LA Auto Show - Let's Not Leave Out the Trucks

Ignition Speed was on-site at LA Auto Show media day this week. We got a first hand look at production vehicles consumers can expect to see soon as well as some concept vehicles that hopefully will make it into production at some future time.

Ford F150

Ford was showing several variants of their all new F150.  The top end Platinum version was on display but not available to sit in for close inspection.  I was able to get in the XLT, Lariat, and King Ranch versions.  I spent the most time in the King Ranch version.  The interior was well laid out and the seats were very comfortable.  There is plenty of room in the back seat for passengers.  The panoramic sunroof is gorgeous and a must have in my opinion. The 8 inch gauge cluster between the speedometer and odometer is available on the upper trims.  This cluster provides a wealth of information and customizable based on the user’s preferences.  On the main display, the driver has access to cameras which can provide a 360 degree view around the truck.  This definitely comes in handy when parking in tight places.  For even more assistance, there is an option for the truck to park itself.  Blind spot detection is another feature available in the all new F150. With all the advanced technologies put into this truck, Ford did not skimp on the attention to detail.  One feature of note was the door armrest is at a level that makes it very comfortable to rest your arm on it. All of the trims pieces around the interior are angled to reduce glare while driving.   As almost everyone does, I had to tap the aluminum doors and body like everyone else to note any difference from steel.  It was a non issue.  On the exterior, the $325 box step option are not as simple to operate as I would like.  I had trouble getting them to lock back in.  As I am over six feet, this is probably an option I could do without.  The integrated into the tailgate step is rather innovative; however, again, it is seemed a little overkill to me.  There are four power trains available for the F150: 2.7L V6 EcoBoost, 3.5L V6 EcoBoost, 3.5L V6, and 5.0L V8.  The 2.7L EcoBooost is getting most of the attention and rave reviews for how sprite the engine is.  Ford has just released mpg info. The F150 will get up to 26 mpg on the highway.  this makes it the most fuel efficient gas powered full sized truck.  Ram, however, still holds the honor for the highest mpg with its Ecodiesel engine. It will be interesting to see if Ford opts to introduce a diesel into its F150 line up in the next couple of years. An eight speed transmission is something we hope to see in the next year or so. Ford is currently in the middle of a F150 Test Drive Tour which takes place in 38 different cities.  Feedback on the F150 forums has been very positive, the biggest surprise being the performance of the 2.7L EcoBoost engine. 

Other Trucks

The GMC HD 2500 Denali really surprised me.  It has a beautiful exterior.  The interior seemed somewhat similar to the ram trucks which is a compliment.  The back seats did not appear as roomy compared to the Ram trucks when I sat in them.

Toyota had several versions of their trucks on hand including the Tundra 1794 edition.  Toyota’s trucks are nice but definitely in need of an overhaul.  I asked the Toyota rep if a diesel may be in the Tundra’s future anytime soon but he said everything is just rumors at this point.  Nissan has confirmed they are bringing a cummins to their Titan trucks.

Ram had a number of configurations for both their Light and Heavy Duty trucks.  These trucks are very solid inside and out. Like Ford, the technology in these trucks rivals and in some cases surpasses that of luxury sedans.  I’m still up in the air about the optional Ram Box. While it adds to the available storage, it is at the expense of a few inches of bed width.  Before checking this option, make sure you know how you plan to use the bed. Many ATV will still fit within the 48” width but there are some that won’t.  Additionally, if you plan to put on a camper shell or use a 5th wheel, don’t get the ram box.

Associate Editor: Kevin Washburn