What Is It?
2015 Ford F-150
What's New About This Model?
The 2015 Ford F-150 has been fully redesigned. The styling is all-new, but the big news is this new body is now crafted almost entirely of aluminum from nose to tail. Likewise, the frame is now made exclusively from high-strength steel. Those two changes combine with other weight savings to trim as much as 700 pounds from the 2015 Ford F-150 compared to the 2014 model.
This significant drop in weight allows a generally downsized engine lineup to do the same job, and the combination of lighter weight and smaller engines results in substantially higher fuel economy. Specific mpg ratings for the 2015 F-150 powertrains have not yet been released.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Ford says the 2015 Ford F-150 will arrive at dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2014.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been released yet, but we expect the 2015 F-150 to be priced similarly to the 2014 model, at least initially.
How Does It Compare to the Current Model?
Dimensionally, the most popular 2015 F-150 variants ride on the same wheelbase and are about as long as the outgoing truck, but the F-150's width, previously narrower than the competition, has been increased about three-quarters of an inch.
This additional exterior width combines with slimmer doors to increase interior cabin width by two full inches, some of which has been used to separate the front buckets for a wider console with more storage. Also, the side window lines have been pushed down an inch and the mirror housings have been moved forward 4 inches, resulting in a more open cabin and improved outward visibility.
The interior styling is all-new, and the materials look and feel more premium and less overtly trucky than before. A larger 8-inch display screen nestles between the two main gauges, and the multitude of information it can display can now be customized and saved as a favorite by the driver.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The 2015 Ford F-150 will continue to be produced in three familiar cab variations: Regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew.
Rear-seat access to the popular SuperCrew has been much improved by moving the center door post forward 2 inches, which also makes it easier to open the now-shorter front doors in tight spaces. As before, this cab can be had with a 5-foot, 7-inch short bed or a 6-foot, 7-inch standard bed.
In the SuperCab, that shorter front door also allows for a longer rear access door, which retains its reverse-hinged pillarless design in the interest of cargo-loading ease. The rear door now opens a full 170 degrees, nearly folding back against the bed side. This cab is available with the 6-foot, 7-inch standard bed and the 8-foot, 1-inch long bed.
Ford will continue to offer a Regular cab, but the 2015 cab (and the corresponding frame and wheelbase it rides upon) will be 4 inches shorter than last year. The difference comes out of the storage space behind the seats, but some of this volume is recovered because of the increased interior cabin width. The downsized Regular cab will be available with the 6-foot, 7-inch standard bed.
The 2015 trim level strategy is familiar, with XL, XLT, STX, FX2, FX4, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. As before, the XLT is expected to be the volume seller. No details have yet been released on 2015 versions of special performance models such as the off-road optimized Raptor.
What Engines and Transmissions Are Available?
Last year's four-engine lineup has been shuffled and generally downsized because of the significant reduction in the 2015 F-150's overall weight. All of them are backed by the same sturdy six-speed automatic transmission from last year's truck.
- The entry-level 3.7-liter V6 is being downsized to 3.5 liters. Power and torque have not yet been announced.
- An all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 slots in above. Power and torque figures have not been revealed, but output is said to "exceed that of other mid-level truck V8 engines." This twin-turbo engine will also have an automatic start-stop system to save even more fuel when the truck is stationary. The system will automatically disengage in 4x4 mode or when a trailer is in tow, and there will also be an off switch. This engine is destined to be a volume seller with excellent fuel economy.
- The popular 5.0-liter V8 carries over, and there's every possibility that last year's rated output of 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque will remain unchanged. This engine will likely be cheaper than the new 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 and should tow more, but it's destined to burn more fuel, too.
- Last year's successful 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 now stands alone at the top of the heap. It made 360 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque last year, and we expect those figures to carry over into 2015. Even so, performance should improve with less truck to haul around.
- No mention is being made of last year's 6.2-liter V8, which at this point appears to have been discontinued. It may or may not resurface when the 2015 Raptor is introduced at a later date.
- Ford has not released any fuel economy figures except to say that all powertrains will perform better than last year.
What About Towing and Hauling?
No specific tow rating or payload figures have been released, but Ford has revealed a few things.
- All maximum tow ratings and payloads will rise from last year because of the reduction in vehicle weight. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 was rated at 11,300 pounds last year.
- The new 2.7-liter EcoBoost will be good for about 8,000 pounds of towing capacity, a useful figure that plugs a hole between the entry-level V6 and the 5.0-liter V8. Last year these were able to tow roughly 6,000 and 10,000 pounds, respectively.
- All 2015 F-150 tow ratings will be certified to the new SAE J2807 standardized tow rating procedure. The Big Three have previously been reluctant to adopt this standard because it would result in a loss of about 300 pounds of capacity and no one wanted to blink first. This time Ford is confident it has made enough gains to overcome this and still maintain or extend its advantage over the competition.
- The instrument panel towing information screen can now display trailer battery charge status or alert the driver if a connected trailer has any burnt bulbs.
- Following Ram's lead, the F-150's locking tailgate has now been added into the central locking system, but Ford has taken it a step further by adding remote tailgate opening, a first in the pickup world.
- Rear-mounted LED bed lights and a modular tie-down cleat system improve cargo handling.
What Unique Features Does This F-150 Offer?
- The MyFord Touch touchscreen navigation system is available, and the redundant physical knob and button controls have been simplified and improved.
- LED headlights and taillights will be standard on the Lariat Luxury, King Ranch and Platinum and available in certain lower trims in yet-to-be-disclosed upgrade packages.
- LED side spotlights built into the mirror housings are a new option.
- The interior 115-volt power outlets now provide 400 watts of power instead of 125 watts, which makes them robust enough to recharge power tool system batteries.
- The SuperCrew cab is available with a new panoramic tilt-and-slide sunroof option.
What Kind of Standard and Optional Safety Equipment Is Offered?
Standard safety features include four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, trailer sway control and front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags. The standard tire-pressure monitoring system has been upgraded to provide specific tire pressure and location information instead of last year's generic low tire warning.
Options include a 360-degree camera system and a lane-keeping assistance system with included drowsiness detection to ward off lane wandering. Newly developed sensors built into the taillight housings enable a new blind spot monitoring system that includes cross-traffic alerts to ease backing out of parking spaces.
Dodge Ram 1500: A solid full-size offering that was revamped in 2013, the Ram distinguishes itself with coil-spring rear suspension, an eight-speed transmission and the availability of air suspension or a turbodiesel engine, all of which are unique in the half-ton segment.
Toyota Tundra: The Tundra was also redesigned in 2014, but the differences were mostly styling changes. Its engine and transmission lineup was not updated at that time. The Tundra CrewMax cab remains the biggest in the segment.
Should You Wait for It?
The 2015 Ford F-150 promises to provide meaningful gains in both fuel economy and interior comfort while maintaining all of the towing and hauling capacity the F-150 is known for. The specific amount of the mpg gains and the cost of the truck are not yet known but are expected to be compelling.