2016 Ford F-150

Starting MSRP: $26,540 - $62,310

Estimated MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy

2016 Ford F-150 Review

The half-ton segment is among the most competitive in the automotive landscape, and the 2016 Ford F-150 continues to dominate. Ford’s full-size truck combines an innovative aluminum body with a range of engine choices to net impressive fuel economy and excellent towing and hauling capabilities. Add in three cab choices and an expansive options list, and it’s no wonder the Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in America.

By Jim Sharifi
Last Updated 08/03/2016

The Ford F-150 is a full-size truck that was last redesigned for the 2015 model year. Regular, extended cab (SuperCab) and crew cab (SuperCrew) versions are offered. Regular and SuperCab models come with 6-foot-6-inch or 8-foot beds, while the SuperCrew features a 5-foot-6-inch or 6-foot-6-inch bed. Four engine choices are offered, including a base V6, two turbocharged V6s and a V8. A six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard and four-wheel drive is optional.

For 2016, the F-150 is sold in XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum trims, as well as a new Limited trim. It also gains Ford’s latest Sync 3 infotainment system and a new Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature, which makes it easier to steer the F-150 and a trailer into position while backing up.

Exterior

Exterior
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The F-150’s aluminum body has been a highlight ever since it was redesigned last year. Ford says the switch from steel to aluminum resulted in up to a 700-pound weight reduction, giving the F-150 better fuel economy and higher towing and hauling capacities than the previous generation.

While the sheet metal may be unconventional for a full-size truck, Ford’s execution is flawless, especially if you’re considering a fully loaded model like our F-150 Limited. A tall chrome grille gives the F-150 a commanding presence when viewed from the front, while tastefully applied brightwork provides visual enhancements to the F-150 Limited’s tailgate, beltline and exhaust.

The F-150’s exterior equipment can vary wildly by trim, with base XL models providing little more than 17-inch steel wheels and automatic headlights. Our fully loaded test truck included 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and power running boards that deploy as soon as you open a door. There were functional upgrades too, including a spray-in bed liner, box side steps, tailgate steps and load ramps that were stowed in the bed.

Interior

Interior
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With three cab choices and a host of trim levels and options to choose from, the 2016 F-150 offers a great deal of interior customization across the model line. The base regular-cab model has a bench seat with cloth upholstery and seating for three, but not much else.

SuperCab and SuperCrew models seat five or six, and a fully loaded SuperCrew like our F-150 Limited offers interior confines that easily rival that of a luxury car. Interior space is expansive in the F-150 SuperCrew, with exceptional head- and legroom in both rows. Our test truck included features like a power-sliding rear window and a massive panoramic moonroof. Wood trim and leather upholstery transformed our F-150 into a luxury liner, while features like heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and multi-contour front seats with massage provided a level of opulence many truck buyers probably would not expect.

Interior storage was impressive, with a deep center console, large door pockets and a sizeable storage cubby at the base of the center stack.

Performance

Performance
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Four engines are offered with the 2016 Ford F-150. The base model comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. Two turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engines are offered, including a 2.7-liter V6 with 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque and a range-topping 3.5-liter V6 with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. A 5.0-liter V8 engine is also available, which generates 385 horsepower and 387 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of engine choice, a six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and it's paired with either rear- or four-wheel drive.

The base Ford F-150 gets an EPA-estimated 17/23 mpg city/highway. Models with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine offer the best fuel economy in the lineup, delivering up to 19/26 mpg. Our test truck, equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and four-wheel drive, was rated at 16/22 mpg city/highway.

When equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, the 2016 Ford F-150 can tow up to 12,200 pounds.

No full-size truck feels carlike behind the wheel, but our 2016 F-150 Limited was comfortable and composed, regardless of the driving situation. The suspension did an excellent job of soaking up road imperfections, and the handling was pretty composed by full-size-truck standards.

A V8 may feel like a prerequisite in this segment, but our test truck’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine provided impressive acceleration in both city and highway driving, and it generates horsepower similar to that of V8-powered GMC Sierra and Ram 1500 models. The six-speed automatic is a willing companion, quickly finding the right gear for the task at hand.

Technology

Technology
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The F-150 gets a notable tech upgrade, as Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system is now available for the 2016 model year. While Ford infotainment systems have not always been lauded as the most user-friendly, Sync 3 is a thoroughly modern system with quick response times and straightforward on-screen menus.

Our test truck also featured an 8-inch touch screen and navigation, which was exceptionally easy to program. The system allows you to enter an address or POI from the same screen, minimizing the amount of clicking between menus that’s needed to initiate route guidance. There was no need to enter the full address for nearby destinations either, as entering a street name and number quickly brought up a route to our destination.

A Sony audio system, satellite radio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and a 110-volt power outlet were also included on our test truck, providing plenty of connectivity whether you’re on a work site or a family road trip.

Safety

Safety
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The 2016 Ford F-150 earned a top five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its overall performance in crash tests.

SuperCab and SuperCrew versions were tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with each model earning a Top Safety Pick award and top scores of Good in all crashworthiness categories. When equipped with a forward collision system, the F-150 received a Basic rating from the IIHS for front crash prevention.

The Ford F-150 is offered with driver assistance features that include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assist. A 360-degree camera system is also offered.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The 2016 Ford F-150 starts at $26,540 plus a $1,195 destination charge. SuperCab and SuperCrew models start at $30,600 and $33,055, respectively. Our fully loaded F-150 SuperCrew in Limited trim carried an as-tested price of $67,270 after destination.

The base F-150 is priced competitively with other full-size work trucks, ringing in at slightly more than the 2016 Ram 1500, but less than Chevrolet Silverado. Our test F-150 is a prime example of how highly configurable full-size trucks are, and how those choices can lead to a lot of variance in price.

Every truck buyer will have different needs, but if it were our money we would want the F-150 SuperCrew’s exemplary cabin space, and we’d pair it with the larger 6-foot-6-inch bed and four-wheel drive for a little additional utility. We’d also opt for the XLT trim, which brings in rear privacy glass, alloy wheels and the ability to add an equipment group that includes Sync 3 and heated front seats. So equipped, a 2016 F-150 XLT with the 5.0-liter V8 should carry a suggested price of about $42,000.

Overall

Overall
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Whether you’re considering a basic work truck or a plush family vehicle, the 2016 Ford F-150 offers plenty of versatility. Six trim levels, three cab configurations and a bevy of options make it possible to configure an F-150 that’s almost as unique as each individual buyer.

We appreciate the power, space and capability offered by our test F-150 Limited. Great crash test ratings and a full suite of available driver assistance features should please the safety minded, and the Limited trim proves that luxury and utility are not mutually exclusive.

Ford had already set the bar when it released the redesigned F-150 last year. The addition of Sync 3 and the range-topping Limited trim only bolster the appeal of an already successful product.