What Consumer Reports Missed On Their 2015 F-150 Comparison

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We recently reported that Consumer Reports published their findings comparing the 2015 F-150 to the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado. They ranked the Ford the lowest for a variety of reasons. I just spent a week in the F-150 and had a different experience. Here’s what Consumer Reports got wrong on the 2015 F-150.

One of Consumer Reports‘ biggest gripes was the vagueness of the steering. I will give them the steering is a bit lighter than I’d prefer out of a vehicle, I’m not sure the steering is any more vague than any new truck with electronic power steering. That’s a symptom of everyone switching to electronic power steering than a direct fault of the F-150.

They also fault the F-150’s suspension as being too jittery. The F-150 behaves exactly as I’d expect a body-on-frame vehicle with leaf springs would do. They cite the Ram 1500 as having a better ride, and they’re right. The coil link rear suspension does ride nicer, but there are tradeoffs including the bed sagging under heavy payload.

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Finally they rip MyFord Touch for being MyFord Touch. Very soon the system is going to be replaced with Sync 3, and will be faster, more responsive, and better to use. But Consumer Reports loves the system in the Tesla Model S, which offers full web browsing while driving for the ultimate distracted driving experience, but faults MyFord Touch for being distracting.

The 2015 F-150 is a nice truck to drive, with a decent ride and handling. Plus, thanks to the lightweighting done by switching to aluminum, the truck can tow and carry more than it ever has been able to.

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There is a lot of engineering in the truck, but as Ford’s bread-and-butter vehicle, they can’t change the character of the truck too much. It’s the same reason why Toyota can’t dramatically change the Camry; they’ll alienate their customers. The Camry is the best-selling car in the country, and the F-Series is the best selling vehicle overall. Ford can’t risk alienating their customers.

Additionally, Ford hits big marks with safety. They have an overall 5-star crash safety rating from the federal government, and you can get the truck with loads of active safety features.

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The F-150 is available with blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise with collision warning, lane keep assistance, inflatable rear seatbelts, and more. Plus LED headlights help visibility at night. Many of those options aren’t even available on the Silverado or Ram 1500.

People don’t purchase trucks expecting car-like qualities. Yes, OEMs are making better and better trucks, and it’s important to keep up with the competition, but none of the things Consumer Reports cited were noticeable enough for me to consider them deal breakers.

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All trucks are getting better and better with each refresh, because the competition is so fierce. Trucks make these automakers money, and put loads of time and effort into making them the best they can. Sure, there are some things that other brands do better than the F-150, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the F-150 when looking at your next truck.

What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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