Many people — we’re looking at you, Craig Fitzgerald — these days wonder what happened to the cheap, work pickup. Just about 20 years ago, you could buy all sorts of trucks for around $20k. Yet, these days that doesn’t seem to be the case. Why? One big reason is trucks like a 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch.
Introduced way back in 2001, the King Ranch edition of the Ford F-150 became the new standard in full-size truck luxury. Its introduction coined the phrase “Cowboy Cadillac.” These trucks surprised critics by becoming a big hit with buyers. Truck owners were tired of the bare bones trucks and wanted the luxury a King Ranch provides.
Today’s King Ranch takes that luxury to another level, with soft-touch leather interiors, massaging seats and the driver’s seat and steering wheel automatically adjusting when you enter the truck based on your preset settings. These features were once exclusive to luxury automakers and now they are proliferating the truck market.
Critics point out this also means trucks have gotten expensive. For example, our King Ranch test model in a SuperCrew configuration, 3.5L EcoBoost engine rings up at $61,175. Quite literally, you could buy 3 1990s Ford F-150 trucks for that price. While critics rage against the rising prices, consumers snap these models up. These luxury trucks are becoming top sellers for every automaker. For example, Ford says their luxury trucks – Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and up – account for more than 30 percent of the models they sell.
It is really easy to see why consumers are demanding these trucks. The interior of our 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch rivals a Mercedes-Benz, the added power from the EcoBoost turbo makes it a lot of fun to drive and with room for five adults (real adults), it works for nearly everyone. Also, you can buy this truck in about any size configuration you can think of to match your needs.
Throw in an impressive 10,700 lbs of towing along with 1,585 lbs of payload and you can literally haul/tow most anything comfortably and easily. Oh and it has trailer sway control, a 360-degree camera and an impressive backup camera to make lining up the ball really easy. Plus, 2016 models will feature an automated backup trailer assist where the truck lines you up with minimal input from the driver. It is quite literally a dream-rig for someone who tows often.
On top of all that, it has a remote tailgate release which is surprisingly handy along with adaptive cruise control and the FX4 off-road package. Plus, it uses high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy for its body. While the aluminum usage has been hotly debated, consumers really just need to know one thing: it won’t rust like steel does.
Now all of this capability and luxury has to come with a compromise to fuel economy, right? Nope. Our large, full-size truck with a 5’7” bed is EPA rated at 17/23/19 mpg city/highway/combined. With numbers that rival many SUVs, the extra room afforded in the truck, plus the bed, a truck like this isn’t a hard decision for many people.
What’s not to like in this truck? A variety of silly things to many true truck fans like the infotainment system, the difficult-to-use side-bed step and shifter setup. Fortunately, new 2016 Ford F-150 trucks will have a new infotainment system. The side-bed step likely just needs to be broke in. And the shifter is a personal preference item. We like shifters that have the manual gear selection off to the side rather than directly below the drive setting.
Overall, with low interest rates, cash incentives and long-term loan terms, the payment difference of a base model to a King Ranch isn’t out of reach for many consumers. Through in the overwhelming amount of additional features found in the King Ranch and we can see why consumers take them home in record numbers. We would too.
2015 Ford F-150 Supercrew King Ranch 4WD
Engine: 3.5L EcoBoost V6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
- 3.5L V6 EcoBoost Engine – $400.00
- Adaptive Cruise Control – $1,250
- Trailer Tow Package – $495
- FX4 Off-Road Package – $770
- Foldable Bed Extender – $250
- Box Side Steps – $325.00
- Technology Package – $905
- Spray-In Bed Liner – $475
Price: $ 61,175 Including Destination
- Interior Materials
- Rear cabin flat floor
- Dizzying Array of Features
- Box side steps
- Infotainment system
- Shifter setup