What Is a Ford Lariat?by Shelley Moore
The Ford Lariat is part of the full-size F-series pickup trucks manufactured by Ford Motor Company. This series includes the popular F-150 along with more heavy-duty models F-250, F-350 and F-450. As of 2008, the F-series has been the best-selling truck in the United States since 1976, and the country's best-selling vehicle of any type since 1981. The Lariat was introduced in 1978.
The Lariat is a luxury trim option for the F-series trucks. Its appearance in 1978 introduced square headlights instead of round ones, with optional chrome headlight doors and a larger grille. In the next few years, the Lariat began including a plusher interior, optional power windows and locks and additional options, and has been available in regular cab, SuperCab, crew cab and SuperCrew.
Over time, the Lariat has become ever more luxurious, so that in 2009 a person can buy a Ford Lariat with rear privacy glass, a tilt leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual climate control, heated and cooled front leather bucket seats, SYNC audio, SIRIUS satellite radio, DVD player, self-dimming mirrors, dual map lamps, dual-lighted vanity mirrors, tire pressure monitoring system, Sony navigation system, rear view camera, reverse sensing system, keyless entry and more.
As a work vehicle, the 2009 truck has been improved with a 5.4-liter V8 engine, rated at 310 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can also choose a 4.6-liter V8 with 292 hp and 320 lb-ft. A new six-speed automatic transmission boosts performance over the previous four-speed, allowing for better acceleration and more fuel-efficient cruising. Edmunds notes that the towing capacity of over 11,000 lbs is "best in class."
Previous years had seen some complaints about the sluggish acceleration, while accepting that may have been a trade-off for the hauling capacity. The upgraded engine and transmission offer solutions to that issue. Consumer Reports had also made a negative comment about the reliability of the F-150 in general in 2006.
A Ford Lariat Limited was issued as a special edition in 2008 before the redesigned 2009 model was released, which Edmunds called "super-plush." This model had white sand metallic monochromatic paint, two-tone leather interior, captain's chairs, and 22-inch 5-spoke wheels. Only 5,000 were manufactured.