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2008 Ford F-150 Test Drive Review

Though some rivals have more power, the Ford F-150 is a true jack-of-all-trades designed with everyday usability in mind.

7.8 /10
Overall Score

It may not stir passion like the Ford Mustang, but the F-150 pickup is an American icon all the same. It is one of the best-selling vehicles of all time and called upon for duties such ranging from worksite workhorse and grocery-getter to road trip long-hauler and soccer-practice shuttle.

The Ford F-150 is in the final year of its eleventh generation. Trims run from spartan to luxurious. The F-150’s largest rivals include the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and to a lesser extent, the Dodge Ram 1500.

Look and Feel

9/ 10

There is a dizzying array of configurations for the F-150, factoring in different bed, cab, drivetrain, and trim combinations. These include single cab, SuperCab (an extended cab), and SuperCrew (a full four-door crew cab), as well as XL, XLT, FX2, FX4, Lariat, and Limited trims. There are also special editions, including the King Ranch and Harley-Davidson editions, each with their own unique exterior and interior-color and material combinations.

What sets the F-150 apart from its rivals is its cabin. Even in the base trim, it is comfortable, quiet, and well-designed. Uprated trims will have far more comfortable appointments, but the layout of the truck ensures a good cabin experience across all trims.

Standard features include 17-inch steel wheels, a tilt steering wheel, crank windows, and a locking tailgate. There are a host of new options for 2008, including a factory-installed cargo-management system, trailer mirrors, a backup camera, and remote start.


8/ 10

The base engine in the F-150 is a 4.2-liter V6 engine making 210 horsepower, and 260 pound-feet of torque. There are two V8 engine options, starting with the 4.6-liter V8 that is also used in the Ford Mustang. This engine makes 248 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque. The range-topping engine is an E85-capable 5.4-liter V8 that puts out 300 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. Power gets sent to the rear wheels (RWD) or available 4-wheel drive (4WD) with low-range. Manual and automatic transmissions are available.

While rivals like the Chevrolet Silverado might offer more powerful engines, the F-150 shines in its drivability. It is smooth and quiet, even at highway speeds. To be honest, this is where many owners are using their trucks.

On that note, the Harley-Davidson Edition actually has all-wheel drive (AWD), rather than true 4WD. It is designed to live mainly on the street, and will not fare as well as other F-150 trims the farther you drive off the beaten path.

Form and Function

9/ 10

F-150 Regular Cab models might at first look like shortened SuperCab models, but there is actually a small rear door that opens rearward, ensuring you don’t have to fold the front seat forward to access that area.

The SuperCab’s rear-hinged clamshell doors can open only when the front door has already been opened, and so they can be a pain if you have kids climbing in and out a lot. For that, look to the SuperCrew, which has a very spacious interior. There’s plenty of head- and legroom for both front- and backseat passengers.

Tech Level

6/ 10

The base XL trim gets an AM/FM radio, though moving up to the SuperCrew body style adds a CD player. The STX trim adds an auxiliary audio port as well as MP3 CD capability.

The XLT trim adds remote keyless entry, outside temperature display, and automatic headlights. The F-150 is available with a touchscreen navigation system, and though it works well, the screen is a bit small, especially for a dash as large as the F-150's. For long trips with the kids, the available DVD entertainment system is a helpful option.


8/ 10

The F-150 comes standard with anti-lock disc brakes on all trims, though traction control has to be selected as an option on some trims. The F-150 lacks side curtain airbags but does offer the optional trailering mirrors and an available reversing camera, thus adding safety through enhanced visibility.

Despite some of these deficiencies, the F-150 performs well in testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). It earns a perfect five-star rating from NHTSA, as well as an overall highest score of “Good” from the IIHS.


7/ 10

One of the least capable versions of the F-150 trades off by being the most efficient. The V6 engine with RWD and a 6-speed manual transmission returns 14 mpg city, 20 highway, 16 combined. Incredibly, the 4.6-liter V8 engine is not too far off, returning 14 mpg city 19 highway, 16 combined. The big 5.4-liter V8 with 4WD is the least efficient version of the truck, returning 13 mpg city, 17 highway, 14 combined.

Base MSRP for the 2008 Ford F-150 is $17,900 for a regular cab rear-wheel-drive XL trim. The XLT trim starts at $23,910, and the range-topping SuperCrew Harley-Davidson AWD trim starts at $40,205, with four dozen trims and configurations offered in between. Pricing roughly matches that of the Silverado 1500, which underscores how closely these trucks match up.

Updated by George Kennedy

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2008 Ford F-150 Top Comparisons

Users ranked 2008 Ford F-150 against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.

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Ford F-150 Questions

Rattling Under Accelration In F150

I have been hearing a rattling sound coming from back of truck when I accelerate and it stops as soon as I let off the gas. We thought brakes and changed both brakes and rotors. It is still doing it...


Power Window On Passenger Side Won't Come Down.

My 2008 F-150 crew cab passenger side front door window will not go down with a switch, I pulled the door panel and unplugged the motor and jumped it, and it went down and up with out a problem, I plu...


Transmission Replacement

Own a 2008 F150 what transmissions can be used have 4r75e been told only 07' and 08' desperate for answers have no reverse not sure what is causing problem

I Have A Strong Intermittent Vibration.

I have an intermittent but severe shake that comes and goes while driving at highway speed. It started a couple weeks ago. When this happens the whole cab shakes including the steering wheel.