Ford F-150 Performance
Test drivers say the 2014 Ford F-150 distinguishes itself with a range of engines that provide decent power and help the F-150 make easy work of towing and hauling heavy loads. The F-150's fuel economy ratings are class-competitive, though some trucks in the class use less fuel. Reviewers think the F-150’s ride quality is good, but is not quite as comfortable as the Ram 1500’s.
- "With a string of modern engines, including a turbocharged V6, and the latest in transmission and 4x4 mechanical componentry, the F-150 shows it isn't resting on its laurels." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
- "The F-150 really stands out with its engine selection. Even the base V6 produces strong acceleration, while the turbocharged V6 offers a compelling combination of power, capability and efficiency. The V8s are plenty strong, too, and the 5.0-liter V8 is comparatively efficient. Our money would go to the turbocharged V6." -- Edmunds (2013)
- "F-150 is truck typical in all respects. It runs with rivals such as the Chevrolet Silverado, Nissan Titan, and Toyota Tundra but largely trails the class leading Ram 1500 (though to be fair, every large pickup lags the Ram 1500 for ride quality)." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Acceleration and Power
The base F-150 comes with a 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. Optional engines include a 5.0-liter V8 with 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, a 6.2-liter V8 with 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque and a 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that produces 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is up to an EPA-estimated 17/23 mpg city/highway, which is typical for the class, but slightly less than the top estimates of rivals like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500.
Reviewers are pleased with the power from each engine, saying that the base V6 has adequate power for day-to-day driving with little or no trailer or payload. Still, for those who tow, haul or simply want more power, reviewers suggest stepping up to one of the optional engines, which they say produce ample power and torque for any need. Test drivers also write that the transmission is responsive and shifts smoothly. One critic questions the fuel economy benefit of the EcoBoost engine, noting that observed fuel economy during a test drive was no better than that of a V8-powered truck.
- "No matter which engine you choose, there is no shortage of power or ability, although the base V6 would be our last choice and the twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, our first." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "We like the power provided by the 5.0-liter V8 and especially the rowdy 6.2-liter V8, but it's the EcoBoost V6 that most intrigues us. This turbo V6 is an impressively versatile engine, delivering huge supplies of power when asked yet achieving above-average fuel economy when driven gently." -- AutoTrader
- "While 302 horsepower is impressive by absolute standards, it's not quite enough to move the heavy SuperCrew 4-door with anything more than adequate dispatch. We think it would be fine for a rear-drive, regular cab that doesn't carry much payload. Anything more, and it would probably be a good idea to upgrade to either the 5.0-liter V8 or turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. …. On all models, the transmission is quick to respond to throttle inputs. Shift quality varies depending on the engine. In most applications, it's quite smooth." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "With that said, I don't really get EcoBoost. …While I did not fill this particular truck with fuel (it didn't need any), the in-dash mpg meter said I averaged 11 mpg driving home last night, running some errands, and returning to the office this morning. Could I not accomplish that with a V8? So where's the advantage?" -- AutoWeek (2013)
Handling and Braking
Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional on the 2014 Ford F-150. Reviewers write that the F-150 has a smooth and comfortable ride, though like most trucks, it will hop over uneven pavement with an empty cargo bed. Reviewers note that the F-150 handles fairly well through turns and that its steering gives good feedback to the driver, though some write that the F-150 is not very maneuverable in tight spaces. Test drivers report that the brakes offer ample stopping power and have a good pedal feel. One reviewer adds that the SVT Raptor is bouncier on pavement because of its off-road components, but is still compliant enough to be tolerable as a daily driver.
- "On the open road and even around town, the F-150 delivers the kind of ride and handling one would expect of a large SUV -- smooth, stable and comfortable. The F-150's electrically assisted power steering delivers good feedback and handles the job of moving the F-150's bulk with ease." -- AutoTrader
- "On the road, the F-150's electric power-assisted steering does an excellent job of delivering feedback to the driver while keeping the big truck tracking straight and true on the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Most surprising about this F-150 is how it handles and brakes. It's excellent for such a big vehicle. Brake response is immediate and there is a good, firm pedal feel. Around corners, the truck exhibits some roll, but it handles well enough to give you some confidence to push it a little around turns." -- AutoWeek (2013)
- "Steering is handled by a reasonably communicative electrically assisted rack-and-pinion setup (F-series trucks with the jumbo 6.2-liter V-8 engine still get the older hydraulic boost). It does a good job of taking the muscle out of three-point turns-which is good, because at 231.9 inches long overall and sporting a 144.5-inch wheelbase, you'll be doing plenty of them." -- Car and Driver (2013)
- "Within the confines of its suspension hardware, the F-150 absorbs bumps reasonably. On the highway, you can feel a fair amount of axle hop if the bed is unladen. Raptors bounce and jiggle even more on account of their heavy-duty off-road hardware, yet they're not unbearable as daily drivers." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Towing and Hauling
When properly equipped, the F-150 can haul up to 3,120 pounds and tow up to 11,300 pounds, both of which are good ratings for the class. Reviewers say that the F-150 offers plenty of power for towing heavy trailers, and appreciate features like standard trailer sway control and an optional trailer brake controller. One test driver had a 10,000-pound trailer hooked up to an F-150 with the EcoBoost engine and says the truck never ran out of steam.
- "During a towing demonstration, we hauled 20-foot trailers with absolutely zero drama, thanks in large part to the pickup's trailer sway control, rearview camera and integrated trailer-brake controller." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "If you're buying a truck for the lightest duty use, the Ram 1500 is probably the way to go. But if you're actually going to get some truckiness out of a pickup, the F-150 is a mighty fine choice." -- Left Lane News (2013)
- "Pulling a 10,000-pound trailer, the EcoBoost powered F-150 never hesitated up big hills at Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo. (It's rated to handle up to 11,300 pounds.)Maybe the eco-part of the boost happens every time you find yourself pulling your foot off of the accelerator because you think you're going too fast." – The Detroit News (2011)
- "The EcoBoost V-6 lived up to its expectations of V-8 like pulling performance towing trailers, but in our opinion it felt more like a small-displacement V-8 instead of large-displacement engine." -- PickupTrucks.com (2011)
The F-150’s FX4 trim comes with mechanical features than enhance off-road capability, such as skid plates and an electronic locking rear differential, as well as standard all-terrain tires. This trim level is equivalent to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71or the Toyota Tundra with the TRD off-road package. Ford also offers an off-road F-150 model called the SVT Raptor. This model comes with unique body panels, hill descent control, a long travel suspension with Fox Racing shock absorbers and an optional camera mounted in the front grille to show the driver what oncoming terrain looks like. Reviewers write that the Raptor is an exceedingly capable off-roader, though some note that it may not be as easy to pilot through city streets due to its wider bodywork and taller height compared to other F-150s.
- "Of course, the purpose-built SVT Raptor stands apart from the rest as the halo truck that off-road enthusiasts dream about. It can tame some of the toughest terrain around, but it's also a bit trickier to drive around town due to its wide body and higher ride height." -- Edmunds (2013)
- "The Raptor doesn't handle any better or worse than a standard F-150 on the street, but it is a monster off-road. Even inexperienced drivers will feel like they can easily tackle whatever might get in their way." -- Consumer Guide (2013)