2009 Ford F-150 Platinum Lariat 4x4

This is a very nice truck, but the leaf-spring rear suspension is quite apparent when compared with our Four Seasons Dodge Ram. The Ford is much more bouncy longitudinally, and these bounces tend to linger, whereas the Dodge offers a more compliant ride.

It doesn't seem like the F-150 is geared very well for towing, even though there are nicely integrated trailer-brake controls on the dash. Acceleration off the line seems sluggish, and the transmission holds second gear for a long time and is very reluctant to downshift to first unless you really jump on the gas. I'm guessing that this is a fuel-economy provision. Speaking of mileage, the trip computer indicated that I averaged 15 mpg over my 45-mile commute: not bad but not great, especially considering that I drove it pretty sedately.

The interior of this Platinum-edition Ford smells like a nice shoe store, thanks to the attractive brown leather seating surfaces. In other gimmicky news, I really like the hydraulic mini-running boards that are in front of each rear wheel, assisting access to the front of the pickup bed. The tailgate step and its handrail are a bit less useful, at least to my young legs and back. And even though the tailgate step is nicely integrated into the top of the tailgate, it squeaks noticeably when you're driving down the road with the power sliding rear window open.

Call me crazy, but I actually miss the Lincoln Mark LT.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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