2015 Annual Physical: Acceleration

Acceleration lead

As you might have guessed, the top zero-to-60-mph performer in this group of pickup trucks — by a pretty good margin — was the big Ford F-150 Platinum EcoBoost with its twin turbos and 3.5-liter engine. During empty runs, the F-150 clocked a 6.22-second time and had very little trouble hooking up off the start. Much of that credit should go to the massive Hankook tires (a new tire for Ford) as they did a great job grabbing for every scrap of traction at the relatively fresh starting box.


Not far behind the big EcoBoost F-150 was the smaller Ford F-150; the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 was about a half second behind big brother with a 6.79-second time to 60 mph. The rest of the group was pretty far behind, with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 the slowest of the group, even when compared to the hulking and plodding Ram EcoDiesel. The best zero-to-60-mph empty time from the Silverado 1500 4.3-liter V-6 was 8.04 seconds with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 clocking a 7.85 time. Even the crew-cab Colorado (600-plus pounds lighter than the regular-cab Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and more than 400 pounds lighter than the Silverado 1500) recorded a 7.82-second run.

2015_AP_Acceleration_Loaded_2 (3)

During our loaded payload runs (always done with the Tow/Haul button on), which included 1,080 pounds of extra weight in the bed of each pickup, the results were similar with the Platinum F-150 running more than a half second faster than the XLT F-150 and more than a second and a half faster than all the others. We should note that because the F-150 2.7-liter was delivered to us late, we had to test the truck with the same payload as the Light-Duty V-8 Challenge competitors, meaning the smaller EcoBoost F-150 ran its zero-to-60 and quarter-mile loaded runs with 160 pounds more weight in the bed than the other pickups.


In quarter-mile empty runs, the Platinum F-150 ran in the high 14s, where the other trucks ran in the 15- and 16-second range. In head-to-head competition between the Chevy Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500 Express (both the base V-6 and weighing within 60 pounds of each other), the Ram clearly had the better setup with 3.55:1 gears, and much more aggressive and wider treads. The more they ran down the track, the more obvious it became to us that the Ram 1500 Express was the better performer.

2015_AP_Quarter_Loaded_2 (3)

In loaded quarter-mile runs, the smaller EcoBoost showed the least amount of difference between its empty and loaded runs (again, with the extra weight) with about a half second separating the two runs. After that, the big EcoBoost and the Rams did the best keeping the time differential between 7/10ths and 8/10ths of a second with the 1,080 pounds of payload (27 bags of rock salt) in the bed.

How We Conducted the Test

Our acceleration testing was done at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz., during the first week of December with temperatures in the 70s and very little wind. We used the same lane on a newly resurfaced quarter-mile track for all of our test runs and used the same RaceLogic VBOX equipment for each empty and loaded run.

Our "hot shoe" for this year's truck testing was Cars.com Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek; he used the same series of staging and full throttle procedures for each acceleration run. With the VBOX equipment installed on the truck, Bruzek was the only person in the test truck during each run.

Accel load II

Each truck was run with the air conditioning off and windows up with a relatively small amount of brake-torquing at the start line. With the engine typically revving between 1,500 and 2,200 rpm, Bruzek would release the brake and mash the throttle, pointing the truck straight to the 1,320-foot finish line.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears


Overview | Acceleration | Braking | Fuel Economy | Davis Dam Towing | Wrapup


One thing you can't argue: Those EcoBoosts are potent little motors.

But I'm sure someone will.

@Iray801 - I have to agree with you on that. That little 2.7 (and 3.5) is a stout motor. Might be half a second slower to 60mph and in the quarter mile, but it's trap speed is higher both loaded and unloaded.

Yup, results were not even close!

Comparing NA V-6's to turbo 6's is like comparing apples to oranges.

Too bad the turbo V-6's fuel mileage is horrendous!! And even worse towing!!

@anythingbutanecobust.... Did you not see the overview page where it gave the mileage? The 2.7 got 23.8mpg unloaded. The only time the mileage was terrible was when it was hauling and this was because it was hauling more than the rest of the trucks. I hardly think you can call 23.8 as horrendous especially given the next closest gas half ton was the Ram at 22mpg. That's 10% better than the Ram and 20% better than the Chevy. Not to mention it will whoop them both in the 0-60 and 1/4 mile.

ZB while the 2.7 did haul more weight than the others, BUT the truck itself was 300lbs LIGHTER, so the same gvw give or take a few lbs was the same!

"ZB while the 2.7 did haul more weight than the others, BUT the truck itself was 300lbs LIGHTER, so the same gvw give or take a few lbs was the same!"

That is about the stupidest comment I have ever read, and that is putting it civil. So the Ford is 300 lbs lighter, and that cannot be allowed, so lets put another 300 lbs into the Ford so they all weigh the same?

They have always added weight to the lighter of the trucks to even out the vehicles... However this used to mean add weight to the Chevy and Ram when compared to the Ford.... They have definately proven you can't make everybody happy.

"ZB while the 2.7 did haul more weight than the others, BUT the truck itself was 300lbs LIGHTER, so the same gvw give or take a few lbs was the same!"

bahahahahaha A hater finally admits that the aluminum f150 has paid off and is lighter. But now they are saying it is unfair. too funny.

The 2.7 EB motor is gonna sell like crazy. If you're towing it will get close to same as the other trucks if driven the same. Interesting how much dislike is directed at the F150.

Stop calling the EcoBoost [nee TwinForce] engines small.
The 2.7 V6 is actually a 6 liter engine (by normalizing displacement by peak boost pressure)
The 3.5 V6 is actually a 7 liter engine.


Where’s the Eco in EcoBUST?

2015 Ward's 10 Best Engines

Ford powertrain engineers may be disappointed to have landed just one 2015 Ward’s 10 Best Engines trophy, for the 1.0L EcoBoost 3-cyl. in the Fiesta.

Dearborn offered up four other engines, and we’d like to explain why they did not make the cut.

2.7L EcoBoost V-6: This all-new F-150 pickup engine is compelling for several reasons, particularly the “hybrid” block construction that uses compacted-graphite iron for the upper part and aluminum for the bottom, as well as aluminum heads with integrated exhaust manifolds.

There are lots of interesting technologies onboard, from the fracture-split connecting rods and variable-displacement oil pump to the structural die-cast front engine cover and deep-set fuel injectors capable of four spurts per combustion event.

Don’t forget the smooth-functioning stop/start system, the composite oil pan, the recycled-material composite cam covers, the premium polymer-coated main and connecting-rod bearings for low NVH or the twin turbochargers with inlet swirl vanes for flow initiation.

This all-new engine architecture incorporates the type of technologies we seek to reward, and this V-6 performs reasonably well, propelling the F-150 with ease and remaining remarkably quiet and composed.

But there’s a big problem: The observed fuel economy is not that good. The EPA says this engine should get 26 mpg (9 L/100 km) on the highway with 2-wheel drive and 23 mpg (10.2 L/100 km) on the highway with 4-wheel drive. Our 4x4 supercab never got close to that, even under a light foot.

Several editors drove the truck for 253 miles (407 km), and the trip computer displayed a low of 17.6 mpg (13.3 L/100 km) and a high of 19 mpg (12.3 L/100 km).

We checked consumption old-school (253 miles divided by 16.16 gallons [61 L] to refill the tank) and came up with an even more disappointing figure: 15.6 mpg (15 L/100 km).

Fuel economy has become a significant measurable as we select Ward’s 10 Best Engines, so it’s difficult to ignore numbers like these.

This engine has impressive power and torque (325 hp and 375 lb.-ft.[508 Nm]). But heck, we’ve driven 5.0L V-8 F-150s that delivered better mileage.

Devoting resources to an aluminum-intensive pickup might pay off in the long run. But no matter how much weight you trim from a fullsize truck chassis, a smallish V-6 will require much work from its twin-turbochargers, which hurts fuel economy.

I am brand agnostic, but I say GM got it right with their 6.2. It's faster, gets better mileage, and is not a small, high pressure engine. It sounds good too. Why would anyone want a high boost 3.5 EB when they can have a smooth, easy running V8 that does it all better.

Unless you prefer Fords, which I can understand. But as a pure engine choice, I see no benefit to the EB motors!

One thing for sure... Ford had better hope GM doesn't strap a pair of turbo's to any of their engines. Even the 3.6L in the Coloardo makes huge power with decent mileage when the twin turbo setup is done just as in the CTS and XTS. The new 4.3L would be quite impressive as well, but GM is smart enough to know that turbo's don't belong on a truck other than a diesel or a sport truck. Everyone raved about the 6.0L Powerstroke when it came out being so much smaller than the previous 7.3L. Now they are back up to 6.7L and trying to keep themselves away from that engine. Ford is good at new idea's that are revolutionary and then by the time they get the bugs worked out they come up with a new idea. I expect in a few years the Ecoboost V6's to be just like the 6.0L Powerstroke. A great idea that makes excellent power for it's size.... Once you spend a ton of money fixing it's issue's. For a truck you want a keep it simple system and a twin turbo DOHC V6 isn't it.

Why would you add weight to a test to even the playing field. The idea should be you have 1,000Lbs to tow which does it better. Or you could look at it I can now tow 1300 Lbs because my truck is lighter. Also the turbos comment are you for kidding me? Turbos belong on anything really. Why do you think a diesel or sport vehicle is more ideal? Turbos belong on anything you want to have a substantial amount of torque on. Also the size of the diesel is not result of reliability. The size is because of the strenuous emissions standards. The 5.9L cummins is the smallest of them and has been reliable for years. Ford and cummins both are at 6.7L and needed the larger displacement to make up for emissions while raising power numbers substantially. The 6.0L was an international diesel that had some problems (problems can be fixed and the engine can serve for many years). The 6.7L is an in house Ford diesel. The argument of displacement is just ignorant. Don't forget the internals of the ecoboost engines are much more stout than any of the v8 couter parts.

I will never buy another truck with a push-rod engine, they are very sensitive to high rpms (valve float) and the most concerning of all (the biggest reason why the other major auto manufactures have stop building them) lifter wear which is cause by clogged oil passages in the block. A sticking lifter can cause a push-rod to bent or break which can leads to a catastrophe engine failure. Since you really like GM push-rod engines (6.2L) make damn sure you change the oil according to the engine manual and flush the engine once high mileages has been reach.

DOHC and SOHC engines don't have lifters and push-rods.



@ latwoods,

As someone who drives a 2014 F150 and works for a company that least dozens of them, the VVT on the 5.0Ls are not invulnerable. In fact they have more moving parts than a pushrod V8 because of the long chains and tensioners that come with vvt. @ 33K miles we had an F150 end up needing a new head as a result of the failure of this chain "slipping/stretching" as ford called it.

"Comparing NA V-6's to turbo 6's is like comparing apples to oranges.

Too bad the turbo V-6's fuel mileage is horrendous!! And even worse towing!!" - anythingbut

You run what you brung, BLAME THE MFGer's for not building the same but sending a bigger displacement motor. Still couldn't top the little V6.

Again, the old racing saying, "YOU RUN WHAT YOU BRUNG."

Not far behind the big EcoBoost F-150 was the smaller Ford F-150; the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 was about a half second behind big brother with a 6.79-second time to 60 mph.

The comments to this entry are closed.