2013 Ford F-150 FX4

First Drive

Advocate WHEELS editor

Dressed in a cool Blue Flame Metallic exterior with 20-inch painted aluminum wheels and smoked HID headlights, the Ford F-150 FX4 series pickup presents a great combination of rugged looks and capability in the hotly-contested full-size truck segment.

Our test truck was equipped with Ford’s fantastic 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine that delivers up to 21 highway miles per gallon.

Ford offers a wide range of choices in the iconic F-150 lineup including XL, STX, XLT, FX2, FX4, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, the new for 2013 Limited and the off-roading specialist SVT Raptor. Available models include Regular cab, SuperCab and the 4-door SuperCrew – in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations.

Besides the EcoBoost, engine choices include a 3.7-liter V6, a 5.0-liter V8 and a 6.2-liter V8. All are hooked up to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

For 2013, Ford has updated the front end of the F-150 and added the available HID headlights, which are brighter and whiter than standard halogen headlights. Foldable, telescoping dual outside mirrors are also available this year on the F-150.

We recently drove the new F-150 Limited model, which is the most luxurious Ford truck to date. This week, we turn our attention to the sporty F-150 SuperCab FX4 series.

Power to the wheels is supplied via 420 lb.-ft. of torque from the 365-horsepower V6 EcoBoost engine. The engine, which runs on regular unleaded gas, gets 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. The 4x4 version gets 1 mpg less. The EcoBoost in the 4x4 package comes with a 36-gallon fuel tank, meaning the truck has a highway range of more than 750 miles.

Standard equipment for the package includes a rearview camera, a trailer brake controller, heated and cooled front power front seats, power adjustable pedals, a power sliding rear window and a remote starting feature. Also standard are body colored door handles and bumpers, tow hooks, dual zone air, satellite radio and a tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Options on the test truck included the EcoBoost engine ($1,095), navigation ($795), a trailering package ($565), Ford’s patented tailgate step ($375 and worth every penny), and the FX appearance package ($1,780). Our test truck had a bottom line of $49,835.

Today, buyers of Ford trucks, and most others, tend to steer towards the more expensive high-end trims.

Ford installs its MyFord Touch connectivity and infotainment system in these high-end models. Like other systems, MyFord Touch offers voice commands for phones and other devices, as well as on-screen controls for navigation, heated seats, satellite radio and vehicle settings.

Regardless of brand, Louisianans love their trucks. Many people do business in their trucks, some eat meals in them and others might even sleep in them.

“Back in the day,” trucks provided a way to haul things around, and if you wanted upscale, you could get a radio.

This year marks the 65th Anniversary of the F-Series, and the truck has come a long way since the first model in 1948.

Henry Ford would be pleased.

2013 Ford F-150

SuperCab FX4

3.5-liter EcoBoost V6

365

6-speed automatic

$38,765 ($49,835 as tested)

15 mpg city / 21 mpg highway