2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test - Miscellaneous

2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

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2015 Ford F-150: Sold to Carmax

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on May 19, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

At last our road test of the 2015 Ford F-150 reached its end. The only thing left to do was sell it. Our first step was to take it to Carmax for an initial appraisal. This turned out to be our last step also. Here's why...

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2015 Ford F-150: Fuel Economy Test: 2.7-liter EcoBoost vs. 5.0-liter V8

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on May 6, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

Some months back I had this great idea for a fuel economy test. Would our 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 really do all that much better than a 5.0-liter V8 when tested in the real world away from the controlled confines of the EPA test dyno? At the time, our 20 mpg-rated 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4x4 had averaged just 16.4 mpg with some 18,000 miles under its belt, a figure that trailed the 17-mpg combined rating of a 2015 Ford F-150 4x4 with the 5.0-liter V8 engine.

EPA ratings notwithstanding, this question was not without merit. We were not the first to complain about EcoBoost fuel economy, and our man Jay suspected this boiled down to a fuel enrichment strategy that's necessary to keep the turbos and exhaust system cool, a move that'd use extra fuel. Ford's 5.0-liter V8 wouldn't need to employ such tactics because, well, it has no turbochargers.

So I obtained a Lariat 5.0-liter crew cab 4x4 that was very similarly equipped to ours. Mark Takahashi and I drove them both on three different test loops totaling 692 miles. To eliminate variables we followed one another at a respectful distance, swapped between the trucks, took turns in the lead and used the same gas station fuel pump at the beginning and end of each loop.

It was perfect.

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2015 Ford F-150: Foam Strip Vacates the Cowl Area

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on March 29, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

Immediately after taking our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 to the car wash, I noticed a little something fluttering in the breeze near the base of the windshield. It would pop up at about 20 mph and twerk vigorously like one of those inflatable noodle dudes you see at car dealerships. At the time I couldn't tell what it was since it would fall out of view behind the wiper every time I came to a stop signal.

Once parked, I clambered out to identify and remove said offending detritus. Because the hood of the truck is so tall, I couldn't get a good look at it. So I simply reached over the cowl and plucked out what I thought was a piece of debris.

Turns out it was part of the truck.

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2015 Ford F-150: Notes From a First-Timer

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 16, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

Last week required a few hundred miles of highway driving through boring desert. While any number of vehicles in our fleet would do, I opted for our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 because I hadn't spent much time with it. What better way to get acclimated to a vehicle than by spending hours in it? Here's a collection of notes on what I learned.

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2015 Ford F-150: Visiting The Bradys and the Cunninghams

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on February 26, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

Saturday morning. Coffee consumed. Dog walked. Teeth brushed. We had about two hours before one kid had to be at club volleyball practice and the other needed to be dropped off at a birthday party.

Two hours to kill.

The kids of course wanted to stick their heads in their iPads. My wife began to eyeball the YogaWorks schedule. Me? I wanted to go off-roading in Edmunds' long-term 2015 Ford F-150 sitting in my driveway.

"Everyone in the truck," I yelled up the stairs. "We're going for a ride."

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2015 Ford F-150: Wide Turns Only

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 23, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

As I attempted to make a U-turn in our 2015 Ford F-150, I was struck by how close it came to not making it in one shot. And this was from a center turn lane onto a two-lane wide street. Was I not remembering how tight full-size trucks turn?

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2015 Ford F-150: Slices Through Snowfall

by Joe Martinez, Videographer/Editor on February 12, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

My two friends and I loaded up the bed of the 2015 Ford F-150 and headed 308 miles north from Santa Monica to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. We started our journey with the gas tank three-quarters full on a sunny Friday morning.

My friends argued for shotgun but when they opened the rear door there was no more fighting. Our backseat passenger had more than enough room to sit behind me, and he and I are both six-feet two inches. There were no complaints during the four-and-a-half-hour drive into the cold.

We got lucky on our drive up.

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2015 Ford F-150: Turns Over 30,000 Miles

by Joe Martinez, Videographer/Editor on February 10, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

We were on our way up to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 when we hit the 30,000-mile mark. What better time to revisit some of the moments on the road so far?

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2015 Ford F-150: Making a Move to Rainy Rose City - Part 2

by Rich Kuras, Video Producer on February 5, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

After moving my girlfriend to the Rose City the weekend prior, I was slated to return our 2015 Ford F-150 back to headquarters by Friday. I started my return leg around 7:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning and about an hour into my journey met with some early morning fog.

That subsided a little after 11:00 a.m. and it was smooth sailing through the rest of the state. Little did I know, Mother Nature would make a return appearance a bit later in the trip.

After seven hours of uneventful driving, the skies started looking ominous near the cattle feedlots around Coalinga, California. The stench from the cattle is pretty bad and you can smell it for miles even before reaching it. I was wishing rain would wash the smell away. As the rain and lightning started, it was a reminder to be careful what you wished for.

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2015 Ford F-150: Making a Move to Rainy Rose City - Part 1

by Rich Kuras, Video Producer on February 3, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

My mission in October was moving my girlfriend from Los Angeles to Portland. Fresh out of school, she got a job in the Rose City. My 2008 Ford Escape could've done the job, but it would've been packed to the gills with books, kitchen supplies and clothes, like the opening to a modern-day Beverly Hillbillies.

With such a long journey, I'd hoped for something a bit more suited for the move and was fortunate enough to score the 2015 Ford F-150. Long-distance driving is never fun, but sometimes necessary. My girl was starting a new job on a Monday, so we decided to drive straight from Santa Monica to Portland starting at 7:30 on a Friday morning.

That's one day of driving, 964 miles and about 14-plus hours of actual driving (not including pee breaks, leg stretches, coffee, food and a stop in Ashland for a nice Italian dinner).

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2015 Ford F-150: Poor Key Fob Design

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on January 7, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

This is simple. The key fob in our 2015 Ford F-150 isn't designed very well.

On a daily basis, when the fob is in my pocket, I accidentally activate the truck's panic alarm. Lean again something? It activates the alarm. Pick up a kid? There goes the alarm. Bend over? Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep.

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2015 Ford F-150: Dump Truck, Part Two — Electric Boogaloo

by Cameron Rogers on January 5, 2016

2015 Ford F-150

My home renovation saga last left off when I loaded a bunch of bricks, backing board and a shower door into the bed of our 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and dropped the payload at the landfill in nearby Brea. I'd hoped to get a chance to do the same in the 2015 Ford F-150 to see how it handled a bed full of junk. A couple of weeks later, my patio was full of decades-old green shag carpeting and the F-150 became available.

Time for another run to the dump.

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Mirrors Whistle While They Work

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on December 2, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

We're almost at the 30,000-mile mark with our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 and we've learned a lot about the all-aluminum pickup truck. But every time I drive the F-150, I still discover something new.

Maybe I forgot about this little quirk or maybe I never noticed it before (hard to believe after having driven the F-150 for several thousand miles myself), but on a recent windows-down drive in the F-150, I noticed a really loud whistle coming from the passenger-side mirror.

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2015 Ford F-150: Hauls Another Engine

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on November 19, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Making room for the engine that I schlepped in our Chevrolet Colorado meant evicting a different engine from my garage. Our Colorado is gone, however, so I nabbed our long-term 2015 Ford F-150.

Right away, I knew it wasn't going to go as smoothly this time.

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2015 Ford F-150: Hidden Styling Details

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on November 17, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

It's always fun to find a hidden Easter egg in a new vehicle's styling.

Our 2015 Ford F-150 has a few fairly obvious gems. The F-150 logo tucked into the end of the dash is an easy find. The headlight reflector is less so, but still a fun discovery.

I'm sure there are more. Can't wait to find them.

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2015 Ford F-150: Need to Slam Shut Light Doors

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on November 13, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

During the last six or eight months of using our aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 I've had to close its doors a lot. More than usual, in fact. I often toss one closed only to realize that it's not fully sealed, like shown in this photo. The latch will catch, but the door needs either a shove or another slam to close completely.

It happens more frequently with the smaller, lighter rear doors. Here's the deal: Like the rest of the truck's body, the doors are aluminum. And like the rest of truck's body, they're light. And when it comes to doors, being light is both a blessing and a curse.

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2015 Ford F-150: Big Month for Miles Moves Fuel Economy Up a Hair

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on November 4, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

October was a busy month for our long-term 2015 Ford F-150. It covered 5,255 miles — its largest monthly mile total to date — and received an, ah, enlightening oil change along the way.

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2015 Ford F-150: The Man Step — Popular With Little Girls

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on October 28, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I don't really know what to say about this headline except to tell you that it is true. I know. I have little girls — little girls who can't climb into truck beds without man steps.

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2015 Ford F-150: EcoBoost V6 Makes You Wait

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on October 14, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I just finished changing the oil in our 2015 Ford F-150. In the process I discovered something highly unusual that every owner of an F-150, Ford Edge or Lincoln MKX powered by the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine must know.

You must wait 15 minutes after shutting down any 2.7-liter EcoBoost mill before you check the oil. If not, you'll get a false reading that will almost certainly lead you to add more oil than the engine needs. Why? Something about the design of this engine's internal oil passages makes it take a long time for the oil to work its way down to the pan and the waiting dipstick.

This is real. The false reading and overfilling potential is significant, as I discovered during the oil change.

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2015 Ford F-150: No Excuse to Run Into Anything

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on October 6, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

When I first started driving our 2015 Ford F-150, I assumed that it would be quite unwieldly in urban settings. There's some truth to that, given the truck's overall size, but I didn't expect how easy it would be to know what's going on around the F-150 while driving.

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2015 Ford F-150: Can It Replace a Luxury Sedan?

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on September 29, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

At a recent automotive event I attended, an automaker rep told me that approximately half of his brand's heavy-duty truck sales come from the luxury trim levels. It would seem the humble pickup truck has gotten pretty ritzy this past decade. This got me to wondering: given the rise of the luxury truck, would you consider buying a fully-loaded pickup truck instead of a luxury sedan?

Let's use our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 as an example.

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2015 Ford F-150: Powers Lighting for Pit Stops

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 22, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

A couple of weeks ago our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup joined up with our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado at the Hungry Valley State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA) to support Josh's efforts in the Gorman Ridge Rally.

As we saw before, the Colorado was a spare that mostly sat idle in case we needed to dash off and deal with unforeseen problems. Meanwhile, the F-150 did that bulk of the heavy lifting. It towed the car, hauled the extra tires and spare parts, and brought the fuel. And when darkness fell, its 400-watt, 120-volt outlet provided power for the area lights that we needed to perform the final service and refueling stop of the event, which was scheduled to run into the night.

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2015 Ford F-150: Shifter Sized for Giants

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on September 14, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

It's not obvious at first sight, but the shifter in our 2015 Ford F-150 is huge. Even with my large-ish size hands, I can barely get my fingers around it. Good design? Or a poor attempt to make it feel like a burly truck?

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2015 Ford F-150: It's a Looker

August 6, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I mean that literally. As in, our 2015 Ford F-150 feels so?expansive?from the driver seat that I find the common practice of reversing the big truck turns into one big scanning exercise.

And that's not necessarily because of the truck's proportions, which are generous and Americanly full-size, but because of the surfaces that draw your eyes while backing up. The photo below gives you an idea.

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2015 Ford F-150: Hot Rod Heart

July 1, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

A neighbor friend of mine noticed I brought home our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 for the first time and asked, "So which do you like better, the new F-150 or the Ram EcoDiesel?"

He's always asking me tough questions.

Here's the problem: I love 'em both. The trucks, I mean. My neighbor is only okay.

Choosing a favorite is difficult, especially since the drivetrains are so different. The Ram is all about easy pulling power and impressive fuel economy. The F-150 with the EcoBoost V6? It's a hot-rod.

Sure, it can tow and haul and stuff. But deep down, in places where Prius drivers and the EPA don't ever go, this thing is a hot-rod.

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2015 Ford F-150: Best Start/Stop - Ever

June 23, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Let me clarify: The Auto Start/Stop system in our 2015 Ford F-150 is the best one I've ever used.

It's entirely possible someone makes a better one, but it sure couldn't be by much. The one in the F-150 EcoBoost 2.7 is so good, it's actually the first such system that doesn't make me constantly want to switch the whole damn thing off.  

Most of these Auto Start/Stop systems are disruptive to the point they end up being annoying. The whole waiting for the engine to fire back up as you're trying to take off from a light, or the constant shutting down/starting up in stop-and-go traffic gets old.

Maybe we're just impatient.  

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2015 Ford F-150: High Sierras Road Trip — Impressive Performance at Altitude

June 14, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Mono Lake is a little-known landmark to those who live outside of California. Perhaps you've heard of its neighbor: Yosemite National Park. I recently drove our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup up there with a group of friends for some hiking and abandoned-mine exploring.

Our weekend base of operations was the tiny town of Lee Vining, California, elevation 6,731 feet. The route north from our Orange County starting point is pretty much a straight shot up U.S. Route 395, a long desert highway if ever there was one.

If this sounds the least bit familiar, this was the end-of-May road trip that was alluded to in our recent May fuel economy update.

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2015 Ford F-150: Luxury-Like Ride Runs Close Second to Ram

June 12, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I don't expect a full-size truck like our 2015 Ford F-150 to ride like a sedan. It's a truck. It's built to work first and do everything else second. That's probably why I'm so impressed by our F-150. It's shockingly supple over rough roads and almost luxury-car like on smooth surfaces.   

Supple seems like an odd word to describe a truck, but that's exactly what comes to mind. It soaks cracks and ruts with a faint rumble that barely intrudes into the cabin. There's a little bit of body shake over big potholes, but nothing objectionable.

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2015 Ford F-150: Cracked Windshield

June 8, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Some people will tell you there's no such thing as luck, good or bad. But I don't know what else to call it when the car ahead kicks up a rock and hurls it at your windshield.

That's exactly what happened to our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup.

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2015 Ford F-150: Fun With Side Mirror Spotlights

June 1, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Automotive Editor Dan Frio and I swapped cars over the weekend. He needed to get into the short-term 2016 Acura ILX I was driving, and I didn't mind taking the 2015 Ford F-150 off his hands, since I hadn't driven our long-termer yet.

As he pulled to a stop in my complex, Frio yelled out the window, "Hey Mikey, check this out."

As I walked closer to the driver-side door, he proceeded to beam the F-150's side mirror spotlights into my retinas. Didn't know the F-150 had spotlights? Me neither, until then. Thanks, Frio.   

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Compared to Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Part 3

May 27, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Last post, we discussed various aspects of our long-term 2015 Ford F-150's towing abilities compared to our 2014 Ram EcoDiesel, specifically, towing stability and power and fuel consumption.

In this final installment, we'll consider some of the towing-specific features provided by each.

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2015 Ford F-150: Interior Trim Looks Better Than It Feels

May 15, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

This is an instance of things that look good, but don't feel good. I'm referring to those lovely "metallic" radio knobs with the beautifully ridged edges.

At first glance they look great, like adjustment knobs on a lathe in a machine shop or dials on a safe. But then you give one a twist to bump the volume or change the station and all that admiration disappears.

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Comparison With Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Part 2

May 14, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

In part one of our towing comparison between the 2015 Ford F-150 and 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, we talked towing stability. Here in part two, we compare power and fuel consumption. Which engine makes the most sense for pulling a roughly three-ton load: the Ram's 3.0-liter diesel V6 or the Ford's 2.7-liter gasoline V6? Dive in.

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Compared to Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Part 1

May 12, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I've now towed my rally car with every truck in our fleet: the 2015 Ford F-150, the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and the midsize 2015 Chevy Colorado.

Since the Ram and F-150 are direct competitors, it seems appropriate to draw some comparisons. I've divided up the critical components of the job into categories. Today we'll talk Towing Stability.

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2015 Ford F-150: Ford Issues First Recall for New F-150

May 6, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

It's seemingly a feast of recalls around here. First our A3 and Golf GTI, now our F-150. But in the best fashion of an inexplicable traffic jam, there's nothing to see here. We didn't expect our 2015 Ford F-150 to be one of the 91 trucks affected by Ford's recall for improperly installed or missing underbody heat shields. But our luck with trucks has been suspect lately, so we followed up just to be sure.

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2015 Ford F-150: Jumbo Mirrors Are Thankfully Power-Folding

April 30, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

We've already noted that the 2015 Ford F-150's tow mirrors are excellent at providing not one, but two excellent views of the cars around you. There's also the added benefit of a blind-spot warning system, admittedly made redundant by those two aforementioned mirrors.

We've also already noted that when fully extended, the mirrors can be easily damaged. However, I think there's a very good chance of that happening even in their most inward position.

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2015 Ford F-150: A Good View from the Towing Mirrors

April 22, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

When I towed nearly 5,000 pounds with our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 a few weeks ago, I was impressed by the various tech features in the cabin and the towing power of the 2.7-liter engine. One thing I neglected to mention though was the optional towing mirrors. We've already discovered that when fully extended, the mirrors can tag the exit of a parking garage.

But how do they perform when there's a trailer to watch?

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2015 Ford F-150: Earns Five-Star Safety From Feds

April 17, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

The crash-test results are in and our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew has been awarded a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The aluminum-intensive pickup received five stars in front and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover crash test.

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2015 Ford F-150: Earns Five-Star Safety From Feds

April 17, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

The crash-test results are in and our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew has been awarded a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The aluminum-intensive pickup received five stars in front and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover crash test.

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2015 Ford F-150: More Power Than Ram

April 16, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

In the ever escalating power wars, the 2015 Ford F-150 has the Ram 1500 beat. Well, at least in terms of wattage.

As you can see, our F-150 features an AC outlet that delivers up to 400 watts of total power at 110 volts. Not bad for a pickup.

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2015 Ford F-150: Chipped/Cracked Windshield

April 2, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

I was packed up and ready for a 1,000-mile road trip when I saw it: a chip/crack in the windshield of our long-term 2015 Ford F-150.

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2015 Ford F-150: Towing Impressions

March 30, 2015

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Up until last weekend I'd spent very little time driving our long-term 2015 Ford F-150. My first real drive in it would be towing a craptacular race car from Los Angeles to Sonoma Raceway and back, an 850-mile round trip.

So, how'd it go?

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2015 Ford F-150: More Door Detents

March 19, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

The photo above would not have been possible with the previous-generation Ford F-150. You see, there were only two door detents, meaning you either had to squeeze through a narrow opening or prevent the door from flying into your parking-lot neighbor while climbing aboard.

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2015 Ford F-150: Performance Tested

February 19, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Even though our 2015 Ford F-150 was at the repair shop for a few weeks thanks to a sledgehammer-related incident, our truck passed the 1,000-mile mark within its first month in our long-term fleet. The engine was fully broken in according to the manual, so it was ready to go to our test track. Read on to find out how well the new turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 moved our full-size pickup.

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2015 Ford F-150: Adding a Line-X Spray-On Bedliner

February 18, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

For some time we've toyed with the idea of equipping our test trucks with spray-on bedliners. Without any sort of protection they get scratched up, which comes across (to some) as unsightly. Truck bed scuffs can also diminish resale value and increase the risk of future corrosion.

We could have equipped our 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat 4x4 pickup with a factory spray-on bedliner for $475, but we'd never spent any time with the factory offering in real life. Besides, Ford's bedliner department still follows old Henry Ford's famous line: any color you want, so long as it is black.

The brilliant "Blue Flame" paint on our truck is not a particularly dark color, and the Lariat Sport package adds enough black accents of its own. We figured a color-matched bedliner would look much better, so we turned to Line-X, a stalwart in the spray-on truck bedliner business.

Line-X is a franchise business, so prices vary a little across the country. Our local shop in Orange, California sells the basic black one for about the same price as Ford: $485. A UV-resistant topcoat that prevents the black from fading costs $150 more, but the color-matched UV-resistant topcoat we had in mind is a $300 upgrade. Do the math and you'll see that our total came to $785. More money, for sure, but better-looking.

They said it'd take about three hours to prep and spray our truck. After that I could take it home so long as I didn't load anything into it and kept it dry for the next 24 hours. So I showed up at their front door at 8:30 a.m. and texted my wife to say I'd be back in time to take her to lunch.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests