It’s Time for Ford to Start Building a Diesel F-150
If you follow any of my writing, you’ll know I’m a pretty big fan of diesel in a lot of applications. Sure, in a Mustang it doesn’t make any sense at all, but in a full-size pickup truck I think it makes perfect sense. Also, it seems to start making sense for other truck manufacturers. But Ford hasn’t said anything about putting a diesel in their full-size F-150. I think it’s time that they do.
By the end of the year, Ford will have two competitors with diesel half-ton pickups. The first, and longest-on-the-market is the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Powering this truck is the company’s 3.0L diesel engine making 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
The Ram is also capable of up to 29 miles-per-gallon on the highway, and it’s easy to beat that number. Additionally, when properly equipped, it’ll tow 9,200 pounds and carry 1,620 pounds of payload.
On sale before the end of the calendar year is the 2016 Nissan Titan XD. The XD version is the diesel version, and it’s powered by a 310 horsepower, 555 lb-ft of torque V8 turbodiesel. But it’s not just any diesel engine; it comes straight from the folks at Cummins. Is there a bigger name in diesel engines (don’t answer that)?
That diesel is expected to give the Titan buyer a 20% improvement across the board in fuel economy in all situations, not just highway driving. That includes the ever important towing and hauling fuel economy. While numbers are finalized, the Titan XD is expected to tow 12,000 pounds or more, and even comes with a gooseneck trailer towing setup.
Now you’re probably thinking I’m insane by even mentioning the Nissan Titan. The truck hasn’t been updated in a decade and has fallen off the radar of truck buyers across the country. But that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. The partnership with Cummins is a solid win for the folks at Nissan and will give the truck instant credibility when it goes on sale. Only a fool would ignore them completely.
Ram, on the other hand, has a proven success with their EcoDiesel engine. I say this because they sell every single one that they build, and dealerships can’t keep them in stock. We’re not talking about 2 or 3% either, because depending on the month the take rate is 15-20%.
Diesel trucks do carry a price premium over their gasoline counterparts, but they also bring improved efficiency. While it’s not fair to compare fuel prices, since they always fluctuate, you can purchase diesel in many parts of the country for less than what you’re paying for with gasoline.
Don’t get me wrong, EcoBoost engines are extremely capable. Ford wouldn’t sell you something that wasn’t. But, with some of the industry starting to head towards diesel for their engines, it’d make sense for Ford to start offering one in their F-150. I think it’ll sell well. Plus, it’ll help them continue their streak of the best-selling pickup truck for years and years to come!
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