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Find Your Perfect Pickup: Choosing the Right Ford Truck | Mullinax Ford FL Blog

Find Your Perfect Pickup: Choosing the Right Ford Truck | Mullinax Ford FL Blog

Posted at Wed, Aug 9, 2023 11:15 AM

Trucks are hot. In terms of new-vehicle sales, they are on cruise control in the fast lane and not slowing down for anything.

They first outsold non-luxury passenger cars in 2020, and light-truck sales have lately been outpacing cars three to one. The Ford F-150, meanwhile, has been the best-selling truck in the country for 46 years and shows no signs of relinquishing the title.

Experts say fuel economy and lower prices are driving the trend. Trucks are also gaining in popularity because they are versatile and, in general, hold their value longer than passenger vehicles. Plus, they come in a much wider range of choices than in the past. At Mullinax Ford, we can help buyers look at all the models, colors, sizes, configurations, accessories and options to find the truck that best fits their needs.

Here are some things to consider as you ponder your next purchase.

With apologies to Starbucks – Tall, Grande, Venti or Trenta?

What size truck do you need? Compacts, such as the Ford Maverick, offer enough carrying capacity in the open bed to bring home that new OLED TV or help your buddy from college move to his new place (at least you get pizza, right?) while still being able to maneuver – and park – in urban environments. 

Like compacts, mid-sized trucks such as the Ranger enjoy a price advantage over their larger brethren and can be an easy, attractive and accommodating substitute for a family car. They generally can’t accommodate a rear-facing child seat in the back though. Their carrying and towing capacity can meet the needs of most pickup buyers, plus they’re relatively nimble and easy to drive in town and fit neatly in your garage.

Smaller pickups are also available in sporty trims suitable for off-roading.

The next step up is a full-size, or half-ton, pickup such as the F-150. These trucks are the biggest sellers in the pickup category, what Consumer Reports calls “the backbone of the pickup truck market” and “the brawny workhorses of the pickup world.”

They have larger bodies, more space inside and more powerful engines that crank out more horsepower and torque. They make great work trucks and are good choices for drivers who need substantial hauling or towing capacity or who regularly encounter harsh weather or road conditions. 

But versatility is the name of the game here. Most full-size models, including the F-150 Raptor, come in off-road racing versions while others crank up the comfort level: heated front seats with lumbar support and even a massaging function, or seats that recline nearly flat for naps; plenty of room for passengers; and all the latest safety features, infotainment and tech toys. Combine all that with a sharp-looking exterior and you’ll be sure to impress the valet when you go out on Saturday night.

The big dogs of the category – the heavy duties – are all about enhanced hauling and towing. Your boat. Your horse trailer. Your business equipment. Your farm equipment. And the kitchen sink and a bag of chips.

The Fords in this lineup are the F-250, F-350 and F-450. They sport big gas or diesel engines, enhanced suspension and super durable transmissions. Big crew? There is room for everybody inside. Being big and hulking and kind of intimidating comes with the territory and, let’s face it, is also part of their charm.

Truck tricks: Configurations, accessories and other details

Size matters, but other factors also come into play when you’re choosing a truck for yourself or your company. You want to make sure your new vehicle delivers the goods, in more ways than one.

Bed size: Admit it – you want that cargo bed because you need to haul stuff that won’t fit in a sedan, minivan or SUV. Things like appliances, furniture, motorcycles, tools, bags of manure (phew!) for landscaping. Bed sizes vary and bigger trucks don’t always have longer cargo areas.

The standard bed length for full-size pickups is 8 feet, but extended-cab models might have only a 6-foot bed. Four-door crew cabs generally have 5- to 6-foot beds while compact pickups sport beds of 4.5 to 6 feet long, depending on the configuration of the cab.

The beds of super duty trucks can stretch to 8 feet, depending on cab configuration, and are wider and have higher sides than full-size or smaller trucks.

Cabin and seat configuration: Cabs com in four basic types – standard (or regular) extended cab, crew cab, and extended crew cab.

Regular/standard cabs are found in two-door trucks with one row of seating. The shorter front section allows for a longer bed in back. Most manufacturers have moved away from this configuration, though Ford still makes an F-150 in a standard cab.

Extended cabs – which Ford calls Super Cabs – are two- or four-door trucks with two rows of seats. The rear seat is usually smaller and offers less legroom.

Crew cabs (Ford Super Crews) come on trucks with four full-size doors. This configuration is designed for your crew – or family or friends or co-workers going out to lunch – to ride more comfortably in the back. Able to seat four or five, these trucks are the easiest trucks to get into and out of.

Extended crew cabs are like crew cabs only with more storage space and legroom for those in the back. Trucks with this configuration compensate for the larger cab with a shorter cargo bed.

Ride comfort: In the old days, trucks were for workin’ and didn’t provide much in the way of creature comforts. Today’s models offer a range of amenities to make time behind the wheel more enjoyable (and safe), but the ride is still going to be stiffer than you get with a sedan or most family SUVs because of the way trucks are constructed. In general, the heavier the truck, the less forgiving the ride. Consumer Reports called some heavy-duty models “borderline punishing.” One thing that can help – keep a little something in the bed. Balancing the weight, especially in smaller or full-size trucks, can make the ride a little smoother.

The Ford truck lineup

Ford Maverick

The Ford Maverick

Type: Compact pickup

Base price: $24,300 (2024 XL)

Trims: XL, XLT, Lariat

Packages: Tremor Off-Road, FX4 Off-Road; Black Appearance Package

Cab: Four-door crew cab. Seating for five.

Bed: 4.5 feet long

Transmission: 8-speed automatic 

Under the hood: 2-liter EcoBoost; optional 2.5-liter FHEV (hybrid)

Good choice for: Entry-level truck buyers; popular with women drivers and 18- to 35-year-olds.

Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger 

Type: Mid-size pickup

Base price: $27,400 (2023 XL)

Trims: XL. XLT, Lariat

Packages: Tremor Off-Road, Tow Package; Black, Sport, Chrome, STX Special Edition and STX appearance packages.

Cab: Four-door SuperCab, SuperCrew® and Tremor Super Crew®. Seating for five.

Bed: 6 feet long

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Under the hood: 2.3-liter EcoBoost® Engine (XL)

Good choice for: Adventurers. Goes practically anywhere and provides impressive towing and hauling capabilities.

The Ford F-150

Type: Full-size pickup

Base price: $33,695 (2023 XL)

Trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, Limited, Tremor, Raptor

Packages: Multiple packages available to customize your truck

Cab: Two-door Regular and four-door SuperCab and SuperCrew®. Seating for five or more. Some F-150s also come in a standard cab.

Bed: 66 to 96 inches

Under the hood: available engines – 3.3-liter V-6, 5-liter V-8, twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6, 3-liter diesel V-6

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Good choice for: A wide range of buyers. With its multiple configurations and options, the F-150 works hard, plays hard and goes upscale as well as the most luxurious sedans. 

Now we’re getting into Super Duty® territory. At this level, work is the name of the game and customization is king. Consumer Reports says super-duty trucks are “configured for muscling serious loads and for hauling fifth-wheel trailers that connect to a hitch point in the center of the cargo bed. These are bulky trucks for the most demanding chores.”

Engines, payloads, packages and towing capabilities – not to mention comfort levels, tech options and other amenities – vary.  The sales professionals at Mullinax Ford can explain all the options and how they can be mixed and matched to ensure that you or your company get the vehicle that meets your needs.

Ford F-250

The Ford F-250

Base price: $43,970 (2023 XL)

Trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, Limited

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Good choice for: Commercial customers and others who need a workhorse (with a little luxury on the upper end). Ford says it’s “built for strenuous duty, hauling heavy loads with commercial-grade durability and performance.”

Ford F-350

The Ford F-350

Base price: $45,015 (2023 XL)

Trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, Limited

Transmission: Ford TorqShift® 10-speed automatic

Good choice for: Drivers who need power and towing and hauling capabilities that are a step up from the F-250. This truck is a beast that can handle lots of different driving styles, weather conditions and terrain.

Ford F-450

The Ford F-450

Base price: $58,455

Trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, Limited

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Good choice for: Companies or any drivers who need performance above all else. calls the F-450 “the most capable truck in Ford's lineup, a diesel powerhouse with dual rear wheels that can tow up to 40,000 pounds.”

Ford F-150 Lightning EV

The Ford F-150 Lightning EV

Type: Full-size pickup; all-electric

Base price: $49,995 (2023 Pro)

Trims: Pro, XLT, Lariat, Platinum

Cab: Four-door Crew Cab, seats 5

Bed: 66 inches

Under the hood: Dual electric motors

Good choice for: Drivers who are young, urban and high-income, though the truck has been popular with a range of drivers since its release in May 2021. Reports indicate that more than half of Lightning buyers previously owned vehicles other than pickups.

Buying a truck is a big decision and we at Mullinax Ford want you to have the truck you need. Contact us online or at the dealership. Our friendly, knowledgeable team is here to answer your questions and get you behind the wheel of the Ford truck that’s right for you.

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