BILL OWNEY | Death, taxes, F-150: Ford pickup’s brand loyalty among the highest

In the event of a flood, plague or plague, one thing is certain: Ford’s light pickup will sell better than any other vehicle in North America. It’s been doing this for 44 years, and with Ford leading the way in electric pickups, the trend is expected to continue for another 44 years.

Or more. Forget the fully boxed high strength steel frame with military grade aluminum alloy body. Disregard the innovative incorporation of an electric generator that you can use to build a house or power your own for three days with a tank of gasoline. Ignore Ford’s claims that the latest model is the toughest, most productive, and most powerful of all.

You can even ignore the fact that objective critics say the F-150 may not be the best in the country.

The strong point of the F-150 is the unwavering loyalty to the brand that stretches through the generations. About two-thirds of F-150 owners trade in their old trucks for new ones. Overall, Ford placed fifth in the 2021 JD Power brand loyalty survey, behind Subaru, Honda, Toyota and Ram, but the F-150 held up.

This raises a question. What is the best predictor of someone’s actions, thoughts, or beliefs? Someone once asked this question of John Dewey, philosopher, psychologist, father of progressive education, and organizer of libraries across the globe.

The sage chuckled.

“Neither,” he says, “habits control everything.

It was not lost on his contemporary, Henry Ford, who made a point of building pickup trucks that were strong, durable and suited to the needs of the traders and farmers who bought them in the beginning.

The F-150 is the only lightweight full-size pickup to offer a full hybrid, and it’s available on all trim levels from XL to Limited. The fully hybrid powertrain is the most powerful engine in the F-150 lineup, developing 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft. of couple. (Photo courtesy of Ford)

Ford knows pickup trucks

Even today, Ford designers and engineers strive to incorporate the features owners say they want. It means comfort, handling and technology. Comfortable seats, attractive cabins with workspace, advanced electronic entertainment, information and security, plenty of in-cabin storage with electrical connections, a work bed with tie-down cleats and the largest capacity Class payload and towing capacity keep them coming back for Suite.

Ford gave the F-150 a substantial overhaul in 2020 to switch to Ram, which gained a large market share with better ride and handling and luxurious interiors. The new F-150 falls short of the colon. The ride is still “trucky” and the interiors display questionable craftsmanship. but it doesn’t matter. Putting in an effort is enough for diehard Ford customers.

To win the payload and towing battle, Ford continues to use leaf springs, heavy-duty shocks and a solid rear axle. Ram, in comparison, sacrifices a bit of work capacity to use a car-like rear setup, with multiple arms and circular springs.

This eliminates pickup rebound and results in a better balanced and more agile truck. The new F-150 is less jittery than before, but there’s still that occasional bone-shaking punch. The handling seems awkward but the truck is well planted and secured at high speed.

No pickup handles like a sports car. I’d give the Ford a C, the Silverado a C + and the Ram a solid B

“I have been driving a Ford for 35 years and love the way it drives. There is nothing better, ”boasts my brother-in-law.

“So you’ve never driven RAM?” “

Crickets.

It does not matter. Master craftsman, he is already eyeing a new F-250.

I would tell him the new F-150 Hybrid would perform better, but no one, inside or outside the family, ever listens to me. I’m just a guy who tested, researched, thought out, and wrote about 70-80 cars a year for 25 years on everything from Rocky Mountain trails and Smokey Mountain highways to muddy swamps and tough race tracks. .

What do I know?

In the future

The F-150 is the only lightweight full-size pickup to offer a full hybrid, and it’s available on all trim levels from XL to Limited. The fully hybrid powertrain is the most powerful engine in the F-150 lineup, developing 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft. of couple. (Photo courtesy of Ford)

Ford knows a thing or two about electric cars. The Fusion Hybrid, launched in 2009, was a sporty, high-performance sedan that, like hybrids everywhere, was quite durable. The Mustang, which began production in 2020, the same year the Fusion ended, has proven to be a strong performer.

The company is investing $ 22 billion by 2025 in electric vehicles. An all-electric version of the Ford Transit is expected to hit the streets this fall. The all-electric Ford Lightning pickup, starting at $ 42,000, will be released next spring. Ford already has more than 100,000 pre-orders.

This year, Ford dipped its feet in electrified pickup trucks with an optional 3.5-liter V6 PowerBoost hybrid powertrain with Pro Power Onboard and an integrated generator.

A 2.4 kW generator, ideal for running power tools or lighting a campsite, is standard. A 7.2 kW generator, which can power a house, is optional. During this year’s snowfall, when thousands of homes and hospitals lost power, Ford dealers loaned dozens of trucks equipped with Pro Power.

Both generators are powered by the hybrid’s 1.5 kWh high voltage lithium-ion battery. Ford also offers a 2.0 kW generator for non-hybrid F-150s.

The outlets for the generators are right next to the tailgate, which was designed like a workbench, with ruler marks and locations for the C-clamps to hold things in place for precise cuts.

The F-150 is the only lightweight full-size pickup to offer a full hybrid, and it’s available on all trim levels from XL to Limited. The fully hybrid powertrain is the most powerful engine in the F-150 lineup, developing 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft. of couple.

It can tow up to 12,700 lbs. A base F-250 tows 12,300 lbs.

Can you feel me, my brother?

The EPA estimates that the F-150 hybrid will deliver a combined fuel economy of 24 mpg. We managed to go through 19 mpg, which is also what Consumer Reports achieved using much more sophisticated methods and equipment. Either way, the F-250 manages just 13.5 mpg. That’s a 29% difference.

On the highway, all testers got around 26 mpg, which is incredible for a 20-foot-long, two-ton, four-door, four-wheel-drive pickup. The F-150 Hybrid comes with a 23, 26, or 36 gallon tank, depending on cabin and bed configuration.

If you’ve got the big tank, at today’s prices it’ll set you back $ 108 to fill up with regular unleaded gasoline, but then you can drive to Denver, Green Bay, or Monterey, Mexico. , with this single tank of gasoline.

Henry, look how far we’ve come. I can’t wait to see the rest.


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