Improving a Best-Seller
We Like: The reworked steering and straight-line dominance.
We Don’t Like: That the ride is still jittery; the polarizing interior details.
Now in its third model year, the F-150 adds a new powertrain and other improved bits.
Ford’s revisions to the P552 platform are a definite improvement. The new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 with auto start/stop is magic, creating 375 hp (10 more than before) and 470 lb-ft of torque (up 50).
Coupled to a new 10-speed automatic transmission, our Platinum-trim test truck is 0.3-second quicker than the 2015 model from 0 to 60 mph (6.1 seconds, blistering for a pickup). It also shaved 0.3 second in the quarter mile, to 14.7 seconds, prompting the observation, “Weren’t 14-second quarters just for sports cars only a few years ago?” Yet Real MPG increases, too, from 2015’s 14.8/19.9/16.8 mpg city/highway/combined to a more-impressive 17.1/21.1/18.7.
Testing director Kim Reynolds deemed the Ford’s steering “rubbery, but other times it showed some authority.” And ride quality remains rougher than others in the class; Loh said it’s “noticeably busier than the Nissan Titan, and I think best-in-class still goes to Ram with the optional air suspension.” The F-150 easily pulled our trailers, but was the only participant with a spooky moment cresting the Union Pass, where it didn’t feel completely stable heading downhill.
The big touches—aluminum body panels, camera views out the wazoo, and towing assistance features—impressed us. But familiar foibles like the cartoonish gearshift knob bugged us.
Lieberman lauded Ford for knowing the segment so well and quickly adapting with the new engine, new transmission, and revised steering: “I applaud them for changing so much in such a short amount of time.”
2017 Motor Trend Truck of the Year Contenders
|2017 Ford F-150 Platinum 4×4 EcoBoost|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front-engine, 4WD|
|ENGINE TYPE||Twin-turbo 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||213.4 cu in/3,497 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||375 hp @ 5,000 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||470 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||14.7 lb/hp|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar; live axle, leaf springs, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||13.8-in vented disc; 13.7-in vented disc, ABS|
|WHEELS, F;R||8.5 x 20-in cast aluminum|
|TIRES, F;R||275/55R20 113T (M+S) Hankook Dynapro AT-M|
|TRACK, F/R||67.6/67.6 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||231.9 x 79.9 x 77.2 in|
|TURNING CIRCLE||47.8 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||5,521 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||57/43%|
|HEADROOM, F/R||40.8/40.4 in|
|LEGROOM, F/R||43.9/43.6 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/R||66.7/65.9 in|
|PICKUP BOX VOLUME||52.8 cu ft|
|PICKUP BOX L x W x H||67.1 x 63.5 x 21.4 in|
|WIDTH BET WHEELHOUSES||50.6 in|
|PAYLOAD CAPACITY||2,060 lb|
|TOWING CAPACITY||11,500 lb|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||3.1|
|QUARTER MILE||14.7 sec @ 95.0 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||121 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.77 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||27.8 sec @ 0.63 g (avg)|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1,400 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$63,610|
|AIRBAGS||6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain|
|BASIC WARRANTY||3 yrs/36,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||36.0 gal|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||17.1/21.1/18.7 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||17/23/20 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.01 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium|