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2015 Ford F-150 2.7L EcoBoost 4x4 Lariat SuperCab First Test

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/21/2014 Jessica Walker, Christian Seabaugh
2015 Ford F 150 Lariat Supercab Ecoboost© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Ford F 150 Lariat Supercab Ecoboost

When I was growing up, Chevrolet trucks were "like a rock" and Ford trucks were always "built Ford tough." While Chevy has since found new roads and runs deep, Ford has stuck to the "built Ford tough" slogan like a magnet to steel, using it for its F-Series truck line for more than 36 years. With the 2015 Ford F-150, the golden child of the F-Series brand, switching from steel to aluminum construction this year, we can't help but wonder -- is the 2015 F-150 still built Ford tough?

To find out, we sourced ourselves what is perhaps the most interesting model in the new 2015 F-150 lineup, a 2015 F-150 Lariat SuperCab equipped with four-wheel drive and Ford's all-new 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6. The F-150 Lariat represents a step up the model ladder from the volume F-150 XLT, while the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 is the newest and most intriguing engine option offered on the best-selling pickup.

That EcoBoost 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V-6 isn't just tiny for a V-6, but it's also tiny for a pickup, making it the smallest displacement engine currently available in a half-ton pickup. While small, the EcoBoost mill is also tough; it's made of a compacted graphite iron upper block (the same tough-but-light material used in Ford's Powerstroke 6.7-liter turbodiesel V-8), and an aluminum lower block. Ford famously tested the then-secret EcoBoost engine by racing it in the 2013 Baja 1000 in stock form. The only replacement part needed more than 883 miles was a new air filter. The 2.7-liter engine is powerful, too. Thanks to two turbos, the V-6 produces a stout 325 hp and an impressive 375 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to tow up to 8,500 pounds or haul 2,250 pounds if properly equipped. A six-speed automatic is standard across the board.

© Provided by MotorTrend That hot new engine combined with that weight-saving aluminum results in some pretty impressive numbers from the 2015 F-150. Our well-equipped 2015 F-150 Lariat tester, with an extended cab and four-wheel drive, weighed in at an impressive 4,935 pounds. That may seem pretty heavy without some qualifiers, but consider this: The lightest version of the last-gen F-150 we tested -- a fleet-special 2011 model with a regular cab, short bed, rear-drive, and a turbo-less 3.7-liter V-6 -- weighed in at 4,698 pounds. Sure, that 237-pound difference might seem like a lot, but when you factor in that our 2015 F-150 tester came equipped with a rather heavy twin-turbo V-6, two rows of seats, four doors, leather, a navigation system, and more, the benefits of aluminum construction make themselves clear.

Still not impressed? Then check out the 2015 Ford F-150 2.7 EcoBoost's performance figures. Our tester accelerated from 0-60 mph in just 6.5 seconds and completed the quarter mile in 15.1 seconds at 92.8 mph. That's properly quick, especially for the F-150's small engine size. That stacks up pretty well to the last-gen F-150 -- it's quicker than a V-8-powered F-150 XLT SuperCrew 4x4 (6.9 seconds to 60 mph), and it's just behind the now-discontinued 6.2-liter-V-8 in a Harley-Davidson edition SuperCrew (6.4 seconds) and the 2.7-EcoBoost's granddaddy, the EcoBoost 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6-powered F-150 Lariat SuperCrew 4x2 (6.2 seconds). Our F-150 tester needed 127 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph.

© Provided by MotorTrend Oddly enough, the new 2015 F-150 feels even quicker than its numbers suggest. No, our F-150 Lariat tester isn't a sport truck, but it certainly felt sportier than Ford's last attempt at one, the F-150 Tremor. The new F-150 also rides and handles well for what it is. Steering feedback is on the light side, but response is accurate, and you're never left wondering what exactly the front wheels are doing. And for having a traditional pickup suspension (unlike the coil/air-sprung Ram 1500), the F-150 rides comfortably. Its ride is forgiving over rough pavement and dirt roads, yet the truck still feels planted when cornering more aggressively.

The littlest EcoBoost punches well above its weight. Being so small, it spools up quickly and turbo lag is nonexistent. The engine was also never caught flat-footed during testing — even at 7,000 feet and in sixth gear (the transmission appeared to be a pretty big fan of that sixth gear), the EcoBoost's broad powerband was never too far away. Perhaps the most amazing part about this engine is how versatile it is. Put it in Sport mode (activated by hitting the Tow/Haul button twice), and throttle response sharpens, the transmission's shift logic changes, and the V-6 hums, making the F-150 even more of a treat to drive. Conversely, hop on the highway and set the cruise control to 70 mph, and you won't hear a peep from under that aluminum hood as you eat up miles. After a few days of driving the F-150 around the city, on the highway, and out in the country, it's clear that this little 2.7-liter engine is all that most buyers will ever need. The fact that it's just a $795 option on most trim levels is icing on the cake, though as this is written, an ongoing discount reduces the upgrade cost to $495 over the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6.

© Provided by MotorTrend Speaking of pricing, there's no getting around the fact that full-size pickups have gotten expensive recently. The 2015 F-150 is no exception. Pricing is still being finalized as Ford ramps up production for its year-end on-sale date, but according to Ford's configurator, our F-150 Lariat tester started around $39,000, and it was optioned up to around $47,000. Options included leather heated and cooled front bucket seats for $650, navigation for $795, a trailer brake controller for $275, and a 36-gallon "extended range" fuel tank for a reasonable $195. Our truck also had four-wheel drive for $3,425 and Equipment Group 501A for $1,500, which includes remote start and tailgate release, blind-spot and rear cross-path detection, two 400W power outlets, power folding mirrors, and mirror-mounted LED spotlights. The latter I never thought I'd actually need, but those spotlights proved pretty useful early one morning when the lights in my garage went out. While just about every conceivable frivolity and option is available on the new F-150, one now-critical tool that's missing from the F-150 that both Chevrolet and Ram have is a Wi-Fi hot spot. Given that work from a jobsite could include responding to emails and pulling up schematics and spreadsheets, it seems like a small but increasingly important detail that Ford missed on the new F-150. I'm sure someone out there will appreciate that I'm writing this from the cab of a 2015 Silverado using its standard 4G Wi-Fi hot spot.

At the end of the day, Ford goes out and does the impossible: It makes the best-selling Ford F-150 even better. Is it still built Ford tough? It seems so. As for how it stands up to its competition, stay tuned to find out.


2015 Ford F-150 2.7L EcoBoost Lariat 4x4
BASE PRICE$44,500
PRICE AS TESTED$46,915
VEHICLE LAYOUTFront-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 2-door truck
ENGINE2.7L/325-hp/375-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)4935 lb (59/41%)
WHEELBASE145.0 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT231.9 x 79.8 x 76.9 in
0-60 MPH6.5 sec
QUARTER MILE15.1 sec @ 92.8 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH127 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION0.75 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT28.5 sec @ 0.69 g (avg)

Automaker-provided 2015 Ford F-150 photos:

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