Review: 2015 Ford F-150 4X4 SuperCrew Platinum
Sure, it’s made for getting the job done but can it get the job done on the home front as well? We put the 2015 Ford F-150 to the test from a family perspective.
Under the Hood
Ford boasts a four engine line-up for the 2015 F-150 which includes a 3.5-liter V-6, a 5.0-liter V-8, along with two EcoBoost options, a 2.7-liter V-6 and a 3.5-liter V-6. Our tester came with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost that produced 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. While we admittedly didn’t put the towing or cargo numbers to the test, we were impressed with the six cylinder’s get up and go.
The F-150 looks every bit the capable full-size pickup. The tall front end is anchored by a large grille with three horizontal bars that help to break up the height. C-shaped headlamp housings are set back a bit from the grille for a bit of a semi-tractor look we really liked. Broad sides stretch the length of the truck with slightly bulged wheel wells and body-color molding along the bottom adding variety to the smooth panels.
Our test truck was the Platinum trim line and came with some pretty neat standard features. Power deployable running boards make climbing in and out a lot easier. Watch out if you’re not used to them at first. If you don’t expect running boards to appear, they can be rough on the shins. Optional small hideaway steps are hidden under the cargo box in front of the rear wheels. They are a genius addition for gaining access to the bed and pop out at the push of a button.
Remote Tailgate Release also comes standard in the Platinum trim. The tailgate can be locked, unlocked, and lowered with the touch of a key fob button. An optional feature our test truck came with was an integrated tailgate step with lift assistance. Drop the tailgate and a step can be deployed from the top. It drops down to a foot and half or so off the ground to provide a step up between the ground and bed. A handle can be pulled from the tailgate and locked upright to serve as assistance while using the step. These convenience features can be a huge help, just be forewarned if you whip them out on the jobsite. More than one “truck guy” we talked to about them just shook their heads with a sadness they normally reserve for minivan drivers.
Standard LED box lighting set into the bed sides illuminate the lower cargo area. Cargo is easily stowed and secured with Ford’s BoxLink. Ford describes BoxLink as a “flexible, configurable universal pickup box interface.” Imagine a series of slots and tie down options designed to accommodate aftermarket cargo securing solutions such as ramps and dividers.
The inside of the 2015 F-150 is big. Components are big, controls are big, seats are big. Everything is size appropriate though and doesn’t feel too big for the vehicle. Even with all the real estate inside, where many full-size trucks and SUV’s create a cavernous feeling, conversation in the F150 is easy and comfortable and no one feels too far separated from the others.
The large seats manage to provide support enough that even our smallest junior tester felt secure without sliding around. The supportive seats are well balanced with a nice level of comfort. The second row bench is large enough to easily seat three adults comfortably. The row is bolstered such that it looks and sits like three seats. We were pleased that the middle of the second row is an actual seat and not a mound on a transmission hump for your least favorite passenger to try to balance on.
Our Platinum F-150 came with a massage feature for both front seats. It was a nice idea, but lacked a little in execution. Rollers inside the seat bottom and seat back can be configured via a settings menu in the infotainment screen to target certain areas of the body with a rolling pressure that was nice for part of the time, and the other part of the time left us feeling as if the seat was getting a bit too familiar—the way certain doctors get necessarily familiar after you reach a certain age.
Hip room is plenteous for every seat, as is legroom. Power adjustable pedals allow for just about every driver to set themselves up comfortably and safely. Headroom is great even with a fantastic optional twin panel moonroof. Our junior testers always enjoy the opportunity to enjoy everything a moonroof has to offer from the cheap seats.
A center armrest in the second row provides plenty of room for elbows as well as cupholders. Two cupholders are also set into the back of the center console for the second row passengers to use and are reasonably convenient. All doors have practically sized bottle holders and map pockets.
One of our favorite things about the interior was a feature we regrettably didn’t have a chance to take advantage of. Our SuperCrew F150 had a standard 60/40 split rear seat. Each portion of the seat folds up against the rear wall of the cab creating a flat load floor. The space created allows for reasonably secure storage for a healthy amount of equipment for work or play. We envision things like tile saws and hockey bags fitting in that space with room to spare. A small rail along the back wall under the larger portion of the seat creates a handy storage bin for small items.
The Platinum SuperCrew comes equipped with an appropriate for its size 8” touchscreen mounted in the center stack. The screen accesses Ford’s intuitive and easy to use SYNC system for controlling audio, HVAC, voice-activated features, and smartphone connectivity. Our tester vehicle’s system was equipped with MyFord Touch which features enhanced capabilities, not the least of which is a four-part split screen that shows status of four systems at once. We are big fans of this ability as we really enjoy knowing as much as we can about our vehicle.
That means we were also huge fans of the Productivity Screen. A fairly new feature available in some Ford trucks (standard in Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trim levels), the Productivity Screen is an 8” LCD screen in the center of the instrument panel. Mounted between an easy to read speedometer on the right and tachometer on the left the screen shows fully customizable information which includes gauge setup, towing system and off road system information as well as trip computer options. Just about every piece of information a driver could want is available.
The opposite side of the dash from the user friendly instrument panel is a flat slab of leather that houses the front passenger airbag. Under that slab is one of the more practical glove compartments we have seen. One element of this storage area we really like is a small shelf sized perfectly to hold the owner’s manual. This keeps the manual out of the way of the more important collection of napkins, tissues, and pens that don’t work. A small shelf runs the length of the glove compartment between it and the airbag. Its potential to be an awesome storage solution is limited by its being only about an inch and a half deep.
The center stack houses the infotainment touchscreen high in the center with simple analog audio controls below it and HVAC controls below those. Large vents bookend the screen and are sized appropriately for the rest of the truck. A knob for four-wheel drive options is below the left vent and auxiliary plugs are below the right. A small hinged door under the vent conceals a standard 12V “cigarette lighter” type plug. Next to that is a 110V/400W conventional AC plug.
The center stack stops with little fanfare just above the center console which is F-150 appropriate size-wise and looks-wise. What at first looks like a great deal of real estate makes sense after a few minutes behind the wheel. A covered bin is at the front of the console and can easily hold a smartphone or two and their charging accouterment. Two practical cupholders take up the right of the console while a shifter takes up the rest. A narrow trough runs the length between the two and is perfectly sized to hold a business card or two and more pens that don’t work.
A massive armrest tops the center console and serves as a cover for an equally large storage bin. The bin features grooves for hanging files and an elevated change tray big enough for a smartphone. The back of the console houses two vents for back seat passengers and another set of plugs with a 12V car outlet and a 110V/400W AC plug.
The F-150 is without question a full-size truck. Add the extra SuperCrew length and it is even larger. There is never any question you are driving a large pickup, but that’s not a bad thing. The truck keeps you aware of its size without being difficult to drive. In fact, we found it surprisingly easy to drive.
We were pleased with the power the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine churned out. We never worried about having enough get-up-and-go either pulling out into traffic or scooting down an on ramp to reach highway speeds. The V6 even managed to crank out a nice throaty growl when we jumped on the throttle.
On the road it is easy to see why the F-150 stays around the top of bestseller lists. Road conditions are communicated to the driver through the wheel and pedals in a way that keeps the driver in touch without being harsh or rough.
The turning radius is surprisingly tight making maneuvering around a downtown parking deck built for hybrids and econoboxes easy. Additionally, our F-150 came with the optional 360-Degree Camera with Split-View Display which made parking a breeze. The infotainment screen splits when reversing. The larger portion of the screen shows the rearview camera while the smaller portion combines the views from the rearview camera, cameras in the side view mirrors, and a grille mounted camera to show an overhead, birds-eye view of the vehicle.
Important Numbers for Families
- 2 – Active park assist uses two ultrasonic sensors and electric power-assisted steering to help drivers parallel park which is HUGE when it comes to a trying to maneuver a full-size truck. Here’s how it works: “The sensors measure the gap between two vehicles to determine if there is enough room for the F-150. After confirming the F-150 can fit, the truck automatically steers into the space, while the driver operates the accelerator and brake pedals.”
- 4 – The F-150’s four-spoke steering wheel makes maneuvering easier offering plenty of grip options as you navigate the construction site or the carpool line.
Family 5 Test
- Car Seats – Three car seats in your family? No problem.
- Coffee Cups – The two center console cup holders were perfectly placed for both driver and passenger. Other than that, they were pretty unremarkable which isn’t necessarily a bag thing.
- Luggage – Internally there’s room for cargo but the real story is the amount of space you’ll find in the bed. Plan on packing in luggage that is weatherproof to allow yourself to maximize the cabin room.
- Golf Clubs – Four players plus four coolers plus four sets of clubs comfortably fit in the F-150 we tested as long as you make good use of the bed.
- Groceries – Costco trip? No problem! Go ahead and stop at the Lowe’s and grab that lawn mower you’ve been eyeing up on your way home. You’ll have plenty of room for it.
The Bottom Line
Our time in the F-150 made it easy to understand why the truck is so popular. The truck is practical and easy to drive for its size. We could see the SuperCrew hauling the job around during business hours and the family after hours with the same level of practicality for both.