2015 Ford F-150: Massive Road Trip Sets New Records and Ups the Average, But...
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 16, 2015
My massive Pacific Northwest road trip added 2,808 of the 4,307 miles added to our 2015 Ford F-150 this month. August disappears in the Ford's rear-view mirror with its odometer reading 19,265 miles. It's just a week or two from meeting its 20,000-mile annual mileage target with four more months left in our test.
Records fell this month. The existing best range (557.3 miles) was eclipsed by three of the five tanks that made up my road trip, the best of them being 706.6 miles. That bladder-busting number isn't a breathtaking as it seems, however. Our truck is fitted with the optional 36-gallon tank.
Similarly, the big blue Ford went into August with a lifetime best tank of just 19.1 mpg. During this highway-intensive road trip I tied that figure once and went on to break through the ceremonial 20-mpg barrier on three occasions. The last of these came in at 23.1 mpg, but was strongly aided by a stout tailwind and a conscious attempt at some moderate hypermiling. Conditions were more than perfect, I put in a concerted effort, and yet I merely matched the rating.
After I got home, I put the 2.7-liter EcoBoost through a series of tests you haven't yet read about. These two tanks also broke the previous best of 19.1 mpg. They didn't manage to eclipse 20 mpg, but they did help bolster the average.
August had some truly dismal tanks, too. Josh is probably itching to tell you about some towing he did, and another driver who lives on the impacted Westside of Los Angeles managed to tie the record for lowest mpg while not towing. That figure would be 14.0 mpg.
This all boils down to an 18.7 mpg average for the month, which generated a slight uptick in the Ford's lifetime observed fuel economy. It started the month at 16.2 mpg, and it rolls into September at 16.7 mpg.
At this point we'll celebrate any increase. But the fact remains that our truck's EPA rating of 20 mpg combined is mighty far away. Tank-half-full thinkers might point out that this new lifetime average rounds up to just 1 mpg shy of our F-150's 18 mpg city rating, but if that's not damning with faint praise, I don't know what is.
Worst Fill MPG: 13.3 (towing*); 14.0 not towing
Best Fill MPG: 23.1 (formerly 19.1)
Average Lifetime MPG: 16.7 (6.0 gallons per 100 miles)
EPA MPG Rating: 20 Combined (18 City/23 Highway)
Best Range: 706.6 miles (formerly 557.3)
Current Odometer: 19,265 miles
*Towing does drag the average down a bit, of course. The lifetime average rises to 17.2 mpg after I back out 3,300 miles of towing.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 19,265 miles