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The 2015 Ford F-150: Our Pickup Truck of the Year

Excellent Performance Reigns Supreme Throughout our Week of Testing

Jan 6, 2015
Photographers: Robert Guio
The editors and staff at Truck Trend are thrilled to announce that the winner of our 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year award. While the competition was fierce, the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 rose to the top taking home our highest honor.
The big news for the new-for-2015 F-150 is its aluminum body construction, paired with a lot of high-strength steel throughout the frame. Together these measures amount to a weight-savings of hundreds of pounds over both the truck's outgoing predecessor and its contemporary competition.
Photo 2/27   |   2015 Ford F 150 Off Road Side View
Our judges didn’t pick the F-150 to stand on top of the podium only because it was a fuel-saving, eco-conscious lightweight. While its fuel economy was impressive when compared to others in its class, the F-150’s real party piece was its full-package combination of capability, everyday usability, and fantastic performance.
Testing included five regimented days of evaluation along with many more days of bickering, arguing, and discussing which trucks our judging staff thought should take the prize. There wasn't a bad truck in the bunch, which made the decision all that more difficult. The all-new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are poised to redefine the segment, while the tow-monster Ford F-350 and refined GMC Sierra 2500 show what true capability is all about. If outdoor adventure is your thing, and it certainly is ours, the Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Tundra, and Ram Power Wagon will all get you there in style. And none seemed to top the highway-cruising prowess of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with its upscale interior and plush ride.
Photo 3/27   |   2015 Ford F 150 Trailer Towing
We executed our first day of testing at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. 0-60 and quarter-mile testing was done empty, with payload, and towing a trailer, and braking tests were done empty and with payload. Our second day included a long towing loop that showed how each of the trucks handled a payload and trailer in highway traffic, illuminating several strengths and shortcomings. Once we got through the brutal LA traffic, we enjoyed about 100 miles of grueling off-road driving on Day Three, and we spent Day Four on the open road for fuel economy testing.
Photo 4/27   |   2015 Toyota Tacoma Dragstrip
The goal with each of these tests was to evaluate the trucks on their own merits as if we were average pickup buyers. Therefore, each truck was tested as delivered, to better mirror the driving behaviors of most of the people who buy these trucks. Obviously, including heavy-duty diesels in the same towing test as a V-6-powered midsize isn’t a fair fight. To mitigate this we used payload and trailer weight appropriate to each vehicle. Our judging staff focused on each individual truck, evaluating them within their own classes.
One of the biggest takeaways that our judges left the week long competition with is that each truck comes with a unique set of talents and advantages, depending on the situation and need.
Photo 5/27   |   2015 Chevrolet Colorado Towing
Photo 6/27   |   2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Offroad
The off-road-special Toyota Tundra TRD Pro was magical on dirt at high speed, with a fantastic-sounding exhaust and tons of suspension travel. Its little brother, the Tacoma TRD Pro, offered plenty of suspension articulation and a locking rear differential for great performance on both forest trails and wide open desert. We briefly considered grand theft auto after a fun weekend in the off-highway recreation area in the Tacoma.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country impressed us all with its graceful styling and amazing list of features and creature comforts, and its little brother, the all-new Colorado, offered lots of pickup-truck capability while still being easy to drive and easy to park. The Colorado’s GMC Canyon cousin improved on the formula even more with its handsome styling, nicer infotainment system, and upgraded interior appointments.
We all fell in love with the utilitarian Ram 2500 Power Wagon, with its vinyl floors, front bench seat, ample storage space, and useful RamBox lockable storage containers. As you’d expect, the Power Wagon was amazing off-road as well, offering incredible wheel travel and superlative traction in slippery conditions. On the highway, the Power Wagon's link-coil suspension and 6.4L Hemi V-8 eats up the tarmac with ease and without the brutality of a traditional 3/4-ton.
Photo 7/27   |   2015 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Flex
The Ford F-350’s Gen-II Power Stroke 6.7L V-8 was an absolute torque monster, dispatching this group’s heaviest trailer weight with a scoff. Its plush seats and great visibility made it a highway favorite as well. And the GMC Sierra 2500’s great styling, quiet interior, and long list of standard features helped it stand its ground in the face of the competition.
At the end of the day only one truck could claim the top honor. The Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew FX4 excelled in every category of evaluation, coming in about the competition in three out of six. A continuous judge favorite, the F-150 is truly a fine specimen and fitting of the title of 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year.
Photo 8/27   |   2015 Ford F 150 In Motion
Photo 9/27   |   2015 GMC Sierra 2500 Mud
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

All-New Ford F-150 Wins Truck Trend’s 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year Award

Innovative, Redesigned, and Reengineered Ford F-150 Bests a Field of Nine to Take Top Honors
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (January 6, 2015)Truck Trend, the nation’s premier light truck authority, has selected the 2015 Ford F-150 as the winner of its inaugural Pickup Truck of the Year Award for 2015.
Truck Trend’s Pickup Truck of the Year award program is an invitation-only shootout that is only open to all-new or significantly revised pickup trucks for the upcoming model year. For 2015, the field of vehicles included nine entries from five companies and consisted of one variant from each company’s eligible product line. This year’s contenders included:
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Ford F-150 XLT FX4 Ford F-350 King Ranch GMC Canyon SLT GMC Sierra 2500HD All-Terrain Ram Power Wagon Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
Truck Trend’s experts were immediately intrigued with the all-new 2015 F-150, which is loaded with innovation, starting with an all-aluminum body. An industry first in any truck segment, the use of aluminum allows the F-150 to not only shed weight but increase capability, as the weight reduction directly improves the truck’s towing and hauling capacities. The F-150’s weight reduction also aids in fuel efficiency gains and improved handling and braking. In fact, the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6–equipped model in this test allowed the F-150 to dominate every instrumented test category, while delivering the best average and highest fuel economy of any 1/2-ton in the test. It was also lighter than the other two 1/2-ton entries, by 465 pounds when compared to the Chevrolet Silverado and a surprising 616 pounds less than the Toyota Tundra. In addition, the 2015 F-150 also features a modern and more aerodynamic design, an excellent suite of advanced technologies, a comfortable cabin, and four efficient powertrain choices.
“Ford seems to have found a sweet spot in the 1/2-ton pickup segment, delivering a compelling mix of efficiency and capability, while still delivering an enhanced driving experience that American consumers demand,” says Sean P. Holman, content director for Truck Trend. “What we put these trucks through was nothing short of grueling, and it was the F-150 that consistently impressed our experts.”
The Ford F-150 won Truck Trend’s 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year award after a demanding weeklong test comprised of hundreds of miles of performance testing, hauling, towing, fuel economy, and off-roading—all important disciplines in which truck owners expect their vehicle to be competent.
To thoroughly test each truck, the competition began with a day of instrumented testing at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The field was subjected to 0-60-mph and quarter-mile acceleration testing as well as 60-0-mph braking while unladen. Each truck was then loaded up with a specific payload (based on class) and retested from 0-60 and 60-0 mph. The final instrumented test involved each truck accelerating to 60 mph while towing 75 percent of its rated trailer capacity.
Using the same parameters as the instrumented testing day, the trucks were again loaded up and driven on a 20-mile loop through Southern California. Throughout the day, experts, payloads, and trailers rotated through the group, allowing each judge to drive every vehicle with a payload and a trailer. This also allowed testers to experience how easy each truck was to load or hook a trailer to, effectiveness of tie-down positions and integrated trailer brake controllers, how well the trucks were designed with outward visibility in mind, and chassis performance, among other features important to truck buyers.
With load testing complete, the vehicles were pointed toward California’s High Desert, where the field completed extensive off-highway testing over 100 miles of desert trail. Through rough roads, muddy basins, rocky climbs, and sandy washes, judges were able to evaluate tires, gearing, traction aids, electronic traction controls, ground clearance, suspension tuning, four-wheel-drive systems, thermal management, and overall vehicle dynamics.
Finally, each truck was driven over a several-hundred-mile highway route to gauge real-world fuel economy. In between tests the experts had ample time with each vehicle to form qualified opinions regarding important factors such as interior ergonomics, back seat comfort, technology usability, build quality, and features and benefits of each truck.
With testing completed, the staff at Truck Trend crunched the data and found that the F-150 lead in three out of six scoring categories (Highway (20%), Empirical (15%), Daily Living (5%), while coming in Second Place in the Tow/Haul (20%) portion of the test to the other Ford in the field, the F-350 Super Duty. The other two categories were Off-Road (20%) and Interior/Exterior Execution and Functionality (20%). In the end, it was the F-150 that scored the highest number of points and earned the nod from Truck Trend’s jurors.
Public Relations Contacts: Sean P. Holman Network Content Director Truck Trend Ryan Payne SVP, Marketing TEN: The Enthusiast Network
About Truck Trend
Truck Trend®, a media brand of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, was founded in 1998 as an offshoot of Motor Trend, an internationally recognized automotive brand. Truck Trend, the authority on light trucks, is an industry leader in the truck category and currently has a total audience of 2.1 million. The brand tests and reports on sport-utility vehicles and crossovers, with an emphasis on pickup trucks, providing vital information to new-model shoppers and avid truck enthusiasts alike. Please visit trucktrend.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 189,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world’s premier network of enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER, TRANSWORLD, and GRINDTV. With more than 50 publications, 60 websites, 50 events, 1,000 branded products, the world’s largest automotive VOD channel, and the world’s largest action/adventure sports media platform, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit enthusiastnetwork.com.
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