Ford's F-150 has been the top-selling vehicle
in the U.S. for ages. Don't think the automaker was content to rest on its
laurels, though. Last year, the ever-popular pickup underwent a drastic
weight-reduction, losing 500 pounds or more thanks for an aluminum-intensive
body. Changes are a bit more sedate for the 2016 Ford F-150. There are several
new option packages including the off-road-focused FX4, a Special Edition
Appearance package for the XLT, and a compressed natural gas and propane
fuel-prep bundle. New 20-inch wheels can be had on select configurations and
the new Pro Trailer Backup Assist makes guiding an attached trailer into a parking
slot a breeze. Finally, Ford drops its MyFordTouch infotainment system and
replaced it with the latest version of SYNC 3.
The full-size Ford F-150 is available in three cab styles, three
bed lengths, and six trim levels. This give shoppers a huge number of
configurations to create the truck of their dreams.
Four engines are also offered. The base 3.5-liter V-6 churns
out 283 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. Tow capacity is up to 7,600
pounds. On the other end of the power spectrum is the 5.0-liter V-8 and its 385
horsepower, similar amount of torque and 11,100 pound tow-capacity.
The other two engines are turbo-charged V-6s cribbed from
the automaker's EcoBoost lineup. The 2.7-liter engine offers the best fuel
economy among the four engines, while the larger 3.5-liter turbo tops in towing
at 12,200 pounds.
All the above engines are mate to a six-speed automatic
transmission. Drivetrain is either rear or four-wheel drive.
"The F-150 handles remarkably well considering its
size," noted KBB after putting the pickup through its
paces, "and whether we were towing, off-road adventuring or cruising long
stretches of smooth highway, Ford’s full-size pickup felt right at home."
Automated headlights, trailer sway control, vinyl flooring,
cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and column setup,
air-conditioning and manually-cranked windows are just some of the features
found standard in the XL, the entry trim into the lineup. The equipment list
rapid climbs from there, and ranges from heated and cooled front row seats to a
voice-activated navigation system which provides real-time traffic updates and
Buyers can further customize their F-150. The optional 101A
package for the XL adds such niceties as power windows and door locks, a power
tailgate, power mirrors, cruise control, and a CD player. The premium Lariat with
a 502A package gets LED headlights and taillights, a heated power-adjustable
steering wheel, and an 11-speaker Sony audio system. Other options like lane-departure
prevention and automated parallel-parking are also offered on the F-150.