Quick Spin: 2015 Ford F-150

2015 ford f-150
I try to write a review of every car I drive, but this is not always possible. In 2015 for many, mostly personal, reasons I missed a few. Here are my abbreviated impressions of the all-new aluminum bodied Ford F-150.
It’s amazing how far the almighty pickup truck has come. This vehicle here had the following options, many of which came only on the fanciest of luxury cars not to long ago: power heated and ventilated seats, cameras all around, heated steering wheel, excellent audio system, panoramic sunroof, nav system, power folding mirrors with spot lights (!), LED headlights everywhere, and a power tailgate. Yes, a freakin’ power tailgate! POW, mind-blown!

2015 ford f-150 side
To say that the new F-150 is over-engineered would be an understatement. I felt like Ford threw everything they had on this thing. It’s not that the built quality just seemed good, but it’s that there were some really clever ideas, cleverly designed and integrated into this truck. For instance, the LED bulbs in the mirror-mounted blinkers can function as really bright spot lights. Not included on the test vehicle, but optional is the “Pro Trailer Backup Assist” which significantly simplifies those tricky trailer maneuvers. Backup camera and integrated brake controller are things we take for granted now but are extremely helpful in daily duties. These are just some of the very many such features.
The interior is great, too. It is big but it is very functional while remaining ergonomic for drivers of all sizes. The seats are couch like, big and soft, but supportive where they need to be, great for the many people who spent many hours a day in their trucks. Storage bins, cubbies, connections, it’s all here, all where you’d expect it, all easy to use. Perhaps the most surprising area of this SuperCrew model is the rear seat space – it’s just huge. I think there is more legroom there than in the Range Rover LWB. Flip-up the rear seat cushion and large toolboxes or dog cages could easily fit there.
2015 ford f-150 interior details
But where the F-150 impressed me the most was with its driving characteristics. The 3.5 EcoBoost had enough guts to haul this SuperCrew® in a way that would embarrass many sporty sedans of the past decade. Those crying about the next Raptor being available with this engine only shouldn’t worry, it’s great, and I was highly skeptical at first. Highway passing, ramps, and emergency braking were unlike any other truck I’ve ever driven, and all with a hint of whistle. The handling, even with the FX4 off-road package, was damn impressive, too, but which I mean very un-truck like. Honestly, it was much more comfortable and handled much better than my 4Runner, a full-frame vehicle with a live axle, like the F-150. High driving position and big windows made maneuvering downright easy. Ford did an amazing job of making this large truck feel small and it convinced me, a total city-slicker, that I could live with it.
While so many things on this truck are so great, one thing bothered me – time. It is no secret that most pickup trucks in their lifetime are simply abused. Fleet vehicles often go unmaintained and work trucks are overloaded. My daily driving takes me through some industrial areas and I see twenty year old pickups with bent frames, rusted beds, and smoking exhausts still slowly hauling, literally, tons of junk to scrap yards. Question that no one can answer now is, how will this turbocharged engine, power tailgate, cameras, and the other toys stand the test of time and the abuse that comes with it?
2015 ford f-150 exterior details
Ford provided the vehicle for the purpose of this review. Images: ©2016 Hooniverse/Kamil Kaluski, All Rights Reserved

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  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    How are the technicalities of unfinished reviews? If you get a manufacturer car, and don’t publish anything about it, will there be sanctions? Or do these vehicles just keep coming?
    What kind of fleet vehicles go unmaintained? I’ve always just assumed that cars that used to earn their living have the advantage-wrapped-in-disadvantage of being well-maintained. Not true for trucks?

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      I can’t speak for others, I just do my own thing, and always try to write something… but it isn’t always possible.
      From my experiences, fleet, or company owned vehicles, are treated worse than rental cars.

      1. Scoutdude Avatar

        That is the opposite of my experience. Fleet/company owned vehicles are put on a strict maintenance schedule in most cases. Now as far as far as worrying about dents, dings and spilling coffee all over the place yeah fleet/company vehicles can be treated poorly. However that is mainly pool vehicles where no one person can be blamed for the vehicle getting trashed.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          A colleague of mine has the responsibility to follow up our pool cars. The amount of dings due to concrete street and mailboxes is biblical, and he is constantly annoyed with the drivers. But everything gets sorted out at the dealer, and the cars follow the maintenance schedule. It wouldn’t be the worst possible purchase for someone on a bargain hunt to buy one of these Suzuki Swifts and Mitsubishi iMievs.

        2. bigredcavetroll Avatar

          When I did landscape construction we took very good care of our equipment too. It was all thoroughly washed and vacuumed out every week and the maintenance was very well kept up with. If a piece of equipment ever got damaged it would be fixed ASAP, including things like body work. It’s kind of a poor image statement to see a truck emblazoned with a company’s logo on it looking like a turd.

  2. engineerd Avatar

    Fleet users aren’t going to have all the bells and whistles mentioned. They’ll have stripped down XL or XLTs with the 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 or the 5.0L V8. I think the XL can be had with manual windows and an AM/FM radio.

    1. Scoutdude Avatar

      I agree that most fleet/company vehicles will be XL’s with limited equipment. The one exception is the bass/owner’s truck. That truck may be a mid or up level vehicle but it will rarely do any actual work and will be traded in relatively short order.

  3. CruisinTime Avatar

    What is the retail price of this truck? Nice review.

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      Hold on to your tits:
      Base: $44,465
      Equipment Group 502A: $6995
      3.5 EcoBoost: $400
      Moonroof: $1295
      Trailer package: $495
      FX4 off-road: $770
      Ext gas tank: $195
      Int trailer brake: $275
      Tech pack: $905
      Spray bedliner: $475
      Destination: $1195
      TOTAL: $57,465
      Keep in mind that Ford constantly has some kind of rebates, savings, discounts, etc. Three of my friends recently bought an F-series, and neither of them paid anywhere close to sticker.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Isn’t this series quite new? Interesting that they are pushing discounts already.

        1. Kamil K Avatar

          You really need to go and see the dealer. One friend went and bought the previous gen due to the substantial diff in price. Another friend bought this new gen with a 2.7 for a great deal, and the third friend bought an F-250 for only $1500 more than a similarly equipped new F-150.
          I think it depends a lot of where you are shopping, truck country or bimmer country.

          1. Scoutdude Avatar

            Ford built too many XLT 2.7’s so they were discounted while the 3.5’s King Ranch/Platinum/Limited were not because that was what more people wanted. Expect that mix to change.

      2. CruisinTime Avatar

        Good to see a positive review, These trucks hold resale value.

  4. mdharrell Avatar

    “…heated steering wheel….”
    Are you sure that’s not just a short in the horn circuit?

  5. JayP Avatar

    Sergio announced the next Wrangler will be offered as a pickup.
    My concern… that’ll turn into this.
    Power on everything, button warmers, 5 cameras.
    I want a simple truck.

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      Right. But dd you know that you can get the current Wrangler with leather heated seats and Alpine audio? Both are actually quite nice…

      1. engineerd Avatar

        Air conditioning is still an option on the base Sport trim. Manual locks and windows are still standard on everything up through the Willys Wheeler. I love that.

        1. Kamil K Avatar

          Dude… RHD!!!!

  6. Roody Avatar

    You know, the F150 is growing on me. It’s a better and better truck with every iteration (as it should be), but it seems like it’s genuinely good now. That being said, I still can’t comprehend why they don’t use a column shifter, or even the knob-style thing Dodge uses…the console-mounted shifter just eats up space…

  7. Maymar Avatar

    Does it still do that thing where you close one of the doors and it feels like the entire cab shakes just a little? That seemed to be pretty unique to late-model F-150s.

    1. Kamil K Avatar

      I didn’t notice anything like that in this or any of my friends’ trucks. I guess?

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