On the plus side, no worries about rust in the wheel well or fenders. Sound-wise, Aluminum should aborb and “deaden” any road noise. From a crash-worthines perspective, Aluminum should have minimal rebound, thus absorb the damage better than steel.
On the down side - depending upon how Ford impliments this, the body could be too week for regular heavy use, and painting Aluminum is going to be an issue.
aluminum corrodes too... sometimes worse than steel.
However...any body damage cannot be “pounded out”. Aluminum doesn’t really dent, it stretches. The “fix a dent” guy, won’t. And yes, painting it is definitely trickier - generally, it requires absolute cleanliness and etching or epoxy primer.
“Frame” and suspension parts are forget it if they are bent or broken. Very few body shops in the US are qualified to straighten or weld an aluminum frame (welding/straightening aluminum is an entirely different, highly skilled, more capital-intensive process). Body shops that can actually work with aluminum generally operate in two entirely separate buildings, because the iron dust from grinding contaminates aluminum work.
Compared to steel, painting and welding aluminum is more difficult. Still, aluminum has many advantages. As with all things engineered, there are always tradeoffs. I’d love to have some of the steel components, things like hoods, trunk lids, and fenders, changed to aluminum on my vehicles. One place where they better pay close attention is anywhere where aluminum and steel parts connect.
“painting Aluminum is going to be an issue.”
The least of their worries.
Auto makers have been painting aluminum for decades. Ever see a Miata hood with bad paint? Even Dodge has used aluminum hoods on their trucks for the last 4 or 5 years without a problem.
Biggest bitch I have with aluminum body panels is that they dent SO easy. We had a hail storm once that didn’t do a thing to the steel parts of my vehicles, but dented the hell out of one of the hoods- which was aluminum.
I wish the damned Govt. would stay out of our business.