With all of the hoopla made about the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang, you might think it’s the most important launch of the year for Ford, and you’d be wrong. The brand sells more F-150s in two months than it does Mustangs in a year! Not to mention the new F-150 is breaking some serious ground for pickup trucks. So, let’s take a look at the revolutionary 2015 Ford F-150.
By now you’ve heard that the 2015 Ford F-150 is not just all-new in design, but all new in how it’s made, as the first pickup truck with an all-aluminum body. What does that mean, besides the fact that magnetic signs won’t stick to it?
Well, it’s a huge gamble for the blue oval. But the alloy body helps shave as much as 700-pounds off of this truck’s weight.
Also, Ford is no stranger in gambling with their top seller. Just a few years ago they placed a big bet that American truck buyers would embrace a twin-turbo V6 in a fullsize pickup. They won big on that one, and are now doubling down with an even smaller twin-turbo-6, a 2.7-liter, with 325-horsepower and 375 lb-ft. of torque.
That original 365-horsepower EcoBoost 3.5-liter is still here; as are the normally aspirated 385-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 and a 283-horsepower 3.5-liter V6.
The new boosted 2.7 feels solid, with no noticeably turbo lag; and works well with the 6-speed automatic transmission. The pair seems to deliver power in a brainiac fashion more so than with macho brutality, even when the standard auto stop/start kicks in.
Any ruthlessness is reserved for the bolder exterior design, which doesn’t radiate quite as much space-age masculinity as the Atlas concept, but it’s pretty darn close. The grille is larger, naturally. Hi-tech, crystal clear LED headlights are available, yet the outer lenses have a somewhat hazy appearance.
On profile the signature drop notched front window carries on above fairly traditional sheet metal. Still, things look cleanest from the rear.
As expected options abound. While some new ones are more for impressing the neighbors, many offer real-world usefulness. Like the 360-degree view camera with trailer hitch pointer, seamless sliding rear window, side kick steps, Box Link cargo management system, remote tailgate opener, easier to use tailgate step, integrated loading ramps, adaptive cruise control, and even Active Park assist.
And as for more important pickup truck practicality, weighing less actually means hauling more, as the new F-150 now tows up to 12,200 lbs, or carries up to 3,300 lbs of cargo. Both class best.
But perhaps most important of all, no matter which engine is under the hood; from behind the wheel, the truck itself still feels super rugged as the frame remains all-steel. Yet this solid truck is now much friendlier to drive. It’s also roomier with 2-inches of added cab width, and the a-pillar is much less intrusive than before, improving visibility.
Steering is nice, tight, and responsive with good on-center feel. Brakes also have a car-like, smooth touch to them. All of which should make you less nervous when your Camry-driving neighbor borrows your truck for a Home Depot run.
Suspension, both the front double-wishbone coil-on-shocks and rear live axle leaf springs, are the same basic design as before; but have some aluminum added into the mix as well. As before, the FX4 off road package adds capability to 4-wheel-drive models with an electronic locking rear differential, upgraded shocks, and additional skid plates.
While the interior design is very evolutionary, materials have certainly taken a turn for the better, and there are plenty of big knobs and buttons. An available 8-inch productivity screen in the instrument panel takes info to a new level, including detailed towing and off road status. Seat comfort is good up front, and there is more of both leg and hip room in the rear.
While the new 2.7-liter turbo V6 will undoubtedly be the most fuel efficient F-150 ever, perhaps by up to 20%, we’ll have to wait for government ratings to be finalized.
As with all pickup trucks, the number of trim level, wheelbase, cab, and bed configurations is nearly endless, and base prices are up across the board. Starting at $26,615 for a Regular Cab XL, and climbing through XLT, Lariat, and King Ranch SuperCabs, until you reach the Platinum level SuperCrew, at a lofty $52,155.
While Chevrolet, and increasingly Ram, have been chipping away at F-150 diehards in recent years, Ford didn’t become the undisputed king of pickup trucks by playing it safe. With the launch of this all-new, aluminum-bodied, 2015 F-150; Ford has brought about a host of changes to the segment. But we certainly don’t see any change when it comes to pickup truck hierarchy, as a new standard has been achieved.
Engine: 2.7 liter / 3.5-liter
Horsepower: 325 / 365
Torque: 375 lb-ft. / 420 lb-ft.