4th Place: 2014 Ford F-150
Ford’s F-150 is the oldest truck of the bunch, though it still outsells all of its competitors. Treating it like the benchmark, it seems like the logical place to start.
First, from the outside, it appears the oldest. Although the truck did receive a refresh in 2009, it continues to carry many of the lines that were introduced in 2004. That said, there is no denying that Ford lead the way design-wise into the current crop of boxy, square-lined trucks.
Four powertrains are available in the F-150; a 3.7-liter V6, a 5.0-liter V8, a twin-turbocharged V6 and a massive 6.2-liter V8. Despite having one of the widest selection of engines in the segment right now, about half of all the F-150s sold in the states leave the dealership with the EcoBoost V6 providing power.
This motor almost single handedly changed the landscape of trucks, testing traditional values with new-age technology, and admittedly, the EcoBoost is nice piece of engineering. It hauls with confidence, providing a robust rush of power when the turbo spools up, providing 90 percent of its torque at just 1,700 rpm.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Ford F-150 Review – Video
Combined with the truck’s chassis, which is still a fully-boxed frame, the EcoBoost powered F-150 feels great on the road, with and without weight on the back.
The love story stops there though, as the F-150 easily proved to be the most frustrating truck to hitch a trailer to. First, the safety chain hook ups are attached at a backwards angle, making it a feat to find just the right angle for the safety chain hooks to fit on. The easiest way we found to fit the hooks is to reach under the truck and navigate it blindly from the back.
Adding insult to injury, Ford still places its trailer light hookups below the bumper, which means more fiddling around close to the ground with dirty connections. Every other manufacturer has moved their hookups higher, which also means less risk of the the whole assembly getting caught on a stump or a rock off-road.
Moving on from the trailer, tying down can be frustrating as well, with only four hitching points in the bed, all of which are located quite low.
Annoyances are plenty when working with the F-150, though there are still some saving graces. The tailgate-mounted bed step offers the most convenience in the industry when it comes to loading and unloading the truck’s bed, and the side-mounted steps just behind the rear doors make getting to the front of the bed a breeze.
The fuel numbers for the F-150 with the EcoBoost actually proved to be surprising as well, matching up almost perfectly with GM’s new 5.3-liter V8. Even when trailering, the EcoBoost’s fuel numbers are slightly better than GM’s.
Overall, the F-150 proved to be the most annoying truck to hitch up to, and provides some of the least convenient tie down points in the bed. Still, its powertrains continue to provide solid performance and the chassis dynamics of this truck are rock solid.
1. Four engines are available: a 3.7L V6, a 5.0L V8, a turbocharged V6 and a 6.2L V8.
2. The F-150 is rated to tow 11,300 pounds when properly equipped.
3. The most popular engine, the EcoBoost V6, makes 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque while achieving 16 MPG city, 22 MPG highway.
4. Pricing starts at $24,995, but can reach over $50,000 on luxury-trimmed models.