By 2010, Ford’s F-150 pickup had been the bestselling truck in North America for most of the past 43 years. Apparently, if you parked every F-series truck ever sold in Canada front to back, you’d have a line stretching from Halifax to Vancouver and beyond.
Ten years ago, Ford still pretty much owned the full-size pickup truck market. And 2010 was a year of refinement.
Having dropped its V6 engine the previous year, the F-150 offered three V8s: two versions of a 4.6-litre and a 5.4-litre Triton unit. All three were mated to a four-speed or six-speed automatic transmission.
Ford said the engines featured substantial fuel economy improvements, thanks to different calibration and controls. Ford’s now commonplace EcoBoost powerplant was just around the corner, as was a new diesel engine.
You could also get the F-150 in two-wheel and four-wheel drive, and Ford offered seven trim levels, from the base XL up to a chrome-festooned and wood-trimmed Platinum version, not to mention 35 cab/bed configurations.
Also new was Ford’s capless fuel filler system, which eliminates the possibility of gas vapour escaping during fill-up.
The F-150 also featured a slightly revised body style, with a prominent new front grille treatment with pronounced ‘nostrils’ on each side and a spoiler built onto the tip of the tailgate, both for aerodynamics and aesthetics.
For those who were actually serious about putting their trucks to work, a taller box with a fold-out side step for improved access was offered. It also had 272-kg-capacity side cleats inside the box for tying down big loads, and longer rear leaf springs and a strengthened frame for improved ride comfort and more torsional rigidity.
Interior refinements included improved rear seat legroom in the extended Super Cab and Super Crew models, an articulating rear seat, restyled side windows and roof pillars, and more than 30 storage nooks and crannies.
Options were many, including a backup camera, voice-activated navigation, fold-out bed extender, leather upholstery, satellite radio, the Microsoft Sync audio system, an integrated trailer brake controller and the unique rear tailgate step.
A couple of safety recalls are on file with Transport Canada. One concerns interior door latches that may not close properly and/or cause the door to pop open in the event of a side impact. The other had to do with glitchy rear brake lights that may not illuminate adequately.
Some 25 technical service bulletins are on file with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They range from rear doors in the extended cab models that may not lock properly, to hard-starting complaints after fuelling, to body trim issues with the Platinum models, to wonky brakes that may cut in randomly if the vehicle experiences acceleration problems.
Prospective buyers should also keep in mind that pre-owned F-150s might have been used as tradesmen’s vehicles or taken off-road on a regular basis, seeing tougher duty than many vehicles.
Consumer Reports gave this generation of the F-150 an “average” used car verdict, noting that braking power was vastly improved and handling was “secure.”
Owners had plenty to say to Consumer Reports, including:
- “Good value for the money.”
- “Ground clearance for a 4×4 is fairly low.”
- “I’d move the ignition switch to a more visible place.”
- “Acceleration is good for the small V8.”
- An overly large turning radius also seems to be a common complaint.
Ford offered the F-150 in a vast number of models in 2010, with a dizzying array of options and extras, and prices these days seem to range from around $5,000 for a high-mileage, base regular cab Styleside, up to the mid-$20,000 for a loaded Harley-Davidson edition, depending upon options and drivetrains.
2010 Ford F-150
Original base price: $24,199
Engines: 4.6-litre and 5.4-litre V8
Horsepower and torque: 248 to 320 horsepower; 294 to 390 foot pounds
Transmission: four-speed or six-speed automatic
Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 14.7 city and 10.6 highway (4.6-litre engine with four-speed transmission and regular fuel)
Drive: rear-wheel and four-wheel
Some alternatives: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra, GMC Sierra, Ram 1500.
Ted Laturnus writes for Troy Media’s Driver Seat Associate website. An automotive journalist since 1976, he has been named Canadian Automotive Journalist of the Year twice and is past-president of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).