What makes the new PH-spec Ford F-150 better than typical midsize trucks?

Updated Mar 30, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive FYIs

Is the F-150 just another pickup truck? Think again.    

You might think that a pickup truck needs little else beyond four wheels, a cab, and a cargo bed. After all, it’s a workhorse first and foremost, an instrument of labor. But with a hotly-contested pickup segment in the Philippines, any advantage no matter how small should be highlighted to stand out in a sea of models from Japanese, American, Korean, and Chinese brands.  

2020 Ford F-150: The return to the Philippine shores – Quick Look

One of these contenders is Ford, which already has a solid foot in the door with its Ranger line of midsize pickups. But the big Blue Oval apparently isn’t satisfied with being popular, as it aims for pickup dominance with the return of the Ford F-150 in the local market, available in base Lariat and range-topping Platinum trim.

F-150 Lariat and Platinum

The Ford F-150 joins the Ranger in the highly competitive midsize pickup segment

You might think, “Great, another pickup,” expecting to find a tedious laundry list of dimensions, engine output, and payload capacities as is usual for a vehicle in this category. But believe it or not, the F-150 packs a number of extra tricks up its sleeve that you simply won’t find on its current rivals, and these might make you take a closer look at Ford’s latest big rig.

>>> Latest update: 2021 Ford F-150: Expectations and what we know so far

Power-deploying running boards

Standard on the top-spec Platinum trim, these are electrically actuated step boards that run along the length of the cabin.

Power running boards

Open the doors and the power-deploying running boards fold out

In their default state, the boards are tucked away under the body. But when the doors are opened, the step boards unfold and slide out to provide a wide foothold, which aids in safer ingress and egress.

>>> Related: Ford F-150 makes PH comeback with starting price of P2.69M

Removable tailgate with remote release

What’s so special about the F-150’s tailgate? You can actually open it with a simple press on the key fob – a segment-exclusive.

F-150 tailgate

The F-150's remote tailgate can also be detached for bulkier loads

This adds convenience to loading cargo on the bed, especially when your hands are too full to reach the handle. You even have the option to remove the tailgate entirely, to accommodate bulkier loads that exceed the bed’s dimensions.

Built-in tailgate step with lift assist

As the (literally) higher of the two variants, the Platinum also has another surprise within the tailgate – a concealed tailgate step that can be pulled out, making it easier to climb aboard the cargo bed. A second bar beside it can be deployed and set up as a lift assist, which is basically an extra hand hold that you can grip to avoid falling over while going up or down the bed.

>>> Related: The top five best pick up trucks in the Philippines in 2020

Active Motion seats

As beasts of burden, pickups don’t necessarily inspire thoughts of ride comfort. After a hard day’s work of mounting, hauling, and towing cargo, you’re bound to end up with aches and pains all over.

Active Motion seats

No more aching back and legs with the F-150's Active Motion front seats

That’s one less thought to dread with the F-150 Platinum’s Active Motion front seats, which use air pockets in two different locations to massage the back and legs, increasing blood flow and reducing driver fatigue. Perfect for enduring those long drives.   

Power-adjustable steering and pedals

Not all Filipinos are basketball players, and so the prospect of driving large vehicles can be understandably daunting. Steering columns with tilt and telescopic adjustment are steadily being offered, but they sometimes miss the mark in terms of finding the perfect driving position.

Power adjustable steering

Power-adjustable steering gives you more precise positions

In addition to power-adjustable front seats, Ford also made the F-150's steering adjustment electrically-actuated, making it easier to fine-tune the steering position in precise increments. The foot pedals can also be electrically adjusted for a more customized cockpit experience.

Best of all, both the steering and pedals have built-in memory, so you can easily revert to your own custom settings even after someone else has been behind the wheel.   

>>> Related: A complete guide to Ford cars in the Philippines

Aluminum chassis

As big and brawny as the F-150 is, it’s underpinned by a high-strength steel chassis with an aluminum body bolted on. Not just any old aluminum material mind you, but military-grade aluminum alloy.

Aluminum frame

Every F-150 comes with a lightweight yet strong aluminum shell

This has the benefit of reducing the F-150’s weight, contributing to significantly less fuel consumption while being able to tow and haul more loads, apart from making it more robust against both rough terrain and corrosion.

Ford Co-Pilot 360

Sure, there’s at least one other pickup model locally that offers driver-assist technology. It’s just that the F-150 has a more comprehensive array.

Consider the list: Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System, and auto high-beam quad-LED headlamps. It’s almost as if the F-150 was specifically tailored to be driven on Philippine roads.   

It’s made in the U.S.A

This isn’t a case of colonial mentality, people. Unlike most pickups whose assembly is often outsourced to other territories away from their brand’s home country, the F-150 we’re getting comes straight from Ford’s home court in Dearborn, Michigan.

Worker placing badge

The F-150 units in our market will be delivered from Ford's Dearborn facilities

If that isn’t an overt assurance of Ford’s commitment to keeping the F-150’s build quality and performance consistent with the U.S.-spec version, we don’t know what is.

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Know more about Ford F-150

Ford F-150

One of the most popular and comprehensive pickup truck is the Ford F-150. This generation was introduced since 2015 and undergone remarkable changes throughout the years. The pickup truck has improved in terms of towing and hauling capacities, for those with 10-speed automatic transmission and select engines with extra engine power. In 2019, the Ford F-150 model added new shocks, new engine as well as features like forward- collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. In 2020, all engines of the pickup truck come with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It is equipped with engine options and several features. It suits all categories, whether it is for an entry-level truck or luxury. Moreover, aside from the customization options offered, the Ford F-150 features a powerful engine, appealing style, and a roomy interior as well. For cargo capacity, the pickup truck provides three various bed lengths such as 5 feet and 6 inches, 6 ft. and 6 in and 8 ft. Also, there are some small-item storage spaces available. Furthermore, it is available in six distinct colors: Star White, Oxford White, Agate Black, Rapid Red, Blue Jeans, and Iconic Silver. At present, the Ford F-150 has two different trims - Ford F-150 4x2 Lariat SuperCrew AT that costs Php 2,698,000 and Ford F-150 4x4 Platinum SuperCrew AT that costs Php 2,998,000.

From ₱2,698,000

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Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Author

Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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