By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 8.1
Continuing a 36-year trend, the 2015 Ford F-150 reigns supreme among full-size pickup sales. Owners love the F-150 for its wide and varied lineup that includes multiple bed lengths, cabins and engine choices, as well as an unimaginable number of trim levels. And, although there is no diesel engine option, the F-150 is the only full-size pickup to offer a turbocharged gasoline engine delivering power like a V8 with unbeatable fuel economy. Whether it's an inexpensive basic work truck that can take a beating and still hold its value or a plush, horse trailer-hauling family vehicle you can be proud to take to any country club, Ford builds an F-150 for all occasions and occupations.
If you're looking for a more personalized pickup truck, Ford's F-150 for 2014 offers one of the most varied and distinct line ups in the business. From trims to work options to cutting-edge electronics and infotainment systems, there is an F-150 for just about everyone.
The F-150 is a big truck that takes up a lot of space. If you just need a casual truck for hauling small items, a midsize pickup like the Toyota Tacoma or Chevrolet Colorado might be a better fit (literally).
KBB Expert Ratings
The 2014 Ford F-150 receives a new grille, with HID headlights now on XLT and higher trims. XLT and SLT trims gain new 17-inch wheels, while power telescoping and folding trailer side mirrors are offered as a new option. Limited trims will offer a new Marina Blue leather interior.
Driving Impressions Big payload and bigger towing ability hasn't kept Ford engineers from building a pickup truck that doesn't ride or handle like an aging flatbed. The 2014 Ford F-150 is so...... comfortable you'd swear you were behind the wheel of a Lincoln SUV. We tested a number of trims and found all delivered a fairly calm driving experience, with little harshness and an impressively quiet cabin. No matter which engine you choose, there is no shortage of power or ability, although the base V6 would be our last choice and the twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, our first. On the road, the F-150's electric power-assisted steering does an excellent job of delivering feedback to the driver while keeping the big truck tracking straight and true on the highway. During a towing demonstration, we hauled 20-foot trailers with absolutely zero drama, thanks in large part to the pickup's trailer sway control, rearview camera and integrated trailer-brake controller.
Designed to deal with the awkward and potentially dangerous chore of getting into the pickup truck's bed, the integrated tailgate step on the 2014 Ford F-150 scores big. It deploys easily and even offers a convenient hand-hold.
ROOMY SUPERCREW CAB
The cab in Ford's 2014 F-150 SuperCrew is so roomy it out-measures some full-size sedans. In fact, the rear-seat legroom is absolutely limousine-like, and the mechanically-articulated second-row seat flips up and out of the way, delivering an ample 57.6 cubic feet of space behind the front seats.
Knowing that the hands controlling the 2014 Ford F-150 will often be clad in some type of glove, be it work or ski, the design team has created buttons, knobs and switches that are slightly oversized, widely spaced and easy to reach. A thoughtful center console design can swallow two or more laptops or tablets; there are even slotted ridges along the sides for holding hanging files in place. There are two 12-volt outlets, one on the dash and one in the console, and an available 110-volt outlet. As for overall comfort, we think the F-150's contoured front seats are among the most comfortable in the class.Exterior
The 2014 Ford F-150 continues with its traditional boxy exterior but adds a healthy dose of oversized ornamentation (think grille, bumpers and mirrors) usually covered in chrome on upper trims. The F-150 features a strong new front grille, powerful shoulders and a tall bed wall creating a nice, deep box. Those tall bed walls, however, can be a bit of a hindrance when trying to access a tool box or gear in the bed's center. Understanding this problem, Ford offers an extendable side step on most models. Other available features include a tailgate stepladder, extendable side mirrors and HID headlights.
Every 2014 Ford F-150 full-size truck shares a robust, hydro-formed, boxed-section chassis that offers superior torsional rigidity while actually being lighter than the old-fashioned ladder frames of the past. The level of standard safety equipment is truly outstanding, including AdvanceTrac with RSC traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags with roll-fold technology for enhanced head protection in rollovers and side impacts. Safety is also enhanced by front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, "smart" airbags and seatbelts, a second-row center head restraint and integrated spotter mirrors.
For those who really use their pickup truck as a truck, the 2014 Ford F-150 offers some exclusive options that are right on the money. Our two favorites are the integral tailgate step that makes clambering into the box easy and the spring-out box side step that allows easy access to the deep cargo box. When it's kick-back time, Ford's SYNC, SIRIUS Travel Link and a high-powered Sony brand audio system help you while away the time. And when it's time to hit the road, the MyFord Touch will let you control navigation, music and cell phone all through the power of your voice.
Do you want a gasoline engine or a gasoline engine? The 2014 F-150 offers four of them – two V6s and two V8s – all with reasonable fuel economy, aided significantly by the addition of a 6-speed automatic transmission. A twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is a first for this segment and an engine that promises both strong performance and good fuel economy. Both the 3.7-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 are fitted with fuel-saving twin-independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) technology and, for towing needs, nothing can beat the two-valves-per-cylinder 6.2-liter V8's best-in-class 11,300-pound tow rating.
302 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
278 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg (2WD), 16/21 mpg (4WD), 12/17 mpg (2WD, E85), 11/15 mpg (4WD, E85)
3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6
365 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
420 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg (2WD), 15/21 mpg (4WD)
360 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250
EPA city/high fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (2WD), 14/19 mpg (4WD), 11/15 mpg (2WD, E85), 10/14 mpg (4WD, E85)
411 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
434 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD), 12/16 mpg (4WD), 11/16 mpg (Raptor)
With more than 30 different variants, the 2014 Ford F-150 pickup pricing covers a wide spread. Regular Cab XL models have a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) right around $25,000, while a fully-laden Limited SuperCrew can run well over $50,000. Somewhere in between those two extremes is where most buyers will find themselves. A look at the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com shows the typical transaction price being paid for the 2014 Ford F-150 in your area, so be sure to check it out before you set out to buy. The F-150 is expected to retain a better-than-average residual value, with the SuperCrew models at the top of the chart, followed by the Regular Cab and then the SuperCab. Over a 5-year period, the F-150's projected residual value is expected to be nearly on par with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra, slightly better than the Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan, but slightly below the Toyota Tundra.