Outsider's Perspective: The Ford F-150 I want doesn't exist

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Like many of you, I spend some time building imaginary cars that I can’t afford but that would be very nice to own. And like you, I find out that the particular combination you want isn’t on the builder and it would take a particularly insane dealer to do negotiations with the manufacturer. The Ford F-150 isn’t the exception, but I’ll admit this time is probably because it’s a weird combination.

I may have done a disservice to options packages when I called them insane in my last article. They make perfect sense to everyone but the knowing customer. The manufacturer can bundle the most common and most requested options in packages, so they make a bunch of models with those options which are there sent to dealers that will have an easier time up-selling them to people that came with a specific car in mind but they can get one with more profit margins for everyone for just a few dollars more per month. Everyone wins, even the poor shmucks who got upselled will go to their friends to show off the amazing deal they got on their car. None of that is comforting if you want…say a Mazda6 with a manual and a Moonroof. Or a Ford Fusion in Deep Impact Blue with a Terracotta interior. Which brings me to the F-150.
 
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I’ve always had it hammered into my head that a proper man should always have ready access to a pickup truck. And rolling in no-options vehicles from the 1980’s as my daily drivers have made me resilient to option free vehicles. So my ideal F-150 would just be a strippo XL right? Well, not quite. This is where the problems begin, my ideal F150 would be a single cab XLT with a long bed, a V8 engine and column shift (we don’t want no stinkin’ V6’s or that turbocharching witchcraft here), a sunroof and…the 8” productivity display. Clearly, according the statistics Ford used to decide which options go where I don’t exist.
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Well, let’s start with the big one, the productivity screen. Yes, I know it goes against the whole “Simple practical pickup for work” but come on! It looks cool! Unfortunately, you can only get it on the Lariat trim level, which doesn’t come in a single cab. Because apparently the only person that wants a single cab luxo-barge is a random Honduran guy typing on his laptop that can’t afford it anyway.
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At least the fact that you can only get the Lariat with an extended cab is a good thing, because it means you can get the sunroof, which isn’t available in the single cab. That one makes sense actually, when you compare the cost of designing a separate sunroof that tilts the glass upwards or just pop’s out like in your ‘90s pathfinder with the people that would buy such a system. And if you spec bucket seats you get a lovely center console, but you lose the column shifter
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So either I can get the productivity screen and sunroof, ponying up the extra nine grand for the screen and sunroof (not to mention a huge load of things that I don’t want)with the wrong cab…or the lower trim model without a sunroof or the productivity screen (well, the 4.2” version of it, it’s at least better than the circa-2005 LCD they gave you in XL’s and poverty-spec XLT’s of yore)but with the right cab. I’m sure that if you go to the same dealer that your parents have been frequenting since they bought that 1974 LTD and are good friends with the owner you may be able to work something out. But for someone visiting Bob’s crazy Ford (15,000 sales on a bad month) the chances they’ll accommodate your request are about the same as Hyundai making a rear-wheel drive Accent with the 5.0-liter V8. Which would be awesome but rather unlikely to happen.
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Well, I suppose it could be worse, the Ford Mustang 50th anniversary was designed to celebrate the first vehicle to feature an options list that was very possibly the same size as the buyer itself. Unfortunately it doesn’t so much celebrate the spirit as the romantic memory of the mustang. So the 50th anniversary package is just that, a package. And only available on the top of the line V8. And you couldn’t have it in any other color than White and Blue.

0 Comments

  1. What are the chances the wiring harness is already there and you can just buy the large display and install it yourself?

    1. On an XL, I’d guess fairly low. On a production run that large it pays to save a couple bucks to eliminate unnecessary wires.
      That, plus the headaches that come when people start prying things apart and are pissed that something broke or shorted out. Easier to just make a different clip that won’t fit. Like when the kids come up with a convoluted plan to switch chores. “Come on Dad, Joey’s totally big enough to use the riding mower.”

      1. It’s the reason why the XL’s never got the 4.2″ Screen on the last version.

  2. Dodge/Ram pegged me when they came out with the “Express” trim, it has exactly what I want. You get the highest output engine they offer in a half-ton in a regular cab/6.5′ box chassis, and the option packages are pretty basic. All I really care for are a/c (duh), cruise control, and my hat tip to modernity, the Bluetooth phone connection in to the stereo speakers.
    All of the other truck builders think that regular cab trucks are for fleet duty only, though a Roush supercharger on top of a 5.0L F150 can still be managed with a warranty if one plays his cards just so.

    1. I really do like the Express. And it has features (like the Bluetooth) that couldn’t have been had at any price on my Dakota Laramie just 10 years ago.

  3. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the new Lariat SuperCab is available again with an 8′ bed, something not possible since at least 2003.

  4. Well, don’t feel bad. My ideal truck doesn’t exist either. I’d like something about the size of a Dakota with a small diesel engine and a bed that lowers down to the ground so I can load a motorcycle without a lousy ramp. Maybe someone out there has converted a VW Caddy into a rollback.

    1. Clearly you need a diesel Citroen CX with a raised roof (or a pickup version of same)…

  5. Could be worse… there hasn’t been a new F-150 that I wanted to own since the 1996 model. I didn’t like the looks of the ’97-’03, and everything since ’04 has been too long for my garage in the cab/box combination I’d want. And when the box sidewalls need the add-on side steps to allow reaching over them, they’re too damn tall.
    I was biased toward Fords from about my 2nd spoken word through my first two cars. If it weren’t for the F-150’s enlargening, maybe I wouldn’t have bought that ’05 Dakota; if I hadn’t had the Dakota, I wouldn’t have been as inclined toward buying the ’10 Challenger R/T instead of a Mustang, or the ’15 Challenger that followed the ’10.

  6. Anyone ever stop to consider how many variations of F150 are available? It is a huge number! Sour grapes over lack of choice rings hollow with me.

  7. http://image.motortrend.com/f/66475199/2014-Porsche-911-50-Year-Anniversary-interior-seats-02.jpg
    If we’re talking about gears being ground on hypothetical purchases, it annoys me that Porsche, they of the “ve vill built vhatevah you vant for enough money” optioning made these sweet houndstooth seats available exclusively on the limited production 50th Anniversary 911 (or so I hear). Granted, I’m decades away from any 911, let alone a new one, being feasible, so I understand why they don’t care about my desires.

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