2009 Ford F-150 Platinum Lariat 4x4

There are nearly seven different trim levels offered on the 2009 F-150, but this new Platinum is about as swanky as they come. While the marketing folks might not admit it, this decked-out crew-cab truck is essentially a replacement for the late Lincoln Mark LT in all but name (unless you're shopping in Mexico, where it's sold with an awkward bow-wave grille tacked on the front).

Ford closely followed the LT's recipe (take the F-150, lard it with luxury features, and jack up the price), especially inside the cabin. Designers liberally applied brushed aluminum finishes to the dashboard, center console, steering wheel, and door panels, and there's also plenty of woodgrain trim. Although it's immediately familiar to anyone who's spent time inside an F-150, the Platinum cabin oozes a level of sophistication that's previously been lacking in Ford trucks.

Mechanically, the Platinum differs little, if at all, from the last 2009 Lariat we drove. The 24-valve, 5.4-liter V-8 lurks underhood, and it's mated to a six-speed transmission. Power is adequate, especially in this heavy crew-cab application, but the gearbox could use some additional development time. I grew too familiar with the occasional harsh 3-4 shift and a mild jolt whenever I brought the truck to a halt. Such hiccups could be overlooked on a base work truck, but not on a $46,000 one.

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

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