New 2015 Ford F-150 Rolls Off Assembly Line, Still No Official MPG?
Yesterday, the first new 2015 Ford F-150 rolled off the assembly line to much hoopla and fan fare. Ford claims Aluminum is the future of trucks and the ride quality is vastly improved. Absent from yesterday’s fanfare was an announcement about MPG. What is the hold up?
For months Ford has claimed the lack of an official MPG is due to the way testing is done with the EPA. This may have been the case during the summer, but now it seems more like there should have been plenty of time to get this done. For example, when the new Toyota Tundra was revealed in February, we had fuel economy numbers by summer’s end. The new F-150 was unveiled in January, there have been national and regional press events, and some outlets have already gotten press loans. Now, we are weeks (not months) away from the truck hitting dealer lots and all Ford will say is the truck gets 20 percent better fuel economy.
Speaking of outlets getting press loans, Motor Trend was one of those outlets. Tired of waiting for an official MPG, they put the truck and the much talked about 2.7L through their own testing. They found the real-world fuel economy to be around 18 MPG. This MPG may be an improvement over previous models, yet when you look at the entire competitive market, it is simply an EPIC failure.
Officially, Motor Trend has the fuel economy at 16.6/21.5/18.5 city/highway/combined in their real MPG tests. This is better than a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with the 5.3L at 13/19/15 mpg with slightly higher power figures. It falls short of the more expensive 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel which scored 18.6/25.8/21.2 mpg.
Compounding the poor fuel economy issue is the truck is hundreds of pounds lighter than its’ predecessor (heck, we still don’t know exactly how much), yet only saves a few gallons of fuel a month over more powerful trucks that are less complex and (likely) more reliable.
Ford may be pulling back from the MPG talk. Consider that at yesterday’s press conference, Ford reps talked a lot about ride quality and the improved interior. This sounds like the old truck lingo on how to make trucks better. Not the new marketing push of better fuel economy.
USA Today had an interesting story about a lady who is traded her older Ford for a 2014 even after seeing the new one. Her thinking was that all the new bells and whistles are sharp, but she is concerned about reliability. Also, the lighter weight and (supposedly) better fuel economy is great, yet when gas is under $3 a gallon, it isn’t a big part of her buying decision.
Toyota Tundra buyers know how this buying decision is played out. Their thinking is: what would you rather have:
- A truck that gets 15mpg, but has a huge V8 and incredible reliability OR
- A truck that gets 17mpg, but has an incredibly complex powerplant and an aluminum body held together with rivets and glue?
OH, and by the way, truck #2 costs a few thousand more.
If the EPA ratings don’t come back a hell of a lot better than 16.6MPG, this is going to be the mistake that crippled Ford’s truck business.
What do you think? Are you buying into the new Ford F-150?
Filed Under: Auto News