2009 Ford F-150

It's pretty hard for me to judge any suspension today, as I creep along through a raging blizzard. Instead, going slowly allows the sumptuous men's club quality of the Ford F-150's cab to seep in. A very subtle, elegant change has come over the ambience of the F-150, making it a gorgeous accessory to the confident, professional man about town. The combination of color, material, and textures is really striking, beginning with the black dash pad, a heavily textured vinyl that looks very manly. A stitched black leather visor juts over the instrument panel, which is finished in an unusual matte grey that extends through the actual gauges. The numbers and hash marks light up blue at night.

Chrome rings gauges, cupholders, and vents. Big planks of faux wood panel the doors, the center stack, and the new six-speed automatic's shift knob. Echoing Phil Floraday: Love that transmission. It ought to be kick-ass on hillclimbs in the woods, which is how I most often used my three full-size pickups.

Everywhere you look in here, you see thoughtful designer touches: the manually operated air vents are tabbed for easy handling. Door pockets are deep and wide. Every little cubby (and there are many) in, on, and around the dash has a rubber inset, some ridged to separate the little things you'll throw in.

The stereo speaker grilles on the doors are attractively ridged to reduce visual mass.

And may I say, I think I can no longer live without the voice-activated connectivity offered by the Sync interface.

Jean Jennings, President & Editor-in-Chief

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