Quite the experience with Ford Canada, CIAS, and the 2015 F-150!

It all started with an unexpected email from Michael, representing Ford Canada and their social media agency .  Now this sparked my interest!  What could this be about.  I immediately called my wife, even before finishing reading the email.  You won’t believe this!

I’m a recently new Ford truck fan, and in August of 2013, I bought my first Ford Truck.  A 2013 Ford F-150, FX4, 5.0L.  I’ve always been a fan of Ford vehicles, but haven’t owned one in  a few years.  Along with ownership of a Ford truck, I took a lot of interest in the Ford brand.  I found that interacting with the brand, made ownership more enjoyable.  I immediately found that Ford has a huge on-line presence, with Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram.  This got me excited, and I started interacting with the brand, by sending in pictures and stories of me using the truck.

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The email from Michael explained they were looking for a Ford Truck Fan, that would be excited in the unveil of the newly redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 at the Canadian International Auto Show.  It was explained they would like to make a short video of my expression, and reaction when the new truck was unveiled.    Ding Ding! I’m interested! Let’s Go!

Within days, my family and I were in my truck, driving down the 401 towards Toronto!  After some frustrating traffic on the QEW, we finally got to the hotel, the day before my appearance at the auto show.

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My wife, son and I had a great afternoon in Toronto.  We went to a restaurant for Lunch, and Supper, and also relaxed in the hotel room.  I had a quick meeting with Michael, where he explained what exactly is happening the next day, and picked a time to meet at the convention center.

The next morning I got up nice and early, and hopped in a cab, to venture over to the Auto Show. I met Michael, and we immediately went to the Ford area at the show.  WOW!  What a spectacle.  All their newest cars and trucks were all set up, and the lighting was perfect.  On the stage was the new pre-production 2015 F-150, new Edge concept, and the 2015 Ford Mustang.  I think I stood there for 5-10 minutes with a smile on my face just embracing it all in.  I even got to sit in the new Edge concept, and the new 2015 Mustang.

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From there, I met a few of Ford’s “twitter’ers” that I’ve been following, and interacting with. @FordArnolderL, @FordAnsonDixon, and @FordCraigSilva. This was exciting for me, to see their faces, and chat with them in person.  I also met a few other people from Ford, and their Social Media agency.  I now have a few more people to follow on Twitter!

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After a quick walk around the Auto Show, and a bite to eat. It was showtime!

My first task was to introduce myself, and say why I was at the show.  The film crew filmed, as I did just that.  “Hey, I’m Nate Meyer, I’m a Ford truck fan, and I’m at the Canadian International Auto Show, to see the new 2015 Ford F-150”.  A couple takes, of that, and I was starting to get less nervous.  From there, we walked into the Ford press area, and sat down in the provided seating.  The unveil of the F-150 was about to begin.  I was excited!

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The premise of the video was to video tape my reaction, in seeing the new truck, as well as to walk around the truck, and describe what I’m liking, and how I’m feeling.  So the unveil has started, and on the three screens behind the F-150 was a video describing some of the features of the new truck.  It was incredible videography, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.  Finally, the cover came off the truck, and it was unveiled.  It was SHARP!  I immediately started seeing some functional, and stylish features.

We then walked around the truck, video camera in tow, and I tried my best to describe what I was seeing at that exact time.  I tried to be as real, and genuine as I could.  This whole video is about the real reactions of a Ford truck fan.  It really did have some great functional features that I would put to use in real life.  The bumper step, the rear box lighting, box side step, rear tailgate step, huge moon roof, and front camera.  The front end is what really caught my eye.  I love how the headlights are shaped, and how very close it is to the Atlas concept.  After going around the truck a few times, I was introduced to a Product Manager at Ford.  We walked around the truck again, and he brought to my attention a few more styling queues that I missed previous.  How the rear tail lights, are styled around the F, in the F-150 emblem.  He also mentioned how there are a total of 4 video cameras, that get stitched together to create a birds eye view of the truck, displayed on the screen.  How, on the extended cab, the rear door opens completely.  So many more functional features that I didn’t catch the first time.  It was really great to be shown the truck, but someone who knows A LOT about it.

The filming was complete, and that’s when I started to relax.  I then mingled for a bit at the Auto Show, then eventually, back to the hotel to pick-up my family, for the ride back home to London.

It was such an awesome experience to be at the show on Press Day, and to see this pre-production truck so close up.  It was also exciting to see a behind-the-scene look at what goes on during these press-days, and unveils.  It’s such a different experience then being there on public day.  I really can’t say enough how excited I was to be picked to do this!

Here’s the LINK to FORD’s website with the story

Almost forgot the video!  Here is what was produced.

2013 Ford F-150, FX4, 5.0L – 1000 KM Report

I’ve finally got over 1,000 kms in my 2013 F150, and want to write a short report / review of it so far.

I Love it… STILL!  Every time I get in it, is like the first day I drove it.  It’s just so quiet, comfortable and smooth.

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DRIVE-ABILITY

Since I’m still “breaking in” this engine, I haven’t gotten to deep in the throttle.  However, I’ve been gradually going deeper, 50%, 60%, 75% ect, ect.  I’m enjoying the power this 5.0L makes, and still enjoy the sound.  One thing that stands out, is how easy this F150 is to accelerate slowly.  Let me explain.  It seems that with very light throttle, I can effortlessly accelerate at a pace that’s acceptable, but fuel conservative.  I enjoy driving this truck slowly.  I couldn’t say the same with another truck I used to own.  However, when you need to get on it, it will shift down quickly, to a proper gear for the current throttle application, and haul pretty quickly.  I’ve had other trucks where you would press down on the accelerator, and it would try and get to the desired speed by maintaining that gear, and not shifting down.  This is annoying.  If I press the accelerator down in a quick matter, shift down, and giddie up and go!  Which the Ford does!

So far, the engine in this F150 is VERY quiet.  I’m used to truck engines sounding loud, and ticky, but this engine just purr’s away on idle, and acceleration.  The transmission also shifts very smooth, without any jerks.  So far so good!

I’m averaging about 16 L/PER100 with 90% city driving.  I haven’t taken a highway trip yet, but looking forward to getting it on the highway, and cruising quietly and comfortably.

I’m an avid Camper, and can’t wait to get up past 1600 KMS so I can tow my 4500 lbs trailer.  I think it will pull it great, and looking forward to it.  Soon, the trailer below will be hooked up for it’s maiden voyage!

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I’ve had this truck out in the muddy fields already, as I enjoy a Saturday morning goose hunt.   The rear locker comes on effortlessly, with a pull of a switch, and does give some added traction in the mud.  I was hesitant at first about the OPEN rear differential, but recently learned the truck uses ABS to basically turn it into a LSD.  I’ve also used the 4×4 system a few times, and for the most part, engages quickly, and quietly.   A few times I’ve noticed that the message “Shifting in progress, OK”, stays on the screen.  After reading the manual, I think this is because of “gear block”, and it suggests driving forward 5 meters, which the message goes away.  I’ve also heard a few clunks from the hubs, but have also read that is normal.  Other then that, the 4×4 system has gotten me through a wet muddy field without issues.  It will be a great companion for this years Duck, Goose, and Coyote season!

I havn’t had to turn off any traction controls yet.  For my applications, the stock setup works perfect.  I have tried out the Hill Descend, and it works as advertised.  You can really hear the ABS doing it’s job when the Hill Descend is on, but you get used to it.

For the most part, the truck rides fairly smooth… for a truck.  I came from a RAM, with rear coil springs, and this FORD is definitely harder in the rear then the RAM.  However, this is a truck, and can live with it.  I actually prefer the stiffer rear, as I’m sure it handles the trailer better. However, this is untested.

The truck overall feels less floaty then my other trucks.  It feels tighter in the corners, and more stable.  Because of this you get a slightly stiffer ride, but again it’s a truck, and feels like a truck.

One other thing that impresses me is the steering.  It’s effortless!  You could steer this truck with your finger.  I’ve read some negatives regarding the steering, but I think it feels great.

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INTERIOR / EXTERIOR

I LOVE the 4.2″ center screen on the dash.  It displays all the information I want, and it quick to scroll through the different screens.  The Fuel Mileage screen is great, as it gives you your current average, as well as current MPG.  One click up and you’re on the OFFROAD screen that gives you your pitch, and angle of the truck.  This is handy if you’re doing any hills, etc, etc.  Another screen which is beneficial is the TRIP 1, TRIP 2 screen.  I will try and never reset TRIP 2, so I can see what kinda averages I’m getting over lifetime.  Resetting TRIP 1 after every gas fill gives you a good idea of your mileage.

The sync system has worked perfectly for me.  When I enter the truck, it automatically pairs my iPhone 5 with no issues.  I get text messages without problems, and it even reads them out to me.  One option I’d like to have, is the system default to the last option I was using.  Everytime I shut the truck off, and back on, it goes back to the LINE-IN option, and I have to speak to SYNC to get back to bluetooth audio.  This gets annoying after a while.

I think the radio takes a little getting used to.  I’m not a huge fan of all the different menu’s in my radio (non-touch).  It seems like there is alot of dead ends.  In order to go back to the root menu, you have to find the menu option called “return”, which takes too many extra clicks.  But, I’m getting used to it.

The seats are comfy.  Really no issue there.  One huge PRAISE is the back seat room.  The rear flat floor, with no transmission hump, is one of the reasons I bought this truck.  TONS OF ROOM!  Need to transport a dresser inside the cab? No problem!  I think it could use some more secret cubby holes back there, but I’m not complaining.

I like the steering wheel controls, but wish the cruise control was on the opposite side.  Maybe it’s just that’s what I’m used to.

OVERALL

So far, I love it.  I haven’t had any issues yet, and hope it stays that way.   I came from a Dodge Ram, where Chrysler Canada was forced to buy it back because of all the issues I had.  I could really use a break with this truck, and so far it’s performing as I expect.  I really like the looks of the truck, the way it drives, and how comfortable it is.  Really no complaints so far.

I also am enjoying my overall ownership experience with FORD.  I’ve got some FORD Swag that I Love to wear, and show-off.  I’m really starting to become a FORD-FAN-BOY!

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