2015 Ford F-150: First Drive

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We have no doubt that every auto writer who gets a chance to slide behind the wheel of the 2015 Ford F-150 will begin by talking about what a revolution — can we say revelation? — it is for the most popular vehicle the U.S. to switch from using steel to military-grade aluminum. Yes, it is; however, if that little fact never happened, this still would be a revolutionary pickup. What makes this truck different from its competitors — and that's what's really important here — is how much technology and how many segment-first features it offers and how vastly superior this truck is compared to the one it's replacing. Sure, removing the weight from the previous heifer certainly helps, but that's only one piece to this very complex puzzle. To see our video review, click here

As near as we can tell, there isn't a single aspect to this truck that hasn't been reengineered, reimagined or redesigned. But, as odd as it might sound, is it too much? That was the question that kept coming back to us as we learned more about what this new player offers.

It's difficult to find a similar parallel in the pickup truck world but it might be when the previous-generation Ram 1500 half-ton switched to coil springs and incorporated the eight-speed rotary dial. Or maybe it was when Ford brought the smoother, more aerodynamic 1996 F-150 to market with a rounded, cushy, ballooned interior. But even those two industry milestones don't come near the type of changes and improvements the 2015 Ford F-150 is attempting.

Of course, the biggest question about this new truck is how the use of aluminum affects the design, road feel, driving dynamics and overall capabilities. No other mass-produced vehicle has used so much aluminum in such a dramatic way, building all the body panels, the cab structure and the all-important pickup bed out of the unique and relatively expensive alloy.

Key Features

Across the board there is significant weight savings on every version of the new F-150, with Ford reporting base curb weights ranging from a touch more than 4,000 pounds (4x2 regular-cab short bed) all the way up to 5,200 pounds (4x4 SuperCrew long bed). All that weight savings can go right back into the payload capacities of the truck as the chassis and suspension of the truck is still made from ultra-high-strength and high-strength steel. That means the gross vehicle weight ratings pretty much remain unchanged, ranging from 6,000 pounds up to a maximum of 7,850. Doing the math, that means payload ranges go from 1,500 pounds up to a maximum payload capacity of 3,300 (4x2 regular-cab long bed with the 5.0-liter V-8).

What impact does the new alloy have on the pickup truck? We say absolutely none, other than allowing Ford to make it feel a little more nimble, more responsive and more fuel efficient — all good things in our book. Our first drive in the F-150took us on the back roads and two-lane highways in the Hill Country just north of San Antonio. We also got the chance to do a fun loop of farm-country four-wheeling through dry washes, over rutted hill climbs and across a creek bed, as well as towing 9,000-pound enclosed trailers (with weight-distributing hitches). In all those scenarios, this new F-150 was significantly more composed and responsive; additionally, the interior upgrades clearly attempt to set the quality bar at a new level.

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The available engines at the drive event included the all-new 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost, the carryover 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost and the carryover Coyote 5.0-liter V-8. The only missing engine was the standard all-new all-aluminum 24-valve 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6. EPA fuel economy ratings will come later next month, but you can expect that downsizing the engines, light-weighting the trucks, and lowering some of the standard and available ring-and-pinion choices will likely give the new combinations some impressive numbers (Ford is saying that all the engines will get between 5 and 20 percent better ratings this time around).

The overall look of the truck is more angular and almost aggressive in some ways (the hood and larger front grille) while at the same time softer and more rounded (the roofline and wheel arches). Certain key elements, like the larger door handles and bigger door window cutouts, have practical roots, allowing the driver easier access into the truck and better visibility. Additionally, we were told the front windshield "tongue" is part of a new design language Ford is likely to continue on other models like the next-generation Super Duty and possibly the full-size SUVs.

Foundational Support

The frame itself acts as a solid platform in which everything else is attached; there isn't an aspect of the new frame that hasn't been run through thousands of computer modeling programs to calculate exactly what shapes and thicknesses are needed at exactly the right spots to save the most weight while providing the appropriate strength.

The front of the frame, called the horn, has 12 different corners for a more predictable crush cycle when smashed with forces comparable to a car accident. Ridges in the boxed frame will also absorb energy during a head-on collision in a way that limits the force from being transferred to the cab passengers.

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The frame itself has multiple thicknesses throughout its full length, depending on what wheelbase and engine option the vehicle is designed to accommodate. The frame is broken into three different sections, with the front and rear piece usually the same strength, length and size, while the middle section (typically the thickest of the fully boxed pieces) determines the exact wheelbase and overall length.

Interestingly, to help strengthen the truck's trailering capacities the back end of the frame rails taper downward to better accommodate the proper height of the tow hitch. By adding a reinforced cross-member at the end of the frame, Ford was able to meet all the class-leading tow-rating capabilities with a simpler, stronger and more elegant solution. We do not have the full range of gross combined weight ratings, so we can't comment on how they compare to the competition, but we hope to find out more soon.

The suspension strategies are essentially the same, but every component to the independent short- and long-arm front suspension and live rear axle has been scrutinized and recalculated to specific specs while making further considerations for weight. The rear springs are a touch shorter than the 2014 model, and the rear shocks have been pushed outward and staggered (one forward facing, one rearward) to better deal with the rear-end and axle-hop forces. The rear axles have been shaved and redesigned for extra strength and weight savings as well. Ford will offer four axle ratios that range from 3.15:1 (only for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost) all the way up to 3.73:1 (Max Trailer Tow Package 5.0-liter V-8 and the 2.7-liter EcoBoost). Each engine will have at least two axle ratio choices.

Exterior

As noted earlier, the complexity to the F-150 is substantial, with thousands of individual options and many unique ordering configuration possibilities. Trim levels come in five basic flavors: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. On top of all those levels, the FX4 Off-Road Package can be ordered to give the F-150 unique shocks, extra skid plating, upgraded transmission software, one of two transfer cases (both with a 2.64:1 low range) and the accompanying bed stickers. Add to that the possibility of further separating your truck with either a sport or chrome package and it's likely you won't see another F-150 like yours no matter where you live. Additionally, monochromatic appearance packages in which bumpers, grille, door handles and rearview mirrors are color matched are available on XL, XLT and Lariat trims.

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Interior

If you think the exterior options are difficult to grasp, you won't believe the number of interior choices you have. Between technology packages, luxury packages, seating configurations, center console choices and too many options to list, the looks and details available inside the truck are almost mind-boggling. There is even a seat massaging option on the upper trim packages. Really? Customers were asking for that?

Although the air-conditioning vents are large and blow plenty of air, they do take up a good portion of dash real estate. The 8-inch center-stack screen uses the improved MyFord Touch system — every control on the screen has a redundant knob or switch below, allowing for instant control. We counted 52 buttons within easy reach of the driver, with 12 on the steering wheel alone. This might be overkill and could be distracting for some. One consequence of this fight for dash territory is that important controls like the headlight switch and trailer-brake controller (when equipped) are relegated to spaces well below the driver's line of sight and are even a little difficult to reach.

The 8-inch color information screen available on higher trim packages sits right between the tachometer and speedometer. It provides just about every piece of engine or truck information you could want, from basic facts like tire pressure to advice when hooking up a trailer to real-time and long-haul fuel economy. The screen is divided into six different folders; some are programmable while others deliver stacks of information. It's not quite as well done as the Ram's display or graphics but it's better than before.

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In terms of the seating choices, we really liked that when you order the 40/20/40-split front bench seat, you automatically get the hidden storage box under the center seat as well as a flexible center console. We also like that most trim packages and engine combinations allow you to choose between the column or center console sport shifter. Both options offer access to Ford's exclusive select shift as well as a dual-tap controller that allows for both an aggressive Tow/Haul setting and a dedicated Sport mode. Sport mode keeps the engine rpm higher in the rev band, provides for quicker downshifts and holds a gear longer when accelerating, as well as tightening up throttle response. They may be subtle changes but they do affect the personality of the truck when behind the wheel.

How It Drives

We had the chance to drive several iterations of the new F-150 in several different trim levels. As we've already noted, the truck will have four engine choices: three V-6s (two brand new) and the carryover 5.0-liter V-8. The standard engine for the XL, XLT and Lariat will be the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 with 283 horsepower and 255 pounds-feet of torque — not huge numbers compared to other V-6s but it offers a much better power-to-weight ratio than the 3.7-liter V-6 it's replacing. All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that carries over from the 2014 model, but the computer is clearly smarter and more capable of dealing with a wider range of variables and performance scenarios.

The engine we were most interested in testing was the all-new twin-turbo EcoBoost 2.7-liter V-6, which is rated at 325 hp and 375 pounds-feet of torque. Those are solid ratings, and we have to say that when behind the wheel of a SuperCrew 4x4 equipped with that engine, the truck felt just as powerful as any other full-size pickup with a small V-8.

During our 120-mile cruise through San Antonio's Hill Country, we averaged between 18 and 19 mpg, and we were pushing the truck a bit to get a sense of how the truck felt at the outer limits. We're guessing one of the consequences of the lighter building materials and lighter, smaller engines is that the front end doesn't plow nearly as much as it used to, but we still heard a good amount of tire squeal. During our 2013 Light-Duty Challenge autocross, a competition that the F-150 won, one of our main complaints about the truck during spirited driving was how poorly the front end tracked, brutally sliding around every corner where we tried to accelerate.

Off-Road

On the off-road course, where we were able to drive 2.7-liter EcoBoost-equipped trucks and 5.0-liter V-8-equipped FX4 packages, the available gearing (both can be ordered with 3.73:1 axle gears) and ability of the transmission to soften the throttle response in low range really helped us keep our speed and tire placement under control. You'd expect a custom-made 4x4 course to make the vehicles being driven look good and this one was no exception. However, it did give us a chance to see how quickly or comfortably this full-size pickup could shift in and out of four-wheel drive while twisting or navigating nasty hairpin corners, wheel-dropping holes or off-camber logs laid over a hill climb. Although we did have some trouble getting the transfer case to lock into 4WD Low during an exceptionally tight rutted and loose upslope, the new FX4 Hankook all-terrain tires (275/55R20) provided phenomenal grip and traction, even when exiting the stream crossing up a steep berm.

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Towing

After our off-roading adventure, we got the chance to take a well-equipped Lariat 4x4 SuperCrew out with a 9,000-pound enclosed trailer over some typical Hill Country highways that offered us a good descent into a river wash and relatively long hill climb out the other side, all on smooth two-lane tarmac. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost likes to make noise when it's working hard, and it drinks a good amount of fuel. We like that it still has plenty of power (our truck was equipped with the 3.55:1 gears — the highest available for the bigger EcoBoost), but we were most impressed to learn that Ford has built an enhanced engine noise program into all F-150s with either of the two EcoBoost engines. It delivers a throatier V-8-like sound to the passengers inside the truck. Some might call this a slight deception, but we liked hearing the low-end rumble when we put our foot onto the throttle of the EcoBoost, which is most appreciated in the smaller, higher-revving, buzzier of the two EcoBoost V-6s. You'll be glad to know the V-8 still sounds like a muscular motor.

And although only a small number of people will order it, the new F-150 offers a great, new optional towing mirror that both extends and folds just like Super Duty mirrors. They are split so you get the lower wide-angle lens as well as the good-sized upper mirror for plenty of rear vision.

The Trailer Tow Package, when equipped with the rearview camera and Technology Package, will include a trailer-hitch-assist screen that helps make hitching up a trailer a one-person operation by showing real-time, responsive guidelines to put your hitch directly under the receiver. Included in that same package, we found the 360-degree camera (which will stay on as long as you keep your speed below 15 mph) to be a huge help when looking around the truck when towing and when four wheeling.

Other Notable Features

Most F-150 configurations will have a standard 26-gallon gas tank with an optional 34-gallon tank offered across the board. The F-150 with the highest towing capacity, when paired with the Max Trailer Tow Package, is the 4x2 SuperCrew EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6. Wheelbases effectively stay the same (ranging from 122 to 163 inches) with each cab configuration getting both a long- and short-bed option.

The last feature we're truly impressed with is the new bed setup. Not only did truck designers and engineers make the fully aluminum floor thicker to be stronger and more resistant to dents and dings, they created an all-new BoxLink system that allows buyers to personalize and reconfigure the bed in just about any way they can imagine: The system offers ladder racks, cargo tie-downs, toolboxes, motorcycle ramps, jug carriers and more. The clips sit inside the bed so they can locked away with the bed cover or come with their own key locks so nobody reaches over the rail and steals. All F-150 beds will also offer LED lighting with an on/off button right inside the bed. Unfortunately, the maximum number of tie-downs a Ford bed can have is eight and there are none on the cab wall. Among the available bed protection options, Ford will allow customers choose between a spray-in or drop-in liner.  

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Finally, Ford is offering the segment's first remote tailgate release button right on the key fob to help make loading the bed easier. Combined with the soft-drop tailgate and fob locking setup, we were sold on it the first time we saw it in action. Also incorporated into the new tailgate is the newly redesigned tailgate step that is lighter and simpler to use and store.

Summing It Up

This is only the beginning of our reporting about the technologies and features available on the 2015 Ford F-150. We have a feeling we'll be doing quite a few more stories on this truck as more of these packages make it into the marketplace. Will it be a winner? That all depends on how hung up buyers will be about this truck being made of aluminum. Our guess is that it will become one of the biggest nonissues in the truck world, at least until we see how the repair industry copes with it. Still, there is plenty of meat on this truck and a definite resetting of the bar — at least from a changes-on-paper point of view. So is this overreach or another example of trying to do too much? It certainly doesn't look like it from where we sit, and if that's behind the wheel of a 2015 F-150, you can bet there's a smile on our face. Next stop: setting up head-to-head competition.

To download the most comprehensive 2015 Ford F-150 press release, click here.

To download the most up-to-date specification sheet, click here.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams; manufacturer images

 

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The 3.5L naturally aspirated DOHC all-aluminum V-6  --  283 hp/255 lb-ft.

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The 2.7L EcoBoost twin-turbo DOHC CG block/aluminum heads V-6 -- 325 hp/375 lb-ft.

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The 5.0L naturally aspirated DOHC all-aluminum V-8  --  385 hp/387 lb-ft.  

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The 3.5L EcoBoost twin-turbo DOHC all-aluminum V-6  --  365 hp/420 lb-ft.

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Comments

They really priced these things out of the park nowadays. Almost $40,000 for a stripped regular cab plow truck.

"GM just announced that they will not be going all aluminum. They plan on using aluminum, steel, magnesium, and carbon fiber. I believe this strategy will be a lot better then just aluminum."

Wow, and wow!!! Spoken like a true GMC nutswinger from GMI. Lemme guess, BvonScott, Truckman,, Tyler, Envoy4life??? lol... I always get a kick out of those dorks, especially that last name. Pretty sad if anyone actually drives an Envoy for his whole life let alone a month but I digress.. Sure buddy, Nothing like having a bunch of different materials from different sources for 1 freaking truck just to save face. Face it, GM ruined Chevrolet. The guys that ran Chevrolet were demoted and can't make the necessary decisions to go forward because they are handicapped by GM ie:GMC. Your GM ie: GMC show is a joke. Just like your faux so called Gen 3/4/5 engines (which are NOT Chevrolet's of the Gen 1 & 2 but rather GM's knockoff of the old SBF).

You people are so lost it's not even funny. Ford did it right. One Ford, One Mission, One steady hand & brand at the wheel. They even have One material to build their new truck from. It's the new steel for the new age. Not a hodgepodge mess of materials. You GMC morons would know that hodgepodge mess as 'brands' for an identifier.

Give me Ford or Chevrolet any day. GM ie: GMC blows.

"GM just announced that they will not be going all aluminum. They plan on using aluminum, steel, magnesium, and carbon fiber. I believe this strategy will be a lot better then just aluminum."

Who said Ford went "all aluminum"? F-150 uses high-strength steel and aluminum.

Ford is already working on aluminum, ultra-high-strength steels, magnesium and carbon fiber:
https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/06/03/ford-builds-on-advanced-materials-use-with-lightweight-concept.html

I suspect there isn't much difference between their strategies, but Ford got the head start by several years.

This truck sounds like a lot of hype, much like the 2004 F-150. When you looked at the 2004 F-150 and actually broke down the specs, it wasn't THAT great. It looked cool, but that was it. When you look at the components, the rear end, transmission, etc, etc, etc, there isn't anything special here. They are still using a 9.5" rear end, right? The Tundra uses a 10.5" rear end. I'm willing to bet the Tundra's brakes are still WAY heavier duty than the Fords' for the size of truck. And somehow I can't believe they didn't cheap out somewhere else to pay for all that expensive aluminum.

I just built a stripped 4x4 plow truck. Only options I selected being the rear locker, on/off road LT tires, and a hitch for the salt spreader. Came out to just over $36,000.

I'm sure that's in line with the times, but it still feels like a lot of money for that kind of truck. That's what I used to pay for diesel 3/4 tons.

Yeah $61,000 for busybee. $700 more than 2014 model. Aluminum is probably much more expensive than aluminium these days.

@HOWAM00 @Beebe,
As you mention, 44" legroom crew cab space is too long for minimizing turning radius, i.e, around town driving. What would help with shortening the entire truck would be to have a shorter engine compartment, or more cab forward design. To the dismay of some, V6 performance is putting pressure to eliminate V8's entirely which would help reduce engine compartment and overall truck length.
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/why-2013-ram-1500-v6-mechanic-best-friend-154301790.html
I've been tracking these lengths for quite some time, with the hope of a real crew cab and 6.5' bed that would fit in a typical 235" long garage and I have been waiting for over 15 years.
I feel that a "real" crew cab should have 40-41" legroom space. Here's a comprehensive list of data that I think is still accurate:

Crew Cab Legroom Rear/Front, Overall Length, Bed Lengths:

Ram = 40.3” / 41.0”, 237.9”, 6’4”
Tacoma= 32.6” / 41.7”, 221.3”, 6’1.5”
F150= 43.6” / 43.9”, 243.7”, 6’6”
Silverado= 40.9” / 45.3”, 239.6”, 6’6”
Canyon= 35.8” / 41.7”, 224.6”, 6’2”

I think that if Ram did a complete cab forward redesign with engine compartment reduction, they would have a pickup that would be both full size and midsize. Sounds like you have people in high marketing positions at Ford, i.e., Mark Levine, so why not pass this along to Ram's marketing. Canyon did a good job with lengths, but couldn't increase rear legroom or bed length anymore or they'd be 95% of a Silverado. I had a B2000 for 320kmiles which had a bed of 6' 2.5" and I found that any less box would simply be less useful.

show me a You Tube dyno test where any eco-boost gets the claimed HP and Torque
show me any F-150 eco-boost that gets over 20 MPG
I have seen 2010 F-150's with the 5.4 V8 that get BETTER MPG's than the eco-boost.
The eco-boost power dies climbing the hills, the V6 engine is so quiet the driver doesn't know or doesn't hear or feel that he has the gas pedal floored.
If I owned an eco-boost I would be mad knowing the Ram 5.7 HEMI is getting better gas mileage.

PUTC said the 2.7 EB is getting 18-19 MPG
enough said !

Isn't it funny how Ford is tooting their horn bragging about the great gas mileage the eco-boost gets but at the same time Ram Hemi is getting BETTER gas mileage and you don't hear anything about it.

One Ford, One Mission, One steady hand & brand...

@BLSRaciingT.inc.

Can you say Lincoln-Mercury? Whoa...

What turbos not covered after the basic 3-36 Factory Warranty. Not even under ESP? They can keep that POS! I run my trucks for 10+ Years or 100K miles!

Guts
Glory
BETTER gas mileage
RAM!

To those saying "I wouldn't pay that much for a half ton". Good news! Most of Ford's lineup is closer to 1 tons, and up to 1 1/2 ton capacity. So you're getting 2 - 3 times the payload of the other brands, much more advanced technology that the other brands will have in 5 years maybe, all at the same price.

its been 37 years that Fords 150 has been on top, looks like 38,39,40 and so on.........


One Ford, One Mission, One steady hand & brand...

@BLSRaciingT.inc.

Can you say Lincoln-Mercury? Whoa...


Posted by: papa jim | Oct 3, 2014 5:30:43 AM

-----------------------------------------------------------

Mercury is history, Ford dropped the Mercury branding back at the of 2010.

No way I would spend 61 grand on a pickup truck especially when I know Ford is pocketing about 35 grand of that. They just aren't worth that much.

@DiM,
Your comment stating who cares, obviously you do or you wouldn't of made a foolish attempt at a provocative statement directed at me. This kind of comment is what the moderators should look at. Very little research and false statements on your part for a 'bite'.

We do actually 8spds and AWD on BOF vehicles, even in pickups and that was prior to the US. Are you are attempting to make a tit for tat debate.

We already have aluminium pickups, we've had them back in the 80s.

As for the rest of the bling in motor vehicles. Do you really think the US is the only country with lots of bling?

Really DiM, as some have ask of you before, "use google before you open your mouth".

Bring back the 4speed, steel bodied V8 truck for 30 grand, I take 2 mpg loss rather then pay 61 grand, ridiculous. You'll probably see these parked in front of trailers around here. People have a 60K house and have a 61K truck sitting out front. LOL

I just built a F-150 XLT as closely as I could to my pickup. It was at $46 625. I didn't see anything regarding leather seats.

I found the packages to be awkward from my perspective because they don't align well to what I have, ie, auto headlights, auto dimming mirrors, auto wipers, etc.

I didn't add any packages, we sort of get most that stuff as standard.

I can't believe bash plates and the electronic off road traction aids are extras. Even a locking rear diff. These are all basic, even on a stripper.

It isn't that cheap, add another $3-$4 000 for a small diesel, plus some more for leather and you will be over $50 000 or there abouts.

But, I do expect this will be a very good pickup.

I wonder how many deals Ford will be able to afford down the track.

Ford will be selling the 'old' F-150 alongside and I bet these will be discounted and not the new F-150's.

When the old F-150's are gone I wonder what kinds of deals will be offered?

Is this site owned by Ford?
I would like to test the 2.7 after 6 years or 100K miles and the cost for the new turbochargers replacing.

Love everything Ford is doing, but I'm not buying one in the early production years. There's no way they can make this big of a change without at least one or two major hiccups related to the aluminum process. I'll let everyone else be the guinea pig with their 40 thousand dollar investments and jump in 5 years later when they do a refresh.

This is starting to look like a lot of hype and not a lot of innovation. Any of the pickups from each manufacturer delivers great pickups. It all comes down to what you like to spend your money on. I'm still waiting to test drive the new F150 before I decide which one to buy. But right now the Tundra is looking good.

@Jimmy - 30K will still get you a V8 aluminum F-150 , with change in your pocket. Wait for rebates that's a crew cab 4X4 and V8 for 30K.

But If you also want leather, sunroof, Nav, 20" wheels, cowboy theme and endless gadgetry, sure, then it starts to get expensive.

Yes, it's very sad to see late model expensive vehicles parked at outdoor apartment building parking lots etc. These manufacturers rely on preying on the unsophisticated and youth. Lucky for me they didn't offer low interest teaser loans when I was at that age.

The hood looks a lot like the last generation Tundra.

I like what Ford has done but I hope these engines are better than their 5.4 v8. I personally know 3 people with the 5.4 with blown head gaskets and one of them only tow their small motorcycle trailer. This is one of the reasons I'm a little hesitant about buying Ford even though I like their products.

Ford knocked this one out of the park. Watch sales volume stay high and more acceptance of aluminum by other high-volume vehicles. Ford proves year after year that American-made capability and rugged looks sell (no apologies to the haters- it's true).

Just like the last generation, expect significant mechanical updates for the third model year. Direct injection for the 5.0? More power for the 3.5 ecoboost? Stay tuned

WOW! Thats about I can say, just wow! Hard to get past the Tonka Truck grill, but otherwise looks like a REALLY nice truck.

Not really much else to say.

It's great to see the battery right on top where I can easily get to it, let alone see it. Top posts too?

I know I don't need to get to it every day, but it's frack'n irritating to not be able to get to it in a hurry. And I like to check it and clean it every time I check under the hood.

The use of Side posts still amuses/baffles me.

@Ram big horn

Subtle is not your strong suit, is it?

What if I want one without a computer?
I don't want any computers or sensors.

Too much to break.
As it is F.O.R.D.s break down constantly.

Perhaps for those who want simplicity, Ford should offer an XL with a 6 speed manual and a 4.2 I-6, 12 valve, pushrod.

So when will ford be J2807 certified?

@uh huh, the 2015 F150 is J2807 compliant

@angelo

Excellent point about eliminating waste anywhere on a truck. I think It might have been Motortrend a year or so ago that did an article on the updated 2013 Ram with the 3.6 V6 and the new 8-speed. What they found is that the writer could actually fully stand inside the engine bay since there was so much extra space. You'd think at least 8-9 of those inches could have been shaved off to make the truck a little lighter on the front and a little more space efficient.

My gut tells me as the general public starts to become more accustom to downsizing trends the automakers will start to compact other areas too or use the extra space to make the trucks more aerodynamic.

Why the rounded, Tundra-like, grille?

That's one of the longest, most complete reviews I have read in a while. However, the one thing that stood out most for me is that Ford is returning to the A-la-Carte ordering scheme so that buyers can actually get what they want in a truck. The only thing missing is a ¾-size truck.

One thing I think will potentially affect sales that I've not heard about is insurance rates. How do the insurance underwriting people view this new aluminum body? If it's really expensive to repair/replace, then rates may be sky high. That could hurt sales, especially for fleet owners.

@SIERRA: "8 SPEED?
PAPA JIM FLASHBACK:
I wish someone would explain where this all ends. Is a six speed bad? How long until anybody with an Eight Speed feels underpowered.
There is a point of diminishing returns involved."

I think eventually we're going to see a CVT (continuously variable transmission) or an all-electric system come out that flat eliminates shifting at all, keeping the engine speed and torque at the most efficient point possible for the load, whether empty, bed-loaded or towing. I'll grant that currently they're incapable of handling the load of a pickup truck today, but less than a dozen years ago they were incapable of driving any but the weakest econoboxes and they're now pulling 3500# cars and SUVs around. Another dozen years and they may be capable of 10,000# or more--eliminating almost all multi-speed transmissions.

That said, an all-electric drive is really a better choice. It offers the greatest torque at low RPM and reduces the torque as speed climbs. It can still use a gas or diesel engine to power the generator, but would be much smoother and more powerful off the line for accelerating up a freeway ramp or taking a steep hill. THAT technology has been in use by the railroads for nearly 100 years.

The F150 is NOT the best selling vehicle in the US, and the author of this article should know that. People complain when GM fans lump the Sierra and Silverado together, yet most say the F150 is the best selling truck. (The F150, F250, F350, F450, and the F550 added together are the best selling, not the F150.) The Silverado 1500 outsells the Ford F150 nearly every year.

THAT technology has been in use by the railroads for nearly 100 years.

@Roadwhale: Electric drive? You wouldn't need a traction control either--no slip acceleration

Re: CVT that's another technology that's been around for over 100 years, but the advent of modern electronics brought it to life in auto's. CVT transmission were used alot in stationary settings like factory floors pulling long assembly lines

@RoadWhale, I say no to CVT. CVTs can hold the sweet spot for RPM, but regular automatics have less parasitic loss. DSG automatics are better again, but they are not as smooth. CVTs aren't as robust either, though I have pulled a couple of pickup trucks with my Polaris ATV without any problem. I think a diesel-electric series hybrid in a heavy duty pickup, would be sweet!

@uh huh, the 2015 F150 is J2807 compliant


Posted by: Alex | Oct 3, 2014 11:17:33 AM

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I am not so sure the new F150 has really passed the SAE J2807 standard. All we have heard is Ford was going to do it but no where can you find anything that shows Ford really did comply.

I along with many other will need more than just Fords word because credibility is the one thing Ford and Mike Levine lack.

"...And somehow I can't believe they didn't cheap out somewhere else to pay for all that expensive aluminum..."

Okay but where would that be exactly? Based on what we know so far, the body, frame, engines, transmissions and interiors are all either improved or holdovers. So what's left to "cheap out" on? Suspension?

You'll need more than just Fords word for what? I'm sure it wont be to buy one, or you wouldn't have a company as your moniker. If it's to stop posting useless drivel, surely dozens here will get right on it. I'll check too.

Fake engine noises played over the stereo system = LAME!

"Fake engine noises played over the stereo system = LAME!"

Almost forgot about this little tidbit of information. The only thing worse than piping fake engine audio into an F150 is piping fake engine audio into a Mustang, which they apparently are also doing.

Hard to quantify how awful and stupid this "feature" is. Definitely something that should be ridiculed mercilessly though.

Hey TOM#3 , I read about the test done on TruckTrend.com. they tested a 2015 Ford F150 2.7 Crew cab and they average 16 mpg .

Fake engine sound, fake aluminium , fake longevity and fake warranty , Ford.

"for Ford to be the technology leader, according to their PR, and only have a six speed in their top of the line trucks is..."

@Jim,

the smartest transmission ever in a truck says the latest report by PUTC. Stick to what you know.


What qualifies it to be the smartest transmission in a pickup?



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