We Review the Power Wheels Ford F-150: The Best Kid Trucker Gift?

Power Wheels Ford F-150 11 photos
Photo: Jeffrey Ross
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About a week before I was among the first waves of media to descend upon San Antonio, TX to test drive the 2015 Ford F-150, my daughter was cruising around our neighborhood and doing some light off-roading in her very own version of the all-new truck. And she’s just 2 years old!
Like any future car enthusiast [fingers crossed], her first experience behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle was made possible by Power Wheels. Literally. As the good folks at Fisher-Price began to roll out their miniature version of the 2015 Ford F-150 (about a month before Ford started producing the truck in full scale), they saw fit to send one my way – or my daughter’s way, rather – to take it for a spin.
First of all, it’s hard “reviewing“ a product that I’m unable to actually use myself, but in this case, it was the overall experience that surprised me the most. This started the moment the F-150 Power Wheels was dropped off at my door.
You just know it’s going to be a good day when a tractor trailer is parked in front of your house making a delivery
From appliances to special-order car parts and yes, even a Power Wheels, the feeling is the same in all cases. It arrived in a box that barely fit through our front door, and then the anticipation set in as I wanted to wait until my daughter got home from daycare so she could help me the assembly process.
After getting all of the pieces out of the box, we got to work on assembly, which requires putting the grille together, installing the steering shaft and attaching the seats, rear axle and cargo bed. We were no Dearborn Truck Plant or Kansas City Assembly (where the F-150 is produced), but we made pretty good time getting this Power Wheels ready to roll. Including some snack and potty breaks, it took about an hour and a half to actually assemble all of the components, but that was the easy part. Believe it or not, the hardest part was getting the stickers on straight and without any wrinkles.
Power Wheels supplies everything to get the truck rolling including the 12-volt battery and its charger, but you’ll have to come up with your own C batteries (four of them) that are required for the operational FM/MP3 radio.  Yes, this truck comes with its own stereo system, but some versions actually have functional LED headlights. This version was the first of the 2015 Ford F-150 Power Wheels models to come out with an authentic Blue Flame paint job, but there are others on sale including ones in black and purple as well as the Extreme Sport model that actually has a taller ride height and an interesting black, red and silver paint scheme. This particular model has an MSRP of $359.99, but it looks like some retailers have these Power Wheels models significantly lower.

It's bigger than you might think

Once together, the sheer size of this Power Wheels made it instantly apparent that we should have assembled the truck outside as it was a two person job to tilt the 130-pound Power Wheels on its side to carry it through the front door. That mattered little to my daughter, though, as she was just eager to get behind the wheel. Being a little younger than the recommended age, she had a hard time reaching the pedal, but even so, she got the hang of driving pretty quickly. That’s my girl!
As many memories that I have with Power Wheels, Matchbox cars and all other car-related toys, it was a totally different experience watching my daughter enjoy this truck for herself. She had a blast driving up the driveway and around the lawn stopping along the way to pick up sticks, rocks and anything else she could fit in the cargo bed. The only problem is that unlike the real truck, it’s easy to get stuck in this Power Wheels model as wet grass or slight inclines. It is a toy with hard plastic wheels after all and not an ATV, but it definitely doesn’t live up to Fisher-Price’s claim that “it works on turf, hard surfaces and rough terrain.” For the most part, the ideal operating conditions are limited to pavement and short, dry grass.
Even for a 2-year-old, driving the Power Wheels couldn’t be simpler
There's a single pedal and a shifter, which is used to select two forward speeds and reverse. Right out of the box, the high-speed forward gear (that allows this F-150 to attain its top speed of 5 mph/8kph) is locked out by a screw that must be removed by parents for the vehicle to reach its full top speed. The battery, which is mounted under the hood, is easy to access and quick to charge, and in my daughter’s case, the battery easily outlasts her attention span.
In all honesty, as much fun as she has while driving this Power Wheels, which she eventually named “Big Truck,” it’s even more fun for me to watch her enjoying it. Most days, she starts asking to drive her “Big Truck” as we’re leaving daycare, and as long as the battery is charged and the weather is good, it’s a great way for us both to unwind after our long days... I’m not too sure how tough the average day of a 2-year-old really is.
The one thing I do know is that it’s already preparing me for future situations
The first time she got behind the wheel of the truck, she was essentially just driving in circles, but at one point while driving away from me, she looked over her shoulder, waved and said “bye bye, daddy.” Life doesn’t get any better than this!
In terms of grown-up opinions of the Power Wheels F-150, I had plenty of time to discuss this toy with some of the Ford guys during the launch of the full-scale F-150. Being on the truck team, these guys bled F-150, but it was interesting to see that while some were completely in love with this Power Wheels model others didn’t seem to be too keen on the idea. The truth of the matter is that toys like these are helping to develop the next generation of truck enthusiasts. More so, it’s a way for car-loving moms and dads like myself to pass this passion on to our children.
There’s still plenty of time before I have to teach my daughter how to change the oil on a car, shift a manual transmission (if they still exist in 14 years) or how to do a smoky burnout, but watching her learn to drive her new bright blue Power Wheels Ford F-150 was an especially rewarding experience for this lifelong car enthusiast and first-time dad.
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