By Greg Gardner, Detroit Free Press
DETROIT — Motor Trend magazine named Ford’s F-150 the Truck of the Year, edging out the Nissan NV commercial van, the Ram HD Laramie Longhorn and the Toyota Tacoma.
The magazine’s editors presented the award Monday to Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas at a ceremony at the company’s Dearborn, Mich., headquarters.
While Motor Trend tested versions of the pickup with a 5.0-liter V-8 engine, it was Ford’s 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine that helped capture the award.
Ford officials now expect the EcoBoost V-6 to be selected by 45 percent of F-150 buyers. Truck owners traditionally have expected their rigs to be outfitted with a V-8 engine, but Ford’s EcoBoost V-6 is changing that perception.
Automakers are pushing for better fuel economy in the pickup segment where muscle has been measured in displacement until volatile gasoline prices and a shaky economy changed priorities for many consumers.
The EcoBoost equipped F-150s average 18 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, according to federal government ratings, compared to 14 to 17 mpg for eight-cylinder models.
The turbocharged V6 gives the truck more towing power than the larger 5.0-liter V8.
“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,” Motor Trend Editor-In-Chief Ed Loh said of the F-150 in an announcement.
The F-150 also took top honors from Motor Trend in 2009, 2004 and 1997.
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