With its unique options and custom color palate, the 2010 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson edition certainly looks the part of a factory custom truck. The Harley Davidson takes the top spot in the F-150 lineup, with a base price of more than $43,000, edging out the Platinum by about $500. The package gets you our favorite F-150 grille except maybe the Raptor's bold and wide façade, power-deployable running boards, plenty of H-D badging, forged 22-inch color-matched wheels, and a lower gear ratio than the Platinum, 3.73 vs. 3.15. Opening the doors reveals an interior that continues the custom theme, with comfortable heated and cooled leather seats adorned with H-D badges and epaulets, aluminum pedals, and painted interior panels in deep black and a red metallic matte finish that reduces glare. We appreciated the customizable ambient lighting that illuminated the cup holders and floorboards, but with so much chrome interior trim, you're bound to be dazzled by the sun at least once in a while. That's a small price to pay for cruising in arguably the best-looking F-150 to date. Of course there's also Sync, Ford's class-leading navigation and entertainment system that continues to impress us with its great user interface and numerous useful functions.
The driver's eye view of the Harley Davidson edition shows the mood lighting in the footwe
Spending a week with the truck, we drove all over Southern California, across broken highways and into the high desert and found that there are some compromises that were made for the sake of style. The forged aluminum 22-inch wheels have got to be our favorite factory wheel in a long time, but they do mean that potholes will let themselves be noticed through the 45-series tires. Also, unlike the past several '09+ F-150s we've driven, this one had an extremely annoying habit of not shifting when it was most needed. Twice while driving up slight grades behind drivers in the slow lane at about 55 mph, we pulled into the left lane and tried to accelerate, only to have the truck coast, stuck in gear-hunting limbo. Eventually the transmission kicked down two gears, more likely three, and violently engaged, causing the rear suspension to buck and hop. This also occurred, although not as abruptly, while on flat highways. Shifting into Tow/Haul mode reduced the lag, but caused downshifting when coasting down grades. There's no manual-shifting mode either, so unless you wanted to purposely shift from Drive into Third, we couldn't see how else to avoid the issue, other than not driving like we do, which admittedly, is quite lead-footed. We also have to add that this was the first time we'd ever run into a problem like this with Ford's new six-speed auto, and we've driven several.
With the 6.2L on the horizon, we think that Ford might have the perfect powertrain for this truck. While the 5.4L does its job admirably with its flat torque curve, a truck that weights nearly 5,700 pounds would be a lot more fun with nearly 70 extra lb-ft of torque. After all, isn't that what a Harley Davidson is all about?
2010 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson SuperCrew
Price (as tested) $48,865
Engine 5.4L OHC V-8
Horsepower (SAE) 310
Torque (lb-ft) (SAE) 365
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Axle Ratio 3.73
MPG 14/20 (EPA estimate), 13.6 (as tested)
• Painted interior is a step that custom truck lovers will appreciate.
• Good steering response and typical solid F-150 feel throughout.
• Unique ambient lighting in the cab is actually useful, helping you find the cupholders.
• The 5.4L is outgunned by its competitors/only adequate for a crew cab.
• Six-speed transmission not always ready for passing.