Review of the 2004 / 2005 / 2006 / 2007 / 2008 Ford F-150 Pickup Truck
I have been a Ford owner for most of my life, growing up with Ford pickups and Louisville trucks both small and large. We still have a 93 Pickup and a 03 Supercrew on our farm and some Mercury antiques trucks .
In 1996 I went and bought a Dodge because I liked the truck style and the large cab and renewed it in 2000.
This time I decided to go back to Ford, because the literature promised me a much bigger cab and it was a slightly better price than the 04 Dodge. I am 6 ft tall and my wife is also tall , so we like vehicles with room.
I ordered a 2004 F150 XLT Regular Cab 4x4 with the 5.4L and nearly every option and accessory available.
An extended cab or supercrew is not really a viable option. When an 8 foot box is required for work, and 95% of the time their is only one passenger, this configuration has been the vehicle of choice for the last 20 years.
After only 2,000 km, I was very dissapointed with it. Neither my family nor coworkers want to ride with me. I am uncomfortable getting in and out, and uncomfortable over long distances.
Seats are very uncomfortable, and with the center section being positioned very far forward, an adult does not have the length to sit properly in the middle nor the width to fit , even for a short distance. A child in a booster seat ends up kicking the dash on a regular basis because he is sitting so close. Because he is sitting so far forward compared to the seat on each side, if he falls asleep he ends up in someones lap because their is no seat beside him for support. You might as well say this is a mid size truck for all the width of the cab. It also seems the seats are very short, as people with long upper legs get limited amount of support . Subsequent research has shown me that the cab is 7 inches narrower than a Dodge between the armrests.
If the extra large door armrests were half the size it would make a big difference.
Dropped window ledge may look nice from outside, but you can't put your arm on the window ledge because the back section is so high.
Can any Ford engineer explain what good the rear doors are ? When opened , you still have zero access behind the seats because the door hinges are so far forward. You still must fold the seat back forward AND slide the seat forward to gain access. And when the seat is folded back, it does not return to the original position, rather you must readjust it to even get back in the truck.
There is also the safety issue of putting the door pillar right beside your head to limit visibility, and the awkwardness of having to move forward and twist to step out of the cab rather than just sliding out.
And what good is the storage space behind the seat without a tray or an organiser system? Everything slides under the seat within minutes.
Steering wheel height adjustment lever has been spring loaded for 25 years, why go backwards in your design now ?
And why can't the passenger side Seat Belt Minder be turned off ? When used for work or farm use when you drive for short distances on private property, there is nothing more annoying than a beeper going for NO REASON.
What good is the higher sides on the box , other than saying you have increased the cargo carrying volume. Even a tall person cannot reach over the side to retrieve items/tools etc. It would seem that it just makes for a higher tailgate that catches more wind and reduces fuel consumption. More volume might be good if it is used as a swimming pool, but as a truck it is useless. Because of the very limited visibilty to the rear, I almost backed into a small car in a parking lot because it was not able to be seen in the mirrors or looking rearward. This makes this truck useless for a work truck .
What would it cost to install proper wheel well liners to protect the undercarriage? A trip down a gravel road tells you from the noise in the cab that the amount of stones hitting the inside of the box and back of the cab is unacceptable. Damage from stones, mud, and winter salt will quickly take a toll. Liners on the front would certainly prevent dirty water from flowing outside over the front bumper from inside the fender well. An extra dollar must be spent every wash to make up for poor design. Poor quality mudgaurds do not last long, first one had a hole through it before 2 tanks of fuel had been used.
Rims look nice, but ice and gravel build up inside on the flat surface causing out of balance conditions
Disc brakes must be better protected to prevent rocks from wedging in and making a squealing noise while driving down the road.
The Powertrain has been impressive, both power and economy, very nice handling , very sharp looking on the outside. But very uncomfortable and very cheap interior appearance.
I have always been confident that my truck, whether it is has been a Dodge or a Ford, will make it through whatever Mother Nature throws our way here in rural Manitoba . I normally can always break trail no matter how deep the snow drifts or accumulation can be. But this past spring was the final straw when after a freak May snowstorm, I was unable to go down the road. It wasn't that I couldn't break trail, I couldn't even follow the trail made by a previous vehicle ! Dirt roads can also make it bottom out where a 1993 Ford Pickup has no problems.
The ground clearance of this vehicle is so low, I was hung up in the middle of the road and unable to move. While stuck in the middle of a road that other pickups had no trouble with, I realised that Ford no longer was making trucks that I could trust my family to ride in.
If you are a shorter person who spends 100% of your time on highways, you will likely be happy with a Ford. If you use it as a truck in rural conditions, use it for work, or are tall or wide, I think you will be as dissapointed as I am.
4 years is the shortest I have ever owned a vehicle. The first 4 weeks of this truck has been too much.
So what is Ford's response to my long list of complaints ? Silence. My dealer has passed my complaints up for the Ford rep to contact me, but they never have. A call to the Customer Satisfaction phone number listed in the operators manual was met with the most indifferent attitude I have ever come across.
Since Ford doesn't seem to have a defined policy for customer satisfaction or reputation management, I thought I should post my comments on the internet for all to see. As an individual, no one will take much notice of my complaints. But as the owner of several of the largest agricultural websites on the Internet with as many as 10,000 Unique Visitors per day viewing our sites, I will feel better knowing that you are more informed when you make a purchase decision in the future.
But then again, this is just one man's opinion. You may own this same truck and love everything about it. That's great.
But many of these things you can't find out on a test drive, only from actually experiencing this vehicle in actual real world conditions.
I hope the engineers take notice of these comments, and build a truck worthy of being proud of again.
If you have any comments, please post them
for all to see at F150online.com
Portage La Prairie , Manitoba, Canada
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