Loretta Lynn once sang, “If you’re looking at me, you’re looking at country.” And, that she is, although her new album “Wouldn’t It Be Great” proves through crafted lyrics and expert musicianship that the 86-year-old is also a pretty sophisticated songwriter and all-around classy lady. She’s been at this nearly 60 years and all of the other wanna-be divas have yet to master her authenticity and take her down. If she were personified as an automobile, the 2018 Ford F-150 Platinum diesel may be her match.
It may be glammed up in Platinum trim, but when you’re looking at the F-150, you’re looking at a truck that’s been topping the sales charts longer than Loretta’s has been throwing down hits. And, like her, it has continually evolved to stay atop of trends. Styling is consistent, but LED headlamps flank the bold chrome grille, which glistens between C-shaped signature running lamps. Dark Magma Red metallic paint, power-folding mirrors, and 20” wheels further set it on its stage while LED bed lights add convenience. All that and the truck employs military grade aluminum body panels that save 700 lbs. Sophisticated.
Opening the door, and stepping up the power-deployed running board, leaves you no less elevated than entering Loretta’s luxury coach. Dark Marsala red leather and real black wood trim make beautiful first impressions – as do heated/cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. Crank up the sweet B&O audio system, power open the twin panel moonroof, and press another button to whisk open the rear window for a relaxing drive. A long cab provides stretch-out rear legroom.
Dig deeper to find an array of technology. Navigation, power pedals, automatic parallel parking assist, and in-dash trailer brake controller are swell. There’s also a knob on the dash for Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which allows drivers to dial trailers wherever they want. Keeping everybody safe are blind spot warning, adaptive cruise, forward crash mitigation, lane keep assist, rear cross path detection, and 360-degree camera systems.
You might expect the truck to rattle like a tour bus, but it does not. The 3.0-liter V6 turbo-diesel quietly pumps out 250 horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque. As is typical with diesels, the engine does not produce outrageous amounts of horsepower, but churns out mega torque for getting heaving loads moving. In fact, it will pull up to 13,200 lbs., or about three family sedans. All of that torque hits the streets through a new 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive. I could live without auto stop/start, but it contributes to fuel economy ratings of 16/22-MPG city/highway.
The truck comes to any venue ready to please crowds. It’s pre-wired for trailers with a hitch installed beneath. Spray-in bedliner and deployable step hidden in the tailgate make loading easier. There’s even a gated bed extender that flips over to the tailgate. Look underneath to see skid plates that protect soft bits. Hook up and go!
If you want to see a legendary performer show pretenders how it’s done, go see Loretta in concert. And, if you want to experience a legendary pickup defend its place in the spotlight, go drive the F-150 Platinum diesel. It’s a vehicle that hard-working gents and classy ladies can both appreciate – whether pulling heavy loads or pulling up to The Ryman. That’s provided they can lay out $70,375 fully booked. Competitors include the Ram Longhorn, Chevy Silverado High Country, GMC Sierra Denali, and Nissan Titan XD with the Cummins diesel.
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2018 Ford F-150 Platinum
Five-passenger, 4WD Pickup
Powertrain: 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6, 10-spd auto trans
Output: 250hp/440 lb.-ft. torque
Suspension f/r: Ind/Solid axle
Wheels f/r: 20”/20” alloy
Brakes f/r: disc/disc
Must-have features: Luxury, Performance
Fuel economy: 16/22 mpg city/hwy
Assembly: Dearborn, MI
Base/As-tested price: $27,705/$70,375