Dirty Diesel Customs a Diesel Performance Parts Vendor Online in USA and Canada discusses Ford sold more than 120,000 units of its F-Series in Canada last year
Sylvan Lake, AB -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/07/2014 -- Dirty Diesel Customs a Diesel Performance Parts Vendor Online in USA and Canada discusses The full-size pickup category isn’t for everyone, but the fact of the matter is that three of the six best-selling vehicles in Canada are pickups. And leading the way is the Ford F Series, with more than 120,000 units sold last year alone, which explains why there’s such a fierce battle in this very lucrative segment. After all, this category represents the three American manufacturers’ bread and butter.
Each brand has a faithful clientele that is prepared to defend its favourite models tooth and nail. We like the charms of the Ram and those of GM's dynamic duo (Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra), respectively the sportiest and most comfortable of the bunch. The F-150, for its part, is a true work horse whose every detail has been optimized for efficiency.
For 2015, the F-150 has undergone a major makeover. These days, fuel economy is the hot-button issue, and pickups aren’t exactly renowned for their fuel economy. Ram is turning to a diesel engine while GM (and Ram also) is banking on a more efficient cylinder deactivation system to make its models more efficient. Ford is still showing confidence in its EcoBoost turbo engines, but since the promise of reduced fuel consumption is front and centre in the public mind, Ford decided that this new generation would attack fuel consumption by reducing vehicle weight. As a result, the 2015 F-150 is equipped with a completely aluminum body.
While several manufacturers of luxury models have already adopted aluminum – Jaguar and Tesla, for example – the F-150 is the first pickup to use it extensively. The difference is significant, with the model shedding 318 kilos (700 lbs) compared to the previous generation. What’s more, it has a greater loading capacity, since if one consider its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), a lighter vehicle can transport a heavy load, a most excellent collateral effect. This increase puts the F-150 ahead of its rivals in this regard.
An engine for every need
As for the engine, the 3.5-litre V6 is still there equipping the base trims. With its 283 horsepower and 255 lbs.-ft. of torque, it isn’t the most powerful, but will do for smaller jobs. Representing most past sales, the 5.0-litre V8 is back and continues to deploy 385 horsepower. The numbers haven’t yet been announced, but its capabilities should be slightly higher this year.
The most capable engine is the 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 that now has a payload of 3,180 pounds and a 12,200-pound towing capacity (1,000 pounds more than before). Not only does this engine improve the F-150’s towing capacity, but we won’t have to pay the tax for large-cylinder capacity vehicles since it’s less than 4.0 litres, thus saving us several hundred dollars per year and pretty much making up for the extra amount we’ll pay at purchase.
The big news for 2015 is the arrival of the 2.7-litre six-cylinder EcoBoost engine. In the middle of the line-up, it develops 325 horsepower and 375 lbs.-ft. of torque. Useless, we say? Don’t bet on it, since it features an excellent 8,500-pound towing capacity while promoting fuel economy. The principle behind this engine is simple: it’s aimed at those who need good capabilities every now and again. Why would we drive a V8 all year long if we only need to tow a boat or trailer a few times in the summer? At the end of the day, this engine will meet the needs of 90% of current buyers.
With these choices, Ford wants to offer engines that meet specific needs, with an emphasis on the lowest possible fuel consumption. As for the 6.2-litre V8, it will be back in the next Raptor, a version that has yet to be officially announced.
The choice of version, cab, length of wheelbase and body remain the same, but there’s a new Sport Package that features a monochromatic colour scheme and looks like the old F-150 FX4 whose components dedicated to off-roading are now part of the optional FX4 package. The F-150 XL is still the basic version, the Platinum remains the top-end version and the XLT is the bestseller.
A few style changes
The new F-150’s style is inspired by the Atlas concept vehicle that was introduced at the last Detroit Auto Show, but as is often the case, the designers remained a little more staid. The front has remained the most faithful to the concept with the imposing grille and reimagined headlights. On the sides, note the driver’s window that plunges slightly further forward in the door, all to reduce the height of the armrest inside. It seems to lower the beltline, which has a negative effect overall because it makes the vehicle seem less sturdy. The tail end has a restyled tailgate, but there’s still no dual exhaust!
In the cab, we can now get bucket seats and a central console on the XLT. The instrumentation has been revised with a new customizable multifunction display screen. The attention to detail is more noticeable and the dashboard looks less cheap: now it’s a little more comparable to what Ram is offering. Of course, they took the opportunity to improve the model’s features with the addition of things like a 360-degree camera, 110-volt electrical outlets and much more.
On the road
The F-150 that we test drove was equipped with the new 2.7-litre EcoBoost, and we were surprised by the far-from-anemic engine’s overall performance. It gives up only a few hundredths of a second in its 0-100 km/hr time to more powerful engines, while providing good pickup thanks to its generous torque. After a few hundred kilometres, we recorded an average fuel consumption of about 10.21 L/100 km, but we could have scored better had we driven at a more leisurely pace. Not too shabby for a vehicle capable of towing 8,500 pounds!
With its steel chassis and completely aluminum body, the vehicle’s centre of gravity changes and becomes lower, making the ride more dynamic. The vehicle feels more manoeuvrable for weaving in and out of traffic and the weight transfer is less significant. Thankfully, Ford has improved the braking but the recalibrated power steering still seems a tad over-assisted.
As for the rest, we liked how quiet the ride is and its improved overall comfort. There’s no doubt that this new generation will force the competition to react.
Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.
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