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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Ford F-150 XL include 3.5L V-6 282hp engine, 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, Safety Canopy System curtain 1st row overhead airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, air conditioning, 17" steel wheels, ABS and driveline traction control, electronic stability, AM/FM stereo with 4 speakers.
Starting at: $26,030
Ride quality and handling prowess haven’t changed substantially with the new aluminum body, but the reduced weight clearly helps isolation from the road surface.
F-150 occupants can expect excellent ride comfort and a substantial feel. A 2016 F-150 Platinum model we drove smoothed out bumpy neighborhood roads, delivering a ride that Super Duty owners can only dream about. Electric power steering is quick and light, handily complementing this truck’s admirable road manners.
A V6 F-150 is quiet while cruising. One oddity: simulated V8 noise is sent into the cab, to satisfy owners who simply can’t bear to be without the sound of eight cylinders.
Despite its traditional separate body, an F-150 exhibits excellent composure. In fact, even though an F-150 looks tough, it’s among the best-handling big pickups. Ride control suggests a capable sedan, at least when rolling at moderate speeds. Pushed harder, not quite so much.
The 2.7-liter V6 engine works well with Ford’s 6-speed automatic. Acceleration is energetic and smooth, the turbocharger heard faintly under acceleration. Ford’s Stop/Start setup is among the best, practically seamless when it’s time for the engine to restart. EPA-estimated fuel economy is a comparatively thrifty 19/26 mpg City/Highway (22 mpg Combined) with that engine and two-wheel drive.
Quite a difference from the V8 version, EPA-estimated at only 15/21 mpg.
When the F-150 was redesigned for 2015, Ford downplayed the dramatic aluminum body by retaining an angular look and deleting the prior F-150’s curves. The body and cargo bed are made of aluminum panels glued and riveted together. All that aluminum sits atop a ladder frame, made mostly of high-strength steel.
Led by its tall grille and faired-back headlights, the F-150 continues to convey a definitively tough-truck character. Rectangular headlight inserts recall early F-Series pickups. A beveled hood helps send air across the roof.
SuperCab and SuperCrew body styles come with a five-foot-six, six-foot-six, or eight-foot cargo bed. Helpful features are available, led by loading ramps that lock into bedsides, and a BoxLink system to divide and anchor cargo, and a slide-out tailgate.
Roomy up front, the F-150 benefits from two extra inches of width compared to previous models. Regular-cab pickups provide scant space behind the front seats. SuperCabs are basically for younger folks; but rear seats flip up against the back wall, yielding helpful cargo storage space on the flat floor. Legroom is ample and the recline is satisfying in the back seat of a SuperCrew, but seat cushions are a bit low.
In most versions, a wide, deep console sits between the front seats. It’s big enough to hold a laptop. More hard buttons than in past F-Series pickups operate the F-150’s infotainment functions. Controls seem intended for drivers with big hands, which makes sense for a practical pickup. Platinum models can now have genuine wood trim.
Five trims, three body styles, three bed lengths, four engines. Plus a host of available options give the Ford F-150 a lot to choose from. Prudent purchasing suggests considering one of the lesser trim levels, such as an XLT or Lariat, since a King Ranch and Platinum can easily top $60,000. In our view, the 2.7-liter twin-turbo is worth the additional cost.
Driving impressions by Bengt Halvorson, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.
The 2016 Ford F-150 lineup has been scaled down to XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum.
F-150 XL is available with any cargo bed or cab, and the base V6 is available for SuperCrew. Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, manual windows and locks, AM/FM stereo, vinyl floor, manual air conditioning, and tilt/telescopic steering wheel. F-150 XLT adds CD player, cruise control, power windows and locks, cloth front seats, and SYNC.
F-150 Lariat comes with turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 or 5.0-liter V8 engine. Standard are leather-trimmed and heated front seats, satellite radio, rearview camera, pushbutton start, power-adjustable pedals.
F-150 King Ranch is Crew Cab only, with a shorter bed and V8, or with 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 optional. Features posh leather, heated/cooled front seats, inflatable rear seatbelts, Sony audio, navigation, rear parking sensors, and remote tailgate release.
Platinum edition has LED headlights, blind-spot monitors, power running boards, remote start, remote tailgate release, rear parking sensors, and 20-inch wheels.
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