2015 Ford F-150

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Ford F-150 has been fully redesigned.

In the face of brand-new full-size pickup models from its major competitors, Ford figured it needed to do some truly radical rethinking for its 13th generation of America's best-selling line of full-size trucks. And, from early indications, it looks like the company has managed to do just that with the 2015 Ford F-150.

You won't know how radical the new F-150 is just by looking at it. In a nod to the conservative tastes of many pickup buyers, Ford kept the styling changes fairly subtle. The restyled grille and distinctively shaped headlights are the most obvious visual clues that you're looking at an all-new truck.

Instead, the really big changes are largely hidden from view. Ford engineers have made extensive use of lightweight aluminum in everything from the hood and body panels to the pickup bed to help shave off as much as 700 pounds of weight in the process. Lest you think aluminum is synonymous with flimsy beer cans, Ford says that the military-grade alloys used on the F-150 come in a wide variety of different thicknesses, many of which can be tougher than steel at a fraction of the weight. Underpinning it all is a full ladder-reinforced frame that uses significantly more high-strength steel than the outgoing model.

Ford has also packed the latest F-150 with even more advanced technology. There are video cameras galore, including a trailer hitch assist version that features a dynamic guide line to make lining up the hitch ball and trailer coupling a quick one-person job, as well as an available top-down 360-degree camera view system to help with navigating parking lots and job sites. Other highlights include a new 8-inch "productivity" screen in the gauge cluster and a host of new safety features, including lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

Exterior Highlights
Full-size pickup available in regular, extended (Supercab) and crew cab (Supercrew) body styles. Available trim levels include XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum

The 2015 Ford F-150 is a full-size pickup offered in regular, extended (Supercab) and crew cab (Supercrew) body styles. There are three bed lengths: 5.5 feet, 6.5 feet and 8 feet. The new F-150 is also available in five trim levels, including XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum.

Standard equipment on the entry-level XL model starts with 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, 60/40-split rear seats (extended and crew cabs), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, manual mirrors and windows, manual locks and a four- or six-speaker sound system with a 4.2-inch display and four speakers (six speakers in crew cab models).

The main option for the XL is Equipment Group 101A. That includes the XL Power Equipment Group that adds automatic headlights, daytime running lights, power mirrors and windows, power door and tailgate locks and keyless entry. Also part of the 101A package are cruise control, a 4.2-inch information display, Ford's Sync voice control and smartphone integration system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and USB and auxiliary audio input jacks for the sound system.

There's also a long list of stand-alone options that include appearance packages, skid plates, running boards, tailgate and box side steps, a spray-in bedliner, an integrated trailer brake controller, a power-sliding rear window, a rearview camera, a CD player, satellite radio, rear parking sensors, different axle ratios and towing packages.

The next step up is the XLT trim level, which adds the content of the 101 package plus 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, chrome exterior trim and extra interior storage. Option groups on the XLT include a 301A package that adds heated mirrors, driver-side and rearview auto-dimming mirrors, a rear window defroster, a Class IV trailer hitch, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, rear under-seat storage, a rearview camera and a seven-speaker sound system with satellite radio. A Luxury Option Group 302A adds to that with remote engine start, a power-sliding rear window, LED bed lighting, rear parking sensors, heated 10-way power-adjustable front seats, 110-volt household-style power outlets and the MyFord Touch interface that includes an 8-inch central touchscreen display.

Noteworthy stand-alone options on the XLT (besides the XL options listed above) include 20-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable heated mirrors, mirror-mounted LED spotlights, trailer towing mirrors, the FX4 Off-Road package, a fuel-economy boosting SFE package, a sunroof, front bucket seats with a center console, inflatable rear seatbelts, a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, Crew Chief fleet-based telematics and a navigation system.

The upscale Lariat is similar to the XLT with the 302A package but also includes dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch gauge cluster information display, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, driver seat memory settings and keyless ignition and entry. Many of the XLT's stand-alone options are also available for the Lariat. The Lariat's 502A package goes all out with LED headlights and taillights, automatic high beam headlight control, second-row heated seats (crew cabs only), a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel and a 10-speaker Sony audio system.

On the Lariat you can also get the Technology package (lane-keeping assist and a 360-degree top-down camera display with dynamic hitch assist), power-retractable running boards, adaptive cruise control with frontal collision warning, and automatic parallel parking assist.

The top-of-the line King Ranch and Platinum models share most of the above features along with higher-grade interior materials. Choosing between the two comes down to a preference for western flair or more sophisticated uptown styling.

Classy look and feel of interior, ergonomically designed, 8-inch productivity display screen with MyFord Touch touchscreen interface, hidden storage

There's an unmistakable trend at work in the pickup world: turning these traditional workhorses into something more akin to gussied-up show ponies. Of course, work truck buyers can still get bare-bones XL models fitted out with vinyl floor coverings, roll-up windows and a simple AM/FM stereo. But the farther you go up through the trim levels, the nicer the furnishings and the more desirable the amenities become. This new F-150's interior has a classy look and feel, and materials used in those top trim levels are on par with a lot of upscale sedans. Everything in the interior is ergonomically designed in such a way that there's a padded armrest exactly where you'd want it, and frequently used controls are located right where your hand would instinctively reach for it.

On the gauges front, the available 8-inch productivity display screen can be customized to show an array of other user-selected variables from off-roading info to tire pressures. Ford has also added a refreshingly intuitive center stack control layout with physical volume and tuning knobs and radio station presets logically arranged above similarly old-school knobs and buttons for the climate control system. It can make it seem like there are an awful lot of buttons, but this redundancy should alleviate any concerns you might have about operating the otherwise useful MyFord Touch touchscreen interface that's available on the upper trim levels.

There's a fair amount of storage available, whether you choose the standard 40/20/40-split front seat with cubbies built into the folded-down center section, or front bucket seats separated by a sizable center console. Rear seats in both extended and crew cab models flip up to reveal hidden storage for valuable tools or toys.

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