Ford shook up the pickup segment three years ago with the current-generation F-150 and its "military-grade" aluminum-alloy body. Following it up this year at the Detroit Auto Show, the F-150 receives a styling update for its grille, headlights, tailgate and bumpers. More significantly, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 will be offered for the first time in this pickup's long history, which should be of interest for those with greater towing and hauling needs.
The 10-speed automatic transmission that debuted last year will be paired with the diesel as well as with more engines than before. As far as gasoline engines go, an all-new 3.3-liter V6 replaces the 3.5-liter V6 and delivers identical power. A new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine and a revised 5.0-liter V8 promise better output, efficiency and durability. Further enhancing fuel efficiency is an automatic stop-start system across all models
The updates for the F-150 continue with the addition of pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking for the existing forward collision warning system and an adaptive cruise control system upgraded with stop-and-go capability. Inside, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot will be available, along with a Bang & Olufsen-sourced premium audio system.
Returning features include Ford's Sync infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a surround-view camera system, lane keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert. Look for the refreshed F-150 in dealerships starting in the fall of 2017.
Making an equally big impression at the news conference was the announcement of a new Bronco SUV that is slated for 2020. Cashing in on the Bronco's reputation for off-road prowess, we expect it to go toe to toe with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Toyota 4Runner. Besides the iconic logo, however, we have yet to see what it will eventually look like. In 2019, the Ranger will also return to the U.S. to do battle with the new crop of midsize pickups from Toyota and Chevrolet.