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1997 Ford F-150 Was A Significant Leap Forward: Video

MotorWeek often digs into its archives for its Retro Review segment, bringing back video reviews of classic cars from years past for the modern viewer to enjoy. As Ford Authority previously detailed, The publication has taken a retrospective look at vehicles like the 2002 Ford Thunderbird, the 2002 Ford Focus, the 1997 Ford Expedition and even a broad view of The Blue Oval’s lineup for the 1990 model year. Most recently, MotorWeek’s Retro Review series brought back its bumper-to-bumper review of the 1997 Ford F-150, a game changer in Ford history.

Hosted by John Davis and first aired on February 7th, 1996, the review sings the praises of the 1997 Ford F-150, which introduced the best-selling pickup’s all-new 10th generation to consumers. “The F-150 has led America’s love affair with trucks,” Davis says. He notes that The Blue Oval was at a crossroads with the new generation, as many consumers were pleased with the ninth-generation pickup, and why fix something that isn’t broken? However, the 1997 Ford F-150 was designed to attract family buyers.

The 1997 F-150 introduced more “car-like handling,” along with myriad safety features and creature comforts. The shape was made smoother and more aerodynamic, reducing cabin noise and improving fuel economy.

All-new powerplants were also introduced, including Ford’s 4.2L V-6 engine, or optional 4.6L V8 engine for improved acceleration and towing capabilities. “It only takes a few moments in the F-150 to realize this is not the normal slow-reacting full-size pickup,” Davis says, citing the pickup’s improved visibility and handling response, even on sand.

Inside, the 1997 Ford F-150 sports higher seating for better visibility while driving. A large center armrest with integrated cupholders was available to provide quite a bit of storage. SuperCab models featured an expanded cab, allowing for ease of entrance and egress from the full-size pickup, and the second-row seat bottoms were able to be folded completely flat to expand storage space inside the pickup.

MotorWeek even named the new 1997 Ford F-150 as its Driver’s Choice Best Pickup Truck of the Year. Today, in retrospect, the all-new 10th-generation F-150 holds up well, and can still be seen out on the road. Now that it’s reached the 25-year-old mark, the 1997 F-150 can be officially considered a classic.

We’ll have more cool videos like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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Comments

  1. The Gentle Grizzly

    Now, they are bulkier, harder to see out of, and cumbersome.

    That’s progress! And lest you think I am picking on Ford, the GM twins and RAM are just as guilty. “It’s a size issue” plays heavily here.

    Reply
    1. Reluctantly Leaving Ford Soon

      I’m fairness, you have option of Ranger and Maverick on the smaller side.

      Reply
      1. The Gentle Grizzly

        You are right, but that wasn’t my point.

        Reply
      2. Davido49

        Exactly. We got new ’19 Ranger XLT FX4 after looking at Colorado ZR2 & Tacoma TRD. Ranger was sportier, felt better built (T6 frame) more features/ tech & class leading Gen2 powertrain is thing of beauty. Near 4yrs later been impeccable & most popular vehicle in household.

        Reply
    2. Davido49

      They also have 360 degree cameras an more safety features than ever before .. many that Ford implemented 1st & patented. Get a new Ranger truck (best in class) or smaller Maverick if size Is issue 4ya. Plenty options. Most Ford trucks are sold out tho you must order but then you get exactly what you want!

      Reply
  2. Mike

    My 96 Ranger looks like that, only shrunk by about 1/3

    Reply
    1. Davido49

      Olson Rangers were excellent! Still ton on the rd. This new Gen is bigger bit not too big. Hauls 2k lbs & tows 7500lbs. Rides great. Sporty. Great MPG’s. Best in class Gen2 powertrain. We love our ’19 Ranger. 4yrs now of hard use.. been impeccable ..as I expected from my experience w/Ford trucks.

      Reply
  3. John

    This is my favorite generation of F150 still see plenty on the road today.

    Reply
  4. Ford Owner

    Ford still builds the world’s best trucks.

    Reply
    1. Davido49

      No doubt. 45yrs straight best selling truck in North America is no easy feat. You gotta be excellent to achieve that. Get one soon before they go to all EVs. I’m not a brand loyalist but when comes to trucks will only spend my hard earned $ on Ford. Period.

      Reply
  5. Miguel A Merced

    I have a 2003 f150. I have it since it had 144 miles now it has 111448. I love this pick up

    Reply
    1. Davido49

      Gas alot of life left in it. Be sure change all fluids periodically . Ppl tend to overlook cooling systems/ transmission/ differentials ! All takes is good basic maintenance.

      Reply
  6. Dave Mathers

    I still feel that this truck’s predecessor was a much better looking truck.

    Reply
    1. Davido49

      Well they gotta update now & then as competition is stiff. The new ones are fantastic tho. You get what you pay for.

      Reply
  7. R Heinkel

    I think that the 9th generation was the best looking. But I also really like the 12th generation f150 too. Only when it has the 5.0 coyote engine under the hood. I have both! But the 9th generation was a little bit of both old and modern trucks. I wasn’t a big fan of the 1997 thru 2003 f150 and the 97-98 standard duty f250. I just didn’t care for the look of the truck but I was happy with the power of the 5.4 Triton engine that I had drove for a couple of weeks when visiting family. It was brother in laws truck and It was a 99 or 2000 regular cab short box. But I will only buy a f series truck of the big 3 and girlfriend has a Tacoma and I have noticed that they have a lot of the same stuff as the f series truck in the tundra and Tacoma trucks. Ex. Look at the rangers and the Tacoma and they are similar looking. They also use some of same suspension systems as f series does .

    Reply

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