US: Ford’s lightweight F-150 further aided by low gasoline price image

The second-largest US automaker decided that a game-changer was in order for the best-selling vehicle in America and made a billion-dollar bet on the switch to an aluminum-intensive generation.

The 2015 F-150 full-size pickup has been heralded as a true auto industry “Mesia” when Ford reveled it would use a mix of high-strength steel and an aluminum body to reduce weight – not only increasing fuel efficiency, but also hauling capacity. While detractors claim the new truck is more expensive to buy and maintain, it still gives truck owners some key advantages – making it again the best option. Besides the up to 700 pounds weight loss, the truck also comes with a new engine – the 325-hp twin-turbocharged 2.7L V6 – and a mind-boggling range: long- and short-wheelbase, two-door, a cab with conventional front doors and rear-hinged back doors, and a crew cab with four regular full-size doors.

And, after the company released the EPA ratings, many seemed disappointed that it didn’t turn out the best, flat out, in the segment. But the truck still crosses the mark in terms of efficiency – the 2.7L engine has a 2,160-lb. payload and 8,400-lb. towing capacity – better than outgoing V6 options. And its 18 / 23 / 20 EPA rating doesn’t need to best the celebrated (and more expensive) Ram 1500 Ecodiesel (22 mpg combined). The difference today between diesel and gas is so immense that you’re actually never getting it back – and at current pump prices the EPA says it would cost you $400 more a year than the F-150.