- Was completely redesigned last year, adding a new aluminum body
- Four engine options, including two EcoBoost V-6 engines
- New Pro Trailer Backup Assist system available
The 2016 Ford F-150 builds off of its very comprehensive redesign a year ago by adding a few new technology features and compressed natural gas capability to one of its V-8 engines.
When it was unveiled last year, the F-150 became the first large scale vehicle to come with a body made completely of aluminum instead of the traditional steel. This even includes the bed and Ford claims weight savings of up to 700 pounds in some models. Less weight means better fuel economy, an improved ride on the road, and better performance as well.
Exterior styling hearkens back to Ford’s Atlas concept that first appeared in 2013, with a large front grille flanked by C-shaped headlight clusters on either side. XL and XLT trims feature a three-bar Ford grille with openings on either side, while the other three trim levels (Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum) feature a larger three-bar grille that is aped from Ford’s larger Super Duty trucks. Three cab sizes are available: regular, Super Cab, and Super Crew. Ford also says that all of the windows on the F-150 are larger, improving visibility which is helpful for moving a vehicle of this size around in tight spaces.
Under the hood, the 2016 F-150 keeps the same four engine options from last year. The base engine is a 282-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 253 pounds-feet of torque. The largest engine is a 385-hp, 5.0-liter “Coyote” V-8 which makes 387 pounds-feet of torque. This engine can now be prepped at the factory to handle CNG or Propane, but will require more aftermarket work by the buyer. Two EcoBoost engines are available, starting with a 365-hp, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. The final engine is a 325-hp, 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. Each engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and rear- or four-wheel drive systems are available.
For 2016, the F-150 returns with a few new technology tricks up its sleeve. A more intuitive and improved SYNC 3 infotainment system is available, but the biggest addition is a Pro Trailer Backup Assist system. It adds a knob to the center console that you can use when backing up a trailer, just turn the knob to steer the trailer and the system will control the speed and steer the truck itself.
Inside, the redesigned cabin is roomier and gets an updated center stack with better ergonomics. Ford’s much maligned MyFord Touch system returns, but this time with more physical controls which is a welcome change. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and an information display in the instrument panel. Options include SYNC 3 with Bluetooth connectivity and voice command recognition, navigation, HD radio, leather upholstery, heated/cooled front seats, and dual zone automatic climate control.
The F-150’s switch to an aluminum body might draw most of the headlines, but updates to the frame structure under its skin including stronger steel will improve the truck’s crash performance. Six airbags, antilock brakes, and an electronic stability system come standard. A whole battery of safety technology is also available, including adaptive cruise control, a blind spot warning system, and inflatable rear seatbelts.