Owner’s Log: 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat (9/2016 – 12/2016)

OwnersLog2

Another year, another Number 1 for Ford.  The F-150 continues its role in giving Ford the top sales spot (for F-Series pickups) in America.  Also, this past December marked a full year for my 2015 F-150.  Sure-footed and utility-packed, this truck continues to be up to the task – whichever task that may be.  Read on for my take on a year of ownership of Ford’s “beer can” truck.

Stats:

Time Period: 9/21/2016 – 12/20/2016
Miles Driven: 2,411 / 8,882 (this update / total) (2,309 in previous update)
Average MPG: 18.2 mpg (reported by on-board computer)
Avg MPG for Year: 16.1 (hand-calculated)

Costs:

Maintenance Costs: $0
Repairs: $0.00
Add-Ons: $97.60 (Husky Rear Wheel Well Liners)
Total Cost (non-fuel): $0.00

Services Performed:

  • none

Summary:

This fall, my F-150 sat parked a lot.  Mild temperatures and a lack of precipitation led to many days spent on my motorcycle.  This was off-set by a longer commute once cold weather settled in.  My day job work site was moved, rising from 8 miles to 25 miles each way.  Many of those new miles are highway, so instead of stop-and-go city traffic, I dealt with a lot of highway driving.  When traffic was light, the adaptive cruise control made my new commute much easier, but in the DC area, that’s rarely the case, and it behooves an eagle-eyed driver to either let of the gas or brake a little early, to avoid the sudden stops which are frequent on our capital beltway.  The adaptive cruise control, in sudden stop situations, just can’t be good for the brakes.  To that end, I’ve noticed some high-speed vibration in the brake pedal, which means the front rotors are starting to warp.  It’s not bad, so I’ll keep an eye on it and see how many more miles I can put on them before they need replacements.

I did get to take a 4-hour drive to join my wife on vacation in October, which was a pleasure in the F-150.  Leaving at 7am, and employing the aforementioned ACC, the drive was over before I knew it.  While I’ve made this drive before, the safety features and semi-autonomy of the new truck allowed me to really soak in the beautiful fall colors, without having to worry as much about the traffic around me.

So that was this quarter, but what do I think overall?  The F-150 isn’t perfect. (but then again, what vehicle is?)  It’s a first-year model, and they’ve worked out a couple of bugs since then, but the poor cooling in the front seats is still a problem (which is solved in the aftermarket), the slightly warped front rotors are worrisome (could be due to lots of stop-and-go traffic), and even though it’s a lot lighter, I’m not seeing the savings at the pump.  Occasionally a passing 18-wheeler will confuse the adaptive cruise control, causing the truck to errantly brake (a known issue which Ford has a TSB for – but it doesn’t do it frequently enough for me to bother taking to the dealer).  Other than that, the new truck is a solid player.  More safety, more available technology, more comfort, better infotainment (check out SYNC3 in the 2016+ F-150s, which is even better), and for my family, plenty of room.  All this equals a big win in my book.

The available space in the SuperCrew cab is simply amazing.  It has ferried 4 grown adults with plenty of room to spare, as well as 3 grown adults, 2 dogs, and a whole baby shower’s worth of gifts.  If bed space is a priority as well as room for people, get the long wheelbase truck.  While I really like having the BAK Box 2 in my truck’s bed, it takes up valuable real estate on a permanent basis, which is a trade-off that each truck buyer will want to weigh for their needs.

The power is simply amazing.  This truck has plenty of hustle to it, darting from light to light, or passing on the freeway.  The 400 pounds this truck shed from my last one is noticeable, from acceleration to handling to braking.  It’s not quite car-like, of course, but I wouldn’t expect it to.  It does belie its own weight when asked to perform quick lane changes and go around corners.

The tech is holding up well so far, so we’ll see how it goes, year after year.  The last truck’s advanced features starting breaking shortly after the factory warranty expired, so I’m hoping this one does better (I also hedged my bet by purchasing Ford’s ESP extended warranty for a full 6 years from purchase date).  The bluetooth connection continues to work well, and the 360-degree camera and parallel park assist have come in quite handy, both features not found in other trucks.

Inside the truck, the materials are all holding up well, even the light-colored leather, which many balk at.  It shows no stains, although at one point I thought my blue jeans would leave marks.  A quick spray and scrub with Meguiar’s Leather Cleaner/Conditioner made short work of that, leaving me with beautiful seats again.

Outside, the exterior design may not age as well as the previous-generation truck, but its squared-off edges are still attractive, and the blue jean metallic paint really shows off the creases and character lines built into the aluminum cab and bed.  The updated tailgate step is a good evolution of a great feature, giving tailgaters a way more comfortable place to sit, as well as keeping dirt out of the mechanics of it.  The LED bed lighting comes in handy more times than you’d think, especially for me when unloading baby shower gifts at night, in the freezing rain, with the bed cover closed.  The standout dual-pane moonroof gets a lot of compliments, mostly from those whose rear ends are parked in the back seat.

I know this update is a little late, but the next quarterly update is gonna be a big one – winter weather and lots of driving to do!

Dated Notes:

  • none

General Observations:

  • none

by John Suit

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