This week I am reviewing the best-selling vehicle in America, and the best-selling pickup in America for 38 straight years. I have silently wondered for a year and half why Ford would risk losing the truck sales crown by changing the truck so drastically. Now that I have driven the for week, I have the answer… it is to keep it #1.
The full-sized pickup segment is the most competitive and profitable segment in America. Automakers that play in this arena are constantly trying to one-up each other. I have reviewed every new model truck that is available except Nissan Titan, (which hasn’t changed in years): Tundra, Silverado, Sierra, and Ram-I have had them all. Simply put, Ford has raised the bar on half-ton trucks. There are no bad pickups made today, but now there is an exceptional truck in the F-150.
My review truck is the full-four door SuperCrew and it is the Platinum Edition 4x4. Platinum is the top-of-the-line and joins the in order of lowest to highest price. It has the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Together, they produce 365-horses. Other engine choices are the non-turbo 3.5 V6, the 5.0-liter V8, and a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost, which is the fuel economy king of the F-150.
The Platinum comes with an extensive list of standard features, including power deployable running boards, 2nd row heated seats, driver and passenger heated and cooled leather seats, power tilt steering wheels with controls, navigation system, rearview camera, remote tailgate release operated from the key fob, remote start, power sliding rear window, and push button start. It also has blind spot warning, and the tailgate locks when you lock the truck, which is an outstanding feature given the large number of tailgate thefts.
When behind the wheel, everything operates from an 8” color touchscreen, including the now perfect and MyFordTouch system. You operate all the radio functions, navigation system, and climate from there, including turning on your heated steering wheel. The leather seats in the Platinum are luxurious, and believe it or not, massage you. Yes, you get a great massage, much like you find on expensive luxury cars.
The center console is large and the shifter for the transmission is located there. Back seat room is incredible, and when you fold the bottom of the backseat up, you have a ton of interior space to hold cargo you don’t want in the bed, or your 4-legged friends. Interior quietness of this truck rivals the Rolls-Royce I had recently for review.
This where the new F-150 really gets cool: Ford thought of everything. The power tailgate release I mentioned earlier is REALLY neat, just drop the tailgate as you walk up to the truck. It has a 400-watt, 110 volt power inverter that allows you to plug anything in for instant power, like charging your cell phone, computer, or running a blender to make your favorite beverages.
Also really neat is lighting, and I mean all-around lighting. Start with LED headlights and taillights. There are built-in spotlights on the sides of the mirrors that operate from switches on the dash (think police car spotlights). There are lights on both sides of the pickup box near the tailgate, and another one that is mounted high on the back of the cab. There is even a light in the tailgate that shines on your trailer hitch for hooking up a trailer at night. Visibility is not a problem with this truck.
To make visibility even better, my tester has a 360-degree camera. Cameras are mounted in the front, under each outside mirror, and in 4 other places around the truck. The end result is you can see ahead of you, behind you, and around corners. It even has an overhead view that will show you all your surroundings. You do not need any help at all hooking up a trailer; it is now a one person job.
Speaking of trailers, my test truck has the 3:55 rear axle and is rated to tow 11,900 pounds-amazing with a 6-cylinder that is not a diesel. It comes with a built-in trailer brake controller and a class IV hitch. It also has a Smart Trailer Tow Connector, which will tell you-from the driver’s seat-if any of your trailer lights are not working. I find that pretty damned incredible.
Options on this one include the Technology Package, which gives you lane departure warning. If you stray out of your lane, the steering wheel vibrates. You also get adaptive cruise control, and the terrific Ford tailgate step. The new grill is great looking and this truck has beautiful 20” polished aluminum wheels. Front chrome tow hooks are a nice touch, too.
$1295 will get you a twin panel, full cab-length power moon roof, it has the FX4 package, which is $770 and includes skid plates. Active Park Assist is $440 and will parallel park the truck for you and $325 will get you side box steps. Simply use your foot to extend a step to allow you to reach the bottom of the truck bed from the side.
The Platinum I tested only had a little over 110 miles on it, so was nowhere near broken in, yet I exceeded the 17 city and 23 highway EPA estimates, and honestly I was not trying. I believe this truck, even with 4-wheel drive will do 25 MPG after it reaches 7500 miles or so. The 700-pounds lost with the aluminum makes a significant difference in fuel economy. The EcoBoost has a very slight turbo lag, but then it hunkers down, grabs hold, and will pin you to the seats.
In summary, the 2015 F-150 Platinum is an incredibly capable pickup, it is a wonderful family car, and it is a quiet luxury car all rolled into one vehicle. I wondered about the price when I saw the window sticker, but that is no longer a concern after spending a week with the truck. It is worth every penny. Not only will the Ford remain the #1 selling truck in America, this truck will put even more distance between itself and #2.
What I liked most: The new features and the performance of the EcoBoost.
What I would change: I can’t find a thing I don’t like.
MSRP: Base price $54,385. As equipped $61,340.
Fuel Economy: 17 City/23 highway/19 combined, but doing better.
Odometer reading when tested: 110 miles.
Weight: 5532 Pounds.
Length-Width-Height: 231.9” long/79.9” wide/76.9” High.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 36 gallons with the extended range fuel tank.
2015 F-150 in a few words: 100% unbiased: Best. Truck. Ever.
Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, and 5-years/60,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance.
Despreporno Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Dealers: We have great Ford dealers in Austin, Cleveland, 4 in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, Lubbock, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Francisco.
Jerry Reynolds, The Despreporno
Photo Credit: Ford