New aluminum F-150 fuel economy jumps up to 29%

Source: Ford Motor Company 2015 Ford F-150

Source: Ford Motor Company
2015 Ford F-150

It won’t get 30 miles on a gallon of gas, but the new, lighter Ford F-150 will offer substantially better fuel economy, according to official miles per gallon estimates released by the automaker Friday.

Ford said the most fuel-efficient version of the 2015 F-150, featuring a 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4×2 engine, will get up to 26 mpg on the highway, 19 mpg in the city and 22 mpg in combined driving.

By comparison, the most fuel-efficient version the current F-150 is rated to deliver 23 mpg on the highway, 17 mpg in the city and 19 mpg combined.

Overall, depending on the engine variation, the new F-150s will be advertised as being between 5 percent and 29 percent more fuel-efficient than the models they are replacing.

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“The mileage improvement for the new F-150s is pretty darn significant,” said Kelley Blue Book’s Jack Nerad. “But keep in mind trucks being 20 percent or 25 percent more fuel efficient will not have as much impact on buyer attitudes with gas prices falling as much as they have recently.”

The new full-sized pickups from Ford are 700 pounds lighter than the F-Series models that are being replaced. Much of that weight reduction is due to Ford switching from heavier steel panels to lighter, high-strength aluminum panels.

Ever since Ford announced plans to build the new aluminum F-150, there’s been plenty of speculation about how much more fuel efficient the new pickups would be. Some in the industry even suggested the pickup would get close to 30 mpg on the highway.

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Ford is already touting the new F-150 as the most fuel efficient gasoline-powered pickup. However, the new F-series is not the most fuel efficient full-size pickup overall.

That distinction goes to the 2015 Ram 3-liter EcoDiesel V6 4×2, which runs on diesel fuel and promises to deliver up to 28 mpg on the highway, 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg in combined driving.

The new F-series models roll into showrooms next month.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com.

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