Ford’s legendary F series of pickup trucks, as some of you may know, has been Canada’s best-selling pickup truck 49 years in a row, as of July 2015. Almost as long as the Leafs Stanley Cup drought.
During that time, there have been a plethora of advancements in the auto industry from safety to efficiency to comfort and pretty much everything in between. But somehow, Ford has managed to fend off all competitors and, well, we’re still waiting for that blue and white Bay street parade. Kudos to Ford for being a pillar of consistency in the truck world and really, the automotive world.
When and if this record is ever interrupted, it’ll be nearly impossible to replicate, just like Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive game streak of 2,632 games payed will probably never be matched.
And there are some big changes for the 2016 version of the F-150 that Ford’s hoping will help them reach the 50 year mark for Canada’s best-selling pickup truck.
The class exclusive military grade aluminum-alloy body was designed to offer less weight and more strength. It’s also less susceptible to dents and corrosion, and given the varying Canadian climates, is worthy of huge bonus marks. With less weight comes better fuel economy, another crucial factor in deciding which manufacturer receives your signature. We’ll get into specifics a bit further down.
While there’s very little you can do to innovate on the design of a pickup truck, my tester, the 2016 F-150 XLT Supercrew (seating for up to six) looks aggressive, tough and the 6.5-foot cab gives it a hulk-like impression. There’s really no mistaking this for anything else on the road, especially when you see the detailed front end in your rear view mirror.
Engine-wise, my tester came with a 2.7L, V6 EcoBoost engine that generates a healthy 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft. of torque. Ford’s site says this engine provides best in class gas fuel efficiency…looks like they’re on to something with this EcoBoost business.
Fuel ratings for using the 4x2 system come in at 12.3 city, 9.2 highway, 10.9 combined for L/100km.
Fuel ratings for using the 4x4 system come in at 13.1 city, 10.1 highway, 11.8 combined for L/100km
Not too shabby at all considering it’s a full sized pickup.
Other available engines include:
- 3.5 V6 EcoBoost, giving 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. of torque
- 3.5 V6 Ti-VCT with 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft. of torque
- 5.0 V8 Ti-VCT with 385 horsepower and 387 lb-ft. of torque
There’s definitely something for the varying needs of pickup truck drivers here, from "I want something with a bed to haul around occasional cargo" to "my truck bed is empty every February 30th."
The ride quality was good, smooth and comfortable, right up there with the Dodge Ram and the available “Auto Start-Stop” technology is a great addition to cut down on wasting fuel while idling. Seating is comfortable and the EcoBoost engine was responsive (more than I thought) to varying driving conditions.
My week saw close to 500 km of city and highway driving, complete with helping a close friend flee Mississauga for Milton (“hey Jay, I’m moving in April…better get a pickup truck to test that week!" – Shaun) which meant I carried plenty of extra weight on a Saturday, and while I nearly swallowed my tongue at the 136L gas tank capacity (87L for the shorter/smaller versions of the F-150), I averaged 12.0 L/100km. Then again, I only truly utilized its capabilities for a couple of the seven days I had it, so expect your fuel figures to fluctuate, depending on what you’re up to.
The F-150 boasts best-in-class towing up to 12,200 lbs and best-in-class payload at 3,270 lbs, which is helped by their shedding of 700 lbs by using aluminium-alloy over steel. The available “Pro Trailer Backup Assist” drastically increases accuracy by automatically steering the truck based on manual inputs.
Inside, the cabin is full of storage spots and benefits from a clean, modern design.
My one suggestion is that they move the console gear shifter and put it as a steering wheel stalk to give even more usable interior space. Chances are you’re spending hours and hours in your truck daily so every inch of extra space goes a long way.
The rear doors on the Supercab swing open 170 degrees, which makes life that much easier, and the rear seats fold upright for added cargo space.
The available SYNC 3 is, to me, absolutely worth the extra cash as it’s a far superior system compared to what comes out of the box, so to speak.
A nice touch is the available retractable step once you lower the tailgate for easier access to whatever you have in the bed, along with the available box side steps.
With all that Ford has done in the 2016 edition, they’ve definitely increased their chances of hitting the 50 year mark as the best-selling tuck in the great white north.
Helping matters are a 5-star safety rating, a low cost of ownership and their claims that this is the safest F-150 ever.
My specific tester lists for a touch beneath $43K and was dressed to the nines with options totaling $14,630 (rear camera, sliding rear window, reverse sensing system, remote start, SYNC 3, LED box lighting, 2.7 EcoBoost engine, inflatable safety belts, BLIS, twin-panel moon roof, voice activated navigation, LED side mirror spot lights, auto start/stop, XLT sport package with 18” wheels, and a few other goodies) which brings the price close to the $60K mark - which is pretty good considering all that you’re getting, especially with the EcoBoost engine that’ll offset some of the upfront costs.
Yes, you can jump into an entry level F-150 for close to $32K, or you can ride in style with the range topping and nearly $84K Limited (there are six options to choose from).
Either way, if you’re in the pickup truck market, Ford’s got plenty going for them as far as meeting customer needs.
The domestic and import folks are revving hard to dethrone Ford’s legacy and perhaps one day they will. But for now, I’m sure it’s not that lonely at the top.
Enjoy the gallery below: