Chart Of The Day: Does The EcoBoost F-150 "Fail" At Fuel Economy?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Bringing out a V6 version of a full-size truck like the F-150 is a good way to get truck guys suspicious, especially if you try to assuage their fears by talking about the engine’s direct-injection, turbocharging and other high-tech frippery. Ford’s solution: emphasize the “power of a V8, efficiency of a V6” simplification, and hope the market catches on as gas prices rise. But does Ford’s marketing concept actually hold true in real life? Does an Ecoboost F-150 get the mileage of a six cylinder even when doing tough truck-guy work? Thanks to some great work by, you can decide for yourself using the data from a fantastic infographic used to illustrate their test of a loaded and unloaded Ecoboost F-150.

As the chart portion above shows, the Ecoboost’s solid unloaded mileage (the green line) takes a serious beating when it has to haul a 9,000-lb trailer (the blue line), a fact that’s hardly surprising in itself. Because the test didn’t include non-Ecoboost trucks,’s results don’t tell us conclusively whether Ford’s 5.0 V8 would return comparable mileage hauling the same load, but the Ecoboost’s disappointing loaded mileage was cause for at least one major car blog to deem it a “failure.” That seems harsh, as even if the V8 does match the Ecoboost’s towing efficiency, the V6 should still offer considerably better mileage under nearly all other conditions. Besides, most people buy trucks in order to have towing capability, not because they need to tow on a daily basis… for those buyers, the Ecoboost’s improved non-towing mileage would be welcome, even if towing itself isn’t especially efficient.

Still, Ford’s made something of a gamble by bringing a turbocharged V6 into the world of full-sized trucks, and yet another by marketing it as a considerably more efficient replacement for a V8. And ultimately, whether the Ecoboost V6 makes a worthwhile truck engine is something that each truck buyer will have to decide for themselves. Luckily, even if you think the Ecoboost isn’t worth its downsides, at least Ford gives you plenty of options.

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  • Mikemannn Mikemannn on Apr 19, 2011

    I can't wait for the followup where they test and prove the *gasp* the 30MPG Ford Mustang V6 gets much worse mileage around the Streets of Willow when driven at 10/10ths.

  • Benzaholic Benzaholic on Apr 20, 2011

    "efficiency of a V6" Hmm. You mean they're selling a V6 and claiming it has the efficiency of a V6? I just don't believe them. How can that possibly be true?

  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.