2018 Ford F-150 Platinum 4X4 SuperCrew - Power Cruising
2018 Ford F-150 Platinum 4X4 SuperCrew
Part of the appeal of pickup trucks is that they can be many things to many people.
Tow machine to haul your boat? Check. Home-improvement aid? Sure, throw those 2x4s in the back. Guarantee that your friends will call you when they need help moving, even if they never call you any other time? Sure. Cowboy Cadillac? If you like cruising the streets of Texas in comfort, pardner.
Ford’s F-150 is already at least perceived as doing all those things well – Ford doesn’t sell approximately a zillionity billion for no reason – and adding a diesel powertrain to the mix doesn’t hurt.
That powertrain is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that pumps out 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. A ten-speed automatic transmission and 3.55 electronically locking rear differential gets all that to the ground.
As is typical with diesels, peak torque is available low in the rev range (at 1,750 rpm, in this case), and while the truck ain’t light (over 5,300 pounds), there’s enough torque on tap to keep up with the flow of urban and suburban driving.
Speaking of urban driving, the truck’s size (156.8-inch wheelbase, 243.7-inch overall length, 6.5-foot bed) makes that a challenge, as an unfortunate encounter with a parking bollard showed. That same size also makes the interior feel huge, though – I felt like I’ve been in smaller hotel rooms.
Needless to say, headroom and legroom weren’t an issue. The center console is wide enough as to put your passenger some distance away. Whether that’s a good or bad thing for your personal relationships is up to you.
The cabin looks a little too familiar by now – Ford’s design has aged gracefully, but it’s still aging. I appreciated the easy-to-reach knobs and dials, and the squared-off A/C vents and upper center stack look appropriately purposeful, but Ford interiors have used this look for a while now. It felt a bit long in the tooth. There was also a bit more hard plastic than I’d like, especially given the sky-high price (stay tuned for sticker shock), but other parts of the cabin were classed up by upscale materials. For example, red leather that matched the seat colors was tastefully draped across the upper portions of the dash.
On-road, the F-150 is predictably truckish in ride and handling, especially with an unladen bed, but Ford reins in the worst excesses well enough. You’ll get some bounce, and you’re not getting great handling or steering feel, but it’s perfectly acceptable for commuting or cruising. Highway slogs are pleasant enough, at least until the pavement turns sour.
A relative asked me to help him move during my time with the truck, and I was actually excited at the thought – I’d finally be able to use a test truck for one of its intended purposes. No dice. In the end, I was only asked to move furniture from a garage to the inside of a house, without leaving the property. No need for truckin’. That said, my test unit was ready to go. Options included a bed extender, spray-in bedliner, and a tailgate step (this one is part of a package). If I needed to tow, a trailer-tow package made it possible, and the FX4 off-road package was tacked on in case of off-pavement excursions.
At $58,210 to start, this F-150 Platinum was already spinning the cash register. That’s because it carries such content as: fog lamps, lighting for the pickup bed, auto stop/start, remote liftgate release, LED headlamps and taillamps, blind-spot information system, curve control, trailer-brake controller, remote start, push-button start, heated and cooled front seats, second-row heated seats, 8-inch touch screen for infotainment, Sync, satellite radio, navigation, power-adjustable pedals, and power tilt/telescope steering wheel.
Add the diesel ($3,000), package 701A (includes 360-degree camera, park assist, technology package, adaptive cruise control, and tailgate step, $2,540), the electronically locking ($470), twin-panel moonroof ($1,245), trailer-tow package ($995), power-folding mirrors ($250), wheel-well liner ($180), a soft tonneau cover ($525), and the spray-in bedliner ($495) and you get a $68,980 truck. Tack on the $1,395 destination fee and now the price tag reads $70,375.
Yup, folks – a $70,000 pick-em-up truck. One that I dinged while entering a car wash. A big ‘ole honking diesel truck with the ability to tow 11,000 pounds while coddling occupants in comfort.
You get what you pay for. That sticker price is dear, but the F-150 doesn’t lack for content. It’s a combination between long-haul tower, freeway cruiser, and cowboy Cadillac.
Speaking of long-hauls and cruising, fuel economy checks in at 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined.
Yeah, this is a truck for all people – provided those people have fat bank accounts. Versatility isn’t cheap these days.
[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]
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- Dawn Maple They haven't even fixed the airbag issues and recalls completely, so why waste more time and money on another "safety feature" that removes choices from the driver? We would be safer getting in a car driven by Helen Keller. Oh wait with driver assist, all she has to do is find her car and turn it on.
- Lorenzo I'm out. I'd never find it in the dark.
- VoGhost Minivans don't sell well, and the market has been declining. And while the entire 'range anxiety' myth is mostly a big oil propaganda designed to scare the weak minded, minivans are often how families travel to grandma's house, so that will be a concern, unless VW can gain access to the Supercharger network. I could see 50K units at peak, declining to 25K/year after a couple of years, unless VW can price competitively with Tesla.
- VoGhost Glad you're healthy, Tim
- VoGhost 20 years ago, Sportage was the bottom of the barrel, a joke. Kia's come a long way.
Tim, Good review, thank you. One question - when the military-grade aluminum struck the bollard, did the bollard twist up like a pretzel? Shear off cleanly at the base? Or did it sense that intimidating grille and bend out of the way preemptively? Asking for a friend...
The F150 is my runner up favorite vehicle. I test drove the SXT trim with the 2.7 Twin Turbo EcoBoost V6. I was impressed by how much pull it has given the fact that it has 400 lb ft of torque, and the 10 speed auto. I am torn between choosing the 2.7 TT V6 or the 5.0 V8. I wouldn't bother getting the diesel V6 because it's a very expensive option. My only disappointment in the F150 is that you cannot get the 2.7 TT V6 on the top end trims, like the King Ranch, Platinum, or the Limited. So I either have to choose massaging front seats, or the smooth 2.7 TT V6.