MotorWeek Spends a Day in the 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel
Road test reveals new F-150 Power Stroke model’s strengths and weaknesses.
In one generation of the F-150, Ford has introduced several revolutionary changes to its best-selling pickup and the light duty truck industry as a whole. When it rolled out the all-aluminum F-150 for the 2015 model year, every other truckmaker was still using heavier steel for its vehicles. That was also when Ford started offering the F-150 with the surprisingly stout 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. A couple of years later, Ford finally revealed the production version of the more capable, more powerful, and more badass second-generation Raptor. The same year, Ford enhanced the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and brought out a 10-speed automatic.
Now it’s the 2018 model year…and time for another big change to the F-150: diesel power. Ford offers the F-150 with a 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 that cranks out 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. Despite that robust output, it enables the F-150 to get an EPA-estimated 22 city, 25 combined, and 30 highway mpg.
In the video up top, MotorWeek‘s Zack Maskell drives the diesel F-150 during its media launch in Colorado. The event gives him a chance to not only notice how quiet the baby Power Stroke is, but use it to tow a 5,500-pound trailer. With a maximum tow rating of 11,400 pounds, the F-150 has no problems pulling the load, unless it’s going uphill; that’s when it leaves some extra grunt to be desired. Maskell also notices throughout his time with the F-150 that its 10-speed automatic occasionally seems hesitant to do its job.
Revolutions always come at a price. There’s a chance Ford will offer the Power Stroke V6 in the F-150 XLT in the future (depending on the engine’s popularity), but for now, it’s only available in the Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trim lines. On Ford’s website, the F-150 Lariat starts at $41,015. Maskell says the Power Stroke upgrade costs $4,000, so at a minimum, the new diesel F-150 will sticker for around $45,000. That’s certainly not cheap, but for those who need a fuel-efficient tow rig most days of the week and want to pull their loads in comfort and luxury, it may be worth it.