Monday, May 5, 2014

Used Car Review - Ford F150 (1998-2004)

Having this bad boy in your garage is attainable. Let Myk Belmonte walk to you the details.

1998-2004 Ford F150

Probably beating the Toyota Corolla for the vehicle with the most number of generations (the F150 has 12 compared to the Toyota's 11 as of 2014), the F150 had been in existence in 1948 which replaced the car based pick-up truck line sold in 1942. Since then, it has been sold in a raft of configurations from two to four doors and regular and extended length versions to regular engined one to the powerful (think of the SVT and Raptor). It is still kicking on 66 years after it was first released.

The tenth generation F150 first debuted in 1995 as a 1997 model and featured more curves than the model it replaced, which made Ford selling the previous model alongside since they had predicted it would not be a hit among consumers (trucks are meant to be boxy and handsome, you know). But alas, it sold well and another feature is the separation of the F250 and F350 were split while a Lincoln version called the Blackwood that was a market flop. Production ended in 2009 in Mexico while early as 2004 for the other markets.

Ford made a comeback in 1998 and one of the products is the F150 pickup, which made the Japanese rivals dwarf in size. Gasoline was very very cheap back then and the crisis was just a word when the truck arrived to the shores. Dwindling interest towards pick-up trucks with gasoline engines (the last one to be sold was the Hilux G with a 2.7 lifted from the Fortuner) caused the F150 to be discontinued, leaving the Ranger in the truck range. One can get the F150 through a local Ford dealer in Styleside 4x2, Flareside 4x4, and Supercrew 4x4 while succeeding versions through the grey market. Supercrew versions remained until its 2004 dropping, with the other models had it early in 2003.

Value and Costs
American trucks and cars with large engine displacements have poor resale values, and one can get an F150 for the price equivalent of a 2001-2011 model Honda Civic. One can get a Chevrolet Silverado of the same period but Ford has the edge on dealer support. Just prepare to read the next paragraph if you really want one.

Planning to get one would necessitate to pay more at the pump, since fuel consumption is not a huge forte (but then that's the reason for the low resale values) plus maintenance costs are expensive for such an old car. One deficiency to look for are the electrical components which may conk out especially if the unit you are checking is very old.

Exterior and Interior
One may choose between a two door plus two hidden door available in the Styleside and Flareside or a crew cab Supercrew. Parking and maneuvering one can be a chore, especially for the first time driver but the stares and pride in driving one is priceless.

If you intend to transport people, then get a 4-door version since the low end models have a tight rear bench. Owners of the first generation Expedition would have some comments that they are similar to each other, and they are from the automatic shift knob (manual models have them floor mounted) to the radio. One good trait are the adjustable pedals that can give the driver a comfortable seating position.

Rocking your world (or in this case, your drive) are two gasoline engines in the form of the following: an Essex 4,195cc V6 having 205 at 4,750rpm and 345Nm at 3,000rpm and  a Triton 4,601cc V8 carrying 220hp at4 4,500rpm and 398Nm at 3,250rpm. Both engines provide sufficient power when it comes to acceleration (the V8 has more than enough) plus a sports car growl comes bonus when driven hard.

Driving Impression
Those who want something fun to drive are advised to look elsewhere, since steering precision is lacking and going to potholes gives you a bouncy feeling. Although driving and maneuvering one isn't a strength, the added height gives you security during the rainy season or traversing in rough roads.

Desiring a pick-up truck without the diesel engine noise and lingering at the price range of a sedan is a reality thanks to the F150. Being low priced means it has some drawbacks such as its fuel efficiency and pricey maintenance costs but then, the Ford is a better pick among the American trucks.

The Good:
  • Badass looks
  • Available in both regular and extended bodies
  • Powerful engines
The Bad: 
  • Monstrous fuel consumption
  • Horrible maintenance costs
  • Impracticality
The Pick: 4.2 V6 Styleside

Engine: 4,195cc Essex V6 (4x2) and 4,601cc Triton V8 (4x4) gasoline
Power: 205hp @ 4,750rpm (V6), 220hp @ 4,500rpm (V8)
Torque: 345Nm @ 3,000rpm (V6), 398Nm @ 3,250rpm (V8)
Fuel Consumption: 3-6km/L (city), 6-9km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual (V6 only), 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent SLA, rear rigid axle with leaf springs

Price (New): P1,200,000-P1,600,000
Price (Now): P290,000-P650,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Silverado
On Sale: 1998-2004

Ford Libis - (02) 637-2044
Ford EDSA - (02) 744-2222

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