Why, oh why, did I not take the gravel road into work on this snowy morning? Instead of exercising the F-150's brute winter awesomeness by bounding across several miles of barely plowed country road, I automatically took the normal highway route, which left me creeping along in traffic for almost an hour. Sigh ...
My time stuck in traffic allowed me to come to some of the same conclusions as my colleagues: This is a very nice-looking interior and a very nice place to spend time. However, some of the hard plastics are out of place, as Evan noted (I, too, was disappointed by the hard dash top and door caps), but they're certainly better than most of Ford's recent efforts.
The new six-speed transmission is nice, but to be honest, I didn't even notice that there were six gears when I was driving the vehicle. The gear selector still has the old 1, 2, 3, D choices, along with the O/D button, so there was no easy giveaway without counting shifts during a drag race to the pickup's top speed.
I agree with Joe on at least two points: I couldn't get comfortable in the driver's seat, and I'm shocked that Ford actually bragged about making this truck taller. I'm anxious to compare this with the new Dodge Ram, because the consensus seems to be that the Dodge is more useable as a daily driver.
Still, the '09 F-150 looks really tough in person, especially when it's covered in snow. The power-sliding rear window was very helpful for clearing a view out the back window, since the snow in the bed kept swirling back onto the glass. (What, do you actually think this monster could fit in my garage?)
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor