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Massive Road Trip Sets New Records and Ups the Average, But... - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited September 2015 in Ford
Massive Road Trip Sets New Records and Ups the Average, But... - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

Some 4,307 miles were added to our 2015 Ford F-150 this month, but a massive road trip that set new best-tank and best-range marks didn't move the needle much.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisPosts: 509
    Hmm. It is disappointing. In the past I've defended the truck, chalking it up to hard use by the Edmunds fleet. On second look, it comes down to this- the EcoBoost is designed to boost economy in the EPA tests and in the EPA tests alone. Real world mileage has not met ratings.

    Aside from the lackluster MPG, the 2.7L seems to be a real sweetheart of an engine.
  • prlundbergprlundberg Posts: 3
    edited September 2015
    You are ignoring the fact that those EPA numbers came from a regular cab XL. Your well optioned crew cab weighs quite a bit more. Not to mention the axle ratio may be different. Heck, you even have the huge towing mirrors. Every possible combination in pickups is not tested by the EPA because it's simply impractical due to having so many configurations. An automotive journalist should know this.

    If you want to measure versus the EPA numbers, you need to equip it like the EPA tests and not haul anything. Because people evidently aren't smart enough to figure out that if you have 1000 extra pounds versus the weight the EPA tested it at you are not going to get the EPA mileage. Now I understand testing like that is not practical. But not mentioning it while repeatedly stating your F-150 is not able to match its rating is ridiculous.

    An 18.7 MPG average over a month for a full size 4x4 crew cab being used as pickups typically are in the real world is actually quite remarkable. My wife's minivan just barely does better overall, and often not that well...again, in the real world, hauling people and stuff as minivans typically do.

    Now, even with all that said, reports on the F150 forums are better than what Edmunds is seeing (with the pics to prove it). Most people with stock crew cab 4x4 trucks are reporting 19-21 averages. Which is a very nice improvement from the 14-15 I get with my '06.
  • The Ram has easily hit or exceeded it's EPA numbers and has been used in exactly the same fashion as the Ford. Small differences from EPA estimates are reasonable, especially for trucks where you get optional gear ratios and significant differences in GVW that aren't typically found in cars, but this truck has rarely even come close to hitting even the avg EPA estimate, much less the highway number. That is more than spec level issue.

    That said, I for one would appreciate it if Edmunds would do a brief post explaining the difference in equipment between the EPA test vehicle and this LT tester. Even better would be for them to try and find one as close to EPA spec as possible make sure it has at lease 1/2 a tank and get the scales under it for an official weight.
  • prlundbergprlundberg Posts: 3
    edited September 2015
    How do you know the Ram is being used "exactly" the same? How can you say configuration doesn't make that big of a difference? They did average 18.7 over the last month, that's not as far off as the author makes it out to be and well within the variance you'd expect after adding hundreds of pounds and a different gear ratio, not to mention larger wheels and tires.

    The Ram Ecodiesel is a nice truck...albeit one that seems to get a pass for it's underwhelming performance and high price due to it's fuel mileage. Sure, it may leave you stranded too like it did Dan. But fuel mileage...


  • "How do you know the Ram is being used "exactly" the same? "

    Um, because I can read.
  • of the 43 2.7 ecoboost f150s on fuelly 20 of them are averaging 19 mpg or better overall.
  • I think the bigger question on the 2.7 EcoBoost is vs RAM's 5.7L Hemi (or one of the GM V8s). I had a 2014 RAM 1500 5.7L Hemi and averaged 16.7 mpg (Fuelly) with a best tank of 20 mpg > so very close to the F-150 with the 2.7. However, I had 395 hp/410 ft-lbs and the very relaxed (if desired) nature of the V8 with the ZF 8 speed. I traded the 5.7L in August for a 2015 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel, which ironically is exactly matching Edmund's overall of 22.7 mpg so far. The EcoDiesel is just as torquey and driveable as the 5.7L because of the 420 ft-lbs at 2,000 rpm. Doesn't sound as good nor as quick to 60 as the Hemi but consuming 30% less fuel and going 600+ miles on a 26 gallon tank are big bonuses.

    Honestly - before I owned both these RAMs, I thought for sure I'd end up in a Ford F-150 but the combo of real world mpg and the driving feel of the RAM's much better coil spring rear sealed the deal for RAM.
  • I just got back from a 400+ mile hunting trip in my 09 F150 (5.4, 4x4, oversize off road tires). On the freeway portion of the trip (actually, about 1/3rd Bay Area commute traffic and 2/3rd freeway) I averaged just under 21 mpg (20.7, I think, is the exact number). That was about 320 of the miles traveled. The other 80 miles were off road in really bad conditions (very slick mud from the first significant rain of the season and steep trails that had me in 4x4 lo and first gear most of the time), and I got 6 mpg in that segment (that's not a typo).

    It sounds like the freeway mileage is basically a wash between my old 5.4 and the new 2.7 (I wasn't hypermiling...I got the 20.7 doing about 70 mph with some traffic). The real question to me is what that 2.7 does off road. You can knock the old v8 for a lot of things, but when you stick the truck into 4x4 lo and have it crawling up and down rocky, muddy, steep trails, it doesn't break a sweat and it also doesn't have a high pitched turbo whine that scares the crap out of deer. Before Edmunds gets rid of this truck I hope they put some serious off road miles on it. A lot of us buy trucks as a second vehicle to use for off road duty so this matters.
  • Comparing the Ecoboost Ford and the Ecodiesel Ram is like apples and oranges. The Ram is a fuel sipper and the sluggish performance is the trade off for that. I'm sure it is driven accordingly, meaning I doubt most of the editors are foot to the floor with the Ram. The Ecoboost is the opposite. The little 2.7 twin turbo engine invites you to put the power down. Feeling it accelerate on freeway on ramps or even stop light to stop light is the best part of the F-150 but fuel economy will be horrible. BTW have the editors discovered the F 150 hidden sport mode.
  • Some are commenting as if this new 2.7 EB is like a regular, naturally-aspired V6 with less low-end grunt than previously-designed, small V8s and are assuming it is under strain with the mass of this truck. Ford does have one of those entry level V6s standard in this truck; you know; one of those wheezers around 250 peak foot lbs of torque that doesn't come on until the engine is near screaming revolutions. But this engine is not one of those. You can use the peak torque @ 3000 to your mpg advantage with this truck. This one will tool around in an easy-going manner and still accelerate with ease; probably not quite to the level of the Ecodiesel without a load or heavy foot, but close. I just burned through my first tank with a reg cab, 2wd, short bed with 3.31 reg rear axle. While accelerating easily and naturally up to highways speeds, unless on a uphill grade, the transmission rarely puts the tach far above 2000 before upshifting, and most of the time, while driving on state highways up to 65 mph, the tach stays steady around 1600 RPM and sometimes downshifting only down to 5th gear on a few hills in middle TN. with the cruise engaged. Even on a 7% grade, I've not yet had a highway downshift below 5th gear, which brings the tach up to only around 1850 at or about 65 mph. I've owned an F150 with the 4.6 and currently drive a 2010 with a 4.6 at work. This truck, in the 4168 curb weight form I've got it in, even with the high gears, drives like it has a larger-displacement engine than the previous V8s I've driven. But the news is not all good.

    Preliminary, my set trip meter on the first tank of fuel, since I took delivery, and the second tank in its life, with easy highway commuting with only a few in town driving (not much traffic) and one trip to Knoxville and back on 98% interstate with only a little stop-and-go traffic @ 65 mph; netted me 480 miles with 18.9 gallons of gas; equating to around 25 mpg. However, my recorded fuel added at the pump was almost 1 gallon more than the computer showed burned during the trip; netting more like 23 mpg. Watching how the average fuel economy moved around during the first tank while driving, it was interesting to note how even the slightest, long, uphill grades or higher RPM situations quickly diminish fuel economy. This power train fuel seems to be very sensitive to how its being driven and to achieve good fuel economy requires a constant light foot, which is possible due to its low end torque, but this could also explain how a heavier, larger, 4WD, higher-geared version of this truck could and would do much worse.

    Edmunds good mpg return in their last test is worthless and deceiving, because they admitted it was a one-direction trip with a tailwind. I can take any vehicle on a windy day and get 4-5 more mpg over it's average at a given highway speed going only one direction. You don't ever report fuel economy in one direction travel. But, on the other hand, everything about the test truck seems to hamper fuel economy, and maybe this is somewhat telling about this engine--yes it can perform like a good-sized V8 but when worked like a V8 or in a large configuration and higher gear ratios and 4WD, it will such fuel like a large V8, and so for people who want and need a decked out truck and want or need it to haul and tow regularly, there may be no advantage.

    So when does this engine give a fuel economy advantage...My guess is that this engine set up will come much closer to the EPA estimate with light loads, smaller configurations, higher gearing, 2wd setups, and conservative drivers who need and want a truck for just moving around small loads and errand running most of the time. Performance wise it can do it all up to its rated limit with ease just like mid-size V8s, but I feel like it won't produce better mpg under those circumstances than the outgoing, small V8 or even the current 5.0; maybe even worse fuel economy wise under working conditions or in the larger and heavier configurations. It can, when kept at low RPM while still driving a normal conservative manner, in a smaller configuration, average close to the rating, which I can't say about previous Fords I've owned with a V8. My previous ownership of a 4.6-powered F150 and a 4.2V6-powered F150 would not come close. With mostly highway driving and a 15/20 rating, and 16/20 rating, respectively, both of those would return 15 all the time no matter how conservatively I drove them, unless I would go on a long trip. Then I could reach 20 or even 21; both were about equal. With this truck, city driving seems so far to actually exceed the city rating for me, but the highway rating is a stretch, even at my slower-than-speed-limit driving style. Now towards the end of my first fuel tank, when re setting trip 1 for daily, 57 mile commutes, the average started coming up as compared to the first of the tank, and the average moved up overall through the last 150 miles of the tank, so there may be a break-in issue. At first, the average would not go above 24.5 even with a tail wind on the first leg of the commute, but towards the end of my first tank, I started seeing the computer show it achieveing over 26 just before arriving at the destination. It will of course show a low average after the cold start up, then over the next 28 miles, the average comes up. Hills and downshifts see to affect the average immensely though; more than I've seen in other vehicles.
  • rod_rrod_r Posts: 8
    I see a number of posts referring to the Ram Ecodiesel's poor performance. I owned a 2013 Ram 1500 with a hemi and now own a 2016 EcoDiesel. In normal driving the EcoDiesel feels quick. Maybe quicker than the Hemi. I get hat it is slower in a drag race. I don think many of us buy trucks to drag race. The EcoDiesel feels quick due to its low rpm torque. I do enjoy the fuel economy of my truck. At 4500 miles it is at 24.7mpg. That includes occasional towing. Most of my driving is in the city. When I'm on a highway it is often Texas 130 where the speed limits are 80-85. That hurts the economy a bit as I tend to drive a couple of mph over the limit. At 88mph it gets 22mpg.

    I like the F150 and seriously considered one. If I buy one I would do my research and understand that they don't typically get their rated mileage. My EcoDisel is great but my favorite thing about it is is the refined (for a truck) ride and handling plus the nice interior. I can't really make an economic argument for a $50,000 truck that saves a few dollars at each fill up. I do enjoy the range though.
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