Motor Trend Names Ford F-150 2012 Truck of The Year®
El Segundo, Calif. (December 13, 2011) – Motor Trend, the world’s automotive authority on cars, trucks and SUVs, today announced the Ford F-150 as the winner of its Motor Trend Truck of the Year Award® from Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. Motor Trend’s Editor-in-Chief, Edward Loh, presented the award to Ford’s Executive Vice President Mark Fields and Group Vice President Derrick Kuzak.
After meticulous note taking, heated discussion and hours of driving, the 2012 Ford F-150 earned this year’s honor because it was the truck that Motor Trend judges felt best met the award’s six key criteria: engineering excellence, advancement in design, efficiency, safety, value, and performance of intended function.
“The bottom line is that the F-150 simply excels at being… a truck. It mastered every task we subjected it to, acing our instrumented tests at the proving grounds and swaying opinions during our real-world road evaluations,” said Loh. “In fact, our judges actually preferred the ride and performance of the F-150 when it was loaded with thousands of pounds of payload or saddled with a heavy trailer. It seemed the more we pushed the F-150, the better it performed.”
Each year, the editorial staff of Motor Trend meets to evaluate its field of contenders for the Truck of the Year Award®. In a week-long process that includes a full complement of performance tests, both with and without payload, on straight-aways and twisty mountain roads, as well as in day-to-day driving, trucks are evaluated against six judging criteria, resulting in a final winner:
•Advancement in Design: Already a big hit with consumers as America’s number one best-selling vehicle, Ford’s engineers refined an already versatile platform, making a good truck even better. Motor Trend’s editors were impressed with the level of comfort and sophistication available inside the F-150, particularly features like the 4.2-inch full-color infotainment screen, soft touch materials, and premium leather surfaces.
•Engineering Ecellence: For 2012, Ford boasts a best-in-class payload and tow rating with 3,060 and 11,300 pounds respectively, dependent on trim and engine specifications. In the right trim, the F-150’s maximum towing capability comes courtesy of the either its 6.2 liter V8 or the new darling of the line, the 3.5 liter twin-turbo EcoBoost® V6. While one may expect class-leading towing from the largest V8 offered for the truck, achieving that distinction with a V6 may come as a bit of a surprise. Delivering 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque at a ridiculously low 2500 rpm, the EcoBoost® V6 provides pulling grunt precisely when drivers need it. In fact, the EcoBoost V6 produces more torque than the V8 all the way up to 6000 rpm.
•Efficiency: Motor Trend praised the F-150’s newest powertrain choices as a marriage of high performance and impressive fuel economy. With two available V6 and V8 options, Motor Trend found Ford included engine choices that fit the needs of just about every potential driver.
The 3.5 liter twin-turbo EcoBoost® V6 garnered especially high marks from the staff. Editor Mike Febbo described the motor as incredibly quick and eager, noting that the engine has more available torque than both the 5.0 liter and 6.2 liter V8’s up to 5000 and 6000 rpm respectively. Ford’s new V6 isn’t just powerful, it’s also incredibly efficient.
Even with all its available power the V6 returns an utterly impressive fuel economy rating of 16/22mpg (city/highway) thanks to the help of one of two standard six-speed automatic transmissions.
•Safety: It’s hard to argue about an occupant’s safety with the overall size of these trucks. Aside from size, the F-150’s front, seat-mounted and canopy airbags as well as the plethora of standard and available passive and active safety systems make Ford’s case for safety, airtight.
In addition to the cushion of airbags, the F-150 offers its AdvanceTrac® traction control system with Roll Stability Control and SOS Post-Crash Alert System standard. The latter of which warns oncoming drivers and alert the proper authorities in the event of a significant accident while the former aims to prevent the accident in the first place.
•Value: Ford says that with its four engine choices, two transmissions, 10 trim levels and numerous cab and bed length options there are more than 650,000 different ways a potential buyer can spec out his truck that range in price from just under $23,000 to more than $50,000. Despite initial cost being but one aspect of the overall cost of ownership, with this amount of available customization, it’s hard to argue a buyer can’t find something in his or her price range.
The Ford F-150 is an iconic vehicle, a staple of the blue oval for more than 50 years and because of this, it’s also among the best in its class for retained value over years of ownership. These two facts coupled with the highly efficient, highly powerful V6 and V8 powertrains mean Ford has created an incredible value proposition for its newest truck over the course of ownership.
•Performance of Intended Function: Trucks in America have to be incredibly versatile vehicles. They need to tow trailers, carry payloads, go off-road and deliver kids to school. A “work truck” may do double duty as the family hauler and vice versa. Ford has developed its line of F-150’s to do all of these incredibly well.
For those needing to move large loads, Ford boasts a best-in-class payload and tow rating. For the off-road enthusiast, Ford offers its special F150 Raptor. Developed jointly with Fox Racing Suspension, the truck has proven so reliable and effective off-road, that the Department of Homeland Security uses it to patrol the nation’s borders to fight the war on drugs and illegal immigration.
As a people hauler, the staff of Motor Trend found that the trucks offer comfortable seating and good visibility with easy entry and exit in every cab configuration tested. Executive editor Ron Kiino called the XLT’s cabin “clean and functional.” The rest of the staff found that the SuperCrew and SuperCab body styles offered plenty of room in front and back. According to Febbo, “The Platinum’s front seats, bisected by a center console, offer enough storage for hanging files, a large lunch, or even a medium-size pet.”
This is the 23rd year Motor Trend has named a Truck of the Year®. Recent winners have included the 2011 Chevy Silverado HD, 2010 Ram Heavy Duty, and the 2009 Ford F-150. Today’s announcement marks the fourth time Ford has been honored with the Truck of the Year title. The manufacturer also took top honors in 2009, 2004 and 1997 for the F-150. For a full list of winners visit the Motor Trend Truck of the Year winners list.
The Motor Trend Automotive Group engages more than 25 million consumers and automotive influencers each month, while Motor Trend reaches 13 million readers in print and 12 million unique visitors on its website each month. Motor Trend’s YouTube channel now has more than 129,000 subscribers and plays more than six million videos a month. Those who want Motor Trend on-the-go are served with an iPad magazine, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android news apps.
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