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Shifter Sized for Giants - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited September 2015 in Ford
imageShifter Sized for Giants - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

After several months in the fleet, the shifter in our 2015 Ford F-150 still hasn't grown on me. It has the odd characteristic of being too big and too delicate at the same time.

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Comments

  • adamb1adamb1 Cookeville, TNPosts: 122
    I'm not a big fan of Ram's dial shifter but you can't argue with how much useful space it opens up in the console compared to the Ford.
  • I like the console shifter the best, over the dial shifter or the column shifter. But this one has always bothered me. Without any reference to it's size, it just looks uncomfortable and chintzy. To me, things that feel large, light and hollow feel cheap and weak. It may not be true (carbon fiber tubs), but on a shifter I would rather have something solid. Plus I don't really understand the desirability of a fat shifter, or fat steering wheel either.
  • It's not a 60's Chrysler pistol grip manual, why do you need to be able to get your hand around it?
  • The anti-RAM hockey puck shifter...Which is BTW, a good idea...I've had it in my RAM (which I've had since May) and totally used to the dial...On top of it, the other drive modes are right below the dial...4WD AUTO, 4WD LOCK, 4WD LOW...all right at your finger tips...I bought a RAM over the F150 partially because of it's superior ergonomics...
  • schen72schen72 Posts: 433
    Having a mechanical-appearing lever does seem useless where it's obviously not mechanical anymore. I recently drove a rental Chrysler 200, with the rotary shifter, and got used to it pretty quick.
  • emajoremajor Posts: 332
    Every styling cue in this class seems to be a "poor attempt to make it feel like a burly truck". Big fake chrome grills and front fascias styled to resemble 18-wheelers. Giant steering wheel spokes. Massive door handles. Huge lettering stamped into the sheetmetal and airbag covers. An imposing wall of a dashboard with acres of cruddy plastic far exceeding the real estate needed for the number of control buttons and knobs. Look at the leaner & linear 1992 F150 dash and tell me the current mess is necessary. This seems to be a very image-conscious segment.
  • When used as a truck the size of the shifter will make sense. Like most of the controls on the F-150 they are designed to be easy to use while wearing heavy work gloves.
  • What emajor said. Very image-conscious indeed. I think it may have started when the big 3 figured out they could sell fancy tough-looking high-margin, CAFE exempt trucks to city folks who seldom needed one, if ever, and the profits would roll in. Short box, crew cab, leather, lightweight cargo and tow capacities, but bigger and tougher looking than your neighbors stupid minivan. Never mind that the Jones' Odyssey does nearly all the same things better and still fits in the garage.

    We've kept an '89 F250 (similar exterior as '92, different interior) as our occasional-use cheap to insure utility-hauling-device, and its control and exterior design are much more to my taste than the current giant Tonka Toys crowding the road. Best interior door handles ever, on anything. 1997 may be the last best looking Ford outside of a Raptor, but then I seem to be developing full-blown Codger Syndrome of late. The current F150 exterior isn't too egregious and is certainly much less over-the-top than the Super-Duty. The dash on our '89 is still "acres of cruddy plastic", but surprisingly remains in its original number of pieces after all these years of UV exposure. If the old bomber had airbags, (4 wheel) ABS, and something thriftier than a 460 it might still be a daily driver just on looks.

    And, allthingshonda, the controls on our old beater are downright dainty compared to modern trucks (particularly the turn signal stalk doubling as steering wheel tilt, crazy skinny!) and I have no trouble manipulating them with my broad hands in thick gloves. The thing pictured above looks bulkier than the knobs on the RTO-9513's I used as a relative youngster. At least it doesn't have the two sticks of a 5x4, a box I never did fully get the hang of because of my lack of a third hand, or more practice at least. Reminds me that I always wanted to try a Dodge Colt Twin Stick... hey, precedent! Maybe the next Ram will ditch the dial and 8 speed auto and sprout two sticks, a clutch and no synchros - that would be extra super macho territory.
  • This whole gloves thing is silly IMO. For starters, the column shifter that's been around for decades is still probably the easiest to use with gloves on, no finger movements needed, all gross motor movements. And really how many guys wear their gloves to drive the truck? That's the beauty of work gloves, they come off easily so you can use your relatively clean hands instead of getting your stuff filthy. It just sounds like marketing talk to make the truck sound tougher.
  • I like it in my 15 Platinum.
  • andersendlandersendl Posts: 1
    edited September 2015
    Sorry, but I have to disagree with this shifter assessment. I have a '15 F150 5.0 4x4 with the same shifter and it is just fine. Yes, it's physically fairly large, though not overly so, but it's fine by me anyway. It's not a manual, so it's not like you're rowing between the gears constantly. It's a set it and forget it affair as with most auto shifters. And when you do change gear settings it moves with a solid thunk and feels solid to me. I've gotten used to leaving it in D and using the + and - buttons on the side of the shifter to manually shift as needed and/or set the max gear setting around town. And the T/S mode choices are great, especially S (Sport) which really brings the powertrain alive. Bottom line: the shifter is great, IMO.
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