The Ford F-150 has been America’s best-selling truck since, properly, since disco dominated the airwaves. The venerable F-150 obtained a giant improve for the 2018 mannequin yr, together with enhancements in expertise and up to date styling. However the large information is what’s underneath the hood. For the primary time in its prolonged historical past, the half-ton Ford F-150 can now be had with diesel energy.
The F-150 is offered with no fewer than six engine choices, all the pieces from a 2.7-liter EcoBoost to the brand new three.Zero-liter V6 Energy Stroke diesel, to a 5.Zero-liter V8. With three totally different cab and mattress sizes to select from, plus two drivetrain choices and 7 trim ranges, it is secure to say which you could customise your F-150 to be your dream truck.
For this evaluation I am driving the Lariat 4×4 SuperCrew with the diesel engine, outfitted with a 5-and-a-half foot mattress and a three.55 rear axle ratio. This particular truck is rated to tow 10,700 kilos and carry 1,476 kilos of payload. Nonetheless, relying in your configuration, the F-150 diesel can tow 11,400 kilos and carry 2,020 kilos of payload. These numbers can differ broadly relying on engine alternative and configuration, so consumers, make sure you discuss to your seller about your particular wants.
This three.Zero-liter diesel engine makes 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 10-speed automated transmission. Towing an empty 5,040-pound horse trailer, the F-150 accelerates with ample tempo, and the 10-speed transmission — tweaked particularly for diesel utility — retains the truck within the coronary heart of the torque band. With the trailer behind me, I’ve no bother preserving my velocity whereas climbing a 7-percent grade, and on the way in which down, the diesel engine kicks into decrease gear so solely gentle braking is required to maintain me at a gentle 55 miles per hour.
Ford upgraded the F-150’s cooling system for diesel obligation, becoming a mechanical fan rather than the usual trick’s electrical unit. In any other case, the diesel truck is identical as different F-150s, with the equivalent steering and braking setup.
Brief mattress, ain’t care.
Unhitch the trailer and the F-150 drives as easily as any truck on the highway. The diesel engine is well-matched with the 10-speed transmission, seemingly all the time within the appropriate gear for no matter I need the truck to do. Popping out of turns it fluidly skips over gears whereas downshifting so there is not any stuttering once I ease again on the throttle. Push the hammer down on the freeway and it skips as much as excessive gear imperceptibly. There’s a lot proper with the F-150, however the transmission is unquestionably a excessive level.
For these apprehensive about that outdated diesel rattle, relaxation assured that little or no engine noise makes its means into the cabin. The powerplant is a bit louder than a gas-powered engine from the skin, however inside you would be arduous pressed to inform there’s an oil-burner underneath the hood.
The diesel engine in my 4×4 drivetrain is rated to return 20 mpg within the metropolis, 25 mpg on the freeway and 22 mixed. These numbers go up considerably in two-wheel drive: 22 mpg within the metropolis, 30 mpg on the freeway and 25 mixed. Nonetheless, throughout my time with the truck — and the heavy footwear I appear to all the time put on — I solely web 19 mpg.
Luxurious and tech in spades
The F-150 comes with truck tech that makes towing simpler. The non-compulsory Professional Trailer Backup Help is nice should you’re not tremendous expert on the artwork of reversing with a trailer. A easy, dash-mounted dial controls the steering in order that if you’d like the trailer to go left, you flip the dial left. It is an intuitive little bit of tech, and whereas not fully foolproof, far much less tough than doing it the standard means. The gauge cluster incorporates a guidelines of duties to finish earlier than setting off with a trailer, making certain beginner towers do not forget to crank up the trailer jack or insert the hitch pin.
As for driving aids, the F-150 Diesel has non-compulsory adaptive cruise management that may apply brakes to each the truck and a trailer, preserving you at a set distance behind a lead automobile. Out there blind-spot monitoring additionally accounts for a trailer in tow. Merely enter the trailer’s size and the expertise takes over, issuing a warning when a smaller automobile is hanging out in your super-long blind spots.
Commonplace on my tester is Ford’s easy-to-use Sync three infotainment system, housed on an Eight-inch touchscreen. I by no means flip right into a loopy particular person, screaming at Sync three once I use it. Every thing is clearly laid out and works simply because it ought to. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each on deck, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot. Entrance and rear passengers every get two USB ports and a 12-volt and 110-volt plug.
The Lariat trim comes normal with adjustable pedals, twin local weather management and leather-based trimmed seats. My tester has the non-compulsory heated rear seats and normal heated and cooled entrance seats, however if you wish to add that superior therapeutic massage seating, you will need to bump as much as the fancy-pants King Ranch.
I am shocked by how comfy I’m within the mid-trim Lariat. It is like driving my outdated straightforward chair, driving excessive above site visitors. I really feel invincible. I am normally a two-hands-on-the-wheel form of driver, however the ease of the F-150 encourages me to lean again, relaxation my proper arm on the expanse heart armrest, crank up the cooled seats and simply drive till the tank runs dry — which must be in about 650 miles with my 4×4 diesel. Heck, I might drive all the way in which from Roadshow HQ in San Francisco to Portland, Oregon if I wished to.
How I might spec it
I need the diesel for certain, which is simply obtainable on the Lariat trim and above, and at a $four,000 premium as well. I additionally need the brief mattress, SuperCrew cab and 4×4 choices, so already, I am $10,000 over the $41,015 beginning value of a Lariat. The 501A tools group is an efficient purchase at $1,585 with blind-spot monitoring. Professional Trailer Backup Help is a part of a $995 tow bundle, however I need to get good at doing that by myself, so I am going to go away it on the desk. I might like so as to add adaptive cruise management however to get it I additionally want so as to add a $7,335 502A bundle. No, thanks. My one little luxurious: the $325 field facet steps as a result of, properly, I am getting outdated.
You will want to purchase a minimum of the Lariat trim if you’d like the diesel engine.
That places my dream F-150 diesel at $54,705 together with $1,495 for vacation spot. Dear, however it’s nonetheless cheaper than the tester you see right here, which is available in a $63,435, together with a $1,395 vacation spot cost.
For now, the 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel bests its rivals in gasoline economic system and towing. The 2018 Ram 1500 with its three.Zero-liter EcoDiesel engine will get 27 mpg freeway no matter drivetrain and may tow a most of 10,640 kilos. Ram says its half-ton 1500 pickup will get a brand new diesel engine for 2019, which could embody a rise in gasoline economic system and towing capability. New diesel choices for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 will certainly problem the F-150’s crown, as properly.
The Ford F-150 is legitimately an excellent truck, and should you tow heavy payloads usually, the diesel is the way in which to go.