What Ford F-150 Engine Should You Buy?

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If You’ve Already Decided on a Ford F-150 for Your Next New Vehicle, the Next Question is: Which Engine Option Should You Buy?

Currently, Ford offers four options that are in and of themselves compelling choices. They all offer individual strengths and few weaknesses. A 2.7 litre EcoBoost V6, first generation and soon to be second generation 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6, a naturally aspirated 5.0 litre V8.

The guys over at Driving tested the 2.7L EcoBoost, the 3.5L EcoBoost and the 5.0L V8. Each truck was a SuperCrew with 5.5-foot box. Here are their observations.

Tried and Tested:

The 2.7L EcoBoost, a V6 performs smooth at idle and under acceleration, As expected the 2.7 EcoBoost is best in overall fuel economy and moves the truck along at a reasonable quip. It averaged about 10.3 L/100 km on the highway, with a combined average of 12.2 L overall. While towing a 3,600-lb. boat and trailer, consumption registered a decent 4.04 gal / 62 miles.

Engine response is immediate and when you push the throttle all the way down the throttle and you’d think the engine was bigger.

0-62mph times are close to the 7-second mark which is close to the 3.5L courtesy of a particular axle gearing. The 2.7L also produces 375 lb.-ft. of torque whereas the 3.5L Eco-Boost has a marginal jump over the 2.7L in that it puts down 420lb.-ft of torque and will shave a full second off its 0-62mph time as reported by Motor Trend.

Automatic start/stop technology comes standard with the 2.7, but unfortunately, it can’t be turned off. The only exception is when the vehicle is in 4×4 mode. While the transition from “off” to “on” is immediate the moment your foot comes off the brake, some buyers may still find the feature annoying. This makes the 2.7L engine the third choice for those in the market.


The 385-horsepower 5.0L V8 a tried-and-true small block that bypasses turbos for a good ol’ fashioned displacement engine. Fuel consumption would be about $500 more than the 2.7L over the course of a year but the Driving team was able to average 7.4 mpg at 62 mph on flat stretches of highway on a calm, cold day. While the overall average registered highest among the engines at 4.09 gal / 62 miles, the V8 used only .02 gallon more on average than the 3.5L turbo.

The V8 sound and performs slightly better in that it is a more raw engine. It feels more connected than the smaller turbocharged engines and of course sounds the best of all three. The V8’s towing power is also slighly less than the 3.5L. While this overall feel benefits the V8, it remains the second choice.

If you are in the market or are considering a Ford F150, the engine you must go with is the 3.5L EcoBoost.

The second-generation 3.5L will feature 470lb.-ft of torque in the new engine and will give you all the power you’ll ever need for a day in and day out pickup. It’s smooth and quiet with just a hint of desirable turbo whistle under light acceleration. Passing others cars is done in an instant. Now with direct and port injection the EcoBoost spools out power quickly, without hesitation, and all of it available at low rpm — an ideal scenario for towing.


Where the 3.5L Ecoboost really shines is its towing capability, power, refinement and fuel economy; the 3.5 EcoBoost ranks as the towing champ, able to haul 5,534 kilograms. In Driving’s test, it hauled the 3,600-lb. boat and trailer with astonishing ease. Not many will tow the maximum with this half-ton, but it sure helps when the capacity of the truck is well above the normal trailering load to accommodate passengers and payload, as well as leaving a good margin of safety.

Thus, with power to spare, plenty of towing prowess and better fuel economy than the V8 (our average was 14.6), the 3.5L EcoBoost is undeniably the best engine choice in an F-150 for those buyers who want it all.


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