Waiting at a stoplight this morning, I’m watching the traffic drive by and start thinking about cars. You can tell a lot about people, what they do, and where they live based on the cars on the road. I count off: pickup truck, pickup truck, sedan, pickup truck, pickup truck, semi, pickup truck. Yep, I live in Nebraska where cows seem to outnumber people and pickups seem to outnumber all other vehicles.
In line with Ford F-150’s prestigious position as the top selling vehicle (not just pickup, but vehicle) in America, more often than not it’s an F-150 that drives by me as I wait for the light to turn green. When it does, I ease my 1999 Ford Explorer Sport across the intersection and head toward home. As much as I love my faithful old Ford, it’s the holiday season and I start to think about what vehicle would be on my Christmas wish list.
Yes, I believe the new 2015 Ford F-150 would be on the list.
I say this not just because it’s the best selling vehicle in America (it is), or because it is a beautiful truck in pictures (it is), or because my old Ford is still hanging in there and getting me where I need to go after all these years (it is). I say this because I had the opportunity to drive the new 2015 Ford F-150 this fall before just about anyone else had and it is a dream come true.
The great folks at Ford invited a number of writers to test out the 2015 F-150s in October down in San Antonio, Texas. It took me about three seconds to process the invitation, plan for family logistics, and accept. So began my daylong adventure with the 2015 F-150!
The morning started off bright and early with an outdoor breakfast to show off the famed Texas hospitality. Promptly at 8 AM, my driving partner and I rushed over to an array of F-150s and hopped into a bright red XLT. Armed with a printed route and a Ford expert sitting in the back seat to answer questions, we headed out to Hill Country!
I was up first for the test drive and what a drive it was! Seventy-five miles through some of the most beautiful scenery Texas has to offer. Up and down hills covered in sagebrush and live oaks. I’m seeing deer left and right; it is perfect habitat for them. My mind is racing between planning a Texas hunt and soaking up this amazing truck.
The first thing I noticed about driving the new F-150 was the absence of noise. No road noise. No engine noise. I kept wondering if the engine was even running and more than once found myself looking at the instrument panel to make sure the rpm gauge was displaying something other than zero. I just couldn’t believe how quiet the cab was. This peaceful quietness was a feature I kept coming back to again and again. (The Ford representative in the back seat was probably keeping a tally of how many times I said, “I can’t believe how quiet this is!”) The almost complete lack of outside noise made the experience of driving so incredibly pleasant. Conversations could be conducted in normal “inside” voices, much as you would have while sitting on your living room couch. It cannot be emphasized enough how nice this made the drive.
The second thing I noticed was the handling. As in most cities, the streets of San Antonio were not lacking in potholes. And later in the day we drove on gravel washboard roads. In both cases, the F-150 felt like it glided on the roads. I wanted to dislike this feeling of smoothness. I love pickups, partly because I like the feeling of driving over rough back roads, not to mention off-road. I wanted to miss feeling the bumps, as they are part and parcel of driving a truck, but for some reason I just didn’t. In a way that is difficult to describe, the F-150 let me know the condition of the road without bumping me, my passengers, and the entire truck.
Lastly, I must share how easy this truck was to drive. When driving an unfamiliar vehicle, it sometimes takes a bit of time to get used to the feel and the features. Not so with the F-150. Climbing into the cab, I immediately adjusted the seat and the mirrors. The controls were exactly where I felt they should be. I didn’t need to look around for them or fumble with awkward controls. I put the transmission into drive and away I went as if I had been driving this truck for years. I didn’t feel at all like I was in someone else’s car. There just is no learning curve with the F-150 and I like that.
After seventy miles up, down, and through some of the most beautiful country in Texas, my driving partner and I traded off, allowing me some time to look around the cab, play with some controls, and get the feel of the truck from a passenger’s perspective. Quiet, comfortable, familiar, easy. The kind of truck I could spend hours in and not mind a bit.
In all, we put over 200 miles on our F-150 XLT. We traversed city streets, highways, curvy back roads, and gravel ranch roads. We hauled big trailers and tackled off-road courses. We ended up at the Gruene Dance Hall within the city of New Braunfels for a big Texas barbeque. Nothing like a plate full of fall-off-the-bone ribs and beef brisket to cap off a full day’s drive.
I’m back in my old Explorer again, heading home from the grocery store on this dreary day. Maybe, just maybe, that shiny new 2015 F-150 is parked in my driveway with a big old ribbon around it. It’s Christmas after all and I’ve been good.
As a member of Connect Ford, I may have received incentives and opportunities to test Ford products. All opinions are my own.