by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on May 6, 2016
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.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on April 1, 2016
It's easy to feel over-confident when you're driving a full-size truck like our 2015 Ford F-150. A big truck can lull you into a false sense of security, potentially leading you into tricky or embarrassing situations. But in this case, a late-afternoon drive back to the southern California coastal region from the Palm Springs desert area, the F-150 earned its stripes as an unflappable highway shuttle.
The winds picked up around 3:00 p.m. and when we left mom and dad's house for the two-hour drive back home, winds were blowing a steady 20 mph, punctuated with 35 mph gusts across the desert floor.
Mom was worried, fretted that we should've left sooner. Wondered if we shouldn't stay a few extra hours until the winds tapered off as the forecast predicted. "Relax, Mom," I said. "I've got a truck. A big one."
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 16, 2016
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 23, 2016
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?
by Joe Martinez, Videographer/Editor on February 12, 2016
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.
by Rich Kuras, Video Producer on February 5, 2016
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.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on January 20, 2016
Several weeks ago I hauled this load of mulch and top soil in our 2015 Ford F-150. Couldn't even tell it was back there. Any difference it created in the truck's ride quality was so insignificant that I couldn't discern any meaningful difference.
by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on October 30, 2015
I was chatting with Engineering Editor Jason Kavanagh during dinner the night before our annual Edmunds Driving School, and he asked me what vehicle I was driving from our long-term fleet.
"Oh, I've got the 2015 Ford F-150," I said.
JayKav said he had the 2015 BMW M235i Convertible, but he commended me on my choice.
"That thing is great for just cruising up the highway, isn't it?"
I agreed, but I also didn't admit my real reason for choosing the new Ford F-150. It wasn't because of its cushy, easy-going nature. Rather it was that I planned to do lots of cycling over the weekend and wanted to make use of its bed.
July 28, 2015
In the first part of this road trip, my friend and I drove the 2015 Ford F-150 470 miles north for a wedding and some mountain biking. We went mountain biking the first day we were in Lake Tahoe, and now the wedding day dawned. But first, a pre-wedding morning hike.
We headed to Van Sickle Bi-State Park, and did an out-and-back on the Tahoe Rim trail. It was a beautiful day, but the trail was strangely near-empty of people. We weren't complaining. Maybe folks were hung over from the Fourth of July. Or maybe people don't go to Lake Tahoe for hiking. Unlike pretty much any park in southern California, this marked the second time in two days we didn't have to pay a parking fee. Score!
July 27, 2015
In a strange twist of fate, a girl I mountain-bike with in Orange County got engaged to a guy I went to high school with in Connecticut. He lives in Lake Tahoe these days and they decided to get married there. How does this affect us? Road trip in the 2015 Ford F-150!
Shockingly, I'd never been to Lake Tahoe, whether for skiing or mountain biking. But I heard that in addition to the obvious lake activities, the hiking and mountain biking are pretty good there. So a lady friend (also buds with the girl getting married) and I loaded up our mountain bikes and hit the road for Tahoe.
July 21, 2015
You're probably aware that we bought a 1989 Yugo GVL. We drove to Boise, Idaho to buy the Balkan Bullet, bringing along with our Audi A3 and our 2015 Ford F-150. Why not one of our more long-legged cruisers? Well, if the Yugo had some sort of catastrophic failure, we probably wouldn't be towing it home with the Kia K900.
July 1, 2015
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.
June 23, 2015
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.
June 14, 2015
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.
June 12, 2015
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.
June 10, 2015
There's been some grumbling about our 2015 Ford F-150 not meeting its EPA fuel economy estimates. Less apparent are this powertrain's benefits, namely abundant power and good response. When put in proper perspective, its fuel economy is downright impressive, too.
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.
May 27, 2015
In this final installment, we'll consider some of the towing-specific features provided by each.
May 14, 2015
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.
May 12, 2015
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.
April 29, 2015
Can't say that I was surprised when I popped the hood on our 2015 Ford F-150. It's ugly under there, all plastic pipes and flimsy covers. Pretty standard stuff on modern engines of any type.
April 17, 2015
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.
April 9, 2015
I thought I was going to be the first person in the office to tow something with our long-term 2015 Ford F-150, but Jay Kavanagh beat me to the punch. Our trips were two weeks apart but nearly identical, as Jay and I both took the F-150 from Los Angeles to Sonoma, California. Our cargo was similar too, although mine was more than 1000 pounds heavier than Jay's haul. Even with the extra weight, the big blue Ford pulled like a champ.
March 30, 2015
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?
February 25, 2015
You want a decent amount of suspension articulation if you're going to venture off the pavement very far, especially if you see yourself getting into the kind of frame-twist situations where one tire could hike up off the ground. It turns out this is fairly easy to measure and quantify in terms of Ramp Travel Index (RTI), so named because the frame twist maneuver is artificially created by driving up a ramp.
February 24, 2015
Last weekend I found myself approaching the same long downgrade that had earlier goaded our 2015 Kia K900 into doing wrong things in an effort to keep its speed in check. But this time I was in our new 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat 4x4 pickup, which presented a perfect opportunity to set the cruise control at the same speed and see if the F-150 could do any better.
Before I reveal how it went, allow me to first set the table. I was alone. I wasn't towing or hauling anything, so there was no need for Tow/Haul mode. And this simple interstate cruise wasn't the appropriate time or place for so the newly added Sport mode, either. This was routine stuff, everyday driving in "D" with the transmission in its normal default mode.
With cruise engaged, the truck approached the grade at the desired 65 mph in sixth gear at about 1,750 rpm. Nothing changed in the first moments of the descent, but as the slope got steeper the truck's speed crept up to 66 mph, then 67 mph.
February 19, 2015
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.