Despite the ups and downs in the truck market, the Ford F-150 remains as a top-selling pickup in the U.S. and has garnered various awards. The truck's platform remains the same in 2012, but adds improvements with a new FX Appearance Package and some driveline upgrades including hill start assist. The F-150 seats up to six people in certain configurations, and competitors include the Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra.
With an abundance of trim levels, there's an F-150 that meets just about every segment of truck buyer out there, including those who use a light-duty pickup for work, play and to simply look good driving down the street. For off-road aficionados, there's still the SVT Raptor.
The FX Appearance Package is the biggest news for the F-150 this year. The package includes flat-black 20-inch wheels along with additional exterior trim and interior enhancements that give the truck a street-custom appearance.
Four-wheel-drive models also receive some upgrades, as Ford replaces its electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system with a new two-speed automatic 4x4 system on Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models. This new system includes a 4x4 auto mode that automatically transfers power to the front wheels when it senses a loss of traction. In addition, all four-wheel-drive F-150s add neutral tow capability, allowing them to be flat-towed when necessary.
SVT Raptor models receive a new Torsen front differential that increases traction at the front of the truck for big obstacles and slippery conditions. Exclusive to 2012 Raptors is a new off-road camera that allows the driver to see obstacles that are directly in front of the vehicle, which are normally blocked by the hood and body. The system uses the large 8-inch navigation screen and is activated via the 4.2-inch display in the instrument cluster for low-speed crawling. The camera is mounted to the grille and has a dedicated washer system to keep it clear of dirt.
The Harley-Davidson Edition receives some extra details for 2012 including restyled 22-inch aluminum wheels and special graphics.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that works with a six-speed automatic transmission is newly available. When equipped with this engine, the F-150 wears different rocker panels and features fuel-saving active grille shutters.
Ford's new FX Appearance Package steals the spotlight for 2012 with a flat-black theme that gets its inspiration from custom-truck enthusiasts. Other than the trim level, there's no real change to the 2012 F-150's body.
The SVT Raptor remains unchanged, but new body graphics are included for 2012. Exterior features include:
- Capless fuel-filler system
- Available reverse-sensing and backup camera
- Available running boards or tubular side steps
- Available telescoping tow mirror
- Available two-tone paint on some models
The FX Appearance Package carries over to the 2012 F-150's interior. While the rest of the truck's trim level packages remain the same as last year, FX4 and FX2 trucks with the FX Appearance Package receive black leather seats with red piping. Brushed metal surfaces and black-painted dash accents also add a custom appearance. Interior features include:
- Snake-skin accents on Harley-Davidson models
- Optional aluminum accents on SVT Raptor
Under the Hood
The range of engines for the F-150 allows truck shoppers to select the power and fuel-economy levels that best match their needs. In any case, the F-150's six-speed automatic transmission continues to play a key role in its fuel efficiency. Mechanical features include:
- Base 3.7-liter V-6 delivers 302 horsepower and 278 pounds-feet of torque
- 5.0-liter V-8 delivers 360 hp and 380 pounds-feet of torque
- Twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 delivers 365 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque
- 6.2-liter V-8 delivers 411 hp and 434 pounds-feet of torque
Safety features include:
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system with Roll Stability Control
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags