Satisfied First Time Ford Owner
By birddog on
1996 Ford F-150 XLT 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB
I bought this vehicle new from dealership. Moved around the country several times with the military, pulling a fully loaded U-Haul trailer each time (maxed out the GVWR for this vehicle). I was surprised by the towing performance since the engine is only 220 HP (5.8L). I never had a complaint with acceleration or stopping performance, even at max GVWR. When not towing, it has OK pickup (it's a truck), and corners about as well as a truck can. Ride is smooth compared to other 4WD trucks, but off-road (I live in the mountains so do a LOT of off-road), the truck is superb. Not a hint of mushiness in the suspension. Not sure how that is (usually you get one or the other, not both).
Operation: Shift-on-the-fly 4WD (very nice in heavy snow; twin I-beam front suspension (never misaligned, even when front gets a beating off-road); Interior: cockpit layout/design; steering wheel design; power lumbar support in the split bench seat; design of the fold-down system for back seat.
Part-time 4WD systems (like the one in this model) are not suitable for driving on hard surfaces, so a full-time system (keep it shift-on-the-fly) would be nice. This was the last model before third door for extended cab came out - having a third door would be nice.