Review: 2015 Ford F-150 4×4 Supercab

Thursday August 6th, 2015 at 11:88 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab

By David Colman

Hypes: Aluminum Saves 700 LBS, Sweet EcoBoost Motor
Gripes: No Tailgate Damper, Manual Seat Back Control

Although Ford’s latest F-150 may look familiar, its what you can’t see that distinguishes it from its predecessors. At just 5,000lb, it’s remarkably light for such a large truck. The substitution of aluminum for steel in the cab and body structure has pared curb weight by 700 pounds. As a result, you no longer need a gas swigging V8 under the hood to provide enough punch for acceptable performance. Our test F-150 utilized a V-6 engine displacing just 2.7 liters. Using such a small engine would have been unthinkable in previous three ton versions of the F-150, but thanks to the use of aluminum, the small displacement engine is perfectly adequate to all needs, including towing up to 11,000 pounds.

2015 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab

The secret to the success of the 2.7 liter V6 is the fact that it’s equipped with twin turbochargers (“EcoBoost” in Ford parlance) which allow the diminutive mill to make 325hp and 375lb-ft. of torque. When you stomp the loud pedal in this rig, you’ll have no performance complaints about its V6 replacing a V8. The only irksome note is struck by Ford’s Auto-Start-Stop regimen, which automatically kills the engine at stoplights, then re-fires it when you touch the gas pedal. Although this protocol does save fuel, the F-150 shudders when shutting down, then shakes like an awakened Frankenstein when re-firing. You can, however, manually override Auto-Start-Stop with a button on the dash console. Trouble is, you have to reactivate your deletion choice each time you re-start the truck. In any event, at refueling time, you’ll be pleased to learn that the EcoBoost motor averages 20MPG in overall driving. The 5.0 liter V8, which is still available in the F-150, will return just 17MPG in overall driving, while making 360hp and 380lb.-ft. of torque.

2015 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab

Since our test F-150 arrived during a week when we were building and furnishing a small utility shed, we put the behemoth Ford to good use all week long. After visiting a builder’s emporium in Petaluma, we loaded the Ford’s 6 foot long bed with multiple 4′x8′ sheets of Thermoply wallboard and Insulfoam rigid insulation. At first, the Ford’s 6′ short bed seemed problematic, but leaning the load against the closed tailgate forced the extra 2′ lengths to curl upwards while remaining inside the gate. Had we transported plywood, however, the 6′ bed would have prevented us from using this trick. The morale is that if you truly need a work truck, you may not want to opt for the Supercab configuration which limits bed size to 6′ in length.

2015 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab

The bed of our test truck featured 8 different tie-down hooks, which we utilized to attach bungee cords to stabilize the load. Our test truck featured a couple of options that vastly improved its load carrying ability. The first was a $475 Spray-In Bed Liner, which provides you with a non-slip surface for your load. It also protects the bed from scratches, so we were able to transport a trio of 20″x20″ very heavy paving stones without leaving a mark on the bed floor. The other brilliant innovation is the $375 Tailgate Step, which proved invaluable when climbing into the bed to arrange loads. This device features a single step ladder which deploys from the dropped tailgate. It also features a handrail which extends to let you get a grip while climbing aboard.

2015 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab

Since my wife and I drive close to 50 different new vehicles each year, it would be easy for us to become a bit blasé about their various virtues. But when my wife returned home after yet another transport mission, she exclaimed as she walked in the door, “I just love driving this truck!” Without question, there’s a certain exhilaration every time you climb onto the running board, hoist yourself into the luxurious cab, and survey the highway world from a perspective superior to that available in any car. The F-150 provides a sense of mastery before you ever flick the key to start. Its sheer size (232″ length, 77″ height) makes it tower over traffic, affording a stellar view of your surroundings. And its bulk is undeniably intimidating to other drivers, especially the boors normally predisposed to usurp your right of way. Given the go-anywhere capacity of the all-wheel-drive system, the epoxy-like traction generated by Goodyear’s best Wranglers (275/65R18), the decisive punch of the EcoBoost motor, and the commanding perspective from the glassy cab, the F-150 has all the bases covered when it comes to staking your claim in the traffic pattern. This is not a vehicle to be trifled with, and if you value the safety of you and your family, you might want to consider the F150 as your main means of transport – even if you never drop so much as a brick into that vast pickup bed.

2015 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab

2015 Ford F-150 4×4 Supercab

  • Engine: 2.7 liter V-6 EcoBoost Turbo
  • Horsepower: 325hp
  • Torque: 375lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 18 MPG City/23 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $43,480
  • Star Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Ford F-150 Platinum and Lariat Editions

Wednesday February 1st, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2011 Ford F-150
By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Smooth, powerful 5.0L V8 engine
  • Surprisingly luxurious interior
  • SuperCrew cab means plenty of room for passengers
  • Decent fuel efficiency, especially for such a large truck

Cons:

  • Ride gets choppy over rough pavement
  • Shorter bed length limits cargo capacity

The big news for Ford truck fans this year is an entirely new engine lineup for the best-selling F-150. Replacing the underperforming 4.6 and 5.4 liter V8 engines is a quartet of new motors, including two new V8s, a new base model V6, and even a turbocharged V6.

Although putting a turbo six in a full-size truck is a risky move for Ford, the 3.5L EcoBoost engine has the goods, producing 355 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, and up to 22 mpg on the highway, a potent combination with gas still close to $4 a gallon. The base 3.7L V6 engine is also an overachiever, making 302 hp and earning 23 mpg on the highway. With numbers like these, even hard-core truck owners might be convinced to abandon their V8s.

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2011 Ford F-150 4×4 SVT Raptor Review – The most off-road capable truck Ford has ever built

Monday May 9th, 2011 at 2:55 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
By contributing editor David Colman

Hits:

  • Now with four full-size doors with the Supercrew version
  • New cab configuration increases interior volume and allows for more comfort for rear passengers
  • Large 36 gallon fuel tank
  • Unique Raptor motor roar
  • SelectShift automatic transmission as close to a manual transmission as an automatic can be

Misses:

  • Large 36 gallon fuel tank
  • Uncomfortable upright rear seating position

If Popeye owned a pickup, the Raptor would be it. When you fit the 6.2 liter, 411hp engine to this 4×4’s beefy frame, you’ve got way more muscle than a tin of spinach. No other truck in our care has ever engendered so many conversations. Most of them began with the question, “Is that the Raptor?” because lots of truck fans have been on the lookout for this stout rig since it was announced at the beginning of the 2010 model year. However, the mid-year addition of the $3,000 optional 6.2 liter V-8 motor, which produces 434lb-ft of torque, is just what the hefty 5,850 lb Raptor needed to make it fly. If you need a power boost for passing, the 6.2 is your ticket to the fast lane. On back roads, just drop the massive shift lever into second or third gear, and the Raptor will jump obligingly when you prod the accelerator. On the freeway, in the “Drive” gate, a stomp of the gas pedal instantly drops the rig into passing gear. The 6.2 liter V-8 rocks the truck slightly at idle, and sounds like a motorboat at full chat. It’s a delightful motor that failed to use a full tank of gas during a week of heavy-footed driving.

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2009 Ford F-150 Review – New and Improved! But you probably didn't notice.

Tuesday June 23rd, 2009 at 9:66 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

2009 Ford F-150 XLT
By Kurt Gensheimer

Blings:

  • Luxo interior and ride quality
  • Microsoft Sync – the only endearing Microsoft product in existence
  • Gutsy and fuel efficient Triton V8

Dings:

  • Mundane exterior styling…
  • …except for the obnoxiously large faux chrome grille
  • Cargo loops in bed smaller than a needle hole

Ruling: Although you might not notice at first glance, Ford’s F-150 really is new and improved.

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2008 Ford F-150 4×4 King Ranch Edition – Boring but Functional

Friday October 10th, 2008 at 6:1010 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

By Kurt Gensheimer

2008 Ford F-150 4x4 King Lariat Ed.

Blings:

  • High-Quality Hide
  • Luxurious for a truck
  • Solid, reliable performer
  • Deals galore can be had on them right now

Dings:

  • Outpowered by competitors
  • Four speed automatic with no tow/haul feature
  • Heavy (duh)
  • Thirsty (double-duh)

Ruling: The F-150 is as functional as a Leatherman and more boring than watching C-SPAN, but at least functional boredom comes in classy Texas-style luxury.

Until the Honda Civic recently de-throned it, for decades, yes decades, the F-150 pickup has been the number one selling vehicle in the good ‘ole US of A. If this statistic comes as a surprise, then you either live on the east coast, the west coast or the lost coast. Heartland America is where the F-150 thrives. Take a trip down to the local diner in Peoria, Illinois sometime. You’ll see pickup beds filled with everything from horse feed to Hemi engine blocks. They range in age and condition from rusty, run-down, Reagan era models to a brand new shiny, speck-free 2008 King Ranch Edition; identical to the one we tested.

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