edmunds expert review
The 2012 Ford F-150 offers so many models and useful features that customers should have no problem finding one that fits their needs.
Powerful and fuel-efficient engine lineup
Inviting and functional cabin
Distinctive special-edition models
Innovative electronics features
The Ford F-150 gets a few minor changes for 2012. A 36-gallon fuel tank is standard on all four-wheel-drive F-150s with the turbocharged V6 engine. Other drivetrain upgrades include a new two-speed automatic transfer case for upper trim levels and an electronic locking rear axle that replaces the limited-slip option on many models. Also, all 4WD trucks now have neutral tow capability, meaning customers can flat-tow their F-150 behind a motorhome. Finally, the Sync system gains expanded capabilities (AppLink) for smartphones.
The Ford F-Series pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for several decades thanks to a wide selection of models, impressive capability and available features not always found on the competition. The 2012 Ford F-150 looks to continue that trend, as it offers nearly a dozen trim levels, special-edition models, impressive towing and fuel economy numbers and innovative new technologies.
A diverse engine lineup introduced last year exemplifies Ford's multifaceted approach to meeting customer needs. The base V6 cranks out more than 300 horsepower, yet is EPA rated at 23 mpg highway. Traditional V8 enthusiasts can get a 360-hp 5.0-liter V8 capable of towing up to 10,000 pounds in a properly equipped truck. Perhaps the most appealing is the new turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 rated at a stump-pulling 420 pound-feet of peak torque. Not only is it quite quick, but it returns 18 mpg combined, hauls more than 3,000 pounds and tows up to 11,300 pounds.
The 2012 Ford F-150 continues to offer a wide range of cab and cargo bed combinations in two- and four-wheel drive. Most are available in the base and midlevel trims, while the versatile and spacious SuperCrew dominates the luxury trims and special editions. Ford also offers a number of unique and useful perks, among these a flat rear floor, a deployable step that eases access to the cargo bed and Ford's Sync multimedia voice command system. For commercial-grade use, Ford offers the contractor-oriented lineup of "Work Solutions" options.
The full-size truck market is more competitive than most segments because capability is easily compared with horsepower, tow rating and payload numbers. The Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra are formidable rivals for Ford, and all continue to push each other in offering more choices, features and power. Yet the F-150 is a perennial best-seller because Ford listens to suggestions and criticisms from consumers and critics alike. Whether you're looking for a basic work truck, a plush family hauler, a rig you could run the Baja 1000 with or something with four wheels that proudly announces your allegiance to Harley-Davidson, there's bound to be a 2012 Ford F-150 with your name on it.
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