Owner’s Log: 2011 Ford F-150 Lariat (7-10/2012 and 1 Year Update)

It was a busy quarter for my F-150.  I Did some heavy hauling with it, but still haven’t had the chance to tow anything.  This is also the 1-year mark for me owning the F-150, so there’s lots to look back upon.  As usual, see the review I wrote on my 2011 Ford F-150 for a refresher, if you’d like.  Continue reading to see how my truck has fared in the past quarter and year.

Stats:

Time Period: 7/19/2012 – 10/18/2012
Miles Driven: 2,423 / 10,710 (this update / total) (2,310 in the last update)
Average MPG: 18.2 mpg (reported by on-board computer)

Costs:

Maintenance Costs: $0.00
Total Cost (non-fuel): $60.00

Services Performed:

none

Summary:

It’s been a fun quarter for me and my F-150.  I hauled a few thousand pounds of bagged top soil (one load was even 1,100 lbs) as part of a project to re-seed and partially level my back yard.  I also hauled quite a bit of gravel, testing out the F-150’s true hauling capacity.  The truck handled the dirt quite well, but I was pretty close to capacity with the gravel, and for once I could feel the payload in the gas, brakes and steering.  Nothing worrisome, mind you, but definitely a reminder that I had something significant back there, and a good use of the tow/haul mode on the SelectShift 6-speed transmission.

I also went on several road trips, and once again enjoyed the open road from behind the wheel of my F-150.  The Roll-X tonneau cover came in quite handy, keeping luggage safe, and made hauling dirt, gravel, tools and more firewood quite easy.  A recent trip with a cut-up tree in the bed, brush and all, was made easier by being able to close the tonneau cover so nothing was blown out of the bed.

In late spring/early summer, I switched to premium fuel (93 octane), and saw an immediate increase in fuel economy and at least a perceived increase in power.  Fast forward to recent weeks, and I’ve run a couple of tanks of regular (87 octane) through the truck, and the power and fuel economy both seem to be down.  There are too many variables in play to be able to pinpoint the cause of the drop, but the main culprits seem to be the regular fuel and colder temperatures.  The warm-up cycle of the EcoBoost engine in the F-150 is much longer when it’s colder outside, which means the truck is burning more fuel while idling in my morning commute before the engine is up to its optimal operating temperature.  Up until the tanks of regular, my average MPG for this past quarter was 18.6, and it’s dropped to 18.2 quite quickly.  I will be switching back to premium fuel to see if that helps during the winter months, as the gas mileage was down pretty far last winter.

In addition to hauling lots of stuff,  my F-150 was used for several trips to the golf course, with 4 golfers in the cab and all of our clubs in the bed.  Getting the golfers and their clubs in and out of the truck was super easy, especially with the tailgate step.  The extended “super” cab is pretty good, and I didn’t hear any complaints from my fellow duffers, but I know that since they’re all between 5’10” and 6’4″ tall, a SuperCrew cab would be in order for a regular foursome headed out to play 18.  Once again, the Roll-X tonneau cover came in handy to keep our clubs safe both in transit and while parked.

Having owned my F-150 for a full year now, I have come to several conclusions:

  • It’s a phenomenal vehicle, with great build quality over the first 10,000 miles.  I haven’t had so much as a squeak or rattle that I couldn’t narrow down to something rolling around in one of the many cubbies and storage pockets.
  • The power and fuel economy of the EcoBoost is for real, even with my Washington, D.C. area commute.  I averaged 27 mpgs going around a good chunk of the Capital Beltway one day!
  • If you’re in the market for an F-150, get the 6.5′ bed.  I have hauled so many things that just wouldn’t fit in a 5.5′ bed that the SuperCab/6.5′ bed combination that I bought has been the right choice for me (as compared to the SuperCrew Cab/5.5′ bed that is the same overall length).
  • This is the first vehicle I’ve owned in a long time that has made me happy enough to not be car shopping after the first year.  Of course, I’d love to have a vehicle that got better gas mileage, but the trade-off for its do-anything attitude and capability is well worth it.

After one year of ownership, about the only things I’d change on my F-150 would be to add high-intensity headlights (HIDs) for easier night driving and front parking sensors to really make it a no-brainer to get into and out of tight parallel parking spots.  I give the F-150 a solid two thumbs up, and look forward to driving it for years to come.

Dated Notes:

  • none
General Observations:
  • The automatic climate control system needs to be tweaked so that the driver can turn off the recirculation of air.  The system activates the recirculation, but doesn’t notify the driver that it’s done so.  This can be frustrating if you don’t want to recirculate smoke or other odors through the HVAC system, especially considering there isn’t a cabin air filter in the F-150.

by John Suit

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1 Response to “Owner’s Log: 2011 Ford F-150 Lariat (7-10/2012 and 1 Year Update)”


  • I just purchased the same truck with only 30K miles on it. Thanks for the post. I’m looking forward to a long ownership with this truck. I would like to get better mileage. I will try the higher octane fuel and see how that does.

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