New 2015 Ford F-150 Rolls Off Assembly Line, Still No Official MPG?

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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?

New 2015 Ford F-150 Rolls Off Assembly Line, Still No Official MPG?

The first 2015 Ford F-150s are rolling off the assembly. We know a lot about the truck except MPG. Shouldn’t we know by now?

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:

  1. A truck that gets 15mpg, but has a huge V8 and incredible reliability OR
  2. 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


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  1. breathing borla says:

    “For example, when the new Toyota Tundra was revealed in February, we had fuel economy numbers by summer’s end.”

    that’s because they didn’t do anything to it, LOL.

    sorry tim 🙂

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      LOL. Probably a poor example, but my point remains. It is well past time for the official MPG to come out.


  2. Hemi lol says:

    I cannot wait to see how bad this ends up……. LOL all this added cost and for relatively no gain….. no thanks

  3. toyrulz says:

    It’s what I expected to hear for real-world mileage. Driven like a truck by any half-enthusiast wil. Be in full boost and drinking gas as fast as it can be injected. Less weight helps little booster be reasonable in city, but aerodynamics work the little motor on highway.

    That which negates the benefits of the larger ecoboost, is going to effect the smaller one more.

    Fancy old lady driving and taking advantage of all loopholes for EPA numbers will look much better but be a deal breaker in real world.

    • Larry says:

      You are right on the mark. The MPG issue is not worth taking about. Ford puts in a small motor, runs their tests in an empty truck then boast about the low fuel consumption.

      Then a twin turbo motor goes into the hands of the consumer who will run around under high boost. Next there will article after article about how the truck doesn’t live up to the fake numbers. If people want the MPG they need to get the V6 without the turbos which can’t burn the extra fuel since it doesn’t have the fans to pump in more air.

      Honestly, it takes fuel to move a truck and more fuel to move a truck quickly. There may be some benefit to a lighter truck but it’s not gong to be 20 percent. This just shows how dumb the buying public can be. It’s a pure case of cognitive dissonance. They want to hear how their twin turbo truck is going to get 20 MPG. Then they will be upset when they tow their 10000 pound Searay and get 10. A working gas truck is not going to get 20 MPG no matter what the readout on the dash says. The can’t improve the aerodynamics much and there is not much weigh left to remove and still have a solid truck.

      By the way my 7000 pound 4WD 6 speed manual 5.9L Cummins diesel with free hubs up front is getting 19 MPG in all round use and I can post the number to prove it. Sorry to say, other then the engine, it’s a very poorly designed truck and not durable at all.

      Good, reliable, real trucks get more difficult to find every years. Now it all about dual leather sofas with 4WD.

      • Rick says:


        That’s why I’m sticking with my Tundra. It’s reliable.

        I like the Rams but despite their aggressive and successful campaign to revitalize that truck and by the way, the rest of the car lineup, their trucks still break down.

        Diesel is the answer for hardworking, real world contractors, haulers and also for people who just want better MPG in a larger vehicle. An SUV provides similar room but cannot haul much without a bed in the back.

        Your Ram’s diesel is a good motor. Can’t wait to see one in the Tundra!

  4. Ron Baran says:

    I will stick with my Tundra always, no comparison when you talk power,dependability, and resale value. Good luck ford your gonna need it.

    • NotaSellout says:

      Toyota Tundras are fine for those that buy them – people who drive them back and forth to work, the shopping mall and haul the occasional small trailer.

      There is a reason Tundras are way behind the domestics in sales – they don’t hold up where real labor is done.

      • breathing borla says:


        that’s bs.

        the tundra is built like a heavy half underneath. The reason they don’t sell more is brand loyalty, political bias, and up front cost. They are a very solid truck and can haul and tow with any other truck out there, they just don’t make cheap fleet discount trucks.

        and I currently own a Ram 1500….

        • Jim Fowler says:

          And because there are a few us us left that don’t want to Ki$$ Japans @$$ since the Japanese have stopped American auto imports from selling in Their country for over forty years now via long dock wait times, tremendous red tape and other methods that almost double the price before it gets to the Japanese consumer. It’s always been the case and some of us will not drop to our knees for them like others.

          Sorry, deny the truth like most ignorant if you wish…………..

  5. Mike says:

    What alternate universe do you price the Tundra lower than the Ford? It simply isn’t true, go to both dealers and price them out.

    Besides, this will be redesign #2 in the same time period for the F-150 when compared to Tundra.

    Last time I checked, Motor Trend was not affiliated the EPA, so that little Mileage test means absolutely nothing.

    Toyota may build a more reliable vehicle, but that’s about it. Domestics beat it in just about every measurable category. I used to love Toyota trucks as they were a great value (I’ve owned 4) I believe my next purchase will be either the Ford or Chevy. Purchase price is lower by a significant margin, better fuel economy, less expensive parts, and simply way more advanced vehicles.

    The fuel economy numbers you have posted on the Chevy are simply not true. 16/19/22 for the 4WD V8 are the actual numbers. It is laughable when compared to Tundra’s 13/17/15. I don’t really care that I have to replace bearings or anything else on the Chevy or Ford before the Tundra because it will more than pay for it in economy.

    Toyotas are no longer the great value they once were.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      The numbers I pulled were from Motor Trend’s own analysis and I was using their data throughout the story. Pretty unfair to use their numbers for some parts and not others.

      BTW, pretty funny to us that you claim the EPA numbers will be better than Motor Trend’s. Historically, this has not been the case.

      Agreed on the Tundra’s fuel economy statistics. We have and will continue to talk about it.


      • Rick says:


        All things considered, Ford walks away spending much more than Toyota can afford to on this remodel and then either spreads out the loss on the rest of their lineup or they discount this model next sept (2015).

        I’m thinking the anticipated weight loss of 700 lbs wasn’t reached. Looking at Land Rover’s MPG, when they slashed curb weights in a similar fashion to Ford’s, their totals didn’t jump as much as Ford was predicting on their product. That’s what confused me. The LR’s are also more aerodynamic than the cement-block-shaped F-150. DId that truck perhaps had too tall of an order to fill?

        Since LR was reusing their old engines, I assumed Ford was getting their higher comparative numbers from this “new” ecoboost engine, something LR didn’t have. I wonder if Ford did any real world preliminary testing using some arbitrary, lightened mule before trumpeting a target MPG?

        What will ultimately happen for Ford buyers is that they will get a better truck just like Chevy and Toyota buyers wound up with last year. But it will cost more.

        However, If Ford decides to drop in a diesel, I could see that MPG number swell into the mid 20’s and perhaps a notch or two above. Declining oil prices could put the lid on this weight loss program for other competing manufacturers.

        Toyota and Nissan and even Chrysler don’t share the same immense sales bestowed on the F-150 and probably won’t be venturing out anytime soon to cut weight with an expensive aluminum bodied vehicle.

        I still stand by the edict of a simple union between a V8 diesel and an 8 spd transmission. If oil prices drop further, the buyer will still be there for the immense towing capacity this drive train provides coupled with real world MPG.

        Truck manufacturers can drop a couple hundred lbs lightening the drive train and suspension. Light weight materials can be thoughtfully incorporated throughout the interior to the extent you will have a lighter vehicle. You might not get more than a bump in MPG but you’ll get a better handling truck that brakes earlier.

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          I am supposed to be getting a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as a press loan sometime in the next few weeks. Like your statements, I am very interested to see what a diesel in a half-ton looks and feels like. I plan on driving this truck a lot around town and probably won’t tow. Why not tow? We already know that good towing is assured in a diesel, but the promise of better fuel economy has my attention.

          I may post a review on here, I’ll let you know.


  6. Rick says:


    No doubt your experience with the Ram will be valuable to know. I’m not crazy about that Italian based V6 diesel. The Cummins V8 in the Tundra is a better motor. So your testing will reveal what many out here are inquiring about but are not getting the answers to.

    If you have a buddy with a late model Ford, Chevy or a Ram 2500 diesel, take a spin in that truck. My Duramax made a believer out of me, but it never let me forget that it weighed north of 7500 lbs. The Chevy by the way, IMO felt sportier and handled better that the rest of the bunch.


    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Funny, I just had a Ram 2500 as a press vehicle. I did quite a bit of driving in it. Look for my review on in the coming days.

      With my 2013 Tundra sitting in the driveway and having experience driving the 2014, I’ll really curious to see how the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel matches up. Again, I have been “promised” the truck to review. I’m really, really hoping it comes through next month since I’ll be in LA for the auto show next week and Thanksgiving is the week after.


      • Larry says:


        I would most like to know your thoughts on the 8 speed transmission. As you know I hate automatics especial like the 4 speed in my car. If I had 8 speeds and could manually control it on steep grades they might be okay. Does is shift all the time trying to keep the RPM dialed in?
        Does the torque converter lock up in all gears or just 7 – 8?
        If it shifts a lot it would seem the torque converter would be constantly locking and unlocking also.

        With limited RPM range a diesel really does need a few more gears.

        These transmission are complex. VW has just announced dual automatic clutch 10 speed units for their cars. Real clutches not fluid couplers with lockup. They already have these transmissions and clutches with 6 speeds now.

        Since the exhaust system is so complex and so important to controlling diesel emissions I would ask if you might be willing to take a look underneath to see if it looks like solid stainless steel which will have a long life.

        As for the coils in the rear, I can understand that when empty they might be nice but, have they done something to make them progressive like a set of leaf springs so that they can handle different load. I can understand coils up front where the load is constant but how had they dealt with the limitations of normal coils? If air bags are the only answer for loads will they last of leak air?

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          This is a TON of discussion about the number of speeds in the Ram. I’ve driven one around a track and I did just have the Chrysler 200s as a press loan. As you may know that car has a nine-speed.

          My early thoughts are the extra speeds are really just extended overdrives. I mean, they only really engage at highway speeds. This is one of the reasons why there is such a difference between city and hwy mileage.

          I’ll check out the exhaust and look into the coil springs.


    • Larry says:

      Before getting a 5.9 Cummins I spent a lot of time learning all I could about the V6 from Fiat. It’s been in use a long time and has a solid reputation but that was in countries which do not require DEF or particulate filters and the electronics needed to control them. My neighbor test drove one and decided to by the V8 HEMI. I think his expatiation was that it would have more HP. He said it was sluggish, which is kind of what I expect for a diesel.

      Yesterday I filled my truck and paid 3.69 at the same station gas was 3.09, 60 cents a gallon more almost 20 percent. Factor that in and the benefit of the small diesel is gone.

      23 MPG goes down to around 18 or 19 MPG when you factor in the extra for fuel and DEF fluid. Next add in any estimated repairs or the cost of a total replacement exhaust system if it rusts out and there will be no savings at all. With federal requirements on diesel, it has lost it’s advantage. That doesn’t even factor in the up front costs. The cost of the 6.7 cummins on the RAM 2500 is around 7000 dollars and I am hearing they get 13 MPG avg. 850 foot pound motors in a pickup? All this was why I got a 2006 truck. The last year before the big change.

      Don’t forget RAM is going to rear coils on both the 1500 and 2500. That’s a bad idea in my view.

      For those who must have diesel Toyota is off the list for now but, for gas motor luxury trucks Toyota is still the best bet.

      Ford took a big gamble on this new F150. I have a feeling that after they get the platform stable, the market is going to love it and all the others manufacturers will follow in the next 5 years.

      I have to say these trucks are just not for me. Last time I drove a luxury F150 was on a river shuttle. A few miles down the road my ass was getting cold. I couldn’t figure out how to turn off the AC to the seat. The dash was like an airplane. TV cameras in the mirror. Backup with a trailer and the thing keeps warning you there is something back there. No kidding, its the trailer. Wish I still had my fathers 1940 Ford. That was a fun truck.

  7. Randy says:

    Ford will continue to push marketing poop out the wa-zoo like never before. GM use to have the automotive baloney patented; now Ford reigns supreme in that department.

    If anyone has studied the A, B, and C pillar attachment points of “flat” metal aluminum and glue quickly realize there is no “boxing” to those members at all. This explains the extreme flexing in the body, doors, and panels in just normal everyday driving. Use to be it was Chevy was the Jell-O king, now it is Ford by a wide margin.

    Even with the TSBs through the 2014 F150 the condensation/hydrocarbon issues are still unsolved and the persistent damaging problems still remain.

  8. RIck says:


    Here is the link to an Autoweek article regarding the new F-150’s MPG claims.

    • Larry says:

      This is great stuff.

      A 2.7L engine (160 cubic inches).
      325HP and 375 f/lb and I’m supposed to believe it gets 19-26mpg.
      It might get 26 on the highway with a tail wind on a flat section of 200 miles with the cruise control on which proves what? Of the total miles driven by everyone how many are under those conditions? And, who is going put the cruise control on and not kick in the turbos.

      I guess Ford pulled a fast one on the EPA and go away with it. “Our truck get 26 MPG” CAFE requirements delivered. 325 HP? For those old enough to remember how about those old solid Ford 289s (4.8)L and Chevy 283 V8s. The were solid and didn’t even come close to those numbers unless we changed the cam, pistons and carburetors. Those were the days. I realize engines are better and more efficient but not by those numbers. The truck still weighs 4000 pounds and they are still calling it a truck so it might actually have to do some work one day, then it will turbos on and 12 MPG just like old times. My 2.5 Subaru Forester which is 3300 pounds is lucky to get 26 on the highway.

      If I had a truck company I would just light up a digital read out on the dash and just have it permanently say 30 MPG. Sales would go through the roof.

      A real truck is something like an F250, it has a 6L engine, and get 8-10 MPG while it’s working. It’s exempt from EPA numbers. Why, because it takes fuel to do real work and it takes 6000 pound of steel to make a truck strong enough to do that work. People who fall for these numbers are sucker.

      Last week I mentioned my neighbors son picked up a 3.7 EcoBoost. Now his father has a for sale sign on his F350 power stroke. As soon as it’s sold, he is getting a 3.7 EB also.

      The world is taking the bait. Will Toyota follow, my bet is they will and the Tundra will be come a marshmallow too.

      • “If I had a truck company I would just light up a digital read out on the dash and just have it permanently say 30 MPG. Sales would go through the roof.” – This could work.

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