2006 F-150 New Car Test Drive
The Ford F-150 delivers all the big-truck attributes of toughness, strength, and cargo capacity, but offers interior design and comfort that would rival some luxury cars. It's also stylish, among the best-looking in a group of handsome full-size pickups for the 2006 model year.
Properly equipped, an F-150 can tow 9,900 pounds or haul more than 3,000 pounds in the bed. The F-150 is comfortable as well, with a quiet and refined ride and comfortable interiors that show attention to detail. Handling is excellent for a pickup.
The F-150 earned a five-star safety rating from the government (NHTSA) in frontal crash testing and was named a 'Best Pick' in offset-crash rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. F-150 comes equipped with dual frontal airbags designed to deploy according to the severity of the crash and who or what is occupying the seat. Seat belts, your first line of defense in any crash, are equipped with pre-tensioners and energy-management retractors.
For all these reasons, the F-150 has been America's best-selling full-size pickup for 28 consecutive years. It's the most important, most profitable vehicle Ford makes.
F-150 was last redesigned in 2004, when it earned numerous awards, including North American Truck of the Year. Ford has not significantly changed the F-150 since then except to expand the lineup every year with new trim levels, variations, and specialty models.
For 2006, SuperCrew (crew cab) models will be available with a longer, 6.5-foot bed; as well as the standard 5.5-foot short bed. A limited-production Harley-Davidson edition, previously offered on Super Duty models, is now available as an F-150 SuperCab (extended cab). SuperCrew buyers can choose the King Ranch model, lavishly outfitted in Castano leather, one of our favorites. At the bottom of the lineup is a V6 work truck.
F-150 offers more choices than any other pickup nameplate, with six distinct trim variations, the industry's widest variety of body configurations (three cab styles, three bed lengths, two bed styles), and a choice of V8 engines, all thoughtfully designed to address the distinct needs and wants of individual buyers.
The 2006 Ford F-150 is available in six distinct trim levels. The XL, STX, XLT, FX4, Lariat, and King Ranch each boast their own interior style and features. Engines, suspensions and cab configurations are designed to meet specific needs. A myriad of configurations and options within these model lines ensure buyers can select the right pickup for them.
The 2006 Ford F-150 SuperCrew (crew cab) is available with a 6.5-foot bed, mounted on a new 150.5-inch wheelbase. Wheelbases as long as 163.0 inches (e.g., a SuperCab with the 8-foot long bed) are available.
Three engines are offered: a 4.2-liter V6, a 4.6-liter V8, and a 5.4-liter V8. The V6 offers a choice of four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission, but comes in only the most basic F-150s. In the models most consumers will buy, the 4.6-liter V8 is standard. Both V8s come with four-speed automatic transmissions, although the 5.4 comes with a heavy-duty unit.
XL is the budget-priced F-150 with a work-truck interior: vinyl-covered 40/20/40 bench seats, black vinyl floor covering, and an all-plastic dashboard housing a basic AM/FM radio. XL is readily identifiable by its black grille and fascia, painted silver bumpers and 17-inch steel wheels. Regular cab and SuperCab (extended cab) styles are available, and the latter comes with air conditioning (an $850 option on regular cabs). An F-150 XL Regular Cab 2WD short wheelbase model with a 4.6-liter V8 and automatic retails for $20,635, or $18,790 with a V6 and manual gearbox; a SuperCab long-wheelbase 4WD with a V8 and automatic retails for $27,275. Chrome bumpers and cloth seats are optional.
STX is sportier than the XL, with body-color bumpers and body-color trim for the black grille, and 17-inch cast aluminum wheels. Cloth seats, a CD player, and air conditioning come standard. STX comes in Styleside and Flareside body styles, in regular cab or SuperCab, with either a 6.5-foot or a 5.5-foot cargo box. An audiophile sound system with subwoofer and six-disc CD changer is optional. An STX 2WD Flareside retails for $23,030.
XLT is the most popular model, nicer and better-equipped than XL. It comes with chrome bumpers and a honeycomb grille that sets it apart from the other models. XLT comes in regular cab, SuperCab or SuperCrew; and depending on cab style buyers can choose 5.5-, 6.5-, or 8-foot bed lengths, plus Styleside or Flareside beds. Carpeting is standard, as is a premium cloth upholstery on the standard bench seats or optional captain's chairs. The XLT instrument panel gets more flash than either the XL or STX dash; and power windows, mirrors and locks with remote keyless entry are standard. The XLT features an overhead rail console system that the owner can tailor to his or her needs. Fog lamps come standard on 4WD XLTs. An XLT SuperCrew 4WD 5.4-liter V8 automatic retails for $34,055.
FX4 is a special off-road model. The interior features a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a floor shifter, and chrome accents; while the exterior is distinguished by a unique grille, 18-inch cast aluminum wheels, and body-color or Dark Shadow Gray bumpers, depending on paint choice. FX4 is available in regular cab, SuperCab, and SuperCrew body styles, but the long (8-foot) bed is not available. The standard engine is the 5.4-liter V8. The FX4 has its own instrument package with carbon mesh accents on the metallic dashboard. Captain's chairs in cloth or leather are optional. An F-150 FX4 SuperCrew 4WD retails for $35,495.
Lariat is the luxury model, distinguished visually by a unique grille design (chrome housing around Arizona Beige insert) and bright-finish 18-inch aluminum wheels. Bumpers are chrome or Arizona Beige. Lariat features black-on-cream instruments, lots of wood trim and brushed metal, a multi-function steering wheel, and a shiny floor shifter mounted in a floor console. A power-adjustable and leather-trimmed 40/20/40 split bench seat with seat memory is standard, along with power-adjustab.