AD #1479 – Pick-Up Truck MPG Comparo, Autonomous Ass-Hauling, 2015 F-150 Pros & Cons

October 15th, 2014 at 12:07pm

Runtime: 9:09

- Tesla Could Slash Battery Costs
- Pick-Up Truck MPG Comparo
- Ford & NextEnergy LED Challenge
- Kiekert Creates LED Door Latch
- Autonomous Ass-Hauling
- 2015 Ford F-150 – Seat Time

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35 Comments to “AD #1479 – Pick-Up Truck MPG Comparo, Autonomous Ass-Hauling, 2015 F-150 Pros & Cons”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Diesels are the way to go for power/economy/and longevity.Overstuffing small displacement gassers will get expensive in the long run,and might end up hurting the used truck market for those oem’s.And,I may be wrong here,but doesn’t ford recommend using premium gas for towing with the egoboosts?

  2. Lex Says:

    Great review Sean!

    Once Tesla is able to product lower cost (not cheaper) batteries for their vehicles and other OEM’s the movement towards electrification will become move attractive. The only other factor that may disrupt this movement is the further
    improvement and adoption of diesel technology.

  3. Mike Says:

    So, here is a question for you: with all the work that has been done on Diesel in Europe over the last 20 years you would think that turn key solutions are on the shelf. What is holding up the diesel bandwagon?

  4. Chuck Grenci Says:

    LED’s done right, I’m a fan of, some of the ‘treatments’ I’ve seen though almost look like neon, which on a vehicle (to me) starts looking a little gaudy. I’m all for the LED technology (but keep it clean and tidy).

    Diesel fuel (inherently) has approximately 15% more energy per volume than gasoline so it isn’t hard to believe that economy-wise it can do better (than gasoline); problem is that the price differential almost reflects this same ratio, so a lot of times it is ‘net’ zero (for savings).

  5. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Lex: I don’t think so.I believe that some folks,(such as myself) are predisposed toward diesels,while others lean more towards electric.For me,I need the range and the towing power/economy that a diesel gives.

  6. RumNCoke Says:

    I would like to see a comparo between Ecoboost and small diesel with a full load in the bed or towing a trailer at maximum rating. Trying to figure out real world fuel economy of these things when empty is like watching Gilligan’s Island on an HDTV. Doesn’t really make sense.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @John Mc.
    How did you measure the mpg of the pickups? Did you use, and believe the on-board readouts, or was calibrated instrumentation installed on the vehicles for the test? TIA for info.

  8. Wayne Says:

    My wife and I purchased a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 3.0 L Diesel option. We have been getting 30 MPG on trips, and around 24-25 around town driving. This vehicle has Gobs of power!

  9. HtG Says:


    I hope Musk broke out how much of his battery cost is accounted for by favorable tax breaks.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the real cost of batteries comes down to $100/kWh, EV’s in general will become much more affordable, and battery cost will be a non-issue for hybrids. A regular Prius battery is only 1.3 kWh, so would cost $130.

  11. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Wayne: Climbs the hills pretty easy too doesn’t it.My last diesel was an 06 Liberty Limited with the VM 2.8L crd.Easily 32mpg hwy,and high 20′s around town,”with gobs of power”..

  12. Drew Says:

    Most trucks are running around town with an empty box and no trailer. So, I believe the f.e. should be reported that way. Then do a confirmatory capability test for power to handle a load/trailer.

    For more serious trailer tow users, I suspect they are in the 2500/250 and 3500/350 class.

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Drew:Not all towing needs a hd truck to do the job.In fact in most cases any hd truck would be,and is for my needs mega overkill.A 1/2 ton pickup tows a 20 ft camper with no problem,other then the camper itself is a comparative lightweight brick,and that gobbles up the gas.Take the same size pickup with a small diesel and it does get much better towing mpg,that is a fact.Unhook the trailer and enjoy even better mpg with a lot less downshifting going up hills,which I have to do all the time here in my state.Also,any diesel offering is as an option,not mandatory.I will gladly pay the extra cost for a diesel in the Colorado,no problem at all.

  14. James Says:

    Htg. Lets ask the oil company’s then to do the same with the billions they receive from the U.S. federal government

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC has a piece on Saudis lowering the price of crude to compete with the US, if this brings down the cost of gas, then I’m all for it.

  16. HtG Says:

    14 I don’t know how one would calculate the value of the 5th Fleet stationed in Bahrain. But I agree with your point, let Musk grasp any advantage he can.

    (Hi Elon, when will deliveries of the new car begin?)
    15 Took those ttac turkeys long enough to cover this story, Pedro. Did they say an intention of the Saudis is use low prices to shut in our fracking production?

  17. Drew Says:

    @ GA #13. I thoroughly agree the only engine for frequent hauling/towing is a diesel. But policy makers in CA and DC don’t understand your world and continue to create regulations that choke the life out of compression and ignition engines (all pun intended).

  18. HtG Says:

    16 inre 15 cont’d

    Did I mention I just adore free market lovers?

  19. Duke Says:

    #6 RumNCoke:

    Although the new F150 is not available to most testers yet, and (I agree) mpg is just one factor in why one chooses one vehicle over another, here are a couple preliminary ones:

    I guess that it all depends on one’s use/needs. I know a guy that bought a Ram HD (diesel) because he tows regularly. But he also puts on a lot of miles (not towing).

    It turns out that he really didn’t calculate what the percentage of miles that he was actually towing (before purchasing the HD) and after about a year and half, he traded it on a EB V6 F150 (due to referral experiences).

    He still can tow and get the job done but his savings in fuel overall was a significant portion of his monthly payment. That was almost 2 yrs ago, and the last time I talked with him, he was very happy. He is one of those people that keeping more money in his pocket – is important to him – and doesn’t care what type of engine powers his truck as long as it gets the job done.

    Personally, I think brand loyalty will still play a huge role but there will be conquest purchasing. Who knows in what direction.

    There is one other factor. Unless the refineries convert to more diesel production domestically, if too many buy diesel power, and the demand rises too significantly – it is going to be tough to calculate pay back as it will remain at a premium price.

    But then, some guys are just partial to diesels and fore go those considerations (including long-term maintenance costs). Just like John did not disclose what the trucks that he compared cost in purchase price, comparos often leave lots of important factors out.

    For decades, one manufacturer has one-upped another in one factor (like HP, or towing, etc) – but more often than not, it is the overall “package” that determines the purchase – IME.
    #16 Htg said,”. . .those ttac turkeys . . .”

    HTHT (how true, how true)

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The CAFE standards favor diesels, since mpg is what counts for the calculations, even though diesel has about 13% more energy per gallon than gas, and probably takes about 13% more crude per gallon to make.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15, If the price of crude is coming down, it seems time to raise fuel taxes to help fix the crumbling infrastructure. The bridge I’ll be on crossing the Ohio River in a couple weeks is kind of scary. It was found to have the same “deficiencies” as the one that fell in the river in Minnesota a while back.

  22. HtG Says:

    You get the same amount of carbon dioxide out of the carbon in either fuel, no? It’s the compression that makes diesel more powerful. I wonder if it takes more energy at the refinery to make gasoline, which is cracked(they break the long chain hydrocarbon), than to make the distillate, diesel. The energy used to refine fuel just isn’t simple enough to excite people. Still, and sorry Kit, I can’t help wanting a red Colorado just to drive around in. Me like

  23. HtG Says:

    20 You’re aware there’s a midterm election going on right now? And then after that, like pronto, the general?

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21, Taking the burning of the fuel alone, diesels should better than gassers, as far as CO2 emission. The longer chain molecule of diesel fuel has a higher carbon/hydrogen ratio than gasoline, but properly sized diesels are efficient enough to more than make up for it. By properly sized, I mean VW TDI, Benz E250, GC and Ram 3.0, etc. The diesels in the HD pickups are way too large to be properly sized, except when towing 10,000 pounds.

    I would think more energy would go into making gas than diesel, with the cracking, etc., but I can’t find info on that.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22, I wouldn’t mind being seen in a red Colorado, if they would make it with a regular cab. I’m old fashioned, but to me, a pickup truck has 2 doors, and one bench seat. Well, I’m ok with 2 bucket seats, especially in “smaller” trucks.

  26. T. Bejma Says:


    The Extended Cab is not much bigger than a regular cab and you get some inside storage for golf clubs, luggage, groceries, small children, etc…

  27. HtG Says:

    I can’t help but feel that Colorado is going to put a fire under buyers. I feeling it.

  28. HtG Says:

    25 judging from the AAH show on the Colorado, it’s refinement that is the sweet spot for buyers. I’ve also seen TB’s link where the thing goes down a suburban street, and that looks really right.

  29. John McElroy Says:

    @7. Kit, I zeroed out the mpg readout on each vehicle before I set out and took a reading at the end of the route. This is not the most scientific approach, but I believe that the results are note worthy. And this is how most “real world” customers will measure their fuel economy.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29, Thanks, John.

    Most of the readouts on cars I’ve had have been “optimistic,” based on checking multiple fillups and dividing it out. The ones on my Prius and MINI are both about 5% high, I’m sure intentionally. The odometers on both cars are accurate, within 1%. An exception to the optimistic readouts is my ’96 Corvette, whose readout is actually slightly low. They probably figured people don’t buy Corvettes for gas mileage, so they didn’t deliberately cheat with the readout.

  31. Marshall Says:

    I wish you’d return to your previous page format. I can’t get the ‘Show transcript’ link to work and have tried two different browsers. Why change in the first place?

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31, You should get the transcript by clicking/touching “continue reading” for the show you want after hitting the blue “autoline daily” at the top of the main autoline page. At least it works for me, whether using a Samsung or Chrome browser on an Android phone or tablet, or Safari on a Mac.

  33. gary susie Says:

    I wonder about insurance costs. Will it be higher on an alum. truck?

  34. Dave Says:


    How come when you tout diesels, as with your truck MPG comparo, you never mention that the price of a gallon of diesel is at least 20% higher than 87 octane? I won’t even mention the higher initial cost of the diesel motor…

    Thanks – love your show.

  35. Mike S Says:

    “Autonomous A** Hauling”? Really, Autoline? Was that truly necessary? Are you so base? Clean it up, folks.