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2014 Kia Optima, Ebony Black, 9 mi., $22,595
Review of the 2012 Ford F-150
IntroductionThe 2012 Ford F-150 trucks see the most extensive powertrain revamp in its 62-year history with four new truck engines: 302 hp 3.7-liter four-valve Ti-VCT V6, 360 hp 5.0-liter four-valve dual-overhead-camshaft Ti-VCT V8, 411 hp 6.2-liter two-valve single-overhead-camshaft V8 and 385 hp 3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost. A fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all F-150 models. Electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), a class-exclusive features, improves steering feel and fuel economy, is now included on F-150. The 2011 F-150 lineup now includes Lariat Limited and the XLT Custom, the new feature vehicles.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesThe F-150 comes in major five trim levels - XL, STX, XLT, FX2/FX4 and Lariat - are in addition to King Ranch, Platinum, SVT Raptor and Harley-Davidson F-150. Available in all cabs in two-wheel-drive configuration, the new XLT Custom package includes 3.7-liter V6 engine, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels, chrome exhaust tip, body-color 4-inch running boards, body-color front and rear bumper fascias, unique grille with body-color surround and chrome billet insert. The 2011 F-150 FX2 and FX4 feature 18-inch wheels body-color power mirrors, body and tailgate handles, black surround headlamps and tail lamps. They also have common grilles and these trucks are differentiated by unique badging on the box and front fenders. Twenty-inch wheels are optional. The XLT and Lariat come with off-road packages, including electronic locking rear differential, skid plates and off-road-tuned front and rear shock absorbers.
EngineFord is the first and only automaker who has equipped its entire full-size pickup lineup with fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmissions as standard equipment. Every engine is best in towing and horsepower. The 2012 F-150 is anticipated to be 20 percent more fuel efficient than the previous model.
SafetyThe F-150 anywhere anytime trucks are safer with the addition of a seat-integrated shoulder belt for the front middle seat, a head restraint for the second-row middle seat and integrated spotter mirrors. An advanced safety cage with high-strength steel and six standard airbags are among the other safety features.