Sometimes it’s the marketing that makes the magic. For 2009, Ford’s delayed F-150 will post fuel economy numbers about 8% better (as much as 12% better on some models) than the previous-generation pickup. It’ll be the F-150 SFE that attracts attention, however. The SFE has badges of course. Remaining F-150 pickups won’t have badges that display “8% Improved”.
Give Ford credit for the SFE, though. Equipping a SuperCrew XL or SuperCrew XLT with the 4.6L V8 (3-valve, 292-horsepower, 320 lb-ft) and a 5.5-ft bed enables the selection of the “Superior Fuel Economy” edition. Ford makes the 15 city mpg and 21 highway mpg figures come about by sending the power to the rear wheels with a 6-speed automatic, a 3.15:1 rear axle and 18-inch aluminum wheels with low rolling resistance P265/60R18 all-season tires. The SuperCrew 4×2 with the 5.5-ft bed has the lowest coefficient of drag in the large truck world.
General Motors’ new Silverado and Sierra XFE achieve identical economy but tow less.