Saturday Road Test – F-150 Meets Paw Paw!

                      

 

                      Ford F-150 4×4 Supercrew

                    “Almost Heaven, West Virginia…”          

By Ron Amadon

PAW PAW, WVA. – Okay, the idea was to find out how this “Ingot Silver” big and heavy 4×4 stood up to the “mountain mama” hills of West Virginia with just a V6.

 To wit, the 3.5 EcoBoost V6 with 375 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm with 470 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm. Did this truck really need a V8?

 And would the new 10-speed transmission have heart failure with all the steep ups and downs that characterize a favorite route out of the getaway town of Berkeley Springs.  

 Well, the V6 never broke sweat conquering the hills, and the ten speed was such a smooth operator that the frequent shifts were really not noticeable.

 “Nice truck,” said the man parked next to me at the Paw Paw combination gas station, deli, restaurant, grocery store, and THE command center for neighborhood gossip. Situated deep in a valley, internet connectivity and social media are just a rumor.

 A local flyer available at the checkout advertised “affordable bankruptcies.” I thought, “How could that be?”

 Thankfully there were places to test the 4×4 that gave the truck a chance to get coated with some good West Virginia mud, so that it blended rather nicely with the other vehicles out and about. The F-150 climbed some muddy and potholed grades with ease, forded a couple of small streams, and chugged along with ease over what once was a railroad right of way.

 During a very full day behind the wheel, the nation’s best-selling vehicle for the past 39 years was as comfortable as sitting in your favorite easy chair at home.

 Back out on I-70, the F-150 cruised along at 70-75 in a quiet, relaxed manner as it engaged the low, low 10th gear.

 The leather wrapped seats were heated and cooled, and the spacious rear seats were also heated. There was plenty of room back there for adults, or the seats folded down for added cargo space. Further, Ford included their inflatable second row seatbelts that will provide additional protection for a passenger’s chest in the event of a crash.

 Even up Maryland’s South Mountain, the six and the ten speed were quick with the power to pass weighed down semis, and not so weighed down Smart Cars.

 Basic controls were all within reach, the 8” touchscreen was easy to figure out, and the audio system had real knobs for volume control and tuning. Thank You Ford!

 All right, I will fess up. I enjoyed the Bluegrass channel on satellite for my Paw Paw journey, but what else ya gonna listen to over here?

 Gas mileage. Now that is probably something you are wondering about. The EPA rates the test truck at 17 city, 23 highway for a combined 20 mpg. After a week of any kind of driving you can imagine I came in at 18.6 mpg. I only filled up once thanks to the huge 35 gallon tank.

 Suffice to say this truck will haul big loads and lug large trailers. Ford offers a huge variety of combinations to match anyone’s towing and hauling needs.

 In fact that is the case right across the board with a miles long list of options that allow you to tailor the pickup to match your slightest whim.

 With the Lariat Sport Appearance Package, spray in bedliner, Adaptive Cruise Control, a welcome tailgate step, park assist and a technology package, among other things, the test truck carried an MSRP of $59,600.

 At the end of the week long test period, I was truly sorry to see the F-150 go away. It did everything I wanted it to do with ease and comfort. I confidently predict that the F-150 will continue as the nation’s best seller well into the future.

  -0-

 A note about the town. It is home to 500 or so souls, and is not named for an early Indian tribe as you may have guessed. Instead, the name comes from a wild fruit which grows in abundance throughout the region, according to Wikipedia. CSX freight trains wiz through town virtually unnoticed by most.  

 

 

 

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