As the country’s best-selling vehicle seemingly since the model-T, the 2015 Ford F-150 could have been presented identically as its older siblings and still led the pick-up truck pack.
But Ford decided not to rest on success, particularly as other manufacturers’ trucks are ever improving.
Still, it was a surprise when Ford introduced the iconic truck’s 13th generation. Among its slew of a new features and upgrades is a lighter and thus more fuel-efficient aluminum body and a monstrous new chrome grille.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
Versatility is among the many reasons the Ford F-150 has been the top-selling truck for nearly four decades. And with its redesign for 2015, the F-150 further advances the standard of its already leader-of-the-pack truck.
Consider: Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional. Regular cab models seat three, while SuperCab (extended cab) and SuperCrew (crew cab) models seat up to six. Four engine choices are available: a base 3.5-liter V6, a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6, a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter V8. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. There are five trim levels: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum.
My weekly driver was the 4×4 SuperCab, equipped with a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6. It had 282 horsepower and a dash-shifting six-speed automatic.
Driving a large pick-up is immediately reassuring. It’s the combination of power, size and high off-the-ground positioning. It’s a selling point for all pick-ups, and the Ford F-150 offers all of the above with the addition of comfort.
Grab ahold of the perfectly positioned interior frame handle, pull yourself onto the monster-size seat and advance along the road in what amounts to a small apartment on wheels.
The 2015 Ford F-150 pick-up offers a panoramic view. The driver and front-seat passenger sit on comfortable leather perches. They’re divided by a suitcase-size console with a massive storage compartment, and a large cupholder station. Numerous door storage slots, trays and other storage area permeate the interior.
With its turbocharged V6, the Ford F-150 has plenty of power. It accelerates with authority and smoothly. At freeways speeds, there’s was a slight wind rush from the rear right seat.
Rear seat passengers enter the cab via “hidden” doors that open via interior handles. The side panel doors open wide, offering easy entry and exit. The doors close flush.
One of the strongest attributes of the Ford series of pick-ups is the standard features list. the F-150 list is divided into to four categories, exterior, interior, functional and safety/security. The functional list, for example, list more than a dozen items, most power related — brakes, tailgate, mirrors, etc.
My weekly driver also included two option packages: The XLT trim ($2,150) included a rear-window defroster, sirius XM satellite radio and a rear view camera. The XLT chrome appearance ($1,695) included all-chromed step-up bars, 18-inch chrome wheels and few other decor items.
I didn’t have the need to use the Ford F-150’sexpansive bed. But it’s a large well-built space with a firm liner and a host of attachment toggles. It’s masculine and everything about it is large, with two exceptions. The parking brake is engaged and released with a small lever located awkwardly to the lower left of the steering wheel. Also, the navigation screen defines petite. It’s not much larger than the cover of the 12-volt plug-in on the dash.
Still, add up all of the 2015 Ford F-150 attributes and it’s exactly what it should be. It’s a powerfully built, rugged pick-up truck that also works well as comfortable people mover with little compromise.
Spacious seating front and back.
Generous overall interior space.
Generous offering and well-placed storage containers, trays and shelves.
Near limitless versatility in myriad trim offerings.
Great gas mileage for power pickup truck.
Small and oddly positioned brake lever.
Small navigation screen.
Awkward shifting arm.
Facts & Figures: 2015 Ford F-150
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, unavailable.
Fuel economy: 18 mpg (city), 23 mpg (highway) 20 mpg (combined) with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $37,005.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.ford.com.
Price As Tested: $43,480.00.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles, Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited mileage; Roadside assistance, 5 years/60,000 miles.
What Others Say:
“Its aluminum body and bed mark a sea change in an industry that so often drifts with the current. Just as aluminum often indicates top-shelf beer these days, the lightweight metal is also an indicator of a better truck.” — carandriver.com.
“The all-new F-150 offers best-in-class towing and payload capacity, plus smaller displacement engines with impressive fuel economy. It’s built for hard work, yet has a quiet cabin filled with modern luxury amenities. It has a wide offering of cabs, engines, trim levels and interiors.” — Kelley Blue Book.
“The new F-150 does its very best not to advertise how modern it is. But don’t be fooled. In its construction, its cabin, and in the way it goes down the road, the 2015 Ford F-150 is a much more refined tool than the one it replaces.” — Automobile Magazine.
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“It’s hard to appreciate why the Ford F-150 pick-up truck is the biggest-selling vehicle in the country until you drive one. Then it’s easy to understand. It’s versatile. It’s got attitude. It’s in charge.”