2015 Ford F-150 4X4 Supercrew Lariat Review By John Heilig
AUTO PAGE SPECS
REVIEWED MODEL: 2015 Ford F-150 4X4 Supercrew Lariat
ENGINE: 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with tow mode
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 325 hp @ 5,750 rpm/375 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 145.0 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 231.9 x 79.9 x 77.2 in.
CARGO: Maximum payload – 2,250 lbs./Maximum towing capacity – 8,500 lbs.
ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway/20.1 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 23.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: N/A
BASE PRICE: $41,735
BOTTOM LINE: Despite a number of changes that include not only an aluminum body over a steel fully boxed frame, and a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine, the new Ford F-150 is just as capable as the 2014 version. The aluminum body insures lightness, and that has advantages all over the spectrum.
The first question most people asked me about the Ford F-150 in my driveway was about the aluminum body. Ford went to aluminum because it saves 700 pounds from the 2014 version. I believe these questioners were concerned about repair costs, but Ford advises that repair costs on the new body are in the same neighborhood as with the “old” steel body. Fortunately, I did not have to test that.
Oddly, nobody asked about the 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 engine. In fairness, I drove the car for at least a day before I checked the spec sheet and was surprised to see that it was the 2.7-liter engine. Performance from my standpoint was as good as I could have expected from a larger engine with more cylinders. In fact, Ford has a chart that compares the 2.7-liter with offerings of other manufacturers and it stands up well. The macho owners who insist that a full-size pickup must have a V8 should check this one out.
The Ecoboost has enough power and torque for normal truck usage. It might have to work a bit harder with heavy loads, but its numbers are still greater than the 3.5-liter V6 (282 hp/253 lb.-ft.) and close to the 5.0-liter V8 (385 hp/387 lb.-ft.).
The aluminum body has some distinct advantages. For example, you can lower the tailgate with the key fob. Lifting the gate back into its riding position is a lot easier because it is lighter than a steel tailgate. The tailgate also locks and can be removed easily.
We drove the Supercrew version, which is enormous, with a 145-inch wheelbase and 232-inch overall length. It is roomy, with excellent rear seat legroom. The console between the front seats can be raised to create a bench seat, so the Supercrew is a true six-seater.
Still, with its size, it is hard to see small sports cars when they are behind you and you don’t use the rearview camera to check. I learned. Again, with its size, entry is a chore for senior citizens. Some sort of running board would have been appreciated. Assist handles on the A and B pillars go a long way toward ameliorating this problem.
Remote start was a Godsend in cold weather. The F-150 also takes advantage of start/stop technology, where the engine goes to sleep at red lights and long stop sign waits, easing fuel consumption. We averaged 20.1 mpg on our test, which included a lot of local driving.
The driver sits in front of a comprehensive instrument panel. Besides the standard tachometer, speedometer and information panel, there are four accessory gauges above the information area. The information panel includes trip info, a digital speedometer, compass, fuel history and economy. Our tester also had the standard Ford infotainment system with phone, information, entertainment and climate. Our tester was not equipped with navigation.SD slot and a 12-volt outlet at the base of the center stack. There are also 12-volt and 110-volt AC on the right of the center stack.
The center console has a pair of cupholders. The console itself is fairly flat, because it’s also a seat. Raise the console to a seat and two more cupholders appear.
There is excellent visibility all around with large windows. In addition, the front side windows have cut downs that make checking the exterior rear view mirrors easier.
The bed itself has a spray-on liner and four tie downs to hold any cargo in. There are lights in the back so loading and unloading after dark is less of a problem.
Much of Ford’s early advertising for the F-150 concentrated on the new aluminum body. There are many other attributes that make this a worthy ancestor to the vehicle line that has dominated its segment for 37 years.
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