The average American trade-in keeps getting older, but let's say you're ready to upgrade your pick-up after a good eight-year run. If that truck happens to be an F-150, a lot has changed since 2009. The latest generation of trucks — introduced last year, and marking the most significant redesign in the 67-year history of the F-series — brings the first aluminum body construction in its class*, a roomier cabin, a quantum leap in onboard tech, and tons more bed versatility, not to mention available LED lights, massaging seats, and a pile of other options you'd typically find on luxury sedans. To illustrate just how much the newest member of America's best-selling family of trucks has changed in a second grader's lifetime, we decided to break it down, piece-by-piece, starting at the nose.\n\tAdvertisement - Continue Reading Below\n\t\n\nStarting Up FrontLet's talk metal: Clearly the biggest — and most discussed — change from 2009 to today's line of F-150s is the material from which the truck's body is made. Since its inception in 1948, the F-series has been shaped from steel. As of last year, Ford went to high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy for the body and bed. This makes the newer truck up to 700 pounds lighter than the previous generation, as well as helps to make it more ding- and dent-resistant. There's still plenty of steel onboard, of course. The front bumper is steel, and 78 percent of the frame is comprised of high-strength steel — a higher percentage than in previous versions.How about the looks? Aesthetically, you'll see a resemblance carryover from the 2009. But in actuality, little is the same. Where the '09 had rectangular headlights, the 2016 has C-shaped lights with optional quad-beam LEDs. Under that familiar big and shiny grille is something called 'active grille shutters,' which is exactly what it sounds like: shutters behind the grille that automatically open or close — depending on vehicle speed and engine temp — to improve aerodynamics.And then there's that blue oval. On the new trucks, that's not just a logo; tucked just under it is an embedded VGA digital camera that is now a part of the available 360-degree camera system that — in combination with cameras under the side mirrors and on the tailgate — provides the driver with an overhead view of every side of the truck from inside the cabin. To get a 360-degree view of the '09, drivers had to hop out and walk around the truck. The front camera even comes with its own washer, which sprays a jet of water to clean the lens when you've been out bashing it around in the mud or snow.\n\tAdvertisement - Continue Reading Below\n\t\n\nUnder the HoodThe 2009 F-150 came with a naturally aspirated V8, mated to an automatic transmission. Today's F-150 comes with one of two turbocharged V6s, a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6, or a naturally aspirated V8 — engines that deliver enhanced fuel economy with even more towing power. The most dramatic change comes if you trade a traditional V6 for a compact and efficient 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, which has an EPA estimated highway rating of 26 mpg**. In the CabinIn-Dash Digital 2.0: In the center stack of the '09, drivers would find an AM/FM radio and maybe a CD player. The cassette deck was gone by 2009 but such was the state of "entertainment" in those days. Now, like all Ford vehicles, the F-150 is centered around the SYNC (or available SYNC3) screen, which combines music — traditional radio, satellite radio, and Bluetooth audio — as well as available navigation, various systems checks, and phone integration, whether that's hands-free calling, text messages or, increasingly, available apps like Spotify\u00ae and Pandora\u00ae with the available AppLink ™. This isn't the only big screen, either. In the center of the instrument cluster, there's now an optional 8-inch "productivity" screen that puts a number of vehicle essentials directly in the driver's line of sight, such as tire pressure, turbo boost gauge (in vehicles with EcoBoost engines), transmission temperature, and other truck-specific variables like your off-road status and the state of the trailer hitch (and what's hooked to it).\n\tAdvertisement - Continue Reading Below\n\t\n\n\n\tAdvertisement - Continue Reading Below\n\t\n\nHelp from the computer: Even in a work work truck, too many miles are spent on highways, or in situations where it's nice to have some help from the computer. The 2016 has several major systems that weren't on the 2009: They are optional features such as Active Park Assist, which takes the complication out of parallel parking; Blind Spot Monitoring, which alerts you to a vehicle in your blind spot, or one that's coming across your path when reversing at slow speeds; the 360 Degree Camera System, which provides a bird's eye view around the truck to make sure you're not about to hit something when moving in close quarters, or out off-roading at slow speeds in technical conditions; Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning With Brake Support, which maintains a constant following distance in traffic and can provide emergency braking in the event that the system detects an impending collision.\n\tAdvertisement - Continue Reading Below\n\t\n\nMore power for your gadgets: This being the age of electronic toys, the King Ranch and above have not only a standard 12-volt power outlet, but also 110-volt outlets in the front and rear seats so that you can plug in laptop, phone chargers, or even some power tools.Better backseat access: Most owners use the larger truck cabs as much for storage as for passengers. Knowing that — with easier loading and unloading in mind —designers hinged the smaller rear doors to open wider than on previous generations. A 2009 truck had a rear door that opened 90 degrees; the new ones open 170 degrees, so that an open door now basically sits flush against the bed.Storage, Storage, Storage: Complementing the ability to stuff larger and larger boxes or crates though the door opening, the F-150 has a truly flat load floor under the fold-up rear seats.New modes of operation: To up the enjoyment factor, F-150 now has a "Sport" mode, in addition to the traditional duo of "Drive" and "Tow" found on the previous generation trucks. Engaging it optimizes the transmission to make your F-150 drive a little bit more like a Mustang (where the borrowed technology actually comes from). Also, if you live somewhere cold enough, there's a "Snow Plow" mode, meaning you can (safely) plow with an F-150 for the first time ever if you opt for the 5-liter V8 with snow plow prep kit.EnhancementsStop-Start Technology: To further enhance fuel economy, Ford added an automatic start-stop on the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine. This feature shuts the engine down at stoplights, and then restarts within milliseconds of the driver pressing the gas. Knowing that this isn't a function that typically shows up in trucks, Ford made it automatic, so that it's the default function unless you decide to opt-out — which you can easily do, by pushing a button on the dash.\n\tAdvertisement - Continue Reading Below\n\t\n\n\n\tAdvertisement - Continue Reading Below\n\t\n\nIn the BedA More Useful Bed: The truck bed is really the killer-app of pick-ups. It's the thing that truly sets them apart from other vehicles. A 2009 had just your typical bed, with standard four tie-downs. For the revamped F-150, Ford engineers looked for ways to make the bed more useful. Their solution: the available BoxLink cargo management system. This allows you to turn the bed of your truck into a virtual pegboard — like the one you probably have in your garage. And the point is versatility: In addition to the four traditional tie-downs, the new truck's bed has four built-in reinforced plates with removable zinc cleats (similar to boat cleats). You can tie down directly to the cleats, or take them out and use S-hooks, bungee cords, or available E-track fittings into the ports themselves. They also work with available bed dividers or lockable, stowable ramps for loading motorcycles, ATVs, or snowmobiles.\n\tAdvertisement - Continue Reading Below\n\t\n\nNo Flashlight Necessary. Obviously, not all work happens by day. In a major step-up from the incandescent bed bulb offered in the '09, the '16 truck has available LED box lighting, which can be switched on from the cabin or by using a button in the bed. There's the option of getting LED spotlights on both side mirrors, too, as well as an LED light for helping to hitch a trailer.A step up: Previous generations offered side steps only on 6 \u00bd- and 8-foot beds. Now, you can get them on the much more popular 5 \u00bd-foot, short bed too. At the way back, engineers also fully integrated both the available tailgate step, and the pop-up handle bar (known as "lift assist"), which used to fold into the tailgate door, so that when you're not using it, the entire thing stows into the tailgate.A push-button tailgate: Rounding out the backend upgrades, F-150 models from Lariat and up have an available remote releasing tailgate. Push the remote tailgate button twice and it deploys — with dampening, so that the gate drops down gracefully. And when that tailgate is down, there's one final wrinkle. The ribbing of the interior aluminum has been shifted to create four circles, which can double as cup holders for when you're working on your bike and need a place to set down the 96-ounce energy drink.Still More Bells and WhistlesWhile the 2015 truck included nearly all of the above evolutions, the 2016 has a couple new available options to add to the conversation. Most prominent among them is what Ford calls "Pro Trailer Back-up Assist." Think of it as parallel parking assist, only in this case, the point is to take the complication out of backing up a loaded trailer, a surprisingly difficult act that has led to many damaged or poorly deployed boats and campers.* Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation** Actual mileage will vary*** This article is part of The Code, an editorial partnership between Road & Track and Ford F-150.