Living the Truck Dream in a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT Sport (Reader Story: LEGO Technic Contest)

2016 Ford F-150 XLT Super Crew 4x4
[Photo: Michael S.]

This story was written by Michael S. as an entry to win a Mack Anthem Lego Technic set. The contest is open until Friday, March 23rd. To see rules for entry, click here

Achieving the truck ownership dream

My dream of owning a truck started when one of the “good old boys” would drive past my house. I still reminisce about how cool those red, white, and blue flags looked streaming behind a jacked-up pickup. More than a few of my erector sets and Legos involved this newfound four-wheeled love.

Fast forward 23 years, and I am driving my wife’s old “Envy Green” Scion XB. It was a good car, but it was time for me to regain my childhood dream of having a truck. My first impression getting into the market was that I should go with a new truck, love the hell out of it and drive it into the ground. My second impression was a little bit of shock at how expensive a Crew Cab pickup truck is these days!

Regardless, I stayed the path and began researching what I should get. It would have to be able to grow with my family (kids to teenagers), and also cater to our interests, like camping and boating. I started looking around the spring of 2015, which is when I found TFLtruck. The priorities for the truck that my wife and I agreed on were that it had to have decent gas mileage and had to be very safe. We always use Consumer Reports reviews to help steer our big purchases, along with IIHS safety ratings.

In all honesty, I really loved the look and feel of the Ram 1500. My primary thought going into the 2016 model year was that I should get an EcoDiesel crew cab. Unfortunately, IIHS ratings for roof structure were rated as Marginal. I know many Ram guys would probably roll their eyes, but we have personal reasons for wanting a safe vehicle.

Making the choice: 2016 Ford F-150 XLT Sport 4×4

I ended up going with the best-selling truck on the market: a 2016 Ford F-150. I am the proud owner of a Blue Flame Super Crew 2016 F-150 XLT Sport 4×4 with a 2.7-liter Ecoboost engine. Although I initially loved the look of the Ram 1500, the new model F-150 quickly grew on me. After my first test drive, I was completely sold. The weight of the truck made a huge difference to me in the handling department.

Comparatively, safety and fuel economy were a hit for my wife. Consumer Reports also listed the XLT 2.7 as a “best buy”, with good reliability compared to other trucks for that model year. It arrived to me on the back of a transport on a sunny July day. I’ll never forget my little boy’s reaction when I carried him out to watch them unload it. Today, we do picnics in the bed and enjoy stargazing with a blanket and binoculars together at the park.

TFLtruck made a huge impact in my research and helped me decide what truck was the best fit for me and my family. I checked the site on a daily basis for new articles and loved the educated comparisons your team shared. A favorite video for me was watching the San Antonio Six Flags drag race video, a true turning point in my vehicle choice.

“Holy cow! This thing has got guts!!”- Nathan (5:39 in video below)