Ford's best-selling F-150 pickup is all-new for 2015, boasting advanced, aluminum body construction and improved fuel economy and towing/payload capacity thanks to its lightweight exterior. The F-150's rugged design, capable engines and numerous trim configurations carry over. Specialized niche models like the off-road-focused F-150 SVT Raptor and the burly F-150 Harley-Davidson are still based on the 2014 architecture.
Rugged, Lightweight Body; Substantial Towing and Payload Capacity
The all-new F-150 can tow up to 1,110 more pounds and haul up to 530 more pounds than its predecessor, thanks in part to an aluminum body and other weight-saving measures that shave up to 700 pounds from the truck's heft.
Of the four available engines, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 provides the highest tow rating of 12,200 lbs and the second-best payload rating of 3,180 lbs. The smaller 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 steps down to 8,500 lbs behind the truck and 2,250 lbs stacked on the bed.
Notably, the 5.0-liter V8 offers an 11,100-pound tow rating -- slightly below the turbocharged V6 -- but with a better payload rating of 3,300 pounds.
The F-150 is available with four different engines, including two powerful yet fuel-efficient "EcoBoost" V6 options. All are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and can be had with either rear- or four-wheel-drive.
The base motor is a 3.5-liter V6 producing 283 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. This engine replaces the 3.7L V6 in the 2014. It is available with 3.55:1 and 3.73:1 rear axle ratios.
Above that is the all-new, 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Producing 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque, this smaller EcoBoost V6 is available with 3.31, 3.55 and 3.73:1 rear axles to match customers' fuel economy and towing needs.
The next rung up in the powertrain hierarchy is a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 385 horsepower and 387 lb-ft. of torque. Up 25 horsepower from last year, the 5.0 Coyote is the new F-150's most powerful engine, and the only V8 available in Ford's half-ton. Rear axle options for the 5.0 mirror those of the 2.7L EcoBoost.
A popular alternative to the 5.0-liter V8 is Ford's turbocharged and direct-injected "EcoBoost" V6. Displacing just 3.5-liters, the motor is good for 365 ponies and a stump-pulling 420 lb-ft of torque. The larger EcoBoost engine can be matched to a 3.15:1 rear axle for maximum fuel economy, or 3.31 or 3.55:1 for increased grunt.
Thousands of Configurations, A Truck For Every Purpose
Whether a customer needs the F-150 to perform serious work day after day or simply be a source of comfortable, luxurious transportation, there are thousands of ways to configure and option out the pickup to make it the ideal ride for any given objective.
Available cab layouts include Regular Cab (two doors, three-passenger capacity), SuperCab (adds two rear-opening doors, five- or six passenger capacity) and SuperCrew (features four conventional doors, larger cabin with five- or six-passenger capacity). The Regular Cab and SuperCab variants can be had with 6.5- or 8-foot beds, while the SuperCrew features a choice of 6.5- or 5.5-foot beds.
The F-150 can be had in no fewer than nine trim levels, including the XL, SXT, Tremor, XLT, FX2/FX4, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited.
The latest trim, the Tremor, packs the EcoBoost mill into a short-wheelbase, regular-cab F-150 to create a sporty new model. It includes a version of the FX appearance package with flat black body accents and flat black 20-inch alloy wheels. Inside, it's the only regular cab F-150 to include a center console and bucket seats. To make it stand apart, the Tremor uses black leather/Alcantara synthetic seats with red piping plus brushed metal and red stitched accents. HID headlamps are also standard.
Interiors range from work-minded XL trucks with cloth seats and vinyl floors to several types of coddling leather interiors. Optional features are numerous and run the gamut from work/hauling focused bits to luxury and appearance items.
All F-150 models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags. An AdvanceTrac stability system detects wheel slip, understeer, oversteer or roll motion through the use of two gyroscopic sensors and intervenes with reduced engine power and selective braking to help the driver maintain control. A traction control system is also included.
Although there tends to be a great deal of brand loyalty in the full-size pickup segment, potential F-150 buyers willing to entertain other options should consider the sturdy Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the Ram 1500, which boasts a refined ride thanks to coil-spring rear suspension design. The Toyota Tundra is also a worthy rival thanks to its strong engine options.