2009 Ford F-150

Nothing makes a short person like me feel more absurd than driving a massive, I'm-compensating-for-my-height pickup truck like this F-150 Lariat extended-cab 4x4. The parking lot attendant, who's seen me pull up to his booth in some pretty ridiculous vehicles, had to stifle a laugh and was compelled to ask, "Are you okay?"

Needless to say, this is not my kind of transportation. But I still appreciate how much trucks in general have improved over the years. The interior, as others have noted, was fantastic. Truck owners everywhere can thank the now-passing luxury-SUV phenomenon for bringing their cabins up to modern spec.

Dynamically, the F-150 was easy enough to manage. I had just finished a weekend in the Honda Fit and was able to avoid crashing into anything despite the extra four feet in length. Of course it helps that, as Joe noted, people get the hell out of your way as soon as they see you coming. Acceleration wasn't stellar, but the F-150 cruised with much greater ease on the highway than the four-speed-automatic F-150 I drove last fall.

I found the ride harsh, especially over train tracks, just as one would expect with an empty truck bed. Like everyone else, I'm anxious to see how the Dodge Ram performs with its rear coil springs. I'm honestly surprised that Ford, with its dozens of F-150 variants, was not the first to think of offering at least a few versions of its best seller with such a setup.

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

New Car Research

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