Like cars, pickup trucks come in many styles and trims. If you have made the decision to purchase Ford’s iconic half-ton model, (half-ton refers to the maximum loaded weight of the truck) the F-150, it’s no wonder, this model has consistently been the most popular truck in America since the late seventies.
STX stands for Sports Truck Extra or Sports Truck Extreme. The STX is a sporty, affordable version of the F-150. It was introduced in 2007 and came about because Americans had been increasingly looking for a pickup that could pull dual duty, as both a work vehicle and a personal vehicle.
The F-150 STX package was meant to appeal to the budget-minded and first-time truck buyers. It has more features than the base model XL, but does not boast the luxury of the high-end XLT. Before 2017 the STX was outfitted with features that made it rugged enough for leisure time activities such as off-roading and camping, but still comfortable for the daily commute. Beginning in 2018 the STX brand became strictly an appearance package that included interior and exterior styling options.
- 1 Features of Ford F-150
- 2 What is the Difference Between the XL, STX, and XLT?
- 3 What is the History of the STX?
- 4 Decision Time: Is the STX Right For You?
- 5 Purpose: Work or Pleasure
- 6 How Much are You Willing to Spend?
- 7 Wrap Up
Features of Ford F-150
When you are shopping for a new or used Ford truck there are so many variables to consider. Ford offers so many options that there are countless combinations.
What Cab Styles Are Available for Ford F-150?
With all the features and packages Ford offers, choosing the pickup for you is a big decision. Ford trucks come in three different cab styles: regular, super cab, and crew cab.
Regular Cab: The regular cab is the basic two-door cab that will fit two to three people comfortably, depending on the seats. It has as much power as the SuperCab and SuperCrew, but because it does not weigh as much, it has better towing power.
SuperCab: The SuperCab comes with four doors. Two full-sized doors in the front and two reverse hinge doors in the rear that open backward. In the beginning, the SuperCab only came with two fold-down seats in the rear. The more recent models come with a bench seat in the rear.
SuperCrew: The SuperCrew cab is the largest most luxurious cab style. It has four doors and a full-size backseat with ten inches more legroom than the SuperCab. There is enough seating for five or six adults.
What are the Drivetrain Options for F-150?
Ford offers a variety of engine choices on the F-150 depending on your specific needs. They range from a V-6 to a very powerful V-8. And for those concerned with fuel efficiency, there is an engine that offers more power while using less fuel.
V-6 Entry Level: When the STX was rolled out in 2007, the base engine of the F-150 was the ever-reliable 4.2 liter V-6. This engine would be replaced two years later with 4.2 liter V-8, which was both more powerful and more fuel-efficient. 2011 saw a complete overhaul of their engines when the entry-level engine became the Duratec 3.7 liter V-6.
V-6. EcoBoost: The 3.5 EcoBoost was introduced n 2011 in an effort to improve fuel economy. The EcoBoost was Ford’s first attempt at producing a turbocharged direct-injection engine that would deliver more power and torque using less fuel.
V-8 Engines: In the past, driving an F-150 powered by a V-8 was not necessary even for towing as the EcoBoost V-6 was cheaper and delivered enough power for towing and hauling. In 2018 the V-8 engine has received an upgrade with a new fuel injection system and a 10-speed automatic transmission that gives the pickup better towing power.
What Safety Features are Included in the Ford F-150 STX?
When the STX was rolled out in 2007 there were only a few notable safety features included but many more have been added over the years as safety standards continue to change
Antilock Brakes: Prevent wheels from locking up in an emergency situation.
Seatbelt Pretensioners: This causes a seatbelt to retract and tighten when the front airbags are deployed in a collision.
Side Curtain Airbags: Protect the head and neck of the driver and front passenger in a side collision.
Electronic Stability Control: ESC improves the stability of the vehicle. When a loss of steering control is detected, the ESC system automatically applies brakes to correct the trajectory of the vehicle.
Roll Stability Control: When a driving situation that may lead to a rollover is detected, the ESC engages to restore stability.
Forward Collision Warning: Uses cameras that continuously scan in front of the vehicle in order to detect a potential front collision in which the vehicle will engage the brakes.
Rear Backup Camera: The backup camera is embedded just above the rear bumper and is engaged when the driver puts the vehicle in reverse.
Blind Spot Monitoring: Is a camera on the passenger side-view mirror that is activated when the right turn signal is on to let the driver check for cars in his blind spot before changing lanes.
Lane Keeping System: Alerts a driver when he is drifting out of his lane by causing the steering wheel to vibrate.
What are the Exterior Features of the Ford F-150 STX?
The STX was designed to have a cool, sporty looking exterior that appeals to younger and first-time pickup truck buyers. These features give the STX a distinctive look while the price remains affordable.
Color: A distinguishing characteristic of the STX is that the color of the grill and the front and rear bumpers match the body color. In 2017, the Superduty STX package came outfitted with an all-chrome grille as well as chrome front and rear bumpers.
Wheels: All STX models come with twenty-inch aluminum wheels that are finished with a technique called machining. In which a fine layer of metal is stripped from the surface of the wheel then it’s polished to a high shine that resembles the top of a CD. Beginning in 2017 the STX sport package included brightly colored hub covers.
Lights: The STX package comes with LED fog lamps.
Identification: STX models all come with identifying badging on the bed and the cab of the pickup and decals on the rear side of the truck bed.
What is the Difference Between the XL, STX, and XLT?
The Ford F-150 currently comes in two trims, the XL and XLT. The STX was originally the third trim between XL and XLT.
Basic Model: The XL trim is the basic model with a price starting at about $30,000. In the past, the XL was a very stripped-down model, but in recent years, various features have been added to stay up to date with changes in safety regulations.
Basic Features: The current XL is a decent truck with some nice features as long as you don’t mind rolling your windows up and down and manually locking your doors. It comes with seventeen-inch silver steel wheels. It also comes in a variety of truck bed sizes, including 5.5 feet, 6.5 feet, and 8 feet.
Options: Some safety features like integrated turn signal in the side-view mirrors, hill descent control, and trailer sway prevention are optional. There are a few different tow packages that are also optional as well as four-wheel drive and backup assist. The EcoBoost V-6 engine, as well as the 5.0 liter V-8, are options
Sports Truck Extreme: The STX was introduced as a trim level in 2007 to fill the gap that would be left when the popular mid-sized Ranger would be discontinued in 2009. It had a price point to attract first-time truck buyers. It was similar to the XL but with a few stylized upgrades on both the interior and exterior that make it more appealing to targeted buyers.
Features: When it was first introduced, the STX offered a sound system with a CD player. This was an upgrade from the AM/FM radio that came standard with the XL. The STX also came with the same color grill and front and rear bumpers that match the paint color. The STX package has always included sporty wheels, like the seventeen, eighteen or nineteen-inch aluminum wheels. Or the twenty-inch machined aluminum wheels that are included on the current appearance packages. Split 40/20/40 bench seats were also offered on the STX trim.
Appearance Package: By the time it was discontinued as a trim style in 2016 the STX also offered cruise control and power windows as standard equipment. The STX was reintroduced the following year, but this time not as a trim style but as an appearance package, and only offered on the XL and the Superduty
High-End Trim: The XLT is the high-end, fully-loaded trim of the F-150. The starting price is currently about $35,000. It is only available in the extended SuperCab and SuperCrew. Though the XLT does not currently offer an STX appearance package, there are many package upgrades available.
Packages: One option is a smoker’s package that comes with a cigarette lighter and a coin cup that can be used as an ashtray. Yet another option is a stereo upgrade with a subwoofer and voice-activated navigation system with Sirius XM Traffic and Travel Link.
Options: Several seating options are extra such as power seats, heated seats, and bucket seats, in addition to special edition black cloth seats with red trim. The XLT offers a number of towing and payload packages, which makes it a go-to vehicle for anyone who owns a boat or a camper that requires towing. For all that towing capacity, there is a 2.6 liter V-6 EcoBoost engine. In fact, in the XLT all the EcoBoost engines and electronic 10-speed transmission are also upgrades. A lot of standard safety features like tire pressure monitoring, rear-view camera with hitch assist are included on the XLT.
What is the History of the STX?
The STX was first introduced in 2009 as an alternative to the no-frills XL. It offered style on the exterior along with a few nice interior upgrades at an affordable price.
Sporty: The STX was designed to appeal to young first-time truck buyers with the notion that they will become lifelong Ford pickup truck owners. It was equipped with fun features but still at an affordable price. The STX was first rolled out in 2007 to replace the FX2 Sport model. It would also fill the void that would be left in 2011 when Ford’s popular mid-sized truck, the Ranger, was discontinued.
Features: The STX was originally equipped with side curtain airbags and extra stability control to prevent a rollover in a crash. The STX also came with full power accessories, remote keyless entry and fog lamps
Appearance: The appearance upgrades that were included on the STX were the grill and both front and rear bumpers were color-coordinated with the color of the truck and 17 to 20-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels.
2017 to the Present
Appearance Package: Ford discontinued the STX trim in 2015 due to the fact that all the features became standard in all truck models. It was brought back in 2017 as strictly an appearance package for the F-150 and the newly reintroduced Ranger.
Currently: The current STX package can only be added to the XL. It’s included with features that make it look cool and sporty like a painted stripe on the cab, chrome extended exhaust, STX decals on the side of the truck bed, and black wheels. It can only come with the V-6 EcoBoost engine. The current Ranger STX is a similar package to the F-150 it has 17-inch black-painted wheels, fog lamps, ebony black cloth seats, and the STX decals on the truck bed.
Decision Time: Is the STX Right For You?
Deciding to buy a Ford truck is easy, as Ford is the Gold Standard for all pickup trucks made today. But there are so many combinations of trim and style, deciding which Ford truck to purchase may not be as simple.
Old School Pickups: Pickup trucks today are nothing like the kind our fathers and grandfathers drove. Back in the day, pickups were seen as strictly for utilitarian purposes with only the most basic models available. They were associated with farmers, construction workers, or anyone else who made a living hauling a number of items or towing large objects. They were not designed with comfort or convenience in mind. The interior of the cab held only the barest essentials. There was an AM/FM radio, no air conditioning, only heat (if you’re lucky). The cab had a hard, uncomfortable vinyl bench seat and could only fit three adults comfortably. Trucks were not an ideal family vehicle.
The popularity of Pickups: In the last couple of decades, the pickup truck’s popularity has increased. Pickups currently hold a twenty percent market share of all the vehicles sold in the United States. They are the third most popular forms of transit behind SUVs and crossovers. Trucks have gone from “second vehicle” to the primary “family vehicle” in many families.
Luxury Vehicles: Because pickups are now in such high demand, automakers have made great strides in making trucks more desirable to potential buyers. You can choose a basic model or a luxurious office on wheels. Today there are as many choices as the engineering teams at the Detroit Big Three can dream up. There are countless combinations of trim plus cab style plus drivetrain.
Purpose: Work or Pleasure
Will you be spending a large amount of time in your truck commuting to and from work? Will you need to squeeze your pickup into a tiny spot in a downtown parking garage? Will you be camping, fishing or hiking? These are all questions you may ask when deciding on an STX.
The Process of Choosing: Choosing a Ford pickup is a confusing process. Just the name STX can create confusion. Sometimes it’s a trim style that has cool features on the inside and out. But then again, there are some model years it is an additional package that only focuses on appearance.
Fun Pickup: It really depends on what you plan to use your pickup for. The STX title seems to be connotative with light-hearted fancy-free fun with the occasional need to haul something heavy like furniture or bags of mulch. If you need something a bit more rugged or something with a lot of towing power, the STX in any form may be for you
Work Pickup: Like all pickups, the STX is great for any jobs that involve hauling or towing. It is also not too large for commuting and it doesn’t use too much gas.
How Much are You Willing to Spend?
Modern pickups come equipped with so many dazzling features, it’s hard not to go overboard on the extras. But all that luxury comes with a big price tag.
Affordable Luxury: Originally, the STX was meant to be a mid-priced model for someone who wants a cool pickup without spending too much money. It was a way to have some impressive options without having to go deep into debt.
Price Point: The STX Appearance Package is currently only available on the Ranger and Super Duty. On the Ranger the price is about $28,000, the Super Duty is almost twice that at $40,000.
STX stands for Sports Truck Extra and Sports Truck Extreme. It was initially rolled out as a trim package on the Ford F-150 to give buyers an option between the base model XL and the more costly XLT. STX as trim was discontinued then resurrected two years later as a Sports Package. Ford offers so many options in several forms, the combinations are limitless. I feel it’s necessary to offer some clarity to a portion of the dizzying array of choices for truck buyers. So what do you think? Do you own an F-150 STX? Feel free to leave a comment in the forum, tell me about your experience with the STX.