This is the latest in our new series of short-take reviews on cars and trucks, in which we concentrate on a powertrain or trim level not previously covered. –Ed.
Let’s start off by establishing what the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor is not. It’s not a replacement for the Ford F-150 Lightning performance truck, it’s not the street-oriented version of the insane Ford F-150 SVT Raptor off-roader
, and it’s not a creation of Ford’s in-house SVT tuning division. What it is
is a regular-cab Ford F-150 with Ford’s EcoBoost V-6 engine, shorter gearing, and a few visual tweaks inside and out. So is this slightly sporty version of America’s favorite pickup truck actually sporty to drive?
As it turns out, the Tremor’s aggressive-looking exterior graphics may be overselling its dynamic upgrades—or, rather, the lack thereof. Compared with a normal Ford F-150 FX4, the Tremor doesn’t feature any suspension or brake upgrades to accompany its powerful 355-hp, 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine. This becomes apparent the first time you try to put the Tremor through a corner. The truck gets up to speed effortlessly thanks to the torquey EcoBoost engine, but as you approach the turn you suddenly realize you're going way faster than you should in a 5220-lb pickup with a stock F-150 chassis.
Another element missing from the F-150 Tremor is an engine note with a semblance of character. The EcoBoost V-6 may be refined and powerful, but its vacuum-cleaner-like wheezing and whooshing bear no resemblance to the muscular growl that we expect to hear from a legitimate sport truck.
The biggest problem with the Ford F-150 Tremor, though, is its price. For the same $46,325 asking price of our sparsely equipped tester (no heated seats, no automatic climate control), you can get the wild, hugely capable, hard-core Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The Raptor, which starts at $45,900, may have a different mission than the Tremor, but for a similar cost it offers standard V-8 power, a specially developed off-road suspension, and menacing looks. It’s the only true sport truck in the Ford F-150 lineup.
| Base Price: ||$39,580|
| Price As Tested: ||$46,325|
| Engine: ||3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6|
| Power: ||365 hp|
| Torque: ||420 lb-ft|
| Transmission: ||6-speed automatic |
| Drive: ||4-wheel|
| Payload Capacity: ||1370 lbs|
| Towing Capacity: ||7700 lbs|
| Fuel Economy: ||15/21 mpg (city/highway)|