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New cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs for 2015, 2016 and beyond - Consumer Reports
Ford F-150

What is it? North America’s best-selling vehicle for 32 years running gets a thorough redesign – which can’t come soon enough in the white-hot competitive truck market. Combining utility, innovative interior features and some of the latest safety technology, the new F-150 looks to up the ante against tough rivals, Chevrolet and Ram.

What’s new or notable? The new F-150 will offer several features never seen in pickup trucks, including a 360-degree view camera, LED headlights and remote tailgate release. Another first includes integrated loading ramps (making it easier to load ATVs, dirt bikes and whatnot); think about the last time you rented a U-Haul and the truck had one of these…same idea.

Ford also claims that the truck is up to 700 lbs. lighter than the outgoing model, helping boost both hauling capabilities and fuel economy. Weight savings are due to increased use of high-strength steel and aluminum.

Buyers will have the choice of up to four engines, including a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 (with fuel-saving start/stop technology), a 3.5-liter V6, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V8. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine is said to return the same power as some mid-range V8s. Horsepower ratings and fuel economy estimates were not released.

Inside you’ll find the usual infotainment screen and latest truck apps – such as fuel economy and towing tips – and “the ability to create a customized home screen for customers to access their most frequently used apps in one place.” Interestingly, while Ford mentioned its Sync Bluetooth pairing technology (which we like) in the press conference, it made no mention of its much touted MyFord Touch (which we don’t like.)

Familiar trim lines return: XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch.

Safety features include lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot detection.

CR’s take: While the F-150 has long been competitive in CR’s tests, the current version got outclassed by the latest Ram and Silverado. So while both Ram and GM followed evolutionary steps, Ford went for a moonshot redesign. Ford claims they put over 10 million miles in developing this new F-Series. We’ll put considerably fewer miles when we buy ours to see how it stacks up. With the frequency our staff checks out test trucks for hauling errands, we’re always eager for another hauler to join our test fleet. Time for another truck test smack down.

When will it be available?  Likely fall of 2014

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