If you’re in the market for a full-sized pickup, the 2017 Ford F-150 will be steak on a platter for a true truck lover. Scroll down to learn the new F-150’s defining characteristics.

Newest Leader in a 40-Year Parade

The 2017 F-150 leads Henry Ford’s namesake company into a banner year The F-150 along with Super Duty F-series model trucks have been the best-selling pickups in America since 1977. Over those past 40 years, Ford pickups have accumulated a lot of satisfied customers, and the new F-150 is designed, built, and priced to leave them more satisfied still.

It Means Business

Your first look at the new F-150 will tell you this truck means business, but will take good care of you when the work day is over. The rugged curves of its military-grade aluminum body, available in a choice of 14 colors, immediately gives the impression of well-dressed power like finding out the strongest ranch hand also looks great in a three-piece suit.

Fully Featured Aluminum Body

The innovative aluminum body saves up to 700 pounds in vehicle weight compared to trucks of just a few years ago, giving the new F-150 a major edge in acceleration, cargo capacity, towing muscle, and fuel economy. Not all the load-carrying capability is in the bed – this pickup can seat up to six adults comfortably in the “super crew” cab version, and those seats come in your choice of four interior colors. Extended “super cab” and standard cab models are also available.

Available in Multiple Editions

The 2017 F-150 comes in Ford’s standard line-up of XL, XLT, and Lariat models, and is also available in the higher-end Platinum, Limited, and Raptor editions. A special finish King Ranch version is also available. Listed MSRP for the base model F-150 XL starts at $26,750, but purchase incentives can knock thousands off that price depending on features and the purchase market.

Performance with Brains…

The F-150 XL base model comes standard with a 3.5 liter V6 engine equipped with innovative variable-valve technology. This system uses a dual variable camshaft design to actually adjust intake and exhaust valve travel duration for optimal power and efficiency as you drive. Called Twin independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT), this technology is coupled to other features, such as a system that automatically stops and starts the engine to save fuel during what would formerly have been periods of useless idling.

The engine couples to a six-speed automatic transmission that features tow/haul and sport modes. The transmission can be used in full manual-shift mode (no clutch required), or set to automatically select gear ratios based on the load and road conditions. It can even use engine breaking to control speeds while hauling or towing heavy loads on downhill terrain. This combination delivers a rated fuel economy of 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway, which makes for an impressive range with the standard 23-gallon gas tank (over 550 miles on the highway).

…and Brawn

The XL is available with two- or four-wheel drive (four-wheel-drive versions have shift-on-the-fly capability). When appropriately equipped, the basic XL  is rated for a total payload of 1,920 pounds, with a towing limit of 5,100 pounds. Capabilities vary slightly with differences in cab and box selections.

If you’re looking for beefier performance, power can be upgraded to Ford’s twin-turbocharged 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6, boosting those numbers to 2,200 pounds maximum payload and a towing capacity of 8,500 pounds. There is also a choice of 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 (rated to tow up to 12,200 pounds), and the maximum-effort 5.0 liter Ti-VCT V8, which raises the maximum payload for this truck to 3,270 pounds.

A new power train innovation for the 2017 F-150 is an optional cutting-edge 10-speed automatic transmission, which features three overdrive gears to maximize performance and fuel economy at highway speed. This F-150 can be ordered with extended or crew cab, and, in various cab combinations, can be equipped with a 5.5, 6.5 or 8-foot bed.

An Impressive Range of Safety Innovations Helps You Watch Out for Your Truck . . .

Standard safety features include automatic pre-tensioning seat belts and front and side curtain airbags to protect you in case of a collision. The truck also has a range of sophisticated systems to help keep wrecks from ever happening These systems include a tire pressure monitoring system and Ford’s Curve Control, a system that monitors vehicle stability in a curve, automatically reducing engine power and applying anti-lock braking to keep the truck under control, even if you go into that curve a little faster than you intended. Also available are the AdvanceTrac system to control wheel slip on wet or slick surfaces, and Roll Stability Control to monitor vehicle roll stability, and apply braking to individual wheels to help prevent rollovers during sudden swerves.

. . . and Watch Out for Other Drivers

Beyond the performance control systems, Ford has added a number of other safety options, including the Lane Keeping System (to alert you if you inadvertently drift from your lane) and Blind Spot Information System to let you know if someone is in your side blind spot or cutting across your path as you back up. Also available are forward collision alert system with braking support and driver assist system for parallel parking.

When it comes to backing up, this smart truck helps you take advantage of that high towing capacity with optional Pro Trailer Backup Assist to take the headache and hazard out of backing your trailer. It even has a 360-degree camera system with split display capability. This truck will continuously help you watch out for yourself and your passengers – even if the other driver isn’t watching out for you.

Option to Upgrade

Keep in mind, most of these features are in the base XL Ford F-150. Upgrading to the XLT, Lariat, Limited, or Raptor option packages will put another list of great features at your fingertips. The XLT, for example, offers the Sync 3 system, which recognizes your voice, and lets you navigate, access entertainment (including satellite radio) and vehicle systems from a touch/swipe screen in your new truck’s instrument panel. The SYNC system will even let you communicate with your truck using your smart phone, check your fuel level remotely, and let you program a remote start time – so even on cold mornings, your F-150 is warm and ready to go as soon as you open the door.

Trumps the Competition

The 2017 Ford F-150 lineup holds a commanding position among full-sized trucks under 8,500 pound gross vehicle weight. Compared to competitors, the F-150’s exclusive military and aerospace grade weight-saving aluminum body is in a class of its own. As the only pickup to earn a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Five Star Safety Rating, F-150 is best in class when it comes to maximum payload, towing capacity, and fuel economy.

Want to know more? Your Ford dealer can provide build-and-price information for the 2017 Ford F-150 line of pickups, including all available options and packages.

This article was worked on by a variety of people from the Autoversed team, including freelancers, editors, and/or other full-time employees.