Fuel Economy Update for March - We're Not Alone - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited April 2016 in Ford

imageFuel Economy Update for March - We're Not Alone - 2015 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds reports the fuel economy performance for 2015 Ford F-150 for the month of March 2016.

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Comments

  • square85square85 Staten Island, NYMember Posts: 3
    I have a Ford Escape with the 2.0 and I do not match the EPA either. I find it to be about 3mpg lower than what it should be.
    "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" (#179/#4F22); September 21, 1997
  • oxfordf150oxfordf150 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2015 F150 SuperCrew 2WD with the 5.0. I love it. I'm averaging 18 mpg overall. I've seen as low as 14.5 with mostly city travel and as high as 22 on the highway. I'm hitting the EPA numbers (15 city/22 hwy/ 18 com) without even trying. There was that one stint of lesser highway driving (averaging 45-50 mpg) where I saw 25 mpg...but that went down with the first stoplight :)
  • g35bufg35buf Member Posts: 89
    edited April 2016
    There is now a big enough sample that it can be concluded that a small V8 will essentially match the 2.7 EcoBoost and beat the 3.5 when it comes to meeting the EPA estimates and in most cases, real world mpg. I even had the 5.7 Hemi in my 2014 RAM and was near these numbers (and it covered the 15/21/17 EPA ratings without making an effort). I have a 2015 EcoDiesel now which mirrored Edmunds numbers, but I'd feel much more comfortable with a V8 if I went back to gas. 5.0-5.7L V8s and half tons are made for each other.
  • lmbvettelmbvette South FloridaMember Posts: 93
    It is still a big heavy truck (regardless of aluminum). The 2.7L EcoBoost makes 325 hp and 375 lbft of Tq. Now, in order to make all that power it still has to suck in a lot of air and mix in fuel. In essence, it is burning the exact same amount of fuel as a similar power output V8. Ford calling turbo engines "EcoBoost" is just marketing, they are no more efficient than the competition.
    Don't worry about what other people think. Drive what makes you happy.
  • metalmaniametalmania Member Posts: 167
    I have to agree at this point that it seems like more of a marketing exercise, and not just for Ford - it seems like hardly anybody with a turbo is regularly meeting their EPA numbers. Either the EPA test that produces them really doesn't represent real-world driving very well, or manufacturers are engineering to "ace the test" rather than conditions that most people actually drive in. Not sure about other manufacturers, but since Ford has gone "all in" on the Eco-Boost strategy it looks like just about their whole range is coming up short of their mileage ratings. People have to realize that while turbos MIGHT deliver small engine economy and bigger engine performance, they won't do both at the same time! I think we need to see significant weight reductions in order to really get more of a benefit from the small turbo engine strategy. Otherwise, they're still small engines that need to work pretty hard to move these big and heavy vehicles. Once you get into the turbo, they suck fuel just like a big engine.
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Member Posts: 471
    I've said it here before, but if Ford would rename this engine line from "EcoBoost" to "TwinForce", then at least the marketing problem is solved. These engines deliver on performance & responsiveness, so that's what they should tell people. The "EcoBoost" name was a last-minute change by the Ministry of Truth marketing department anyway.
  • bohiobohio Member Posts: 59
    Ford and the EPA should be required to revise the fuel "economy" ratings downward to match the reality of these EcoBoost F150s. Something like 16 City, 18 Highway, and 17 combined. Better to under-promise and over-deliver, which runs contrary to almost any marketing dept. in any industry.
  • gregsfc1gregsfc1 Member Posts: 29
    It's not that I don't believe Edmunds or other customer reviews, and this same over estimated mpg conclusion has been shown over on the Fuelly.com website regarding F150s with the 2.7. But with me and my truck, after 20 fill ups and 9400 miles; mostly highway commuting, yet through one small town each day and driving through a subdivision along my commute, my average is currently at or about 24 mpg. My estimate is carefully and conservatively calculated. I've even checked my trip meter against a GPS several times to ensure that the miles shown were not overestimated between fill ups; it is not. The trip meter actually shows 1.8% less than actual miles. The naysayers can say all they want, but I know for a fact, that this engine, in this truck, at least in one configuration, with one driver, can achieve far, far better mpg than any other Ford pickup this same driver has ever owned or driven.

    My results have been very consistent. A low of 21.4 and a high of 25.1, but most tanks will fall between 23.3 and 24.1 except for very cold weather. I go through a couple of cold starts each day, at least. Every day involves at least a little bit of city driving. And while I've not been able to achieve the highway estimate on any roundtrip, highway trip (I'd never report a tail wind only trip like Edmunds has done), the real-world highway estimate, although I've never measured highway-only mpg, I don't think has topped around 25.5.

    Yes; I drive conservatively, especially on the state highways where I commute and part of this fact is due to the low speed limits along my commute, since I'm not on interstates. My speeds range between 50 and 61 where I drive slightly above the speed limit except for the 8 mile stretch where the limit is 65. On that stretch, I'll drive 61 just like I have in other vehicles I've owned. Most of my route, however, is at or about 60 in a 55 stretch. The total, one-way distance is 29. I take other precautions, as I always have, just not to be to wasteful on fuel; no excessive idling; no over use or unnecessary use of accessory equipment; no extra weight in the vehicle; driving in an easy-going manner. But in no way am I hypermiling or doing any kind of driving tricks to increase mpg. Nothing different than other Ford trucks or other vehicles I've owned or driven along this same commute.

    I don't know what it is that makes others, in other trucks, with this same engine, perform so poorly. I've got a minimalist truck. A standard cab, 2wd, short bed, with 3.31 rear axle ratio. Unlike other vehicles I've owned, with this twin-turbo DI gas engine, I'm able to accelerate acceptably while keeping the tach under 2000. It's a super refined driving experience without that racing engine phenomenon, which occurs with most gas engines along hilly terrain. I get up to speed and set the cruise. The cruise works phenomenally well. I live and work in a hilly area of TN; not exactly mountains but part of the Appalachain Plateau. There are some 5% grades along my route, and the cruise will actually downshift on downhill grades down to 3rd to help limit the speed up and then as one flattens out at the bottom of a hill, it'll actually lurch ahead just a touch as it up shifts in a predictable manner. On the up hills, if there is also a head wind, it'll sometimes downshift to 5th, but no lower. Often times it'll just climb up the grade at speed, staying in 6th gear at or about 1700 RPM; much like a diesel. It's a beautiful thing from this small motor.

    I've owned or have driven five different Ford trucks in this same scenario: A 1989 minimalist standard cab with the 4.9 I6 with a 5 speed manual; a 2001 Ranger with the 3.0 V6 and 4 speed automatic; a 1997 super cab, 2wd with the 4.6 V8; a 1999 super cab, 2wd with the 4.2 V6; and a 2010 4.6 standard cab, long bed; all 2wd's. All with higher, standard gearing rear axles. All with standard wheels and tires. None of those prior trucks could achieve higher than 19 in this daily commute on a regular basis. This F150, with this 2.7 EB after seven months and 9400 miles, is achieving 24 mpg for me. What else can be said. I can't help it if others choose a truck that's a poor match for this engine, or if others don't know how to drive a turbo, DI powered gas engine for favorable fuel economy. I hate that it is not a gas saver for others. All I know is that with me and this truck, it is possible for me to achieve at least 5 mpg higher than any Ford truck I've driven over the last seventeen years. Yes, I would prefer a little truck, with a little diesel at a decent price, but there is no way that a super eleaborately adorned Chevy Colorado with the baby Duramax for big money, or a Ram ED super cab is worth the $10-$12 grand more than I gave for this fabulous, new F150 and the 2.7 Ecoboost.
  • gregsfc1gregsfc1 Member Posts: 29
    One more thing...just so others who know understand. I'm not using the vehicle calculator for mpg. It has a huge error in the "gallons used" data that is not a consistent error, but always an error in the same direction. Onn average, it'll indicate about a 1.5 over estimation of mpg after correcting for the underestimation of miles driven, which I correct conservatively at 1.5% underestimated. Right now my trip meter calculator is showing 25.9. Although the error varies from tank to tank, I'm likely really, more like 24.3. And that's real; no matter what's going on with Edmunds test vehicle and others. In the right scenario, this engine can perform in every way; including mpg.
  • bohiobohio Member Posts: 59
    gregsfc1 said:

    And while I've not been able to achieve the highway estimate on any roundtrip

    You say your fuel economy is averaging 24 MPG. That's higher than the 23 MPG estimated for "Highway" driving, friend, for the F150.

    As to what you paid for the truck, every deal is different. My 2016 Ram 1500 (EcoDiesel) 4WD CrewCab with 6'4" bed with their 'Big Horn' package had an MSRP of $50,950. I bought it, out-the-door, for $41,400. And in the 3k miles I've driven it to date (admittedly a small sample size), I've averaged 24 MPG -- like you -- measured at the pump, not the vehicle's reported fuel economy.

    The 10-year old truck I replaced was averaging 17.5 MPG here in New Hampshire in similar driving. We moved to a farm after a lifetime of living in the suburbs of California. The big Ram comfortably holds 5 of us, and lots of cargo, all of which have been regularly hauled in my 2.5 months of owning it.

  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    Small turbocharged engines sip fuel IF you lay off the boost. It would be difficult to move this big truck from a stop with a small V6 engine without quite a bit of turbo boost and high revs. GM's ancient Vortec V8's seem to be the best solution. The 5.3 V8 has similar power as the 2.7 EB but it's ability to run as a 4 cylinder on the highway is a better fuel sipping technology than the turbos so it gets better real world fuel economy.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 17,476
    edited April 2016
    Edmunds averaged 17.5 with there long term 2014 2WD Siverado, so this isn't too far from that.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • bassracerxbassracerx Member Posts: 188

    I have to agree at this point that it seems like more of a marketing exercise, and not just for Ford - it seems like hardly anybody with a turbo is regularly meeting their EPA numbers. Either the EPA test that produces them really doesn't represent real-world driving very well, or manufacturers are engineering to "ace the test" rather than conditions that most people actually drive in. Not sure about other manufacturers, but since Ford has gone "all in" on the Eco-Boost strategy it looks like just about their whole range is coming up short of their mileage ratings. People have to realize that while turbos MIGHT deliver small engine economy and bigger engine performance, they won't do both at the same time! I think we need to see significant weight reductions in order to really get more of a benefit from the small turbo engine strategy. Otherwise, they're still small engines that need to work pretty hard to move these big and heavy vehicles. Once you get into the turbo, they suck fuel just like a big engine.

    depends on the car. the 1.0 I3 seems to do amazing in all of the vehicles they are placed in. as far as fuel economy is concerned.
  • geezermikegeezermike Member Posts: 22
    The issues I have with the 2.7 Eco-or-boost is that it gets at best mediocre highway millage. A vehicle needs very little power to maintain (legal) highway speeds (at lot less then the 300+ horsepower), which is where the 2.7 SHOULD shine when it is not using much boost. But it doesn't. It appears to be impossible to keep out of the 2.7's turbo. Of other friends who have both the 5.0 and 3.5 Eco-or-boost, they have the same comments: The 3.5 is great fun, but very easily gets horrible gas mileage and hard to get good gas mileage except for blips of instantaneous high gas mileage on the trip computer; Whereas the 5.0 gets consistently good repeatable, but not great, gas mileage, but on average, better and more consistent than the 3.5 Eco-or-boost. I was hoping for a bit better with the 2.7 and have been even more disappointed. I am leaning back to the EcoDiesel -- if only the company could up its reliability and safety a bit. Maybe the 2.7/3.5 Eco-or-boost engines need a 8/10 speed transmission to narrow the needed power band -- look what that did for the RAM.
  • sinna46sinna46 Member Posts: 9
    I think peoples expectation of "Highway Mileage" are a little skewed. Highway mpg as defined by the EPA is a crazy complex formula of tests. But it is surely not cruising on a busy interstate at 75 mph. It is probably closer to cruising at 45-50 mph on an empty road. So figure fairly low air resistance due to lower speed and not much hard acceleration. That is not how I would describe most peoples driving practices on the "Highway".

    I think if we actually drove like the EPA tests we would see numbers closer to their estimates. What is probably needed is some new definitions for "Average Highway" and "Average City" driving that are more in line with how people actually drive. Until that happens only people who drive fairly conservatively will ever consistently meet the EPA numbers.

    On a side note I have had 2 different Turbo VW GTI (2002 and 2013). In my experience if you keep your foot out of it, and avoid being on boost all the time it is not difficult to meet the EPA numbers.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 17,476
    edited May 2016
    Here are a couple of fuel consumption pictures from my trip from Hartford CT to Cleveland OH and back.
    Towed a 5x8 Uhaul trailer on the way out and used it to move furniture in town.
    2014 F 150 supercab 4x4. 3.5 ecoboost w 3.55 rear gear, 20 rims. The truck is rated at 15/21.
    As you can see by the number of hours divided into the number of miles, I wasn't trying to hypermile.

    trip summary


    last leg of trip (have over 1/2 a tank left):


    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • gregsfc1gregsfc1 Member Posts: 29
    It is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG for Edmunds to take one version of this truck and to make an all-out assertion and proclaim to all of North America that the F150 with the 2.7 and six speed transmission falls far short of the EPA ratings; my experience proves that at least respect to the smaller and lighter configurations with higher gearing and conservative driving, this 2.7L Ecoboost can not only meet the EPA rating, but in fact exceed it in all but the highway rating. In fact, my experience with many F150s tells me that this one is one of the best real world versus the EPA rating.

    I will hold my measurements and recording accuracy versus anyone or any organization or any reviewer over the last sixteen months and 17,000 miles. Over on Fuelly, I've had 38 fillups and 17,500 miles measuring only tank to tank, accounting for the trip meter error, and my average is 24.1. That's up against an EPA estimate at 19 city, 26 highway and 22 combined. My trip meter calculated mpg will average about a 1.4 mpg optimistic error, but the odometer error for my truck with Michelin P24570R17s is 1.8% pessimistic. I've tested and found that same consistent error many times. So I conservatively add 1.5% (not the actual 1.8%) to my miles driven each fillup and do not use the computer calculated mpg even though I do take note of the amount of error from time to time to come up with that 1.4 mpg error. Although I've recorded only tank-to-tank measurements with no specific recordings of city or highway only, since I do no all city or all highway driving on any single tank, I have taken note of how well the truck does in city driving and highway driving and some mixed driving by resetting the trip meter and deducting 1.4 mpg from the displayed value for some round trip trips. I've found that my truck with this engine exceeds the city rating; probably more like around 20.5 versus 19, and my truck likely exceeds the mixed driving rating; more like 22.5 versus the rating of 22 and my truck can meet the highway rating, as my last two 208 mile trips and back to my parents home with a reset trip meter, have returned 28 or so on the digital readout, meaning my actual was at or about 26.5 at 65 mph plus a little bit of city here and there at the beginning and end of the trip, and this is winter time recordings. That trip data tells me that it is absolutely reasonable that one should expect to achieve 26 mpg at 70 mph in a truck configured exactly like mine. I live in hilly terrain and my notes have been only round trip, so this is absolutely real world. I'm using regular 87 octane E10 gas.

    So now some are probably thinking I'm hypermiling or have an extremely conservative driving style or drive routes and traffic patterns conducive for getting great mpg and that is true to some extent except for the hypermiling part. I do live in a rural area with slow highway speed limits along state highways for my commutes and light traffic; however, I've owned and driven three other F150s since 1998 driving the same style and the same routes more or less, and I've driven two F150s at work extensively since 2008; all 2WD and all either SCabs or Std cabs: a 1989 with a 4.9 I6 and 5 speed manual; a 1997 with a 4.6L V8 and 4 speed auto; a 4.2 V6 and a 4 speed auto; a 1995 4.9 I6 4 speed auto; and a 2010 4.6 V8 and six speed auto. Only one of those five trucks could come close to the EPA rated mpg for all three ratings and that was the old 1989 with the five speed manual, however, even though I could easily achieve 18 in the summer time from tank-to-tank, it was very rare to meet the highway rating of 19 even at only 55 mph, which was the speed limit back when it was built. Also, the 1989 dropped like a rock in the winter time; down near the city rating. My 2015 with the 2.7 does not. It drops only slightly in cold weather. The 1995 same style truck and engine as the 1989 but with an automatic was a real slug on the highway and couldn't meet any of the estimated mpg ratings. The next generation trucks: the 1997, the 1999 and the 2010 could all meet the highway rating on a long highway trip where the trip was long enough that only highway miles were driven, but none of them could come close to the city rating or the highway rating or mixed driving rating. My wife's 1997 was rated 15 city and 20 highway, but starting cold and driving 30 miles highway round trip at 60 mph with only a little bit of urban driving would return only the city rating. The same was true with the 1999 V6 at a 16/21 rating. It would return only the city rating in a very rural and slow highway-speed scenario. But this 2015 with the 2.7 EB will achieve at least 22 in this same scenario, which means it's returning the mixed driving estimate in a mixed driving scenario, and makes it closer to the estimate than any of those other five F150s.

    So my point is this...Edmunds has proclaimed that this engine is overrated versus the EPA estimate for all F150s, and they are likely correct with respect to the monster truck that they've chosen and tested, but it is reckless for them to proclaim this to be the case for all F150 configurations and trim levels with this engine, because I've got proof that a twin turbo charged, direct injection 2.7 liter Ecoboost in an F150 can do very, very well as compared to full size trucks with other engines. It seems that the bigger problem with this engine and the F150 is that the ratings should be dropped significantly more than what the EPA and Ford are allowing for with respect to larger configurations, lower gearing choices, bigger tire/wheel combinations and/or 4 WD than Ford is estimating, and this makes sense mechanically speaking. A light truck, with less drag via lower clearance, less rolling resistance to get rolling from a stop via smaller wheel and tires and higher gearing all should work much better for keeping turbos off boost, and that's obviously what is going on with me and my truck!

    So this engine works best for the smaller configurations, higher gearing, and lower trim packages where it really shines maintaining 6th gear cruising on uphill grades and staying under 2000 RPM accelerating. This character makes it a very refined and enjoyable ride with the capability of being a rocket if ever called on to be one.
  • gregsfc1gregsfc1 Member Posts: 29
    I'd recommend the 2.7 liter Ecoboost, which is only an $800 option from the base engine for anyone shopping for a standard cab, super cab with 17" or 18" wheel/tires and 3.31 or 3.55 rear axle ratios and up to the XLT trim. Anymore truck than that (like what Edmunds is testing), I'd probably opt for the 5.0 or 3.5 EB, because you'll likely get about the same or better mpg but with more available horsepower and torque than the 2.7. Also, if you plan on towing or working the truck a good percentage of the miles driven, the 2.7 might not be a good option, as it will return good mpg only in light load driving situations. It's likely that the upcoming 2018 will improve upon that great mpg for the smaller, less-optioned versions of the F150 and the 2.7 during light load scenario, but under heavy load, it's still going to be a gas guzzler.

    There is no situation where I'd recommend the base engine unless saving $800 is the prime consideration and the prospective buyer doesn't mind a vehicle that downshifts a lot on the highway and spends alot of time at higher RPM, especially under loads, because the 3.5 NA V6 doesn't get good torque until going way up the tachometer. I've found, however, that some people like a revvy engine, so the NA engines are good at being revvy when performance is needed, but more so with the V6 than the V8, as the V8 has some decent torque coming on around 3200 RPM.
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