After several engine updates last year, the Ford F-150 receives only minor changes for 2012. Among them is a larger, 36-gallon fuel tank standard on all 4-wheel-drive EcoBoost F-150s, which increases range to 750 miles. A new FX appearance package is available on FX4 and FX2 models that includes black and red fender and tailgate badges, 20-inch black wheels, chrome exhaust tip, blacked out exterior trim and decals and a red-stitched steering wheel. On 4-wheel-drive Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum models, a 2-speed automatic 4-wheel drive system replaces last year's electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case. In addition to 4-high and 4-low, the new system offers a full-time all-wheel-drive instantly transfers torque to the front wheels if the rear wheels lose traction. The system also includes a neutral position, which means the F-150 can be flat-towed if required. Finally, in the performance-oriented F-150 SVT Raptor, Ford has added a new locking front Torsen differential, a front camera to allow drivers to see what's happening directly in front of each tire, and subtle exterior and interior changes to further separate the model from the rest of the F-150 lineup.
Smooth, strong new powertrain lineup; fuel efficiency; class-leading towing and payload capacities; wide range of models for all budgets, tastes, and needs; available luxury features
Ford claims class-leading fuel economy, as well as best-in-class towing and horsepower for both its base V6 engine as well as both of the available V8s. Ford also says that it's the only automaker to offer a 6-speed automatic transmission across its entire model lineup. The F-150 is also the only full-size pickup so far to offer electric power steering, which saves fuel and gives an improved steering feel. Across the lineup, the F-150 carries through with the full redesign that the truck received for 2009; since then, the F-150's very purposeful, upright instrument panel and vastly upgraded interior materials have stood out in this very competitive class. And with the new 36-gallon fuel tank, the F-150's 750-mile driving range puts it in a class by itself.