2015 Ford F-150 Goes on a Diet and its New 2.7L V6 Impresses [Review]

Here’s our review of the all-new 2015 Ford F-150. Ford gave us the keys to a new F-150 for a quick trip around San Antonio, Texas to see how much has changed and there’s definitely a lot more than those lighter body panels.

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Earlier this year Ford unveiled the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup at the Detroit Auto Show with the biggest update being its new aluminum body. With the new F-150 about to roll into showrooms the communication still centers around the F-150’s “beer can” exterior, but what about the rest of the new F-150? Ford gave us the keys to a new F-150 for a quick trip around San Antonio, Texas to see how much has changed and there’s definitely a lot more than those lighter body panels.
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For starters, the design of the 2015 F-150 doesn’t stray too far from the last generation. It’s still boxy with an imposing grille that’s sure to scare anyone that it creeps up on. Even though the F-150 still retains the boxy exterior, new design details like LED lighting keep it looking fresh. It’s evolutionary redesign won’t offend the F-150’s diehard fans.

Related: 2015 Ford F-150 Priced at $26,515

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Even though the exterior looks more like a mid-life refresh than a full redesign, the new aluminum body panels grab all the news. Lighter than the former steel body panels, the new aluminum body helps the F-150 drop up to 700 pounds from the previous model. Of course there are other changes that helped contribute to the diet plan, like its lighter and stiffer frame. Ford is quick to kill any comments about the strength of the aluminum body panels, but the bigger question that no one can answer yet, is how much more will the panels cost to repair if you get in an accident.

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Besides the aluminum body and new lighter frame, one other big noteworthy addition to the 2015 F-150 is the new 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Yup the F-150 is now available with a engine that’s displacement starts with a “2.” With 325 horsepower on tap, the turbocharged 2.7L V6 is very impressive. Throughout the hills in Texas, the small V6 never ran out of power and we never noticed any significant turbo lag. The V6 is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Ford has not released the MPG specs, but we did hear reports of driver’s getting around 21 mpg on our drive.

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If you need more power, the F-150 is available with a 365-hp 3.5L EcoBoost or a 385-hp 5.0L V8. The base F-150 is now powered by a 283-hp 3.5L V6 instead of the larger 3.7L V6 in the last truck. Ford has not released the fuel economy specs, but does estimate that the 2015 F-150 will have a 5 to 20 percent improvement over last year’s specs.

On our drive the new F-150 felt not only lighter and with the 3.5L V6 it was downright sporty. The steering is direct, but definitely a bit on the light side. The ride quality of the 2015 F-150 has also improved over the 2014 model and while its updated suspension will give you a bit more confidence, the drive is let down by touchy brakes that don’t provide much feedback.

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Driving along the back country roads of San Antonio gave us plenty of time to check out the F-150’s new interior, which has been improved significantly. For starters the materials are now higher quality and in top trim levels, the F-150’s interior has a new level of luxury that you may not expect. Ford’s engineers spent countless hours making sure that every little detail was perfect, like making sure that the chrome bits were sculpted just right to not reflect in your eye or the buttons on the door were angled ever so slightly so that at night they don’t reflect in the driver’s side window.

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There’s also a long list of tech features that will make your life a lot easier, like the 360-degree camera view, panoramic sunroof, LED lights in the side mirrors, remote tailgate locking and LED lights in the bed. Supercab models also get new 170-degree opening rear half doors that will make it easier for your friends to get in and out.

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At the end of the day we walked away impressed with the 2015 F-150. It’s styling does’t break any new ground, but its everything under the aluminum panels that impresses. It’s more refined, lighter on its feet and an even easier truck to live with now.

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Pros: 2.7L V6, new tech features, noticeable diet plan

Cons: Light steering, evolutionary styling, needs better brake feel