Arizona proving grounds. Editors tested two versions of each contender, with different engines, transmissions and body configurations to better evaluate the breadth of capabilities in such diverse areas as towing power, dirt and gravel road handling and stop and go traffic.

Each year, the editorial staff of Motor Trend has evaluated eligible vehicles for its "Truck of the Year" based on three key categories: Significance, Superiority and Value. Significance refers to innovation in engineering, technology, design, safety and packaging. Superiority levels the playing field and looks for class-leading levels of vehicle dynamics and performance, build quality and execution, and how well the vehicle performs its intended function. Finally, the all-important Value question asks, "What does this vehicle deliver in relation to what the consumer has to pay to purchase and own it?"

High-resolution images of the winner are available upon request and at www.motortrend.com/media. Multimedia coverage of the testing and selection process will be broadcast on Motor Trend Radio, hosted by Bob Long.

MOTOR TREND, part of Source Interlink Media, LLC was founded in 1949 and has a circulation of 1.1 million and a total readership of 7.1 million. Internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in automotive publishing, MOTOR TREND comprises Motor Trend Magazine; the award-winning website motortrend.com; Motor Trend Radio; Truck Trend; Motor Trend International Auto Shows; Motor Trend en Espanol; and the renowned Motor Trend Car, Sport/Utility and Truck of the Year Awards program.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      As a loyal dodge supporter, I still believe the Ford should have won by a very close margin. The New Ram is world's ahead of everyone else, but ford is the best truck truck as that goes. The ford can tow more etc. for the person that needs it but the Dodge is still an excellent choice. Personally I would get a Ram because I won't be needing the extra towing capacity and because I love Dodge. I wish ford & dodge both success. The tundra's interior is ugly, or in my opinion it is anyways.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The f150 is the clear winner, it took dodge a full generation to catch up n with a few shinenier bells n wistles that make it noticble from where it stands now, second.

      I wouldn't be suprised that the raptor may take next years title
        • 6 Years Ago
        the Raptor is an F-150 variant. It won't ever win TOTY by itself. That's like saying the FX4 or the Z51 should win TOTY. That being said, it in essence DID win TOTY by association.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Dodge Ram is NOT THE SEGMENT FIRST use of coil springs in the rear of a pickup truck. Chevrolet and GMC offered that in the latter part of the 1960's in their pickup trucks.

      The F-150 is the all-around segment leader because it simply does more for more people than any of the other trucks. Some will do better in limited areas, but as an overall pickup truck, no one builds a better truck. My father who is not too particular on his maintenance of his truck has managed to achieve 300,000 miles out of his Fords in the past three that he has owned - out of the original engine without major repairs.

      • 6 Years Ago
      What the heck is going on the Big 3 Automakers want a big loan or BailOut from the taxpayers picking up the tab of course but do you see any of the Automakers cutting the prices in half thats US and Foreign by the way and the Big 3 US Automakers UAW you don't see any of the union employees taking a pay cut from 60.00 dollars an hour to 25.00 dollars to 30.00 dollars an hour and I think that is to much but it would be a start to help the concsumers out when purchasing a new vehicle instead of paying 30,000 thousand dollars to 60,000.00 dollars for a new vehicle the vehicles should be cut in half in price and I think you will see the dealers sell alot more vehicles in the US. The prices are well over inflated for US and Foreign vehicles such as Honda and Toyota and the Big 3 US Automakers!!!! Take care of America instead of being so damn Greedy!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe if brains were half priced you would have bought one of those too.

        Sorry, I don't usually feed trolls.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In closing, congratulations Ford, while facing newer competition from Toyota and Nissan, you held your own. I don't currently own a Ford, waiting to see a Raptor, but love how your doing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah, one can tell you are all Americans here. Mamma, you don't wanna know what people in Europe think about big American $20,000 trucks :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        personally, i think they should bring us back the Toyota Hilux... bulletproof, practical, fuel efficient (especially a diesel)... whats not to like?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, I would. Honestly. In America, where the auto was invented, we like to have our trucks to haul stuff as needed. Furniture, firewood, moving, big screen TV's and so on. We also love European cars, German cars, Italian cars, Japanese cars, Korean cars and the list goes on and on. I assume, people of Europe know we love their cars and that they have an influence on automobile design here occasionally, though not enough. I can't tell you how many times I have said "european looking design". But I own Dodge, Hummer, Buick, Honda and Subaru right now (wife had BMW before Subaru) just because it's America and I love each car for it's own reason. Not sure about Europe again, but Americans LOVE their cars, they are not just a ride to work and the grocery store here. So, yes I would love to hear about it.
      • 6 Years Ago

      IT makes less power than last year...and last year it was anemic, is uglier, too big, and really offers nothing over the much better Silverado or Ram.

      The Ram clearly is more than a re-skin. It has an all new, striking exterior, the interior is worlds better than the previous model, and it is all around a better choice for TOTY than the F-150.

      But then again...we saw how wrong MT was naming the Tundra TOTY...so it seems they are still making the same mistakes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Uh, TKO- The ford was the second SLOWEST up the grade, beating out only the Nissan, which is the oldest of the bunch by a few years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        YOU'RE A FOOL!!!!

        Here is a real comparison between all of the trucks, and you'll see why the F150 is the best.

        Biggies: best average fuel economy, most comprehensive 6-speed, tow haul mode, trailer sway control (automatically brakes the trailer too when needed), best ride, quietest, and best limited-slip diff. That's what makes it the best ..

        You want to talk about power .. in PickupTrucks.com test, on the hill climb with a trailer, the F150 was the ONLY truck to gain momentum .. it's the best truck .. it's that simple. Best for towing, best for fuel economy, best for handling especially. it's the best. The Ram is second best ..

        Read the damn article and maybe you'll understand. But I will say, the Ram definitely is the best looking truck money can buy.


      • 6 Years Ago
      Congrats to Ford, but my choice is still H3T, FOrd makes a great urban truck , but I need one that I can pound off road
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like the Ram's look, but the Ford is still the "truckier" truck. It can tow more, it can haul more, it comes with a V8 standard, and of course it's still just as titanic as the Ram.

      The Ford gets the same mileage as the Suzuki Equator V6, and slightly better mileage than the Ram.

      So yeah. If I were MT I'd choose the F-150 too, even if I think it's less attractive than the Ram and Equator.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the Ford is a better truck overall but the Dodge is a better truck for the urban cowboy. Now most people will never use half the capacity of an F-150 but there could be a good market for companies and businesses that would like the capabilities of a pretty much a super duty truck in a smaller wrapper.

      I did have to chuckle at the chuckle head who claims the F-150 makes LESS power than the year before. The way I read it was that the base engine is more powerful, and the other two engines have been upgraded. Then he claims it's too big but it's smaller than the Ram.

      Then again the only subjects he comments on are Ford and they are all negetive so...
        • 6 Years Ago
        That is correct.

        They have added a 3V 4.6L in addition to the 2V 4.6L V8.

        Also, the 5.4L on E85 gets 390 torques.

        The moron who said it has less power is the same guy who said the Ram is clearly the better truck.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ofcourse :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nice! Good job Ford!

        And for the record the Ford F-150 is a DOMESTIC and AMERICAN truck!

        Just had to rub it in to the anti-chris--I MEAN Anti-Domestic Car Fanatics
        • 6 Years Ago
        HA! I opened this thread with the intent of posting exactly what you posted. :D

        Good work, Ford!
      • 6 Years Ago
      what do you mean by "handles better"

      the article said that the F-150 had better feel but the Ram had it beat on the skidpad
    • Load More Comments