2014 Ford F-150 Tremor: Road Test

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It's not often we get the chance to drive a vehicle that offers this amount of fun. And we mean FUN! The last time we saw the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor was on a quick trip to the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn several months ago. NASCAR racer Brad Keselowski drove it, giving us some fun time in the passenger seat.

We recently had our first chance to get some driver-seat time in the truck and do some real-world driving, along with testing the Tremor for a few performance times. We can honestly say this trim package is as close as Ford has come to the F-150 Lightning in a long, long time. The fun factor is sky high because, truthfully, this is one of the quickest pickup trucks you can buy — and it's not that expensive. We had a blast tooling around town in the Tremor, getting more than our fair share of thumbs-ups while driving and quite a few questions about the truck when parked.

What You Get

To quickly recap, the Tremor Package (always a regular cab short bed) is unique because the EcoBoost engine was never designed to be put under the hood of this kind of F-150. But all that changed once someone said, "Hey, you know what we could do..." There were a few fitment issues that had to be addressed with the transmission and rear driveshaft lengths, as well as some front and rear spring fine-tuning. We give a lot of credit to the integration engineers who tuned the suspension to the transmission shift points to the traction control, just to name a few of the important systems.

Our F-150 Tremor test unit started off as an FX2 Sport Package, which lists for $35,465 (including destination) but, like all Tremors, gets 4.10:1 axle gears, the 365-horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6, unique decals, a special interior and a locking rear differential, all for $1,795, so the base price is less than $40,000. But our Tremor unit had a few other goodies.

The Tremor Plus Package ($1,995) gave us a navigation system upgrade, remote start, a bed extender, a tailgate step, a trailer brake controller and a rearview camera. Additionally, the FX Appearance Package ($2,480) gave us extra hood and door decals, tubular sidesteps and 20-inch smoked aluminum wheels. The spray-in bed liner rang up at $475, bringing the grand total for our test unit to $42,210.

Our test truck weighed 5,160 pounds (we should note the EcoBoost, although all aluminum, is not a light engine), so with 365 hp we had a power-to-weight ratio of 14:1, which should make any driver smile when going deep into the throttle. During our timed runs (with our own RaceLogic VBOX equipment) we ran a fastest zero-to-60-mph time of 6.32 seconds; our best quarter-mile time was 14.8 seconds at 94.6 mph. Although these numbers may not seem spectacular, they are a clear indication that this little twin-turbo V-6 does exceptionally well when compared to much larger V-8 engines, even when they have similar power-to-weight ratios. For comparison sake, during our 2013 Light-Duty Challenge, the Ram Hemi competitor was almost three-quarters of a second slower to 60 mph than our Tremor.

Interior

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From the driver's seat, it seems like Ford has done a solid job of making the interior feel sporty and deserving of the "sport truck" moniker. The black leather bucket seats offer a healthy amount of hip and abdomen bolster for a snug, locked-in feel. Unique red-piped seats and a modified center console provide the Tremor's interior with a tight, cockpitlike feel. Brushed steel accents and an FX gauge cluster round out the sporty, high-quality look.

How It Drives

Launching the EcoBoost at wide-open throttle took some getting used to because there was always a good pause when hitting the throttle pedal off the line, as if the computer was trying to figure out if you really meant it. But as soon as the computer got the information, the power transfer was sharp and progressive — not what we typically experience in a full-size pickup, V-8 or not. Even around town, we became confident about the Tremor's agility and took advantage of openings in traffic that we normally wouldn't consider. And on the open highway, given how quickly the small turbos kick in at speed, you will never again worry about getting from 50 to 70 mph (which takes a little more than 3 seconds) to get past that tractor trailer.

The Tremor's standard 4.10:1 axle gears have a lot to do with how well this truck does off the line and when passing. And even under quick acceleration, the well-balanced, high-performance 275/55R20 Pirelli Scorpion tires offer plenty of grip. These tires are just about the only option that would work with this setup; Ford specifically matched these Pirellis with the suspension tuning (Ford even specially tuned the Tokico shocks) in order to make this small truck both quick and nimble. The grip the Scorpions offer in hard cornering and braking is, simply, stunning. Unfortunately, we didn't get the chance to execute any official brake runs from 60 mph, but it wouldn't surprise us if they were just about the best we've ever tested — meaning somewhere in the 120-feet range.

Fuel Economy

We racked up about 500 miles in the Tremor, filling up at the same gas station two separate times. During our real-world driving, which included an equal amount of Los Angeles freeway driving with around-town errand running, we averaged 17.6 mpg; our best observed mileage was 23 mpg when leisurely cruising along the highway around 65 mph. However, did notice that our fuel economy quickly dropped below the early teens when driving enthusiastically. We've had the same experience with the EcoBoost in the past when doing heavy towing, in some cases averaging in the single digits.

Towing

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That said, we do appreciate that this performance truck, with its gross vehicle weight rating of 6,650 pounds, still offers almost 1,500 pounds of payload as well as an 8,140-pound towing capacity. Both of those numbers are better than the real-world towing and payload capabilities of a Super Cab SVT Raptor. (The Tremor has a gross combined weight rating of 13,300 pounds.)

What We Think

The Tremor won't be around for much longer; in fact, it's only offered for 2014. So even if you don't ever see this pickup in your driveway, consider taking one for a test drive before it's gone. The Tremor is a great example of what can be done with a versatile and flexible platform. This is a street-smart, high-performance pickup that thinks it's a small rocket ship. And its price is nowhere near the craziness of some other premium packages. There's a bucket-load of value here and plenty of fun to be had. Our hope is that Ford offers something similar (or better?) when the 2015 models debut. Stay tuned.

To download the price sheet for our test vehicle, click here.

To download Ford's product sheet on the 2014 Tremor, click here.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams

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Comments

PapaJim: I believe it is the Ford 351 Cleveland Engine you want! rr7mc: it is very easy to defeat the On-Star system, all you need to do is take your aluminum foil hat and put it on the antenna, or just pull the fuse! But for anyone to use any data from OnStar, they first need to get a warrant, and have proper cause! not to mention it does not automatically broadcast to any of the mentioned agencies you stated!

Not feeling this at all. The overall look is very tacky! It's a rare day that I agree with HEMI V8 but the EcoBoost really does sound like crap. It gets the job done but they sound more like a weed eater than a muscle truck.

@BAF0 - Anyone into carving canyons might look elsewhere than into full-size trucks. If you would consider a Commode based Chevy SS or derivative, instead, you're on the wrong blog.

Not to say it wouldn't hurt to enhance the handling of an F-150 muscle truck. A leveling kit, big swaybars and adjustable performance shocks would go a long way to dramatically improve the handling. Still not an M-series, but still.

I agree it's too much coin and likely excluded from rebates and incentives. But I wouldn't say Ford is screwing its customers. There are lots of better/cheaper ways to go fast in an F-150, as I've already covered.

The EcoBoost isn't even available on regular cab F-150s, except on the Tremor. Same with 4.10s and 20" wheels. Tremor exclusives. That's another reason to grab the trumpin' Coyote V8 in the regular cab F-150.

Normally regular cab F-150s are limited to XLTs. No leather, Nav, etc. But you can get the important stuff in a regular cab, no questions asked. Coyote V8, limited slip and 3.73s. On the stripper XL too!

But the Tremor is only a trim package. Ford is only charging $40,000+ for the extra luxury, gadgetry and performance options, over a base F-150, if those options were available separately on regular cabs. No, you'd pay more if those options were available separately.

The Tremor isn't SVT and isn't being treated that way. This truck has all of the factory rebates and dealer discounts like any F-150. It's just another package that wasn't available before.

Comparably equipped this truck is $5k less than a SuperCrew. So Ford isn't ripping anyone off.

If anyone wants to pay full price for one, be my guest, but you don't have to. Several of us on the forums inquired about the Tremor when it first came out and the internet departments were taking $5k off back in November when there were little or no incentives on the 2014's. You could probably get $7k-$9k off now.

Supercharged RAM SRT 10, Turbo SRT 10, Twin Turbo SRT 10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp_i33uSzUk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeV7D5IKyjc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xASwlGWsYI8


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkmAS0JsDlo

http://www.hennesseyperformance.com/ramsrt10-800.html

Nooooo Body builds a better Sport truck than Ram.

After all they created the market. Just like 4x4. ;))

@HEMI V8 - You quickly forget the SVT Lightning. With just 390 HP, it was spanking Ram SRT 10s. And I mean UGLY! Ram boys bought the truck with the most HP, by far (not to mention crazy expensive). But they just weren't expecting the low end PUNCH of a little supercharged 5.4 V8...

And Lightnings were about $10,000 less!!! That compressor whine at full boooooost is just icing on the cake.

GUTS
GLORY
THE F-150 IS GONE
AND IN MY DRIVEWAY IS NOW A
RAM

@Denvermike, STAY THIRSTY MY FRIEND. LOL

Just as Dodge promised, it has built the biggest, meanest, most powerful muscle truck on earth and has priced it accordingly. Ford's Lightning is no slouch and is a lot easier on your wallet, but falls short of the SRT-10 in every performance test we threw at it, with the exception of braking. For now, the Lightning is forced to hand over its "King of the Street" crown to SRT-10 while Ford works diligently to bring the next-generation F-150 Lightning to market (again, see sidebar). Until then, those with a Ram on their hood have bragging rights.

Read more: http://www.trucktrend.com/roadtests/pickup/163_0407_2004_ford_dodge_truck/#ixzz2yAvZ88D1

@Hemi V8
You might want to say Nooooo Body built a better Sport truck than Ram. The Tremor is current and the SRT 10 Ram isn't a current platform. The fastest Tremor with CAI, large exhaust and a tune will be faster than any currently modded Hemi r/t. Now this isn't a good representation of an EB vs. SRT 10 but it happened https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmWzWjGWirc.

"...by weight it could easily carry the load I currently have residing in the back of my 1990 model, that bed extender is a pure fail--it would not let me carry as many of what I'm carrying at I'm currently carrying with my tailgate up"

@roadwhale, vulpine, Mr Chow, etc

Did you read that comment before you posted it? Here's the most oblique sample of english composition in the history of grammar:

"...that bed extender is a pure fail--it would not let me carry as many of what I'm carrying at I'm currently carrying with my tailgate up"

The PUTC moderator should send my some aspirin for the headache you gave me.

@HEMI V8 - King of the showroom, yes. But the 1st thing Lightning owners did was ditch the conservative factory compressor-pulley for an aggressive boost increase. Took minutes. It unleashed an ANIMIAL! Ram boys cried foul. But it was too late to get a refund.

The SVT Cobra also embarrasses lots of high HP sports cars that should beat it ugly. They don't understand supercharged power comes on early and stays on longer. Both the boosted 4.6 and 5.4 are overbuilt knowing owners will immediately swap the pulley for 50% more boost. They're designed for high power levels, but obviously de-tuned stock.

RR7NC, I didn't realized GM was still limited their trucks to 95MPH? I've been looking at them as well but that's almost a deal breaker. Not that I advocate speed but its a safety issue as far as I'm concerned for Passing or in an emergency. I have a Titan know and its limited to 114MPH which is where it should be based on the tires.

FORD TRUCKS: THE BEST NEVER REST!!!!

MY NEXT TRUCK WILL BE AN ECO-BOOST POWERED F-150 SUPER CREW WITH THE PLATINUM PACKAGE. I HAVE COME TO REALIZE THAT RAM JUST FLAT OUT SUCKS. IF I CAN'T FIND THE RAM THAT I WANT, I WILL BUY EITHER A SILVERADO OR SIERRA. NO MORE POS CHRYSLER/FIAT TRUCKS FOR ME. CAN YOU SAY FIX IT AGAIN TONY??

DenverMike: You can not get an EB in a reg cab? then what is the engine in mine? I have a reg cab EB F-150, and have owned it for years now, I bought one of the first I could find way back in the end of the model year! when I could have got a huge discount on a 5.4 XLT loaded reg cab short bed, which is what I wanted, but I just had to have the new Twin turbo V-6! and had to settle for an 8' bed to get the EB! and I am sorry I did! I should have bought the 5.4 for less money! or bought one with the 5.0 V-8!

Tremor for $42K... or exact same thing in a higher quality Ram 1500 with Hemi and sport package for $30K. Hmmm....tough decision there. Lol.

Ford and GM are both worse on paper and in the real world and yet they still sell like hotcakes. Either A) consumers are morons or B) these companies know something that we don't know.

@wxman

Check with Roadwhale for additional insight...

@sandman4X4 - I knew it was something like that. Ford forces a long bed with the EB (on the reg cab). But that's another advantage of the Coyote V8. You can get it in the reg cab short-bed.

All brand's regular cab short-beds usually limited upgrade engine options. And they lack luxury trim levels, for whatever reason. The Tundra forces a plain V6 and no SR5 trim for RCSBs.

@ DenverlllMike
That was all because of profit margin. Toyota does not have the same volume of sales so they operate more streamline than the big 3 http://www.autospies.com/news/2015-Toyota-Tundra-Regular-Cab-Option-Discontinued-80218/. During the 2nd Gen Tundra they did a way with the regular cab short bed now all regular cabs are long beds for 2014. That is also the reason you cannot order a Tundra from the factory if it isn't a configuration they planned on building. Also explains the updates or lack their of for the 3rd Gen Tundra as updates must be paid for. On that note I believe GM did the same thing as some on here have said all they did was catch up with 14's. That is true but they were far behind Ford and Ram and it took a lot of money to design the 14's with the new chassis, drivetrains, interior and exterior. This was probably all they could do at this time. People don't like the pricing on the 14's but updates must pay for themselves, make a profit for shareholders, make a profit for dealers and also supply money to reinvest for the future of the platform. When people complain GM didn't go far enough I have to ask for what you want how is GM going to do all of that without raising the price from where it is now which people think it to high me included? If the next Gen GMT's are 2018 this Gen is a short one and the changes made for this one have probably been paid off while still returning a profit and allowing them to advance the GMT's even further. Profit margins determine what your going to do and how much you do. Like I said earlier all companies will minimize risks and maximize resources.

lol, papa jim doesn't worry about mileage, cause he barely has to drive far. Not everybody has such limited driving.

2 4 barrels? they are for looks, a single 650 or 750 will make major power on a 351. 11 to 1? Well I guess since you barely have to drive it, the cost for the higher octane won't be so bad.

Some of buy trucks that can go on 3,000 mile trips. Without draining the wallet

@Trx4Tom

Some of us can afford to play, and some can't. Sorry about your situation.

Premium gas was never cheap. Either was owing a performance car.

There's no shame in having to take the less-cost option, but at this time in my life I no longer have to. Good luck.

So its slower than a Ram Express and costs 10-15k more? A regular cab Express weighs 4600 lbs. The aluminum truck can't get here quick enough for Ford.

@AD - When you limit the options, trim, configurations, you severely limit sales also. Toyota has its foot in the door and should go whole hog or go home. The risks are great, but the potential greater.

GM is just mailing it in. Their truck profits are dispersed in too many other departments and projects. Limited engine and trim levels. It cost plenty to restyle the trucks to look the same.

@Denver Mike

Discussing GM and Toyota half ton trucks in the same sentence is stretching it, don't you think?

GM (twins) probably outsells the Tundra ten to one. Just a completely different kettle of fish.

Apart from some typical first year snafu's GMs new trucks are beautiful and include some very cool technology.

One can get an F150 extended cab with the 6.2. If one wants a play truck at least that one will sound better with aftermarket exhaust.
I like the power of the EB 3.5. It felt like a more powerful version of my 5.4.

@papa Jim - 20 years ago, the current Tundra and GM twins would have been ground breaking. They have some cool technology, but nothing to interest anyone but extremely loyal buyers to those respective brands.

I wouldn't call the any of the current trucks 'ugly', but to gush over the current GM twins is blind fanboy worship.

Wow I'd don't tacked to much for some ford lover to be exciting wow a turbo big discovery for you, don't use if is to humide,or raining day, the truck choke,,,

@Denver Mike

sales: Recent articles here at PUTC showed GM near even with Ford and far ahead of RAM, Toyota and the rest.

looks: Appearance is subjective.

technology: My Silverado can communicate with OnStar and came standard with Satellite radio.

Powerplant: The GM gen 5 engines are all alloy block/heads, have VVT and variable displacement. GM has the only V6 designed from scratch for a truck, (unless you count Ford's new turbo sixes).

Later this year GM will blow the whole midsize market open with their new Canyon/Colorado twins.

Anyone who's counting GM out may be a bit early in their judgment.

One of the best sounding V8's is a 5.0L Ford. Tuned too perfection in the Mustang. NOT just the new ones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbfxL63ZLyc

@Papa Jim: "Did you read that comment before you posted it? Here's the most oblique sample of english composition in the history of grammar: '...that bed extender is a pure fail--it would not let me carry as many of what I'm carrying at I'm currently carrying with my tailgate up'"

Then maybe you need to bone up on your reading comprehension; the statement is quite clear. If I'm carrying a square load that extends out onto the tailgate, then I need a SQUARE bed extender, not a curved one that limits my capacity. Got it now?

"Apart from some typical first year snafu's GMs new trucks are beautiful and include some very cool technology."

If you were talking exclusively GMCs, I might agree with you, they look better than Fords, though I still think the Ram looks better. On the other hand, the Colorado, when it's finally released, looks better yet with a somewhat more aerodynamic shape and a more reasonable size (though still not ideal in MY opinion).

Each person has different ideas of what will be ideal for their purposes; no truck is ideal for ALL purposes.

Here is some proof the the Raptor will be back for 2016

http://www.sema.org/sema-enews/2013/46/spy-shots-the-first-mule-for-the-2016-ford-raptor

"...Each person has different ideas of what will be ideal for their purposes; no truck is ideal for ALL purposes."

@roadwhale

That crap makes you sound like Dr Phil, for god's sake! Give us a break. Please!

@papajim - I hear you saying that an open minded liberal all inclusive approach gets you upset?

Am I reading your hostility correctly?

Let's explore those feelings...........

Right after our commercial break ;)

@LouBc

Papajim and his family thank you for your kind remarks and observations here.

He's resting comfortably in rehab and expects a full recovery soon. Till then his therapy team has recommended that he scale back his purchases of leaded motor fuels, reduce his participation in online truck forums, and eliminate all alcohol consumption.

thanks again!

I bought my 2014 Tremor in December 2013 and I love it, such a fun truck.

I bought 1 30k and have just killed a camaro and a challenger that's stock with a 93 octane tune re calibrating computer and bigger 4 inch exhaust and different air intake all keeping my engine cooler faster and still economical maybe even better gas mileage better towing capacity and great interior plus a throwback to Trucks of yesteryear (single cab ) I have one badass truck that's gonna get faster and more expensive to own any idiot should know a 1 year production vehicle will go up in value this year 2016 is 55k to build next year 2017 is 62k

Lol



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