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F150 4×4 Super Crew Lariat 2017: Oakville Drives

A Professional Driver's Perspective

F150 4×4 Super Crew Lariat 2017: Oakville Drives
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About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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Simply put, the 2017 F150 4×4 Super Crew Lariat is one good-looking truck, with just about every desirable option that an additional $17,970 can buy. The base F150 4×4 Super Crew starts at $56,199. The Lariat package adds another $4,900 to give you the much needed blind spot system, LED side mirror spot light, the Sony CD/Sirius XM radio, Sync connect voice activated navigation, 2nd row heated seats and heated steering wheel. The most important upgrade option for me is the 3.5L V6 Ecoboost engine ($1,650) with 10-speed auto transmission and 3.55 electronic lock rear axle. With this configuration, you can tow up to 5,400 kg (12,000lbs). A trailer tow package ($950) adds an integrated trailer brake controller. Rounding out the options on my test vehicle was the twin panel moon roof ($1,750); adaptive cruise control ($1,500); Lariat special edition package ($2,400) that includes 275/55R-20 all-terrain tires mounted on 20” wheels; a ($1,250) technology package that adds 360 degree camera with split view display; the FX off-road package ($750) that adds skid plates and auto start/stop; and finally, spray in bed liner ($550), wheel well liner ($180), active park assist ($550), tailgate step ($400), box side steps ($300), all weather rubber floor mats ($170).

Driving and handling characteristics of the F150 4×4 Super Crew Lariat

When I picked up the F150 4×4 Super Crew Lariat for the week of test-driving, I was a bit skeptical about whether I could comfortably tow my 27 foot 7,000 lb loaded car trailer for a 2.5 hour ride down the 401 in Victoria Day traffic. Normally, this would have been done with my 2006 Ram 2500 Diesel that can really haul. Reading up on the specs, it certainly seemed possible as the F150 configuration on the test pick-up allowed for a 12,000 lb capacity. So – what happened?

Arriving at my trailer storage location, I added the heavy-duty anti-sway hitch and went to back up the truck. The rear camera angle allowed me to effortlessly position the ball precisely and drop the trailer. That’s when I noticed the lower body position of the F150 as compared to my Ram 2500. In order to properly level the trailer, I had to modify the trailer hitch ball upwards to get the trailer level. An unexpected 30 minute two wrench adjustment. Once the trailer lights/brake wiring harness and safety chains were properly connected, I did my full circle check and proceeded to a quiet street to adjust the trailer brakes using the F150 integrated brake controller. A nice feature on the F-150 is the dash display option to see both the trailer and truck angle as well as whether trailer lights are active.

Once on the highway, I quickly got to appreciate the large two part side mirrors that provide proper visibility down the side of the truck and trailer. But what about power and ride stability? Ford’s 3.5L V6 Ecoboost engine churns out 375 hp and 470 ft-lb of torque. I had absolutely no problem with acceleration or stability, even in somewhat windy conditions.

In the early morning drive with limited traffic on the 401, I tried out the adaptive cruise control and motored along at 100 kms/hr barely noticing the attached trailer. What I did notice was the fuel consumption increasing to an alarming rate each time I accelerated (actual speed will not be mentioned) to pass traffic. The 136L fuel tank was dry by the time I reached Belleville – a mere distance of 225 kms.

To be fair, my return-drive in agonizing slow, stop and go traffic only used up a percentage of the tank. So if you like to pull a heavy trailer at higher highway speeds – expect fuel consumption to be in the range of 45-48 L/100km. Towing at slower speeds reduces the thirst to roughly 30-35 L/100km. After spending some 13 hours (too much of it in very slow traffic) behind the wheel of this truck, 692 kms. (450 towing), my combined fuel consumption turned out to be 28.5 L/100km. A similar run in my old Ram 2500 Diesel would have been closer to 16L/100km, but a lot less comfortable.

Comfort and Styling of the the F150 4×4 Super Crew Lariat 2017

I have to admit that I found the F150 4×4 Super Crew Lariat enjoyable, comfortable and easy to drive – also when pulling my heavy trailer – even in multi-hour frustratingly slow traffic. The leather seats are comfortable, easily adjusted to my liking and look great. The interior of this truck is well appointed and all of the important controls are properly accessible to the driver. Keeping both hands on the wheel, I appreciated the flawless voice command for radio and navigation. Ford’s infotainment system is in my view one of the very best. There are lots of attractive and useful interior design features with this Super Crew Cab Lariat interior that are best experienced in person. The exterior design, especially the light features are quite attractive. Also not to be missed is the rear tailgate step and side box steps that make access to the truck bed practical.

Safety of the F150 4×4 Super Crew Lariat 2017

Pick up trucks have their own unique needs to keep the driver and passenger as safe as possible. From a handling perspective, the truck includes trailer sway control, stability and traction control, antilock brakes, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control including collision mitigation, rear sensors and 360 degree cameras. In addition to regular airbags, the truck is equipped with full-length side curtain airbags and crash notification.

Things to consider

This is a very well equipped and good looking F-150 that can definitely handle every day pick up truck use as well as heavy tow needs. In the Super Crew Cab configuration, even the rear seat passengers are treated to a comfortable ride. I was surprised to see how well the truck handled my towing experience and other than the fuel consumption issue, I would seriously consider this 3.5L V6 as an option to a diesel.
For more automotive reviews and insights, follow me on Twitter @redy2rol.