The Ford F150 is the best-selling truck in America and one of the best SUVs in the world.
But what happens when you put it in a new environment, and drive it on a highway?
The answer is, it is hard to tell.
That is why the company recently put its newest trucks on the road in a handful of states for a week-long test.
The tests were the culmination of Ford’s efforts to find out how well the trucks handle highway driving, the company said.
“The F150 can take you to new places,” said Joe McCarthy, Ford’s chief executive.
“If you go out of your way to go to a new location, it can go that way.
If you go somewhere else, it’s not as easy.”
The company tested the F150 and F-350 pickups, the F-250 pickup and the F350 SUV.
In the F250 pickup, the test vehicle was pulled off a highway and into a garage to simulate the traffic.
It had to drive for 20 minutes in the garage before it could drive itself.
In a truck, the driver and passenger must be fully focused on the vehicle, McCarthy said.
The test vehicle drove on a busy street without incident for 15 minutes, then the driver was instructed to get back in the truck and drive another 15 minutes.
The F-50 pickup did not fare well, McCarthy admitted.
“We had a few people drive it at a very high rate of speed, at 60 or 70 miles per hour, which was pretty high,” McCarthy said, adding that the F50 truck had a tendency to stop abruptly and to flip around on the highway.
The truck is a very capable truck.
Its engine can run up to 450 horsepower, the same power as the Ford Focus and the GMC Sierra, and the front axle is capable of 400 pounds.
The engine is capable and easy to drive.
The vehicle is also reliable, and its stability has been tested on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highway test site.
“Ford F-100s have been the safest vehicles on the planet for decades, and we are proud to show that this year with the F100,” McCarthy told reporters in Detroit.
But the F700 pickup did show a few weaknesses.
The rear seat was too small, for example.
The company said that with a rear seat of less than 11 feet tall, the truck could not fit the driver in the rear.
“It was a little bit of a sore spot, but we got it fixed in time for the event,” McCarthy added.
“Our focus was on safety.”
For the F1 truck, which is in development for the F300 pickup, it was a bit of an anomaly.
The trailer was placed behind the driver’s seat, but the rear seats were not fully reclined.
The pickup was also not as comfortable as the F500 pickup.
“In our experience, it really is a little tough for the driver to hold a heavy load,” McCarthy acknowledged.
“When you are driving it, the weight can feel like you’re carrying it all the way down the back seat.”
And if you want a truck with the highest seat height, McCarthy told CNBC in an interview, “that’s tough.
If I wanted to sit down at a restaurant, I’d have to get a chair.”