Pros: Ford tough, rides like a car, endures accidents, storms, rough terrain.
Cons: It has truck gas mileage (but good for a truck).
My family purchased our 1997 Ford F150 with much anticipation of getting a new truck. Owning a construction company, we were eager to see if the truck met our expectations... And it did!
The trucks main use is hauling lumber, pvc pipes, blocks, bikes, and furniture. Used daily on the jobsite, we opted for the four wheel drive package, and went for a longbox as well. Going from gravel to mud, the truck rides really well with a long wheelbase keeping the ride smooth. We've gotten stuck in the mud a few times, but switching it into four wheel mode fixed that in no time. Of course the truck can haul, that's what it's made for. Everyone knows what trucks *can* do, but it's what they usually *can't* that is impressive about this one.
I've personally driven this truck, affectionatly named "Whitey" by the family, to Las Vegas (from Seattle) once, and L.A. twice. We were questioning the comfort for my family of four, but gave it a shot. We didn't even realize we weren't in a car. The truck easily maintained 100+ mph on I-5 down in the San Joquin Valley, Ca, for hours at a time. Going through the hills in california was no problem! The truck manages hills like they are flat, and the worst gas millage we got on this 2000 mile journey was 10mpg. The air conditioning was a lifesaver through the dessert, and the 6-disk CD changer kept us entertained during the entire 2 day drive. It's nice that you can turn off the passenger side airbag in the front seat, but it would be nice if that were a driver option as well. The bench seats came with a lumbar support option as well, which makes the front seat ride quite comfortable. The backseat was just big enough for me to lay down on (I'm 5'2") to nap. The backseat is right against the back of the cab, and consists of whatever room the front seat doesn't take up.
I'd say this truck is made for the middlesized person. My family fits in it well, but it's hard to get in, and the seats are too big sometimes, we have them as forward as we can go, and we're against the dash because the seats sit so high. Also, for small drivers, in order to reach the gas you must have the seat up all the way, which brings you pretty close to the steering wheel... it's still pretty nice though; I'd drive it over my ford escort any day.
It's got the power, maintains speed well, can haul it's own and more easily. It's gas mileage is good for a truck, but not as good as a car (if you want that good of gas mileage though, don't buy a truck). For long rides it's not too cramped, and for short ones you can fit a lot.
The third door option is one of the most practical things about this truck. Taking place of the family car, no one really fights about the back vs. front seats, because they're both nice, and both have doors (I prefer the back, in fact). Fold down backseat is perfect for hauling large items that couldn't fit in a trunk, and perfect for a trip to costco. This truck serves more than it's purpose, and it's been through a lot.
Recently flipped and rolled into a ditch (darn black ice), aside from replacing the top of the cab, there was little damage to the structure of the truck and my family was safe. Thank goodness Ford parts are always cheap, and I never worry about my family in this truck because I know how tough it is.
If you're looking for a truck, or a car, I'd reccomend this one... It'll go the distance with you, and last longer than you'll want it to.