Ever wondered what the best selling cars of all time are? You’d expect to see the Toyota Corolla right up there wouldn’t you and the VW Golf too. Well, they’re first and third respectively — but what’d be sandwiched between them? Clue: It isn’t the Honda Civic... it is in fact the Ford F-Series. The Blue Oval has sold over 40 million since 1948 and it plans on shifting a shedload more by ensuring that there’s an F-150 for everyone what with several different variants available of the indomitable truck. You’ve got the base trims (XL and XLT), the mid-luxury Lariat, the fancy King Ranch and Platinum versions, the rugged Raptor to help you get to the top of the hill and then, the king of the hill itself, the Limited which is what I got to play with recently, and came away suitably impressed. 

Some say that its aluminium body isn’t tough enough to handle the rough and tumble lifestyle (that’ll be Chevy and Ram, yet to catch up with this innovative move...) but the truth of the matter is that you wouldn’t want to take this F-150 off-road at all because it’s just too luxurious for that. This may sound like an oxymoron, but, it really is a true luxury truck, even though it has a mainstream badge on the front...

 For 2018, it has a host of advanced technologies, a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission and a properly good EcoBoost V6. The aesthetics have also been reworked with Ford updating the front and rear bumpers, tailgate and giving it a set of polished 22in aluminum wheels while the grille is unique on this top spec model (it has a satin finish and main bars with chrome) and gets large ‘Limited’ lettering on the bonnet and around the back. The power running boards which fold out when you open the door are a very useful feature as they make getting in and out of this huge and handsome Ford much easier. However, the P275 tyres look way too small especially at the back; they desperately need more sidewall to help fill in the massive wheel wells because right now, you can look right through to the axle from the gaping hole. It’s a little unsightly.

 

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Photos: Stefan Lindeque

Once you literally climb aboard, you’re met with an ever so roomy cabin that is finished in a classy Navy Pier leather and interspersed throughout with dark brown wood veneer accents (they play ever so well with the luxury theme) it’s rather unbecoming of a Ford to be perfectly honest. Aside from the sofa-like seats replete with heated and ventilated functions, they also offer up a pretty nice massage too and the interior seems to grow bigger when with a push of a button the two moonroofs slide open and bathe it with natural light. However, look past the glitz and glamour and some of the F-150’s workhorse roots begin to show such as the hard plastic which is evident throughout. They could have tried a little harder to cover up the edges of the infotainment system at least. And, the little plaque in the centre console is a tad puzzling — it wants to serve as a reminder of just how “limited” your F-150 Limited is and tries by displaying the model year, the full VIN and... the number of the unit you’ve got; it’s fine if yours is the first one that rolls off the line, but if you have say, No. 552,851, it feels slightly less special... Regardless, I love this number 2,242 truck. It scores heavily in all aspects, not least the interior thanks to the comfort that it affords but also for the level of tech that it is housing. Some of the segment-first and class-exclusive goodies include a new enhanced adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and a Bang & Olufsen Play audio system offering high-end speakers, sound and tuning for a richer, more engaging listening experience. Add that to the existing segment-exclusive driver-assist and convenience features such as Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage technology, 360-degree camera technology and lane-keeping system means you’re worrying about nothing if you thought this rig was too big to drive. Don’t get me wrong, it is big, and it takes up every inch of the road and best of all, it is unapologetically and indisputably a hard as nails truck; it has a ladder frame, serious towing capability and yep, a choppy ride — just how you’d want it. Yes, this is the fancy one but under all that pizazz it’s still rough and ready and loves tackling the beaten path. The 3.5-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 has 375 horses and a maximum torque of 637Nm and has more than enough low-end and peak engine performance for hauling heavy payloads, towing heavy trailers, or just kicking up a sand storm in the desert. It really is a super motor and you can’t really justify wanting the 5.0-litre V8 (unless you want a better exhaust note) however, that 10-speed auto that it is mated to does feel like it is often searching for the right gear at times. Not a surprise what with so many cogs to choose from, that said, it shifts smoothly and it keeps the V6 within its torquey power band.

 

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Photos: Stefan Lindeque

The F-150 Limited costs Dh292,845 (inclusive of VAT). That’s not cheap, but for a smart, ever so sophisticated and potent truck — which isn’t just the best within Ford’s range, it’s the leader of the entire pickup segment — I would say it is worth the money.

 

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