Motoring: Finally, a pick-up that is fun to drive
Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ
With a low price, appearance and easy-to-drive features, this truck has everything a driver could ask for, except for the way it drinks gas.
The reason for its selling power has been one of constant evolution. Ford hasn’t just been standing around and watching what others are doing, they’ve been innovating to keep the F-150 ahead of the competition.
Their current base spec motor is in a class of its own, and that’s the vehicle I tested.
Ford was the first company to offer a mass-produced turbocharged pickup truck when it introduced a 3.5 litres EcoBoost motor in the F-150 a number of years ago. Now, they’re the first to offer a base engine in the base F-150 a new 2.7-litre EcoBoost motor and, in my opinion, this is the best motor I’ve ever experienced in any pickup truck.
This new motor features two turbochargers, which give it 325 horsepower and 375 pound per foot of torque. The turbochargers spool up quickly, and shoot you down the road at speeds you just don’t expect from a big pickup truck. This is a satisfying vehicle to drive.
There are other advantages to the smaller, turbocharged motor as well, since this engine is lighter than any other motor offered by Ford for the F-150, the power to weight ratio puts it quite close to that of the larger, more powerful versions of this vehicle.
It can tow and haul like a big engine truck also, pulling 8,400 pounds and is also able to carry another 2,160 pounds in its truck bed.
So, it seems like it is a win-win for this 2.7-litre EcoBoost F-150. Almost, but it’s not perfect.
This motor is less about Eco, and more about Boost. That was reflected in my fuel economy. On the highway, I was guzzling about 11.7 litres per 100 kilometres, but in the city, my average had fallen down to 17.5 litres per 100 kilometres. My 300-kilometres city and highway combined average was 14.8 litres per 100 kilometres, which in today’s world, is quite high.
For a 4x4 version like my tester, Ford says it can achieve a combined of 12.1 litres per 100 kilometres.
I am actually fine with its thirst because this motor is always willing to get up and hurl you down the road.
This truck is fun to drive and I can’t think of many other pickups that are. Think of it as a sports truck that can also do some tough work.
My only other complaint with it, from a driving perspective, was with its four-wheel drive system. Put it in 4H (four-wheel drive high) and not only does the vehicle sound coarse, but the steering feels restrictive. For 99 per cent of the time, I just kept it in two-wheel drive mode.
An area where the F-150 really excels in is comfort. This is a quiet vehicle, which makes highway travel quite relaxing. It is also spacious and has lots of storage spaces for all the things you’d likely want to carry in a vehicle. It is an easy vehicle to live with for the most part, though parking it is a bit of a pain.
It looks good as well. The F-150 might be a common sight, but it can still catch others’ attention.
The best part is the price. The base, 2016 F-150 is yours from $25,299. My tester was well equipped, so was worth quite a bit more, but the important thing is, thanks to a low starting price, you can choose how to dress up your truck, and give it the things you want.
Thanks to this new, base motor, the F-150 will remain the best selling vehicle, for the foreseeable future.