By on August 10, 2017

Ford F-150

As promised, Ford is updating the engine lineup in the company’s best-selling F-150 for the 2018 model year, providing improved fuel economy and maximum towing capacity across the board.

While it’s always a good idea to hold out a bit of skepticism until review time, Ford previously low-balled its economy estimates for the F-Series — as such, we’re working with some previously existing good faith.

News has been trickling out regarding Ford’s upcoming styling tweaks, advanced safety tech, and a powerful new diesel engine for the 2018 model. We also knew the F-150’s gas engines would be getting upgraded specs and, while some alterations are minor, there are a few big numbers worth disclosing.

And they have little to do with the 5.0-liter V8.

Ford’s V8-equipped pickup maintains its impressive 3,270-pound payload capacity, but advanced dual port and direct-injection technology add 10 more horsepower and an additional 13 lb-ft. of torque.

The 5.0-liter also gets modest improvements in economy for both rear- and four-wheel-drive variants. According to the manufacturer, four-wheel-drive V8s now average 16 miles per gallon city and 22 mpg highway, while rear-drive models manage one better in both areas. While only a single extra mile of range per gallon, it’s not terrible for a motor with 395 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.

Ford F-150

It’s a similar story with the V6s. Boasting a combined average improvement of 1 mpg apiece, the new base 3.3-liter yields 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway; the 2.7-liter Ecoboost hits 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Obviously those numbers shrink a bit when outfitted with four-wheel drive, but still represent an overall improvement from 2017.

The 2.7-liter also receives an uptick in torque, now generating 400 foot-pounds at 2,750 rpm. Meanwhile, the 3.3-liter represents an 8-horsepower, 12 lb-ft of torque improvement over the old naturally aspirated 3.5-liter. Total output is 290 hp and 265 lb-ft.

The upgraded economy rating is primarily down to auto start-stop and the expanded availability of Ford’s 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, which now appears on everything but the base model, including the all-new 3.0-liter V6 Power Stroke turbo diesel.

Ford F-150

Sadly, the 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 doesn’t benefit from any such economy improvements. But it does possess a new maximum tow rating of 13,200 pounds. Weirdly, Ford didn’t advertise this as a 1,000 pound increase in capacity, but that’s exactly what you’re getting. The 2017 model was specified as possessing a 12,200 max haul, which was already enough to bring the F-150 into comparable range of the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s 12,500 pound limit (with the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 and applicable package).

Now, the F-150’s tow rating bests every competitor, including Ford’s V8 F-150, and is the best you can expect from a pickup without optioning for a super duty.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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25 Comments on “Ford Announces Improved Hauling and Long Haul Economy for the 2018 F-150...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    Winning.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Auto Start Stop is a deal breaker.
    If i cant turn it off, I m not buying.
    I. Hate. It.

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      You can turn it off on the current-gen trucks. However it needs to be deactivated (dash-mounted switch) every time you turn it on. Or, you can put a trailer brake-tester into the rear receptacle… vehicle sees it as an attached trailer and deactivates the s/s.

      I dislike it too, but, I’d buy my truck again.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        The trailer connector workaround also deactivates your backup sensors. I fixed mine by jumping the wires in the plug behind the button instead, which was a 15 minute job. I also read that you can fix this with Forscan.

        I know that the EPA is on Ford’s ass just as they are every other productive business in this country but sweat in the driver’s eyeballs at every single red light, all summer long, is obnoxious enough that I’m surprised that they signed off on it.

        If I’d test driven the truck in the summer and hadn’t done the forum research to learn it could be fixed, I would have bought something else. It’s that bad.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          Having the back-up sensors deactivate when the trailer wiring is plugged in, is a great feature. My Tahoe doesn’t do that and let me tell you it’s as annoying as f@#k backing a trailer up & having those things going off constantly.

          I’d put up with start/stop in a heartbeat to have that on my tow vehicle!

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      Start/Stop truly is horrendous. Yet another feature that not only is an annoyance, but also prematurely wears parts.

      As for the Ford “truck”, this is the first time in a very ling that a reskin didn’t end up looking horrendous compared to the previous model. As for the numbers, I’m sure real world will be far less, that’s the Egoboost hallmark. And while it would never be safe to tow that much according to the pencil whipped stats, it does beg the question, what’s the point of the F-250?

      Now they need to fix the “super” dooty.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        “this is the first time in a very ling that a reskin didn’t end up looking horrendous compared to the previous model. ”

        If they’re all horrendous, for a *ling* time now, what does the previous model have to do with it? Wasn’t it horrendous too? Of course it was. It had a Ford Oval on it.

        So, do they get better looking with time? Do they start off horrendous and end up great just before its redesigned again? What an amazing trick. The same truck 4-5 years later looks great! Even though it was SO UGLY a few years ago. But, its the same truck, so…

        You can’t even keep your trolling on point, you manage to trip and fall all over yourself, by your own hand!

        And the “real world numbers” of Ford’s dominance in the market place mean much more than the made up crap you come up with.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      I’m not a fan of it, but it can be an advantage in certain situations.

      On all F150s, since it’s been available, you can turn if off, however it’s on by default.

      The button is on the dash, right next to the emergency light button.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      You’d eventually get to the point where you’ll hit the off button automatically every time you get in the truck, without even thinking. If you find that procedure annoying, I’ll bet you never wear seatbelts.

      But you’d just as easily get used to the Stop/Start annoyance (itself). If I found any of it annoying, I’d find the (ignition, accessory switched) 12v lead to the Stop/Start switch and “hot wire” it, meaning so the SS switch never thinks the truck was ever OFF, assuming it doesn’t run down the battery.

      What drives my passengers bananas (I don’t even hear it anymore) is the constant but intermittent “BONG, BONG…” of the seatbelt reminder. I tend not to wear my seatbelt around the neighborhood.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Seat belts have a purpose. Start/Stop is just a scam to get people in the repair shops for starters

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yeah you could say “It’s a scam”, along the lines of “emissions equipment” and other “pointless” junk to save consumers money at the pump.

          But rest assured, something similar is coming to a Silvy Z71 near you.

          You and I can figure out how to bypass the Stop/Start (most won’t or won’t care), so if it prolongs the time we have with “gas guzzlers” before they’re taken away and crushed, what’s not to like?

        • 0 avatar
          dukeisduke

          And batteries.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        When I had my ’95 F-150 (5.0 with 4R70W automatic), it became instinct to push the overdrive off button on the end of the shift lever, to keep it out of 4th gear around town. The 4R70W had a nasty habit of hunting and constantly shifting in and out of 4th at around 42mph – add to that the torque converter locking/unlocking (it had locking in 3rd and 4th gears) and it could be pretty damn annoying, not to mention the extra wear on the transmission.

        It became a habit to turn the overdrive on between 45-50, and then turn it off again in areas with speed limits under 45, like shifting manually.

        If I bought a new one with the stop/start, I’d probably perform the switch jumpering, since there’s no way I’d put up with stop/start, especially in a Texas summer.

        The one thing I really like about the 2018 is the new grille designs. The 2015-17 tall rectangular grille is horrendously ugly, especially the street rod faux billet versions.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      I have a 2015. It annoys you for about a day and a half then you don’t notice with the exception of hot days though if you crank the AC way up it wont shut the motor down. It would be less noticeable however if it didn’t shut the blower down when the motor shuts off.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the fears of starters dying is overblown anyway.

        #1 its trivial to make a more robust starter to handle the additional usage

        #2 what people don’t realize is that on an auto start, the starter simply doesn’t need to crank the engine for very long.

        see, when you start a car from the “cold” (off) state, the PCM wakes from sleep and has no idea where the engine “is” as far as cam/crank position. So when you turn the key or press the button, generally the PCM has to see the engine crank through *at least* two complete crankshaft revolutions in order to determine cam/crank sync and identify TDC on cylinder #1 after the compression stroke before it will enable spark and fuel.

        on an auto start, the PCM remains powered up and monitors the cam/crank position sensors after it commands the auto stop. So it “knows” where the engine stopped and only needs to crank long enough for the next available cylinder to fire.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRK0OENbLnY&t=16s

        whenever I see people whining about how they “have to” disable it permanently, I just see an old person going “BAH! I HATE NEW THINGS! MAKE NEW THING GO AWAY SO I DON’T HAVE TO USE BRAIN!”

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          I was never concerned about the starter. I was more concerned about all that shut down and start up cycles on the bottom end of the motor but the 2.7 is pretty stout down there. As an early 2.7 owner my biggest worry remains that the revised motors in these trucks get port injection with the di. They say it is for emissions and I haven’t seen reports of carbon build up so hopefully that’s true, but it is a worry in the back of my mind.

          I just hit 30k and so far it has been a great truck. I did finally ditch the base sync system for a car play/Android auto aftermarket since they came up with an install kit that didn’t look like crap and kept the stock ac controls. I wouldn’t have had to do that in a new one since sync 3 is pretty decent but mine is a 15 and I wasn’t letting that myfordtouch crap anywhere near my truck.

  • avatar
    Heavymetal_Hippie

    My gosh, that front grill is a mess!! The previous one was stylish and perfectly-proportioned. This, this is a confusing mess of plastic chrome. If you step back from the truck, or squint your eyes, it just looks like a slurried up amalgamation of chrome. An answer to a question no one asked.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    Matt: would consider using tables to show engine spec differences between this yr vs last year Ford, or vs Chevy and Ram in the future? thanks. that’d be a lot easier on readers.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      I think you have to drive them. On paper they look pretty close but GM manages to make the 5.3 feel like garbage and the Ram Ecoboost while being pretty slow actually felt decent to drive. The Ram and Ford V8s feel like a truck v8 should as does the bigger GM v8. The 3.5 EB feels like a rocket.

  • avatar
    JDG1980

    I think the changes to the V8 are probably a bad idea. Buyers who select the V8 instead of the EcoBoost V6 options usually do so because they don’t trust new technology and prefer a traditional American engine with few frills. Adding direct injection goes against that.

  • avatar
    dchturbo

    I have an immense hatred for auto start/stop function on about 99% of vehicles. Some, it’s a noticeable delay between foot off brake and engine start to vehicle moving.

    My 2016 has it, and initially I was concerned, but honestly it’s so fast that I can’t really beat my foot to the gas over the motor starting. It doesn’t bother me in day to day use. The only time I get annoyed is at maybe a drive-thru, where I’m inching forwards. It’s only one button to hit to turn it off, so it’s not hard. Some cars you can’t, so I understand that frustration.

    It’s going to be on almost all vehicles at some point, so get used to it.

  • avatar
    RS

    Seems like waiting for the “dual port and direct-injection technology” is the thing to do instead of looking at 2017 F150’s without it. I’ve been a bit leery of Ford’s turbo motors, but these updates may change that.

    Did they change their water pump location in the V6’s? That is the other change I’d like to see.


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