It’s no secret by now that the 2015 Ford F-150 pickup is chock full of innovation. Its aluminum body has garnered most of the headlines, but the truck is also ahead of the curve in a number of other areas.
Trucks have always been high-profit products for the automakers, and despite their historical primary function as workhorses, many have found their way into suburban garages (or driveways in most cases, since they won’t fit in the garage) as family vehicles. Their versatility has helped them become big sellers indeed: as of the end of May, Ford has sold 48,868 F-150s in Canada this year. It’s enjoying a healthy lead over its rivals from General Motors and Ram, and all of those models are a mile ahead of the country’s top-selling car, the Honda Civic at 23,559 units.
Now, I’ve never been a truck guy, preferring a car with nimble handling and more efficient use of power over the high seating position and utility that a full-sized truck can offer. But I consider myself to be an open-minded individual, so what better time to challenge my predispositions than during a long-weekend road trip south of the border to Minneapolis?
As has been the case for some time, the variations available in the Ford F-150 are nearly limitless. There are still basic full-sized trucks out there, and in Ford’s case that would be the $24,899 F-150 XL with a regular cab (no rear quarters), two-wheel drive and steel wheels. There is a standard equipment list but it’s not unlike that on the most basic of cars that cost half as much: air conditioning, AM/FM radio, tilt and telescoping wheel, intermittent wipers, capless fuel filler, trailer sway control, and that’s about it.
The $32,799 XLT includes many items today’s truck buyers expect: alloy wheels, CD player with satellite radio, Sync connectivity, power locks and windows, cruise control, carpet, chrome bumpers, power locking tailgate, power mirrors, automatic headlights, and keyless entry. But there’s still room for plenty of options. And boy, did our tester have options.
Above the XLT sit the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models. The Lariat starts at $48,599 and serves as the launching point for the top two models. This is where you’ll find things like four-wheel drive, bigger wheels, a 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6, heated and cooled front seats, dual-zone climate control, MyFord Touch user interface with eight-inch screen, parking sensors and rear-view camera, BoxLink cargo management system, remote start, and a trailer towing package.
Our tester was the King Ranch version, which starts at an eye-popping $64,999, although at the time of this writing Ford was offering its patented “you have a pulse” discount of $4,500, dropping the price to a little more than sixty grand. Ford was liberal in checking the option boxes, though, and with such options as a panoramic roof, adaptive cruise control, and a technology package, the price crept up into the $70s.
Our truck was configured to do it all: the F-150 King Ranch is priced up there with some serious luxury machinery, but to some a truck manages to get by in a less ostentatious manner.