Fresh off last year's complete overhaul, the F-150 is poised to continue its decades-long streak as America's top- selling vehicle. Buyers can be assured of rugged performance over the long haul, plus an ever-increasing choice of luxury trappings and high technology.
What's New for 2016
The super-luxurious F-150 Limited joins the lineup, and mid-level models are eligible for new design packages. An automated trailer backup system is available for the first time. The 5-liter V8 engine can now be equipped to run on compressed natural gas. An updated infotainment interface known as Sync 3 debuts.
Choosing Your Ford F-150
The current F-150 makes extensive use of aluminum body panels to keep weight in check. Underneath is a traditional pickup frame made of high-strength steel.
The engine roster starts with a 3.5 V6 good for 283 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque.
Next is the turbocharged 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6, which delivers 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque.
The F-150 wouldn't be a full-size pickup without a V8 on hand as well. The 5-liter ups the ante to 385 horsepower and throws in a bit of additional torque. There's a new multi-fuel option for the V8 that allows it to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane in addition to gasoline.
The range-topping 3.5-liter version of the Ecoboost yields 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
When it comes to the all-important maximum towing capacities, the 3.5-liter Ecoboost wins at 12,200 pounds, followed closely by the V8 at 11,100. The 2.7-liter Ecoboost can handle up to 8,500 pounds, while the base V6 maxes out at 7,600.
Regardless of engine, you get a six-speed automatic transmission with Sport and Tow/Haul modes. Available across the board is a four-wheel drive system with low-range gearing. You can also add Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which allows you steer a trailer while backing up using only a dash-mounted knob. The truck's steering and speed adjust automatically to where you want the trailer to go.
As usual, you have choice of three cab styles: the three-person Regular Cab, the Super Cab with a full-width backseat and narrow rear-hinged back doors, and the SuperCrew, which features full-size rear doors and additional rear legroom. The Regular Cab comes standard with 6.5-foot bed, and an 8-footer is optional. The Super Cab and SuperCrew get a 6.5-foot bed, and with the SuperCrew you can downsize to 5.5-foot bed for credit.
Trim levels continue to run the gamut from basic to indulgent:
The XL is best left to work applications unless cost is your main concern. Most buyers prefer the XLT, which can be equipped to meet a wide range of needs and tastes. The Lariat and above are too fancy inside to populate with muddy boots and overalls, but are viable alternatives to premium-branded crossovers and SUVs. The new Limited is by far the most luxurious pickup ever produced by Ford.