2017 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost More Fuel Efficient Than Ever

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When Ford announced they were putting a 10-speed automatic transmission in the 2017 F-150, we knew that fuel economy was one of the reasons. Clearly, the number should go up, even if just by a bit. But what threw a wrench into our thought process was the 2nd-generation EcoBoost which makes even more power than ever. Is it possible that Ford edged more power and better fuel economy out of the 2017 F-150? Yes, they did.

Fuel economy is up across the board. The fuel economy king is the 4×2 that is rated at 25 miles-per-gallon on the highway. While that’s not the 29 MPG offered by the folks at Ram, remember that number with them requires an expensive diesel engine. The 3.5L EcoBoost is gasoline, saving you money at the time of purchase, and based on fuel prices currently saving you money when you fill up.

The more-common configuration, of course, will be the 4×4. That is rated at 17 MPG in the city, 23 MPG on the highway, or 20 MPG combined. That’s a 1 MPG increase in the city and on the highway, and a 2 MPG increase for the combined.

Model City Highway Combined
2017 Ford F-150 4×2 18 mpg 25 mpg 21 mpg
2016 Ford F-150 4×2 17 mpg 24 mpg 20 mpg
2017 Ford F-150 4×4 17 mpg 23 mpg 20 mpg
2016 Ford F-150 4×4 16 mpg 22 mpg 18 mpg

Considering this is the higher-horsepower truck, designed for towing and hauling more than fuel economy, these numbers are actually pretty impressive. While there are surely more fuel efficient vehicles out there, a small bump on such a popular vehicle with save thousands of gallons of fuel a year — or more.

An increase in fuel economy on the gasoline EcoBoost engines does raise the stakes for the company’s diesel offering that we believe is coming. The closer a gasoline engine gets to the fuel economy of a diesel, the value proposition of the diesel drops tremendously.

For example, if the upgrade to the diesel F-150 is a $4,000 option, and the diesel only gets you a 3-4 MPG improvement over the gasoline engine, it’s probably not worth the money for the upgrade. So how fuel efficient does the F-150 with the diesel engine be to make it worth it?

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Clearly they’ll have to exceed 30 miles-per-gallon on the highway. Not only¬†will that beat Ram, but it’ll put them in the sights of the mid-size Colorado diesel. A full-size pickup with mid-size fuel economy would be a big win for Ford.

Of course, then that means the mid-size Ford Ranger that’s coming back will have to be even more fuel efficient than that, wouldn’t it? Small truck buyers are different than full-size truck buyers, as the Colorado and Canyon have proven, so the competition between models might not be that big of a deal.

Regardless, more fuel economy is always welcome. Even if you don’t buy your truck based on fuel economy — many don’t — it doesn’t mean you won’t appreciate paying a little bit less at the pump when you do have to stop for fuel. It might not be a reason to go out and upgrade today, but it’s something you will appreciate when you do opt for a new truck.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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