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2010 Ford 4x2 F-150 Harley-Davidson Review

2010 Ford 4x2 F-150 Harley-Davidson

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Pickup Truck

Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Pickup Truck

Photo © Jason Fogelson
There are trucks that are built for work, and there are trucks that are built to get attention. The 2010 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson falls into the latter category, and it does it very well. Nothing wrong with that. The 2010 Ford F-150 4x2 Harley-Davidson carries a base price of $42,690 ($47,865 as tested), has a 3-year/36,000 mile basic warranty, a 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile roadside assistance, and EPA estimates of 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway. Let's drive.

First Glance at the Pickup Truck: Every inch a Harley

Ford has been bringing out Harley-Davidson editions of the F-150 for 14 years now, and the special edition pickup winds up being a showpiece for both companies. The Harley-Davidson bar and shield sits quite comfortably next to the Ford blue oval, which makes a lot of sense. Each company was born in the first decade of the 20th century, and each faces a challenging future that is going to require a lot more than heritage.

The H-D F-150 is based on the short bed crew cab edition of the pickup. Sprayed with Lava paint so dark that it looks black in some light, red in other light, and wearing subtle ghost flames along its flanks, the truck leaks attitude at every stoplight. I tried to count how many times "Harley-Davidson" and the bar and shield make an appearances on the F-150's exterior and interior, but I lost count at 14. Prominent badges dress each front fender; the name trails along each side of the bed; the logo is carved into each 22" forged aluminum wheel; even the rubberized bedliner advertises the Motor Company (Harley, that is). I'm a Harley owner, and I love it. If you're not a Harley owner or HOG (Harley Owners Group) member, you will probably find it to be overkill.

Some cool options on the exterior of my test F-150 included a bed extender ($195) and a tailgate step ($350), both of which I would consider essential with the short length and high lift over height of the bed. Ironically, if you plan to haul your Harley in your H-D F-150's bed, you're going to need to do it with the tailgate down, because the bed is only 67" long.

In the Driver's Seat: Chrome won't get you home

Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Pickup Truck

Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Pickup Truck

Photo © Jason Fogelson
The F-150's interior is maybe the best truck interior Ford has ever built, and the H-D package takes it up a notch. Firm, fully stuffed seats are covered in thick, tough leather. Both driver and front passenger seats wear a metal bar and shield badge in the seat back, which might be an issue in hot climates where that metal is going to get awfully hot. I had the same concern about the massive logo on the center console armrest. I love my Harley, but I don't want to get branded.

My test truck was equipped with standard Microsoft Sync voice activation, along with an optional ($2,450) Sony nav system. With all of these big companies working together, the H-D F-150 should be eligible for some kind of synergy award. If you've never used Sync, you'll be amazed at how well it integrates communications and other interfaces in a vehicle. Though I'm an Apple guy, I can admit that Microsoft got it right with this system.

The truck's second row is as roomy and comfortable as the second row in a full-size SUV. Three adults can easily sit together, and the distance between seat and floor is just right. When you need to maximize stowage in the cabin, the bench seat flips up, leaving a nearly flat load floor. If you're a dog owner, you'll love this feature, because your dogs don't have to step all over the leather to ride in the cab (You don't let your dogs ride in the bed, do you?).

Fit and finish are great, and everywhere you have to touch, there's a pleasant, high quality texture. Any complaints I may have had about Ford truck interiors in the past have been vanquished by the H-D F-150.

On the Road in the H-D F-150: Some serious grunt

The H-D F-150 gets one of Ford's best engines, a naturally aspirated 5.4 liter V8 that cranks out 320 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Engine sound and exhaust note are very important to Harley riders, and this truck has the goods. Just as there's nothing like the sound of a 45-degree V-twin, there's nothing like a powerful V8. The F-150 rewards generous throttle applications with impressive forward thrust. Though the pickup weighs in at around 5,500 lbs, it still has some get up and go.

When the road gets curvy, the F-150 remains remarkably composed and level. Power rack and pinion steering feels precise, with none of the wallow or vagueness I've found in some other trucks. The H-D package's 22" wheels contribute a bit of harshness on rough surfaces, but nothing I couldn't live with as a tradeoff for the great looks -- and they are great looking. This is a truck that I could drive every day, and happily.

F-150 incorporates a ton of standard safety features, including front airbags and a safety canopy, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, Advancetrac with RSC and tire pressure monitoring. Ford's trailer sway control system is impressive, and included as standard equipment on F-150. If you tow with your pickup, you'll appreciate this technology working on your behalf.

I could live without the H-D package's power deployable running boards. The slight delay after doors open nearly always tripped me up, and I even wound up gashing my leg when I stood in the wrong place while opening a rear door. My clumsiness, granted, but what's wrong with fixed running boards on a 4x2 truck, anyway?

Journey's End: Right on target

Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Pickup Truck

Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Pickup Truck

Photo © Jason Fogelson
If you're looking for a serious work truck, keep on looking. The F-150 H-D is too fancy for work, even though its underpinnings are every bit as robust as a standard F-150. But it would be a shame to scratch up its pretty paint, or to mar its beautiful leather interior. This is a truck for owners who love Harley-Davidsons and Fords. It's not a work truck any more than an Electra Glide is a grocery-getter. This is the boss's truck, better suited to shuttling back and forth between work sites than it is to moving gravel. The F-150 H-D would not be out of place at a black tie event, or at a motorcycle rally. It's a great blend of classy and cool.

The competition is stiff in the truck world right now. The Dodge Ram 1500 can be optioned out to the hilt, and you can pack a potent HEMI engine under its hood. The Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra rides on the very plush GMT 900 platform, one of the best-handling chassis setups available. Toyota's Tundra and Nissan's Titan make great use of their interiors, and each deserves consideration.

Ultimately, the question for most potential buyers of the 2010 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson won't be "Is this the best truck I can buy?" The question will be "Is this the coolest truck I can buy?" The answer to that question is an unqualified "HELL, YES!"

2010 F-150 Harley-Davidson Truck Photo Gallery

Disclosure: Ford provided a F-150 Harley-Davidson pickup truck for this review. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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