2015 Ford F-150: Fuel Economy Update for May - 20-MPG Combined Rating Still Out Of Reach
June 5, 2015
Our 2015 Ford F-150 nudged past 9,000 total miles this month. We tend to see a vehicle's observed fuel economy begin to level off once it acquires this many miles. It's not locked-in by any means, but like a late-season batting average, it's hard to make big changes as the odometer accumulates mileage.
That's not good news for our 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4x4. To this point its lifetime average is just 15.7 mpg.
The EPA combined rating for this rig is 20 mpg, more than 4 mpg higher than what we're achieving. Our truck is even falling short of its EPA city rating of 18 mpg.
Looking at May in isolation, it was a month of extremes. A pure highway run I took up to Lee Vining, near Yosemite National Park, yielded 19.1 mpg, the F-150's best single tank to date. On the other hand, Josh towed his rally car to and from an event and registered a new low of 13.3 mpg. These events, mixed with other driving, added up to 2,411 miles in May and an average of 16.6 mpg — the best single month of our long-term test so far.
Ignore Josh's 607 towing-miles and two things change: May's average jumps to 17.9 mpg, and the truck's overall lifetime average wafts up to 15.9 mpg. Take out all 2,000 towing-miles that have accumulated to date and our F-150's lifetime average ticks over to just 16.0 mpg.
Such look-the-other-way math clearly isn't doing much good. With towing miles excised, the F-150's overall performance still falls short of EPA combined by a full 4 mpg. At this point, a lifetime average of 20 mpg seems impossible to imagine. We haven't yet cracked that modest barrier with a single tank.
It's not for lack of trying. In addition to the Lee Vining trip, which you'll read about soon, I've also driven the truck to Yuma, Arizona and back, and drove it north to Buttonwillow, California. All three trips featured highway-heavy tanks with lots of cruise control.
In case you were wondering, all of this went down on 87 octane unleaded, the recommended fuel used to certify the 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4x4's fuel economy. We're discussing the idea of trying a month on 91 octane premium to see there's anything to be gained. After all, it worked for our long-term 2011 Chevrolet Cruze a few years ago.
Worst Fill MPG: 13.3
Best Fill MPG: 19.1
Average Lifetime MPG: 15.7 (6.4 gallons per 100 miles)
EPA MPG Rating: 20 Combined (18 City / 23 Highway)
Best Range: 557.3 miles
Current Odometer: 9,001 miles
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 9,001 miles