Used 2008 Ford F-150 SuperCab Review
For most of the past three decades, the best-selling vehicle line in America has been, strangely enough, not a family sedan or SUV but a pickup. The holder of that prestigious title is Ford's F-Series. Granted, those sales figures include not only the F-150 but also the Super Duty rigs and even commercial-use chassis cabs. However, the half-ton F-150 has always accounted for the lion's share of those figures.
Last revamped for 2004, the F-150 caters to the contemporary pickup consumer. These folks are as (if not more) likely to use a pickup for commuting and family hauling as for lugging lumber or towing trailers. Proof of this can be seen in the overwhelming popularity of crew-cab-style trucks over standard and extended-cab versions.
Of course, this begs the question: Why the F-Series? Chalk up its American Idol status to a smooth ride, quiet user-friendly cab and easy-to-drive demeanor. Oh, and the dizzying variety of body styles, trim levels and options that it offers. Americans love choices, something not lost on Ford's product planners whose efforts have resulted in no fewer than 75 styles of the F-150 and SuperCrew-sized headaches for Edmunds.com's data crunchers.
The 2008 Ford F-150 sees incremental changes. A new Lariat Limited trim debuts, as does a SuperCrew body style for the XL trim and a couple of stress-reducing options. The latter includes the Cargo Management system (a combination of bins, crossbars and adjustable cleats that allows one to secure virtually anything short of the space shuttle in the bed) and a rearview camera mounted inside the rearview mirror that kicks on when the truck is shifted into reverse.
As well-rounded as it is, the F-150 lags behind full-size pickup rivals when it comes to performance. Disregarding the supercharged V8 that's optional in the niche-market Harley-Davidson edition, the F-150's top engine is the 5.4-liter Triton V8 that offers an impressive 11,000-pound maximum tow rating. Still, we have been disappointed by its real-world performance. The 5.4 puts up decent spec-sheet numbers with 300 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque, but compared to similarly heavy models like the Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra, the F-150 is down on power. Having just four gears to work with contributes to the F-150's tepid performance; many competitors have five- and six-speed units, which improve both acceleration and fuel efficiency.
This is not to say that you won't be satisfied with a 2008 Ford F-150 purchase -- as vehicle reviewers we tend to be harsher critics than the typical consumer. For buyers who don't require the quickest rig out there, the F-150 compensates with its civility. This is one of the easiest half-ton pickups to live with on an everyday basis, and with the wide range of available body styles, trim levels and equipment, you're sure to find one that meets your needs. All those people who have made the F-Series the No.1 vehicle for almost 30 years certainly did.
performance & mpg
There are three main engine choices in the F-150 line: a 4.2-liter V6, a 4.6-liter V8 and a 5.4-liter V8. Available only on regular cabs, the 4.2-liter V6 makes 202 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 4.6-liter V8 provides 248 hp and 293 lb-ft of torque, while the 5.4-liter V8 produces 300 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. Both V8 engines are matched to four-speed automatic transmissions. The V6 comes with a five-speed manual, with the automatic available as an option. Buyers of the 2WD Harley-Davidson edition can opt for a supercharged 5.4 that makes 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.
Except for that supercharged Harley version, buyers have a choice between two- and four-wheel drive on all versions of the F-150. Properly equipped, an F-150 with the 5.4-liter V8 can tow up to 11,000 pounds and carry a 3,050-pound payload. However, whether unladen or towing a trailer, the F-150 feels noticeably slower than peers like the Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, Dodge Ram and GM twins (Silverado and Sierra), an impression borne out by our performance test results.
Antilock disc brakes are standard across the board. Traction control is optional on 2WD V8 models. Unlike most of its competitors, the F-150 does not offer side airbags or stability control -- the latter a key feature for avoiding accidents in the first place.
That said, frontal-impact testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration resulted in a perfect five-star rating. In frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the F-150 earned a rating of "Good," the highest available.
Thanks to its stiff frame, double-wishbone front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, the 2008 Ford F-150 delivers impressive ride and handling dynamics for a full-size truck. Unfortunately, the truck's beefy curb weight is too much for the 4.2-liter V6 and 4.6-liter V8 engines, so the 5.4-liter V8 is strongly recommended for most consumers. The brakes feel solid, with a firm pedal, but stopping distances are still longer than most of the F-150's competition.
In SuperCrew form, the F-150 can comfortably seat five or six people. Carrying three passengers in the backseat is still possible if you get a SuperCab, though legroom will be noticeably less generous. All versions offer simple controls and solid materials. Most F-150s have a standard 40/20/40-split bench seat with a column shifter, but most trims offer an upgrade to captain's chairs and a console shifter. An optional overhead console features interchangeable modules so owners can customize it as they see fit. Without this console, though, the F-150 is a little short on storage space. Hauling larger items is no problem, however, as the rear seats in SuperCabs and SuperCrews quickly fold up to make way for cargo.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.