America's favourite pick-up truck must have something going for it besides its size. We drive the Ford F150.
You may not be able to get your hands on the Ford F-150 in the UK, but its popularity across the Atlantic is unrivalled. With over 700,000 finding homes annually for the past 32 years, it’s the best seller in the US market for the whole of that period, so to compare the importance of the F-150 to the Ford Fiesta in the UK isn’t an exaggeration.
The latest-generation F-150 is a complete revolution over the outgoing model. For the first time in this market, Ford has adopted a full aluminium bodyshell, which has allowed the company to achieve a 300kg weight saving – roughly the same as ditching a whole cabin’s worth of passengers.
As a result of the lean diet, Ford is expecting a fuel efficiency improvement of anything between five and 20 per cent, depending on engine. Plus, the F-150 hasn’t been able to avoid the current trend for downsizing, so the 5.0-litre V8 and two 3.5-litre V6 engines have been joined in the range by a new 321bhp 2.7-litre V6 EcoBoost engine.
When powered by the latter, the F-150 feels as solid from behind the wheel as it did before. You sitelevated, high above road level, surrounded by high-gloss surfaces, leather and endless space. Even in sluggish, stop-start traffic, the new 2.7-litre EcoBoost – which engineers proudly claim combines V8 performance and four-cylinder fuel economy – feels responsive and flexible enough to move the F-150 in a relaxed and agile manner.
Yet it also has enough grunt to really gather pace quickly when you put your foot down. You will, however, have to get used to the new stop/start system, which may be a feature slightly alien to some pick-up drivers.
Steering feel is surprisingly precise and only over rutted ground does it become clear how soft and wallowy the chassis is. Plenty of modern tech and driver assistance systems have made their way from more sophisticated passenger cars, too. Buyers can order the F-150 with LED headlamps, a huge full colour central display with SYNC connectivity and also a secondary eight-inch digital display between the instrument binnacle.
But it’s not only the size, the roominess, the robust technical solutions and the hard-to-beat value that define the F-150. This giant Ford also offers a bunch of smart and convenient solutions which are likely to win the hearts of regular pick-up buyers.
Price: $42,110 (£26,190)
Engine: 2.7-litre 6cyl petrol
Transmission: Six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-60mph: 7.5 seconds (est)
Top speed: 130mph (est)
Economy: 30mpg-plus (est)
On sale: Late 2014
4/5 Star Rated
The build quality trails European standards, but the F-150 belies its size with the way it drives, plus it can tow up to 12 tonnes (with the right engine) and carry six people in relative comfort. In the US it’s as fit for purpose as ever, although it’d be a squeeze to drive on UK roads. The big Ford has been a US best seller for 32 years, and there’s no reason why this hi-tech revamp shouldn’t continue the success story
Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ford/f-150/88874/ford-f-150-2015-review#ixzz3FMdwsreC
Build quality trails European standards, what a total load of crap, l have driven the Ranger sold in Europe, the quality was total crap not a bit of paint left underneath on a 18 month old Ranger l hired on vacation in Thailand two years ago, it was completely covered in red rust, all the steering components were covered in rust not a bit of paint left on it anywhere underneath. Mmmm European standards higher LOL. Auto Express want get out a bit more and test something thats a bit more than 10 minutes old.
Nothing at all wrong with US F-Series build quality, AE you need to get out the driving seat, look under a 2 year old European Ford Ranger the build quality is pretty non-existent in European trucks. AE are seat testers don't look much deeper than that.
At least the new aluminium F-Series won't rot fast like a Ranger sold in Europe, Auto Express says European standards are higher LOL, more like they are a joke.
I managed to average 33.5 MPG Thai steel Ranger diesel that l hired, the Thai Ranger and F-150 are not that much different in size, so the aluminium F-150 30 plus MPG is not that good that Auto Express managed to get. Auto Express managed to get 33.2 MPG average when they tested the diesel steel Ford Ranger.