Using an aluminum body and a small-displacement EcoBoost V6, the 2015 Ford F-150 is supposed to represent the future of fuel-efficient pickups. With the EPA rating the 2015 F-150 at up to 26 MPG, how does it stack up with the rest of the competitive pickup crowd?
By the numbers, the entry-level 3.5 liter V6 engine gets a very respectable 18/25/23 rating with rear-wheel drive, while choosing the 4×4 option gets you a still-decent 17/23/19. The new 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6 tops the ratings with a 19/26/22 MPG turning just the rear wheels, and 17/23/20 going for the 4×4 version. Rated at 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque, it’s a legitimate replacement for a V8 engine while offering the best highway fuel economy of a gas-powered pickup.
For those more concerned with power than fuel economy, the 5.0 liter V8 is still available and nets a 15/22/18 rating in rear-wheel drive form and 15/21/17 with all four wheels spinning. The top-of-the-line engine choice for the 2015 F-150 is the 3.5 liter EcoBoost, giving buyers 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft to play with while returning 17/24/20 rating with rear-wheel drive and 17/23/19 with four-wheel drive.
Unfortunately for Ford, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel beats the 2.7 liter EcoBoost in both torque and up to 28 MPG with 420 lb-ft of twist and a 28 MPG highway rating. While diesel fuel is indeed more expensive, diesel motors are also frequently underrated. For Ford though, the ratings represent an up to a 29% improvement over the outgoing 2014 model. Yet I can’t help but a little let down; 30 MPG is the magic number automakers want to hit with their full-size pickups, and despite making a big deal over the switch to aluminum, Ford’s most efficient truck is still technically second-banana to the fast-selling Ram EcoDiesel.
Now if Ford were to stick a diesel V6 under the hood of the 2015 F-150, that could be a whole new ballgame. Yet the Dearborn automaker still seems reluctant to offer a small-displacement diesel to pickup customers, despite rising diesel car sales in the U.S. With the lightest truck on the market and an efficient-yet-torquey turbodiesel, Ford could almost certainly hit that magic 30 MPG number. What’s the hold up?