$21,021 - $50,604

2016 Ford F-150 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Ford F-150 was new.


Performance: 8.8

The 2016 Ford F-150 offers hearty, available turbocharged engines and agile handling, according to critics. They add that the transmission and steering are responsive, but some find the brakes a little sensitive.

  • "For most general-use pickup buyers, the 2.7 EcoBoost is more than adequate and presumably the most fuel-efficient engine for those not completely leaden of foot. The 3.5 EcoBoost comes with the highest payload and tow ratings, but without pulling a big boat or something else heavy, you won't be blown away by the upgrade in thrust. And regardless of the acceleration rate, neither V6 turbo sounds as nice or revs as freely as the 5.0-liter V8." -- AutoWeek (2015)
  • "We towed, drove off-road and enjoyed a long road trip, and the F-150 was wonderfully consistent and confident in every arena, no matter what challenge we threw at it." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "And the all-new 2.7-liter twin-turbo Ecoboost V6 is the real deal, combining tractable power with impressive fuel economy." -- Edmunds (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 F-150 comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. Three additional engines are available: a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 that produces 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque, a 5.0-liter V8 that puts out 385 horsepower and 387 pound-feet of torque and a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The base F-150 gets an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is average for the class. The F-150’s best fuel economy comes when equipped with the 2.7-liter V6, earning an EPA-estimated 19/26 mpg city/highway.

Test drivers praise the available twin-turbocharged engines for their power and acceleration and note that the turbocharged 3.5-liter is more than capable for towing and hauling tasks. They add that the six-speed automatic transmission is responsive and finds the proper gear routinely.

  • "We thought for sure a small-displacement V6 has no place in a full-size pickup, but boy were we wrong. The lighter, stronger 2016 F-150 from Ford is perfectly matched to the 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, which proved surprisingly willing. Unless you plan on towing more than 12,000 pounds, we'd say the larger 3.5-liter EcoBoost is unnecessary." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The six-speed auto is nicely matched to its power band, generally appropriate in gear selection and reasonably responsive (something we can't say about all Ford automatics)." -- AutoWeek (2015)
  • "The smallest six-cylinder pulls confidently low in the rev range and offers exceptional refinement in terms of noise, vibration, and power delivery. It's worth every penny of the $795 premium over the base engine." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "For its part, the 365-hp EcoBoost V-6 feels downright fast. With the 6.2-liter V-8 now reserved for Super Duty trucks, this twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 is now the top engine you can get in the F-150 lineup, and it feels up to the task." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive is standard on the F-150, and four-wheel drive is available. An off-road package with locking rear differential, an off-road-tuned suspension and hill descent control are also optional. Test drivers say the F-150 is agile for a truck and that it handles capably even when towing or off-roading. They add that the steering is responsive, but some think the brakes are too sensitive.

  • "The F-150 handles remarkably well considering its size, and whether we were towing, off-road adventuring or cruising long stretches of smooth highway, Ford's full-size pickup felt right at home. While we were impressed with the F-150's acceleration, ride and handling, we did find the brakes to be a bit touchy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Another big benefit of the aluminum body is that the latest F-150 is surprisingly nimble for a large pickup." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "The steering is a touch on the light side yet accurate and responsive. Only the brake pedal, being touchy and failing to deliver any feedback, needs further improvement." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "As with the outgoing truck, the new F-150 features electric power-assisted steering. Most will be very happy with the helm in everyday driving, as it is nicely weighed and accurate." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "Ride quality, while noticeably improved over the 2014 F-150 (which we drove from the airport to the event), does not appear to have surpassed that of the Ram." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "Ride quality is solid-axle, large-pickup standard; these days it's easily tolerable. You won't be wishing for a load to dampen the bounce." -- AutoWeek (2015)

Towing and Hauling

When properly equipped, the 2016 F-150 has a max towing capacity of 12,200 pounds and a max payload of 3,270 pounds, both of which are the highest in the class. Available towing assistance features include trailer backup assist, dynamic hitch assist and a smart trailer tow connector.  Critics praise the available turbocharged engine for its towing capability and note that the towing assistance features take the guesswork out of maneuvering a trailer.

  • "Using a knob on the dash while watching via the rearview camera, the driver need only input left or right commands and the F-150 will do all the steering and braking. Guiding a boat trailer down a ramp or camper into a tight spot has never been so easy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The new F-150's aluminum construction also helps to increase its capabilities. A lighter curb weight means more weight can be devoted to its payload capacity. The result is that a properly equipped F-150 can haul an almost unbelievable 3,300 pounds -- a figure that far outweighs the maximum payload numbers of any full-size pickup rival." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "When we hitched 9000 pounds of cargo trailer to the 385-hp 5.0-liter V-8, we missed the 33 additional pound-feet of turbocharged torque from the EcoBoost engine." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "More aggressive engine braking in tow/haul mode mitigates the 'oh s----' moment when you reach a traffic light or downhill stretch and remember there are an extra 4.5 tons to stop." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)

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