Full 2014 Ford F-150 Review
What's New for 2014
Other than a few minor changes to equipment and options, the 2014 Ford F-150 carries over unchanged.
When you're shopping for a full-size pickup truck, you quickly realize how evenly matched the players are: Cab styles, engines and towing capacities are all pretty similar across the board. Yet the sheer variety within the Ford F-150 lineup has always set this truck apart from its rivals. You can choose a stripped-down work truck, lather on the luxury with plush versions like the King Ranch, or equip your 2014 F-150 as a serious off-roader via the specialized SVT Raptor model. Whatever your tastes, you're almost certain to find a 2014 Ford F-150 that meets your needs.
The customization starts in the engine bay of the Ford F-150, which has four available power plants, ranging from a base V6 to a 6.2-liter V8. All are worthwhile choices, but the most compelling option is the midrange EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine: It makes as much torque as most V8 engines and provides equivalent towing capacity. And if you drive your truck every day, you'll be happy to know this is also the most fuel-efficient of the available F-150 engines.
Inside, the 2014 F-150 offers plenty of room, particularly in the popular SuperCrew body style, and you can equip it with all manner of modern conveniences, including a rearview camera, dual USB ports, an integrated trailer-brake controller and a voice-activated navigation system (although, for many drivers, the complexity of the MyFord Touch interface takes away some of the convenience). In other respects, though, the Ford is starting to show its age. Interior materials quality is only so-so, and extended-cab models (SuperCabs, that is) still have cumbersome, reverse-hinged rear doors, whereas most other trucks have adopted front-hinged doors.
As minor as these issues might seem, it's worth your while to check out the F-150's competition. The 2014 Ram 1500 is a favorite of ours, given its top-grade interior and ultra-refined ride quality, and this year it's available with a class-first turbocharged diesel V6 engine. Meanwhile, the recently revamped 2014 Chevrolet Silverado (and its GMC Sierra 1500 twin) has an impressive new interior of its own and one of the best V8 engines in the full-size truck class. If towing or hauling is your main priority, the Toyota Tundra is plenty capable as well, though it doesn't come in nearly as many configurations as the others.
Overall, we think rival pickups now surpass the 2014 Ford F-150 in certain areas. But the venerable F-150 remains a fine all-around choice for consumers seeking a well-equipped truck that returns respectable fuel mileage.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Ford F-150 is a full-size pickup truck available in regular cab, extended cab (SuperCab) and crew cab (SuperCrew) body styles. Regular and SuperCabs are offered with either a 6.5-foot or 8-foot cargo bed, while SuperCrews can be had with 6.5- or 5.5-foot beds. The SVT Raptor model (SuperCab or SuperCrew) is available only with the 5.5-foot bed.
Within these body styles, there are nine trim levels to specify: base XL, sporty STX, well-equipped XLT, rugged FX2 and FX4 models, luxurious Lariat, western-inspired King Ranch, extreme off-road Raptor, and the opulent Platinum and Limited variants.
Intended more as a commercial work truck, the modestly appointed XL comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a tilt-only steering wheel, vinyl upholstery, a 40/20/40 front seat and an AM/FM radio. SuperCrew XL models gain keyless entry, power side mirrors, an overhead console and power front windows.
The STX includes all of the above, along with alloy wheels, additional body-colored exterior trim, power-adjustable windows, rear power windows for the SuperCab, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
More creature comforts come with the XLT in the form of automatic headlights, foglights, rear privacy glass, chrome exterior trim, a keyless entry keypad, the Sync voice control interface and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. The FX trims add 18-inch alloy wheels, a trailer tow package, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped and telescoping steering wheel with additional controls, front bucket seats, a six-way power-adjustable driver seat, a household power outlet, an upgraded 4.2-inch display for climate/audio functions and satellite radio. Four-wheel-drive FX models also gain hill descent control, skid plates and an electronic locking rear differential.
The Lariat trim drops the FX's off-road equipment but adds dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable heated front seats, driver-seat memory functions, the MyFord Touch electronics interface (with an 8-inch touchscreen), dual USB ports, power-adjustable pedals and a power-sliding rear window.
To that, the King Ranch adds chrome exterior trim, unique badging inside and out, running boards, power-folding and heated auto-dimming mirrors, rear parking sensors, an integrated trailer brake controller, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a rearview camera, remote ignition, wood interior trim and a premium Sony sound system.
The Platinum trim adds further enticement with 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, power-deployable running boards, automatic wipers, a wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel, a sunroof and a navigation system. To that, the Limited adds 22-inch wheels, a monochromatic paint job and an upgraded leather interior.
Finally, the Raptor dispenses with many of the above luxury amenities but goes full off-road with 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, unique exterior treatments, fixed aluminum running boards, front/rear tow hooks, a shift-on-the-fly transfer case, high-performance suspension components, an auxiliary equipment switch panel and unique interior trim and upholstery.
Many of the upper-trim features are available on supporting models as options. Other add-ons include Ford's Work Solutions system, payload and towing packages, a cargo management system and a stowable bed extender.
Powertrains and Performance
Buyers can choose among four different engines depending on the model selected, but every engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard across the board, with four-wheel drive available as an option, except for the Raptor, which is 4WD only.
The standard 3.7-liter V6 engine produces 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, this engine propelled the two-wheel-drive F-150 from zero to 60 mph in a decent 8.2 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city/23 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive and 18 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway) with four-wheel drive.
Upgrading to the 5.0-liter V8 increases output to 360 hp and 380 lb-ft. With four-wheel drive, an F-150 with this engine accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Fuel economy with rear-wheel drive stands at 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway). Four-wheel drive drops economy to 16 mpg combined (14 city/19 highway).
The available twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine (known as the EcoBoost) is rated at 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. A rear-drive F-150 with this engine hit 60 in an impressive 6.5 seconds in Edmunds testing (a 4WD version only took 6.6 seconds). EPA fuel economy is better than the 5.0-liter V8, too: With 2WD, you're looking at 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway), while 4WD versions rate 17 combined (15/21).
Standard on the SVT Raptor and optional on other versions is a 6.2-liter V8 engine making 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque. This V8 takes the heavy F-150 Raptor from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. In regular F-150s, fuel economy rates 15 mpg combined (13/18) with 2WD and 13 combined (12/16) with 4WD. Ratings dip slightly to 13 combined (11/16) in the Raptor.
The F-150's maximum tow ratings range from 6,700 pounds with the 3.7-liter V6 all the way up to 11,300 pounds with the 6.2-liter V8 and turbo V6 (when properly equipped with a tow package and the appropriate axle ratio). It's important to keep in mind that published tow ratings don't necessarily reflect real-world driving conditions. In Edmunds testing, a 2013 F-150 SuperCab with 2WD and the base V6 had all it could handle with a 5,800-pound trailer. Shoppers who plan to tow regularly will likely prefer the EcoBoost V6 or 6.2-liter V8.
Standard safety features for all 2014 Ford F-150s include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, trailer sway control, front-seat side and full-length side curtain airbags. Ford's optional Sync system includes an emergency crash-notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard starting on the King Ranch trim level and optional on other F-150s.
In government crash tests, the 2014 Ford F-150 received an overall rating of four out of five stars. It garnered a five-star rating for overall side-impact protection and earned four stars for frontal protection (three stars for the SuperCrew). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave SuperCrew models a top rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The F-150's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
In Edmunds brake testing, regular F-150 models came to a stop from 60 mph in a range of 120-130 feet. The heavier Raptor with its off-road-oriented tires stopped in a much longer 143 feet.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2014 Ford F-150 is well suited to life as a work truck. It can be equipped to perform a variety of work- and recreation-related chores, and little details like the clever tailgate step, trailer sway control, box side steps and the Work Solutions options make life easier for the owner. That said, the cabs are starting to show their age. Materials quality is a step down from the Silverado and Ram 1500, and neither the controls nor the instrumentation look or feel state-of-the-art anymore.
The available MyFord Touch interface also presents some challenges. The large touchscreen certainly makes the Ford's cabin look higher tech, and it adds genuine functionality for smartphone users. Unfortunately, the system is prone to glitches and its sheer complexity makes it distracting to use while driving.
On the upside, passenger space remains a strength of the 2014 F-150. The F-150 SuperCrew is nearly as spacious for cargo and passengers as the cavernous Toyota Tundra CrewMax. It offers superb backseat comfort thanks to abundant legroom, a flat floor and a seatback angle that's pleasantly reclined. The SuperCab is still fairly roomy, but legroom is noticeably less generous and opening its rear-hinged clamshell doors is a hassle compared to the more convenient front-hinged doors on rival extended cabs.
The Ford F-150 really stands out with its engine selection. Even the base V6 produces respectable acceleration, while the turbocharged EcoBoost V6 offers an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency. The V8s are plenty strong, too, and the 5.0-liter V8 is comparatively efficient. Still, our money would go to the turbocharged V6.
Regardless of engine, the 2014 Ford F-150 delivers the sort of ride and handling you'd expect from a pickup. If it's the only truck you test-drive, you'll probably be quite happy. However, should you drive it back to back with the Ram 1500 or Silverado, the Ford is likely to feel more "trucky" and less confidence-inspiring. You feel the bumps and ruts more over rough pavement, the steering can be vague and there's less overall composure when towing.
Of course, the purpose-built SVT Raptor stands apart from the rest as the halo truck that off-road enthusiasts dream about. It can tame some of the toughest terrain around, but it's also a bit trickier to drive around town due to its wide body and higher ride height.