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Fuel Economy Update for January - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,112
edited February 2015 in Ford
imageFuel Economy Update for January - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

Fuel economy update for our long-term 2014 Ford F-150 for January 2015

Read the full story here


Comments

  • I'm really at a loss on what Ford is up to. I have a 2009 F150 5.4 V8 4x4. I don't drive it in the city much, but when I do it gets about 14 mpg. On the freeway it will get close to 20 mpg. On hilly, CA coastal roads with a full bed of furniture or junk it will get 17-18 mpg. It has a 36 gallon tank. So my range is from 600-700 miles, depending on circumstances.

    I'm sure the 2.7 will beat my 5.4 in a drag race, but this is a dang truck. I use it for hauling and for going places that involve off road elements (hunting).

    I don't tow. I don't drag race. All that aluminum and turbo tech in the motor says one thing to me: Higher cost. Oh, and it says another thing: Higher cost for no benefit.
  • No kidding. Are you sure you guys didn't get the 3.5 EcoBoost??
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Really curious as to how long it is before you guys get tired of putting in links to the click-bait post where you hit it with the hammer.
  • s197gts197gt Posts: 486
    handbrake said:

    I'm really at a loss on what Ford is up to.

    gaming federal fuel mileage tests. it is simple really: neither the manufacturers or the federal government care what real world fuel mileage is. they get to report that cafe standards are being reached.
  • legacygtlegacygt Posts: 599
    s197gt is exactly right. There is nothing wrong with Ford's ecoboost engines. But make no mistake, ecoboost engines have been rolled out across Ford's lineup specifically to take advantage of the EPA test cycle and manage Ford's CAFE number. For whatever reason, the EPA test cycle seems to favor smaller turbocharged engines. But the gap between real world fuel economy and the EPA number is larger for these engines than for other powertrains. I think we are finding that putting undersized turbocharged engines in larger, heavier vehicles (e.g., the Explorer with the 2.0 ecoboost engine) doesn't work. At least not from a fuel efficiency standpoint. These engines end up having to dig into the turbos early and often and the result is fuel economy nowhere close to the EPA number. The losers here are the consumer and the environment. We can hope that the EPA will modify the test cycle but in the meantime it's important for sites like this to document how far off the EPA numbers are for vehicles like this.
    It is not right to assume that the consumer expects that cars will miss the EPA number because this is a matter of degrees. If you look at a company like Mazda that is trying to come by its fuel efficiency honestly, they have cars that might have lower EPA numbers than a Ford but end up being more efficient in the real world.
    @sxty8stang I wouldn't be surprised if the 3.5 ecoboost actually is more efficient. Under similar loads it would need to spin the turbo less than the 2.7 and might be more efficient and more pleasant to drive. I'd love to see Edmunds get a hold of the same F-150 but with the bigger ecoboost engine (and how about the two naturally aspirated engines as well) and see how they do head to head under the same conditions. (I actually had hoped they would have done the same thing when they had the Explorer and see if it did any better in the real world than a FWD explorer with the naturally aspirated V6.)
  • Anyone here track their fuel economy over at https://www.fueleconomy.gov/? I've been doing it with the 2012 Quest I bought - I have yet to hit the EPA numbers and I suppose I should've expected that, but it's still irksome. Would be interesting to see how F-150s like Edmunds' and the other models compare to their EPA ratings and which report the furthest average off the mark.
  • It's way too easy to trash talk Ford for their ecoboosts. Ford is only jumping through the hoops that Congress mandated for it (and all other automakers). In response to the radically increasing CAFE standards, Ford has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in cutting weight from their vehicles (e.g., Aluminum in F150, soon to be rolled out in other vehicles) and more efficient engines. These ecoboosts are obviously superior to the mediocre slate of engines Ford previously offered in their cars and trucks. Every review of the 2.7 ecoboost I've read states that it's smooth and quiet, while being surprisingly powerful. I remember all the truck guys laughing when the 3.5 ecoboost came out saying that it couldn't be as good as a V8 for towing, it will have to constantly be revving high, break down faster, etc. Nope - the 3.5 is now the top of the line, best towing engine in the F150 line. The 2.7 looks to be a great alternative, saving $$ for those who don't need to do super heavy duty towing.

    The issue of turbo'd engines not living up to their EPA figures is real, but overblown. Heavy footed drivers will fail to see EPA estimates no matter if they are driving an ecoboost or a pushrod OHV V8.
  • legacygtlegacygt Posts: 599
    @latenight87 everything you state is true. I only object to the issue of tubo'd engines not living up to EPA figures being overblown. I don't think it's overblown enough. Why? Because these engines don't prove to be much more efficient than some of the naturally aspirated alternatives yet Ford (and maybe others) can use the inflated numbers in marketing and to avoid/minimize CAFE penalties. This gives them an unfair advantage in the marketplace and with the government when the actual efficiency just isn't there. The Explorer with the 2.0 ecoboost gets pretty much the the same mpg as other FWD 3-row crossovers yet they get to fool the public and the government with sexy 20/28/23 numbers that are just not achievable. In fact, I think an FWD explorer with the naturally aspirated V6 would do just as well. It's too early to tell how the 2.7 ecoboost will do in the F-150 but if I were betting on it I'd bet that it proves less efficient in the real world than advertised and the least satisfying to drive of the 4 engine options. I also would not be surprised if it returned mpg numbers below the 3.5 ecoboost and the naturally aspirated V6.
  • It's incredible to me that so far all of the journalists can't seem to get decent mileage out the EB. I own one and get great mileage out of it, you can't constantly stab the throttle.. let the engine warm up, the trans warm up, set the cruise and 20+mpg is easy to achieve. I traveled to Bend this weekend and averaged 20.1mpg (not a flat drive)
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451
    Never fear. I've been amassing normally aspirated and downsized-turbo engine fuel economy data from our long-term fleet vehicles for some time now. I'm just waiting for our new F-150 to accumulate enough data before I add it in to the mix and trot out my findings.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • It's way too easy to trash talk Ford for their ecoboosts. Ford is only jumping through the hoops that Congress mandated for it (and all other automakers). In response to the radically increasing CAFE standards, Ford has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in cutting weight from their vehicles (e.g., Aluminum in F150, soon to be rolled out in other vehicles) and more efficient engines. These ecoboosts are obviously superior to the mediocre slate of engines Ford previously offered in their cars and trucks. Every review of the 2.7 ecoboost I've read states that it's smooth and quiet, while being surprisingly powerful. I remember all the truck guys laughing when the 3.5 ecoboost came out saying that it couldn't be as good as a V8 for towing, it will have to constantly be revving high, break down faster, etc. Nope - the 3.5 is now the top of the line, best towing engine in the F150 line. The 2.7 looks to be a great alternative, saving $$ for those who don't need to do super heavy duty towing.

    The issue of turbo'd engines not living up to their EPA figures is real, but overblown. Heavy footed drivers will fail to see EPA estimates no matter if they are driving an ecoboost or a pushrod OHV V8.

    Brilliant post, my thoughts exactly. You have to make some compromises in the way you drive to achieve excellent MPG. It's not fair to bag on a vehicle because a bunch of journalists are enthusiast drivers who aren't TRYING to achieve decent mileage. If you drive it like you stole it (or like an automotive tester) chances are your MPG will be sub-par, this isn't rocket science.

  • handbrake said:

    I'm really at a loss on what Ford is up to. I have a 2009 F150 5.4 V8 4x4. I don't drive it in the city much, but when I do it gets about 14 mpg. On the freeway it will get close to 20 mpg. On hilly, CA coastal roads with a full bed of furniture or junk it will get 17-18 mpg. It has a 36 gallon tank. So my range is from 600-700 miles, depending on circumstances.

    I'm sure the 2.7 will beat my 5.4 in a drag race, but this is a dang truck. I use it for hauling and for going places that involve off road elements (hunting).

    I don't tow. I don't drag race. All that aluminum and turbo tech in the motor says one thing to me: Higher cost. Oh, and it says another thing: Higher cost for no benefit.

    Higher cost (I suppose) for gobs of instant torque when you need it, and excellent MPG when you don't (assuming you drive in a responsible way). I don't know if the 2.7 makes much sense, but the 3.5 certainly does.
  • I have a 2013 3.5 EcoBoost and love it. Yes if I put my foot in it my mileage drops but so does all gas engines including my old 2000 5.4 liter. However before 10K miles my average with mixed driving was 15.5 and I could get 21 max on the highway. I am now at 12.5K and my mixed driving is 18.9 and I have averaged driving to Austin and back to DFW a full 27 MPG. Single tank, over 500 miles with 80% on the highway and had a quarter tank left. I pull a trailer on average once a month over 5K lbs and can't tell it is back there. I have guys I work with switching trucks. For one I am not paying a 90 cent premium for diesel either and I appreciate that. I have now added a bed cover to see if I can improve on the 27. If we can just get rid of Ethanol in the gas we would all enjoy a 20-25% increase in mileage.
  • What surprises me is that Ford hasn't found a way to do two distinct drive modes with the 3.5 EcoBoost, sort of like the black/red keys on the Boss 302 Mustangs. It could just be a button but couldn't they turn down the boost and help the motor get better mileage in the 90% of the time it doesn't need all the power? Sort of an alt. to the cylinder deactivation that's becoming more common on V8's?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    That's not a good trend.
  • I have a 2015 F-150 with 2.7 liter & 3.55 gears. First tank of gas yield 18.3 mpg. Love the "Start / Stop" feature, Don't mind sitting at stop lights at all. Driving was a half city, half highway.
  • I wish somebody would do a test where they drive FOR MILEAGE.
    Does anybody do that anymore?

    I used to with my Powerstroke but i got addicted to that torque and gave it up.
    It was good for 3mpg in town when i did.

    If my old man was alive he get 18 in town with that Ecoboost and he wouldn't get in anyones way.
    He would just be and always was very judicious and precise with the gas pedal.

    And CHEAP.
  • I have a salesman in California with a 2WD 3.5L Ecoboost 2012 F150 and he routinely gets 21+ on the highway. I can't get that with my 5.4L no matter what I do. Saying the ecoboost gets bad gas mileage ignores the person with their foot on the pedal on the right.
  • fellfroschfellfrosch San Marcos, CAPosts: 1
    I have a 2015 3.5L Ecoboost 4x4 with the 36 gallon tank. The first tank i got an average of 16mpg (about 500 miles, 400 of that highway). This tank i've only used about 8 gallons of gas, all city and i am averaging 12mpg... I'm not a lead foot, but i'm not light either. I would expect to get at least 15, but oh well. I know the manual says to not expect accurate mpg till after a 1000 mile break in, but could the break in really take that long, and be that bad? Sorry, if this sounds stupid, but this is my first brand new vehicle. Kinda disappointed after the numbers shown on the sticker.
  • In March we did a trip of 992 miles in 16:38:30, used 45.5 gallons for 21.8 mpg. Average spd. 60 mph. We have a 2015 XLT 4x4 Super cab with 2.7 liter, 3:55 gears Ran cruise control most of way through Ohio set at 71 to 75 mph to avoid any tickets. There is now 2500 miles on our truck. Stock Goodyear All Terrain 17" tires.
  • woshigewoshige Posts: 1
    does anyone has a real world MPG with a tow load such as 6000lbs? I plan to get a half ton for some light duty towing(mostly around 6000~7000lbs) and would like to know how does the ecoboost holds up. I mean they are rated to around 22~24 highway without a load. With a load of approx 6000~7000lbs what can I expect? I've heard from some people these ecoboost really guzzles up gas when you tow something heavy. Maybe around 10MPG is what I should expect?
  • We pull a 2015 Cougar Xlite with our 13 SC 6 1/2' 4x4 with the 3.5 EB and 3.55 gears. Loaded the trailer weighs in just about 6000#. We get a best of 10.4mpg when towing. With any kind of wind that drops to 8.4mpg rapidly. We always got 10.5 with our 03 SC KR 4x4 5.4. In it's defense the 3.5 EB is a beast. On hills where the 5.4 would dog out and drop speed the EB just gets up and hauls [non-permissible content removed]. It effortlessly gains speed up these hills at only 3500rpm where the 5.4 would be wound tight at nearly 4800rpm.
  • I'm on my second 3.5 liter ecoboost F-150 and the fuel mileage has been far from rated on either of these trucks. It's all about misleading the consumer, this is not to be forgotten whether you are willing to live with this because you enjoy getting into the power band. Ford is little different in my assessment than VW with the diesel cheat test...well not that bad but close. I was one of the people that had to put up with the intercooler water accumulation that would flood some cylinders when the turbos were spooled up after some time of near dormancy under certain conditions. So the repair for that was to impair the cooling efficiency of the intercooler...at least this much I know...net result a higher intake air charge...so what else needs to be done at that point I wonder? Reduce performance surely...probably not as it would seem in popular opinion that the bad fuel mileage is part and parcel of owning these trucks.

    To quote Garret trubochargers...

    "There are actually three ways to reduce the probability of knock at full load on a turbocharged engine: reduce boost, adjust the AFR to richer mixture, and retard ignition timing. These three parameters need to be optimized together to yield the highest reliable power."

    So if you heat up the intake air charge on an engine that was used to manufacture EPA estimates by reducing the cooling capacity of the intercooler by shielding approximately 25% of the cooler to prevent condensate from accumulating then it reasons to logic that the charge air is hotter. Which raises cylinder temperature...so then whatcha gonna do?

    To reiterate Garret turbochargers...

    "There are actually three ways to reduce the probability of knock at full load on a turbocharged engine: reduce boost, adjust the AFR to richer mixture, and retard ignition timing. These three parameters need to be optimized together to yield the highest reliable power."

    I don't know about your truck but I'm running 14.3 mpg combined. To be fair I live in somewhat hilly terrain but on the level at 60 mph I am running 14-15 mph on the present scale fuel consumption...I think someone owes me for a lotta fuel since I bought this to save on fuel...I like the section of the Garret quote personally that states..."adjust the AFR (Air Fuel Ratio if you don't know) to richer mixture"...as it would seem to go along with the poor mpg I experience.

    Am I the only one to have noticed that a 2015 that weighs 700 pounds less has a poorer EPA fuel estimate for a comparably equipped 2013 because all of a sudden they have figured out a better way to rate vehicles in fuel economy? So they have wanted to tell us the truth but couldn't figure out how to sell us trucks in the interim but now that they are able to improve fuel economy they lower EPA fuel ratings while having made the truck more fuel efficient? That is really out there as a concept.

    Actually I think that is where we were deliberately misled...but you love the torque so you are all seemingly quite forgiving...the new lower EPA rating on a lighter truck really got to me personally because it is a blatant manipulation. I wonder if certain Ram vehicles hadn't come along that can actually make its numbers where we would be?
  • We have now accumulated about 24,000 miles on our 13 F150 EB screw 6.5' box & 3.55 gears. The last 3,000 miles the avg. mpg is up to 14.6. I had the B trip meter tallied up to just over 10,000 miles and the avg. was at 14.2mpg. However due to electrical issues and several no start issues the Ford Dealer cleared everything. When I looked at the hours driven vs. the number of miles it worked out to an average speed of 45nph. We only have one hwy here where the speed limit is 65-70 and I almost never exceed 72mph. Most roads are 55mph so to get a 45 mph avg. I would say we are running 2/3 out of town and 1/3 in town. That said I would think I could at least get the min. rating of 15mpg. I am at a loss and tired of trying to refute all these people who say I must drive it too hard. Even on test drives the Ford techs could not get more than 16mpg, which Ford said is within specifications.
    Swamp
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 14,223
    edited January 2016
    I've had a 2014 FX4 supercab for a couple of months now. Almost up to 1500 miles. 3.5 EB with 3.55's. It has a 36 gallon tank, so I've only filled it a couple of times. Longest trip has been 25 miles one way and I haven't done any towing. Averaging 16+ using PUG.
    This is better than my old Explorer 4.6 4WD with 3.73's got under the same circumstances, except I ran that with RUG.
    We also have a couple of vehicles with 2.0 EB engines. I like them.
    My wife drives a titanium AWD Escape, which averages 1.3 below the EPA 24 combined, but 1+ better than the 3.0 Escape it replaced.
    After 3 years, my Fusion is averaging just under 28 MPG, rated at a combined 26.
    2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1, 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
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