As part of a new feature on The Richard Piet Show called "Richard's Ride", we introduce you to the 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat. Click on the player above for a short introduction to Ford's latest full size truck.

Our test drive model from Lakeview Ford Lincoln in Battle Creek is equipped with the largest engine available in the standard F-150: 5.0L V8 with 385 horsepower. But, with CAFE standards increasing in 2016, Ford has been busy developing more fuel efficient engines, which they call "Ecoboost" As a result, the F-150 is also available with a 3.5L V6 with 282 horsepower (EPA-estimated mpg 18 city/25 highway), a 2.7L Ecoboost V6 with 325 horsepower (EPA-estimated mpg 19 city/26 highway), and a 3.5L Ecoboost V6 with 365 horsepower (EPA-estimated mpg 17 city/24 highway).

The V8 is estimated to receive 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway (ours is currently averaging about 15-16 mpg).

Another way Ford has attempted to make the F-150 more fuel efficient is to lighten its weight without compromising its integrity. Engineers feel they've done that by replacing the truck's side panels made of steel with ones made from strong aluminum. This has reduced the weight of F-150 by about 700 pounds, without - Ford says - reducing the vehicle's structural integrity.

Among the other features the new F-150 boasts are:

  • 360-degree camera with split-view display
  • Active park assist
  • Inflatable rear safety belts
  • LED side-mirror spotlights
  • Remote tailgate release

There's no doubt trucks these days are like luxury cars with towing capacity. The F-150's leather appointments and high tech gear - including Ford's Sync system - are a leap ahead of yesterday's models. But, you'll pay for them. The Richard's Ride model featured stickers for about $58,000. That will leave some F-150 aspirants aiming lower in the features department.

Nevertheless, Ford seems to be doing something right with the F-150, the best selling vehicle (not just truck) in the US for 38 years.

Hear The Richard Piet Show weekday mornings from 5:30-9 on WBCK.

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