I recently switched trucks. Went from a 2006 Dodge Quad Cab to the 2017 Ford F-150 XLT XTR 302A Supercrew Shortbox. It felt like the right time to make a change as the family was growing and having a proper crew cab for some more space in the interior seemed like the right choice. In this article I will talk about what I was looking for and why I picked this truck and some of the useful tips and tricks there are with the F-150.

Why This Truck?

I was looking for several things specific to what I wanted and I have listed them in an order that is generally more important to less important.

  • Large seating room in the back. The Supercrew F-150 has loads of room a the back and I have 3 children who are into the school age now, so piling into the back with backpacks and child seats takes up a lot of room.
  • Aluminum body. Less opportunity for rust to set in. I had this issue with my last truck. For a few reasons really. I’m not that diligent in washing my vehicle, I live in a climate where road salt is used, and I park in a heated garage where that salt can just eat away with the moisture from melting snow and ice.
  • XLT trim. This is only the 2nd lowest trim package they offer, but it is the highest trim package that still offers 6 seats (see below). It is also a lot more reasonable in price.
  • 6 seats. This is related to the XLT trim, but we occasionally use that additional seat in the front middle. When you don’t need the seat, the back rest folds down for an arm console that has a storage area with flip up lid and there are also 2 cup holders. There are an additional 2 cup holders that can be made available on the floor if you need.
  • 302A package. This is the top luxury package available on the XLT. Lots of little things such as:
    • Heated seats
    • Large console screen
    • Sync3 infotainment screen that supports Apple CarPlay
    • Remote start
    • LED lighting in the truck bed
    • 400W 110V plugin in the front
  • Shortbox. Only a 5.5′ box, but I don’t need that much room (stores occasional work supplies, load of dirt or bark mulch, and hockey gear). This kept the truck around the same length as my Dodge Quad Cab so it fits in the garage the same way.
  • Has the tailgate step as well.
  • White – I find it easier to keep clean and not show scratches compared to black.
  • Better gas mileage than before. I was driving the Dodge Hemi so gas mileage was worse, but I don’t put enough mileage on for it to really matter. I always could have found a 3.6L pentastar in a Dodge too for better mileage.

What Else Is In It

I wasn’t particular about the engine, but when looking used there are a lot of the 3.5L Ecoboost engines out there, so that is what I ended up with. Mine has that auto stop/start technology, so often while sitting at traffic lights, it will turn the engine off until I’m ready to go again.

In the 2017’s, they started putting in a 10-speed transmission. Took a while to get used to when I started driving as it likes to shift a lot around town. I notice the first shift into 1st gear is a bit hard in the morning too.

I also installed the Truxedo LoPro QT tonneau cover. I had this on my Dodge as well and I loved it. Lifetime warranty and only has one release mechanisms on the left hand side, so very easy to get off. I notice on my Ford that the end gate is a bit tight to get closed, but apparently it wears in after a bit.

I have not decided on where to put my cell phone in the vehicle either. I typically use the vent mount to the right of the steering wheel, but in this truck the shifter is there and blocks the view of the cell phone as it is so close to that vent.

Large back seat area.
Large display, heated seats, 110V plugin.
Cupholders in flip down arm rest of the 6th seat.
Lots of options on the dash
Power port for the rear seating area.