Truck Wars Still Raging Despite 2015 F-150’s MPG Numbers

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After all of the hype about the next-generation Ford F-150 switching to an aluminum body, the release of its fuel economy numbers became a logical point of focus. Ford finally published them late last month.

Although the redesigned truck’s maximum highway mpg figure of 26 has underwhelmed certain critics and falls short of the Ram EcoDiesel’s 28, the half-ton can boast the best-in-class fuel economy among nondiesel full-size pickups.

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According to Automotive News, “Still, some industry observers had expected Ford to at least flirt with the 30 mpg mark. Ford’s message when announcing the performance figures last month shifted from fuel economy to capability. The new truck can tow up to 1,110 pounds more and haul 530 pounds more than the outgoing one.”

It sounds as if the timing of that change in wording was right. A stronger pickup is always a good thing. On top of that, the “price of regular unleaded has fallen 44 cents over the past year to $2.80 a gallon last week, according to GasBuddy.com.” (We’ll see how long that lasts…)

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The Blue Oval shouldn’t get too comfortable, though. Its rivals have their own strong suits. Ram can boast its EcoDiesel and eight-speed automatic, as well as a 25-mpg-highway rating for its 3.6-liter V6. Chevy’s marketers think the higher cost of aluminum repairs will keep the new F-150 from taking the Silverado’s “lowest total cost of ownership” crown. It looks as if General Motors will be following Ford’s lead with the use of the lightweight material in the coming years, though. Like Ram, it will be going with oil-burner power, except it will be putting such an engine in its mid-size Colorado and Canyon trucks in 2015.

Ford, Ram, and GM can’t stop for a second to rest on their laurels if they’re going to hit the 30.2-mpg truck fuel economy standard set by the EPA by 2025. Ford’s eventual pairing of a 10-speed auto with its lighter, aluminum F-150 skin (in 2017) will certainly help the automaker drive further in that direction.

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via [Automotive News]

Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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