As I said in the last post, I bought a pickup. I have been driving a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 LT extended cab, and it had 185k on it when it puttered off into the sunset. I loved that truck - it was classy, it rode nice, and it ran like a scalded dog, Pass everything but the fuel pumps, because it had the tow/haul package with the tranny cooler and 4.10 limited slip rears. When I bought it, gas was $1.39/gal. Yes, I'm obsessive and kept track of every expense, repair and so on. I also had it chipped, a lower temp thermostat, cat back duals, and a K&N intake setup to let 'er breath a bit better. Before I loaded it down with a ton of crap in the toolbox and in the extended cab, it would fry the tires.
So I was all set to buy another Chevy. But, as I got to looking around, I got the impression that the new ones were not as well done as my older version. The interiors seemed more cheaply made, and finding out they didn't even have a change holder in the console anymore only heightened that impression. Plus, I got to seeing how ALL the other manufacturers offered a console shifter with their bucket seats, but not GM. Column shifter all the way, baybee. Even their new revamped 2014 doesn't have that available. I noticed on a USA Today article that there were a bunch of commenters that were looking for just that option in the all new and improved model only to find out there would not be one. I'm not the only one that figured they'd buy something else.
Plus there was the whole Government Motors thing, along with Ram trucks. Sorry, but I'm of the opinion that I should get a taxpayer's discount when purchasing one of their products. I'll always feel that way. And frankly, from what I've seen, the Ram's have one of the better powertrains, but after that not so much. Their cabs just can't handle being rode hard and put away wet - the doors rattle and have to be slammed, stuff is always falling off, and so on. The heavier ones with Cummins diesels can't be beat for towing, but the cabs are still junk. My neighbor has also broken his frame a couple times. The truck is falling apart, but that Cummins keeps right on pluggin' away.
I don't need a heavy pickup.
Toyota and Nissan don't make very good mileage, and their designs are dated. I was wanting a certain set of options, and they both seemed to think the luxury stuff I was looking at required DVD players for the back seat.Yeah, like I need that.
You can probably imagine how obsessive I was looking at trucks online and trying to find what I wanted. Cars.com and AutoTrader kinda suck, because not all dealers pay to be on their sites. Plus it's hard to fine tune searches there - yeah, you can weed F150s out of the others, but finding extended cab FX4s with the luxury package not so much. Edmunds.com is where it's at to find a specific vehicle. Much better.
I was also looking for an extended cab, but in these days of crew cabs, they are kinda hard to find. So, what I was looking for was a four wheel drive crew cab pickup with the luxury seats. I was pretty well spoiled by the power leather seats in the ol' Z71, and my butt wanted the same thing. Ford has ten way power heated/cooled leather seats with power foot pedals. Check!
I was also pretty well impressed with the looks of the FX4 - comparable to the Z71. It has skid plates standard. The real off road Ford is the Raptor, but it comes with the 6.2 L V8. I like power, but I'm more into better fuel economy. The Lariats, Platinums and Limiteds all have skid plates as an option, but most do not have them installed. Another thing is that all those other trims have is fake wood interiors. I'm not into the tons of plastic chrome slathered all over the outside, nor am I into fake wood. The FX4 has none of that.
I was also really wanting a tail gate step. Ford offers a step that pulls out of the tailgate when it's dropped, then it angles downward with a flap that flips over giving your foot some purchase. A fairly tall rod handle is folded into the tailgate, and flipping it up gives you something to grab to climb into the bed. The dealer I went to had a Platinum equipped just like the FX4 but with the tailgate step, 3.23 locking rears instead of 3.55s, the power retracting running boards (which I think is a bit much). No skid plates. I was really into the idea of the lower gears, but not so much having a four wheel drive pickup w/o skid plates.
So I went with the FX4.
That is ruby red metallic clearcoat - it's an extra cost option. I also was considering black or gray like the ol' Z71, but this is the color I really wanted. FX4s have an option called the FX Appearance Package, which is flat black painted 20"wheels (the same ones as these but different paint), red piping trim on the seats, red trimmed FX4 badging, and some hockey stick shaped stripes on the side plus a big patch on the hood. I was all for everything but the stupid decals. Were I to find one of those, the decals were gonna be history. But I like the low key low gloss silver/gray these wheels have.
Just about everything has a backup camera these days - that is what the eye is for on the tailgate badge.
The view from the cab.
Free Sirius for a few months.
The home screen. The little bucket seats are for heating and cooling. There is an electric trailer brake controller built in, and the knob controls the four wheel drive and locking rear. The two buttons at the top are for a hill descent program and for turning the traction control off.
Not even 500 miles yet, and I'm averaging 14.2mpg. I did fill it up in Dodge after coming back from Wichita, and it was windier than you know what. It said 13.8mpg, but actual was 14.0. Of course there are several other screens for different stuff there as well.
This thing has the Ecoboost 3.5 L V6 with twin turbos and a six speed auto. This setup has more torque and hp than their 5.0 V8 that is offered, and has much better mileage than the 6.2. I can tell you there is some turbo lag, but not much. I took it out to the old back road today, and ran it through were I thought our old quarter mile marks were. Probably over eighty five through the quarter, and it is electronically governed at 100mph. Runs good! I think the Z71 would take it at first, but on down the quarter the Ford would suck it's doors.
I sure thought about changing out the air intake, adding a low restriction exhaust, and chipping this puppy. "They" say it really unlocks a bunch more power and torque, but I've got a warranty to consider. Ford isn't gonna stand behind their turbos if I put something upstream from them that ain't factory. And used to be, you could tweak the chip, and if you had some trouble, change it back before taking it to the dealer. Not anymore - they have telltales that let 'em know if it's been messed with. I may have been a fool, but I purchased an extended warranty, just because I'm pretty sure all this electronic crap isn't gonna make it for six years trouble free. After all, this thing is using Microsoft Sync, so there ya go.
For sure I'm getting some brush guards - the plastic crap on the Chevy up front looks stouter than this thing. I don't think it will take a pheasant hit very well. And I still may get a cat back exhaust - the service manager I talked to said they didn't have any conflicts with the warranty if I did that because I would be replacing all the parts that the warranty would cover, plus they didn't affect the other factory parts.So I got an unofficial go ahead there, more or less.
So, I'm hoping this thing lasts as long as I tend to keep vehicles. I really don't want to get something else for a long, long, time.