Thursday, May 23, 2024 May 23, 2024
71° F Dallas, TX

2009 F-150 4X4 King Ranch

photography courtesy of Ford

STICKER PRICE: $46,965  
ENGINE: 5.4-Liter V-8  
MPG: 14 city/18 highway

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: I first drove an F-150 in 1990, after my Chevy Cavalier collided with another vehicle. I didn’t have insurance that would pay for a car rental. But my dad had a brown F-150 that I could borrow for about a month while the garage fixed my mangled compact. That truck had a spongy suspension, no air conditioning, and a healthy dapple of rust.

I loved it.

So, you can imagine my culture shock when I climbed into the 2009 King Ranch F-150, with its tricked-out tailgate step, rear-view camera, stable ride, and (yes) air conditioning. The King Ranch’s leathery interior immediately made me wonder if the makers of the NFL game ball (Wilson) had broken into Ford’s Michigan headquarters and tweaked the F-150’s cabin. The whole Jerry Jones/F-150 connection suddenly seemed to make sense.

The major drawback I experienced was not figuring out how to deploy the vehicle’s running boards. Without them, getting inside required a running start.

BOTTOM LINE: If Ford only built the rest of its fleet this way. I love the enormous side windows the F-150 offers. Its center console is big enough to accommodate several Pygmy orphans. The truck appears to be designed by people who are fighting hard to keep the title of best pickup-truck maker–and they deserve it.

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY: Obviously, if you’re going to use a pickup truck on a ranch, go with a 1990 model-year F-150. But if you’re going to wear your cowboy boots to Nobu, is there really any other choice but the ’09 King Ranch?