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Old 06-09-2013, 12:58 PM
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Default F150 Platinum with Ecoboost review

I'm posting this simply because when it was time for me to buy I was torn between an F150 with Ecoboost and a Hemi powered Ram and think there might be others out there in the same boat.

2013 F150 Platinum mini review
Upon my return from El Paso I was picked up at the airport by my wife and son in my dad's new 4x4 Ecoboost F150 Platinum that he loaned us while our 1500 was in the shop with Uconnect issues. I elected to kick my wife out of the driver's seat so I could drive because I was excited to see what the Ecoboost engine was like. Overall I'm impressed with the truck. Note: With only 350 miles on it I'd expect it to be a little more potent once it's broken in.

First off, the Ecoboost is impressive when one considers that it's just a 3.5 liter six cylinder (yeah, the turbo goes a long way). Driving down the freeway I mashed on the gas and the truck surged forward, though not as quick as I had hoped. In fact, I don't think it was much quicker (if at all) than my Hemi Longhorn at full throttle acceleration from freeway speeds. But people tend to rave about the low end power of the Ecoboost, and I've always found that the Hemi's are peaky so it wasn't a huge surprise that it felt so close at the upper RPM band. For freeway roll-ons I'd rate both trucks as "good". Closer to home I stopped the truck on a lonely country road, turned off traction control, and then floored it hoping to sample some of that famous low end torque. Again, the truck scooted along with authority but not as much as I had hoped. I'm not even sure that it chirped the tires, though in all honesty it was hard to tell with my son screaming "woo hoo" from the back seat. It initially felt pokey for a beat or two before the turbo really kicked in. It didn't take long but it wasn't exactly instantaneous. My Ram doesn't squeal the tires from a dead stop either, but it is apparent that the Ecoboost has the advantage down low. Off the line I'd rate the Ecoboost as "impressive" (not "great" or "holy sh#t!") while my 1500 earns a "disappointing".

I came to a another stop and this time held down the brake while giving it gas in order to get a better launch (sorry for burning a few hundred miles off the tread of those 20" tires, dad). This time the tires lit up and left a couple of fat black marks for the cows watching us to admire. Yeah, the Ecoboost does eat my Hemi Ram's lunch when it comes to off the line acceleration, but keep in mind that my basis for comparison is my 6 speed with 3.55's. I bet a 3.92 equipped 8 speed would be a better matchup.

The rest of the truck is very, very nice. I don't think the Platinum's interior is equal to that of the Longhorn's, but it is certainly nice enough. It does come with some equipment that is either optional or not available on the Ram. For example, the Platinum F150 has power retractable running boards, which aren't offered on Rams. It also has a standard trailer brake controller, which is optional on 1500s. From the owner's manual I also see that active park assist, which I believe is Ford's auto parallel parking function, is also an option that has no Ram equivalent.

The Uconnect 8.4AN seems to be a nicer system than the Sync/MyFordTouch (though at least the Ford's system is working compared to my Uconnect), but the backup camera on the F150 is worlds better than the one on my Ram. It doesn't have the back-up lines that turn with the steering wheel but it also doesn't have that unnerving, choppy, "7-11 security camera" video that my Ram does. The picture is also much, much clearer. Sound from the Sony audio system in the F150 is also very nice, but I didn't attempt to crank up Metallica or anything since my wife and son seem to value their hearing. It has an SD card slot but when I pulled out the card that was in there I got an angry message on the display before realizing the card contained the navigation data. I don't know if there is another SD slot that can be used for music or not. It does have Bluetooth streaming as well as a USB port. A nice touch is that it also has a composite (yellow) video input and red and white audio ports. I guess this is for watching a movie on the radio display since the truck doesn't have any rear seat monitors equipped. I didn't test out this function, but I'm willing to bet that once the truck is in drive it stops showing the video. The system also can act as a wi-fi hotspot, but I've tested this feature out in neither my Ram nor the F150. You can also add your own photos to use as wallpaper on the Ford, a feature I've heard a few folks on this board lament for being absent on the Ram.

The F150 has a pleasant, comfortable interior but the ride seems to be rougher than my air suspension equipped 1500, which I hear is yet rougher than non-air suspension Rams. And my Elsie certainly appears to handle better than the Ford, but I didn't exactly attempt to run an auto cross course or anything. I like that the Ford's 110V (household) outlet is mounted on the back of the center console for backseat passengers instead of on the dash. The rear mount still allows for easy access from the front but doesn't require a long power cord if someone in the back seat wants to plug something in. Both are 150 watts, though the Ram is rated at 5 volts more (115) if that is important to you. The center console on the Ran is much larger than the Ford's. I also can't tell if the wood and aluminum trim in the F150 are actually wood and aluminum. If the wood is real it certainly isn't the same high quality stuff found in my Longhorn.

Other notes: It seems that the F150 sits up a bit higher (unless my air suspension is in one if the off road modes), but I have been driving a Ford Fusion rental for the last week so any truck sits high to me. The tailgate step on the F150 is a great idea and I don't know why Chevy or Dodge hasn't ripped this idea off yet. Without my Ram here to compare I can't tell which has more rear seat room, but that leads me to believe that they are probably pretty close. I find the Ram's front seats to be more comfortable. The Ford doesn't have the floor storage that my Ram's rear floor does. The F150 also has a whistle at high speed as if something is catching the wind, but it's unknown if it is just this truck or if it is endemic to this model. I find the 1500 to be quieter overall, though supposedly the new 2014 GMs are where it's at for cabin noise control. The remote start key fob on the Ford requires that you first hit the lock button before pressing remote start two times. I thought the remote start was broken until I figured that out. The Ford's HID headlamps appear to be much better than my Ram's projector beams.

The Ford has 20" Bridgestone Dueler tires equipped, which I find to be much better for truck use than the lousy Goodyear SR-A's on my Ram. Both tires provide a pleasant on-road ride but off road the Goodyears are useless and the Duelers are better but not great. For the life of me I don't know why a four wheel drive vehicle would come equipped with either. If I was going to do some off roading I'd invest in a set of Dick Cepek's or my beloved BF Goodrich Mud/Terrains. Both the Ford and the Dodge have the same 4 wheel drive settings (2wd, 4wd auto, 4wd high, 4wd low). Speaking of capability, this particular F150 can carry 1,117 pounds of cargo and passengers compared to my Ram's pathetic 934 pounds. I don't read too much into these since I will likely never hit these weight limits, but it does seem shameful that five 186 pound people in my truck puts me at the maximum weight...especially since that is below the average adult male weight in this country and we are just getting fatter.

When I first went into the market for a new truck I initially set out to buy an Ecoboost F150. My company car is a 2008 F150 that has been a tank for the last 5 years...the thing is just as solid now as when I first got it and has never once had an issue. But when I looked at the Ram I fell in love with the interior of the Longhorn. I felt it was a more comfortable place to spend a long road trip and that it used more premium materials (and it does), though I'd really like to compare a King Ranch interior to the Longhorn. Unfortunately my old man doesn't go for the whole Western motif so he chose the Premium over the KR. In any case, had I purchased an F150 I think I'd be a very satisfied truck owner. The Ecoboost is a potent little engine and the truck seems just as solid as my faithful 2008 work vehicle. It appears there are more standard features on the Platinum F150 as well as some options you can't get on a Ram. When all is said and done, however, the Longhorn is a better place to spend time behind the wheel (speaking of, the F150 still uses a thin steering wheel compared to the Ram's meaty handful). Since I'm not frequently towing or racing for pinks the advantage the Ecoboost has over the Hemi in low end power is somewhat lost on me, though if i were in the market today I'd think long and hard about a 6.2L equipped Platinum (or the awesome Raptor) just for the grin factor. I'd much rather have an 8 speed/3.92 Hemi than the Ecoboost and its 6 speed (no idea on the gear ratio of my dad's truck but I'm guessing it is 3.55 as well). As such, I'm still happy with my 6 speed/3.55 Hemi despite it being pokey off the line. Gear ratios can always be changed, but the Ecoboost will never, ever sound like a V8. Unless towing or leaping off the line while getting decent gas mileage is your primary concern I think the 1500 is a (slighty) better truck, though it is so close that if I owned the Ford I'd probably be making the opposite case. Either way I don't think a person could go wrong.

UPDATE: After having driven it again I have to revise my previous assessment. The Ecoboost is significantly faster off the line but it isn't as close at upper RPMs as I initially thought...the Ecoboost still walks away from the 1500. However, I notice more and more how much nicer my Longhorn's interior is. For example, in the F150 if you knock on the top of the dash the hard plastic will hurt your knuckles. On my Ram it is nicely padded and covered with leather. Nearly every aspect if the interior is nicer...which is good since being slower it'll take longer to get somewhere!









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Last edited by edge35; 06-09-2013 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:39 PM
JCC11 JCC11 is offline
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Great review! Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:37 PM
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Got the platinum and didnt get the 6.2l v8? whatthe
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustinterry102 View Post
Got the platinum and didnt get the 6.2l v8? whatthe
I hear ya, if it were me I'd have gone for the 6.2 as well. However, I'd have to take a deep breath and let them have their way with me because I think it is overpriced at over $2k for a surprisingly small performance increase. But then again, there's no replacement for displacement!
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Last edited by edge35; 06-09-2013 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:45 PM
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My 05 Ram has 3:92's and personally, I think 4:10's would even be better. I doubt that gas mileage is better with 3:55's or 3:21"s. That to me would make the new Rams more attractive, but when I tried one out, it felt much slower than my 185,000 mile 05. That F150 is a beautiful truck, but I'm just gonna drive my old Ram until it dies.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:22 PM
The Crow 1994 The Crow 1994 is offline
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Thanks for taking the time to do such a well written, detailed review. I think the interior styling of the Ram blows the Ford out of the water. I don't even have a Longhorn and I'd take my Big Horn's interior over the Ford Platinum's any day.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:43 PM
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Great review I had the exact same decision on my hands I was between the KR 150 and the Longhorn Ram. All good info but as someone who has had Fords for about 3 years prior to this Ram and my wife has an explorer from personal experience the Sync was a major turn off, nothing but problems with it for me.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:49 PM
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Thanks for your nice review. I did not really consider the Ford 150 eco-boost, but it was interesting to read your impressions.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:10 AM
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I sell parts at a Ford dealer and I am about to buy a Ram, so I hope they don't fire me LOL. I think they are going to have a recall on the Ecobost because of the surging issue that NHTSA is investigating. Woohoo, every Ford recall is money in my pocket!
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:40 AM
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Sounds to me the OP should have bought an F150.

I love the "off the line" and "burnout" talk when it comes to pickups. It's a truck, who cares how fast it gets off the line. You want to impress me, hook a 12000 pound trailer to a truck and pull it, now that's what impresses me.

For what it's worth, my personal friend is a service manager at a Ford dealership just west of Chicago and he has nothing but issues daily with the ecoboost. He is the reason I never even considered Ford.

I think the Hemi is a beast in every way. Bottom line to me is a pickup truck should have a V8 under the hood.
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