The V8 is Still as Fine as Wine in the 2018 F-150

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Ford talks at length about their EcoBoost engines, but the 5.0L V8 is still a viable option for your next truck

I’m a pretty big fan of Ford’s EcoBoost truck engines. The 2.7L V6 turbo is likely my favorite engine of the bunch — excluding Raptor — and is probably what I’d order on my F-150. But if you’re someone who still thinks a truck needs a V8, Ford still offers one for you.

The 5.0L V8, codenamed “Coyote,” in the 2018 F-150 makes 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. That’s more power than the 3.5L EcoBoost in the top-trim Limited model, though it’s down on torque by 40 lb-ft.

I recently spent a week in a 2018 F-150 Platinum with the 5.0L V8, paired to the new 10-speed automatic, and walked away with a renewed mindset of how much I like a good ol’ fashioned V8 engine. From the moment you press the start button, the truck just sounds like it means business.

Sure, the EcoBoost engines make tons of torque but they don’t sound the way a V8 does. In addition, depending on the work you do, the V8 might be the engine you need to do the job.

For example, if you want to equip the snow plow prep package, you’re going to need the V8. If you need to run a CNG conversion, you’ll want a V8. Heck, if you do your own vehicle servicing, it’s easier to get to the oil filter and maneuver around the engine bay of the V8 than the 3.5L EcoBoost.

The 10-speed is calibrated well for this engine, and the addition of stop/start technology is relatively seamless. Overall it’s a good engine and transmission option.

However, when you’re addicted to the torque of EcoBoost, the V8 will let you down a bit. The 3.5L, with the 10-speed, pulls like a freight train from the moment you put your foot on the gas.

The V8 needs a bit of time to get up and going, and then seems to lose a bit of steam as the speeds get higher. I like my sports cars to make power this way, but in a truck, I prefer the flat torque curve and endless power of the EcoBoost.

Luckily, regardless of what type of engine you want in your truck, Ford has you covered. The new base 3.3L V6 is a good base offering. The 2.7L EcoBoost is a fantastic all-rounder. The 5.0L V8 is there for those who want or need it. And the 3.5L EcoBoost rounds out the list for people who want the most pulling power.

In a couple of weeks, we’ll be driving the new F-150 diesel, too.

You are not starved for choice with Ford. That’s something that fans of any powertrain can appreciate.

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

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