Just as earlier buyers wanted their pickup trucks to carry more and more goods, today’s consumers want them to carry more people onboard, not lose too much on the rear end’s carrying capacity.
The Associated Press takes a test drive of the latest truck to tackle the challenge, Ford Motor Co.’s F-150 SuperCrew, a four-door version of probably the most popular American full-size pickup truck, which according to the news agency is an early-introduction 2001 model.
The first full-size pickup with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 3860 kilograms to come with four full-size doors and a full-size rear seat, the SuperCrew is both family- and work-oriented.
“SuperCrew seats up to six adult passengers comfortably, without sacrificing its work-truck capability," Gurminder Bedi, vice president of Ford North America Truck, told AP.
According to the agency, Ford didn't have to start from scratch, since its F-150 has been the top-selling truck in the United States for 23 years.
And the light-duty F-150 already had a four-door extended cab model called SuperCab that conveniently formed the basis for the new SuperCrew.
But where the SuperCab's rear doors are smaller hinged doors that swing out from the C pillar at the back of the passenger compartment, the SuperCrew's rear-seat doors are regular, car-like doors hinged at the front that provide easier access to the interior.
AP praised that the SuperCrew’s rear doors. Like car doors, they have handles both inside and outside the vehicle and include map pockets inside, and remarked that the back seat is roomier, attributing this to lengthening of the SuperCab passenger compartment by 30 centimeters.
AP added that the 60/40-split rear bench seat offers 10 centimeters more of knee room, with even more to spare, as well as a more comfortably reclined seatback angle allowed for by the new engineering.
Headroom, the same as that of the front seat, is just over one meter, and the rear bench can be folded to allow for interior cargo.
The agency said the SuperCrew’s rear seats may also accommodate children secured in their seats to standard child seat tethers. It added that there is an electric power outlet in the rear, as well as optional video entertainment center and moonroof, which AP says is the first in the under-3860-kg-GVWR truck segment.
The report said that Ford managed to keep a respectable cargo bed size of 168cm in the SuperCrew, compared with a 199-cm bed in the SuperCab and up to 244cm in a regular-cab F-150.
“It's an F-150 in its heart," Ford engineer Connie Gutowski was quoted by AP as saying, and that the SuperCrew maintains the 574cm overall length of a SuperCab model, meaning that SuperCrew drivers don't have to look for large parking spaces while in town. AP claimed that this was proved in its test drive, although the SuperCrew had a 14-meter turning radius.
AP added that the driver’s climb to the high seat position was made easier with the optional running board.
AP concluded from its test drive that the SuperCrew’s ride was very truck-like, and experienced a lot of bouncing on unpaved roads, but handled very easily on off-road terrain – Albawaba.com
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