Are they crazy? Apple Autos lends a bunch of bird hunters a top-shelf F-150.
Admission time: It’s a “guilty pleasure” to have the use of this year’s official Rooster Road Trip truck, a Ford F-150 lent to us by Apple Autos, a staunch supporter of Pheasants Forever in general and the Rooster Road Trip in particular.
A long-haul, over-the-road, freeway-oriented trip across the Big Wide Open of western Minnesota, North Dakota and half of Montana passed in true comfort … but the F-150 is more than up to the task in every pace we’re putting it through here in the Montana outback.
We want to tell you about the rig and about Apple Autos, the guys crazy enough to lend a truck to four guys going on a bird hunt under Montana’s Big Sky and on its rugged landscape.
FORD F-150 PERFORMANCE
Tough as Nails
This rig is pounding it over freeways, secondary highways, township blacktop, gravel roads, dirt ranch lanes and rocky two-tracks. We suspect a big game hunter would revel in this truck. For bird hunters, it’s sheer pleasure for a variety of reasons. Here they come:
Ford's all in on the turbocharging craze, and it works. You can get a twin-turbo Eco Boost 2.7-liter V6 in the F-150 that pumps out 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque (that’s what we have), or a 3.5-liter Eco Boost V6 with 365 hp and 420 lb-ft. There’s plenty of muscle, and you'll save on gas, too: Our 2.7 gets about o 26 miles per gallon on the highway, while the 3.5 can squeeze out 24 mpg. With numbers like those, who needs a V8?
If you're fixin' to do some serious towing and hauling, the F-150 won't disappoint. Even the base model can tow 7,600 pounds, while the 3.5-liter turbo can handle a ridiculous 12,200 pounds, and the payload rating tops out at 3,300 pounds (that's more than 1.5 tons). We were thinking the F-150 just might make the heavy-duty F-250 and F-350 obsolete.
Light on Its Feet
We're not sure if it's those aluminum panels or the turbo boost (or both), but the F-150 feels super light on its feet. The steering's light and precise, the throttle's responsive and the whole truck just seems set up to make driving a breeze. The F-150's friendly driving character should endear it to every driver in your household.
F-150 cabins have historically favored function over form, and the latest version follows this trend. In fact, there's more function inside the current model than ever before, but there are also soft-touch materials on the dash, crisp-looking gauges and a beautiful 8-inch touchscreen. It’s almost all too good for a bunch of bird hunters … but not quite.
The F-150 is technically Ford's entry-level big truck, but the way it's styled, you'd think it was from the company's Super Duty lineup. The grille is Mack Truck massive, and the stance projects pure power from every angle. If you want your truck to look as tough as it actually is, it's hard to deny that this F-150 is the king of the Montana (or anywhere) hill.
Tough as Nails
This rig is pounding it over freeways, secondary highways, township blacktop, gravel roads, dirt ranch lanes and rocky two-tracks. We suspect a big game hunter would revel in this truck. For bird hunters, it’s sheer pleasure for a variety of reasons.
THANKS TO APPLE AUTOS
Apple Autos is a family of dealerships in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. They are unique in the “car biz” with a no-pressure sales approach (there’s only one price, and one price only), actual cash value trades (you get the value of any trade-in BEFORE you shop), and a huge inventory available on their lots or online.
Check out these Pheasant Forever Sponsors at AppleAutos.com
. They’re crazy!