Saturday, December 20, 2014

2015 Ford 150 Lariat, Pinch me is this really a truck?

I'm not a truck person and this is the closest thing yet to make me rethink that.  Driving it I had to pinch myself to remind me in fact it was a truck, not a large luxury sedan.  Not a sports sedan, but a very capable luxury car none the less.  Its so refined you have to remind yourself it has got an 8 foot bed behind you and consciously need to remind yourself of that when making turns and lane changes.

Where to start.  First off by now everyone has heard a bajillion times that through the use of "military grade aluminum alloy" the F150 has lost as much as 700 pounds over the outgoing generation.  That's huge. (Yes, I know some folks have put similar versions on scales from each year and have measured that, but why quibble over a few pounds difference).  The second you start driving you notice the huge difference in how the truck feels.  Gone pretty much is the "truck ride" of yore, that diet make a pronounced difference in how the truck feels on the road.  That diet has pretty much eliminated the pitch and yaw common in heavier trucks.

When Ford first began talking about the direct injection 2.7l twin turbo Ecoboost I was like "what!?", that's a smaller displacement V6 than they offered back in the Pinto decades ago.  This engine is a jewel.  Smooth, powerful and quick to respond.  This engine is totally new for 2015.  A special iron alloy block built to take the turbo load with special aluminium heads for better cooling to handle the heat load make this a very special engine.  Producing 325 horsepower and 375 ft lbs of torque, its no slouch in the power department.  Power comes on early in the curve and has a wide spread making it very responsive and an easy substitute from the V8's we're used to seeing in trucks.

The truck I drove was the Lariat in a SuperCab configuration.  I opted for the more common 4X2 version from the several Ford had for us to drive that day.  Its outright zippy. The interior is much more hushed than last years truck. Paying attention to traffic and not speed I found myself cruising along in the "fast lane" with others with no effort...well above the limit and was surprised by its quiet complacent ride even over some rough stretches of pavement.  Over my 20 mile loop of mixed freeway, stop and to traffic and urban driving I averaged 19.7 MPG.  This stacks favorably against the EPA's estimate of 19 city, 22 combined and 26 highway.  Is this really a truck?

Also included in the F150 is 2 information screens.  One is an 8" My Ford Touch that included navigation in the version I drove .  If interest in particular to me was the 8" Productivity screen that you control from buttons on the steering wheel to display information critical to what you're doing,such as trailer towing, off roading, MPG, whatever.  Nice touch and certainly good to be able to sort through data most important to what you are doing at the moment.

Interior fit and finish is the best I've ever seen in a truck from anyone.  Earlier this year I drove a V8 powered Silverado in mid-range trim and was pretty repulsed by the fit and finish...worse material choices than my 2013 Focus, certainly not up to the levels seen in this year 2015 F 150,  The details in the stitching on the leather trimmed seats alone is high end luxury car, not what you expect to see in a truck.
The version of the 2015 F150 Lariat I drove was very nice equipped.  It included the Trailer tow Package and a technology package that bumped the base $38.7K sticker up by another $7K to well over $46,000. Not chump change and certainly way more than your average mid size sedan.  But you also get your money's worth out of this truck as it has considerably more utility and a lot more luxury than those cars can only dream of.

Driving and spending time in this 2.7l Ecoboost truck I wonder why anyone would bother with the premium of a diesel like the Ram 1500 offers for only an extra MPG you gain.  The F150 turns in its numbers on regular gas which is selling for $2.89/gallon in my corner of Los Angeles today, versus the cheapest diesel at 3.99/gallon.  The cost per mile of diesel over the gasser just doesn't make sense in my book.

After spending a half hour driving the 2015 F150 in a variety of situations around the South Bay area of Los Angeles and Signal Hill all I can say is wow.  Certainly the best in the class.  Again.  Certainly competitive with luxury SUV's out there and a better alternative if you have real toys to haul, never mind the utility as a work truck.  You can build your own here on