This is America’s best-selling vehicle. While Ford sells Fiestas by the bucketload over here, in the States they prefer a big-ass truck. And it is huge. Sitting above the Ranger in Ford’s line-up, the F-150 is the entry-level F-Series truck. Above it are the F-250, F-350 and F-450.
While it hasn’t downsized – doing so would mess with Ford’s winning formula, it has got lighter for the latest generation model. More than 300kg has been knocked off the total mass thanks to extensive use of aluminium.
What are its rivals?
Although the F-150 is by far the biggest seller, it still has plenty in the way of competition – in the States, at least. Biggies (literally) include the Dodge Ram 1500 and GM’s Chevrolet Silverado. There’s also the Nissan Titan and the smaller Honda Ridgeline.
Which engines does it use?
Even the huge F-150 hasn’t escaped Ford’s Ecoboost programme. Engines include an entry-level 3.5-litre V6 and a twin-turbocharged 2.7-litre V6 (tested here). Topping the range, there’s a 5.0-litre V8, for the true American pick-up experience.
What’s it like to drive?
It’s about as American as vehicles come. So the steering is unnervingly light (that’s how they like it in the States), and the brakes offer very little in the way of feel. But the sound of the 2.7-litre V6 Ecoboost we tried is fantastic – and with a 0-60mph time of 6.1 seconds, it’s anything but sluggish.
Fuel economy and running costs
If economy is on your mind, this isn’t the vehicle for you. The 2.7-litre Ecoboost officially returns a combined American 22.0mpg – that’s 26.4mpg. Make the most of that vocal engine, and you’ll easily see that drop far into the teens.
Is it practical?
Hell yeah. Or at least, it is if you don’t really need a boot. There’s a massive 1.7-metre load bay, and there’s practically BMW 7 Series levels of rear legroom.
What about safety?
Basic physics suggests that, if you’re driving something with the mass of a Ford F-150, you’re likely to come off better in a collision with a Smart Car. Despite now being constructed broadly of aluminium (rather than heavy-weight steel), it scored five stars in crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s safety tests.
Which version should I go for?
The 2.7-litre V6 makes sense to us – it’s certainly quick enough, considering the slightly iffy handling and brakes. It also sounds good and is better than the others on fuel (OK, less bad…).
Should I buy one?
You can’t. At least, not officially, if you’re in the UK. That’s not a complaint – it towers over things like the Audi Q7, so would make very little sense on our small, congested roads. But it doesn’t stop us wanting to import one.
Every 19 seconds someone is buying a Ford truck, with the F-Series range accounting for 90% of Ford’s profits globally.