This model is an XLT SuperCrew model with a 145-inch wheelbase. It’s powered by the 2.7-liter EcoBoost, the second least-powerful engine in the F-150 lineup. It’s no slouch, though, with 325 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Our test car had a number of options, including $995 for the engine, $590 for blind-spot and tow monitoring, $495 for a spray-in bedliner and $235 for Sync Connect.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: I enjoyed the ample power of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. Ford was the first to spotlight the turbo six as a credible powertrain in full-size trucks and deserves credit for taking that risk. I never found this engine wanting, and the torque was plentiful low in the band. The 10-speed automatic is also generally smooth, especially on the highway. The smaller EcoBoost — you can still get the larger 3.5-liter V6 in the F-150 — is my favorite. Less is more, though if I were actually buying a pickup, I’d still lean toward the V8.
I enjoyed a chilly mid-fall weekend in this F-150. Painted fire engine red with plenty of chrome, it managed to stand out in pickup-happy metro Detroit. The F-150’s exterior design is growing on me. It’s not my favorite in the segment, but it’s blocky, confident and knows what it is. The super crew cabin is spectacularly roomy. It’s far easier to get a rear-facing car seat in this truck than in my three-row crossover. The cabin’s materials and design are the only letdown. They’re fine, but they trail the 2019 Ram, which manages to look well-appointed in nearly any trim.
Chilly fall weekend in the @ford F-150. Fire engine red. Plenty of chrome. Power from the baby EcoBoost. Two point seven liters gets you 325 ponies and 400 lb-ft of twist. @therealautoblog pic.twitter.com/4I1RxzTNBr
— Greg Migliore (@GregMigliore) November 12, 2018
Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder : Screw this truck. The Nalgene didn’t fit.
Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: Far and away the thing that impressed me the most about this F-150 is this relatively low-end 2.7-liter engine. Despite its position in the hierarchy, it provides a shocking amount of punch. The truck accelerates confidently and smoothly. So much so, I popped the hood just to make absolutely sure it really was the 2.7-liter lurking underneath. Besides offering plenty of power, it’s extremely smooth and quiet. Fortunately, the 10-speed automatic is smooth, too, and it seems happier to pick a gear and stick with it than in some other Ford applications.
The rest of the truck is less surprising but still admirable. Our XLT model was pretty basic. It didn’t even have automatic climate control or keyless entry and start. But the seats have loads of cushion, and there’s an enormous amount of space for passengers front and rear. Plastics are hard and cheap looking, and the dash is starting to show a bit of age, but controls are easy to find and use. The ride is pretty smooth with very little shuddering going over bumps. Steering is rather vague, but weighted decently.
In general, I still prefer the new Ram 1500 for its sharper handling and nicer interior. But the Ford F-150 is still an excellent full-size pickup truck. And that’s even more impressive considering that this truck is now older than the Ram and the Silverado/Sierra twins.
Assistant Editor Zac Palmer: Ford may be wrapped up in a sea of doubt and criticism from its decision to off sedans, but man does the Blue Oval still know how to build a satisfying truck. Our F-150 isn’t one of those luxury trucks with a price tag ballooning over $60,000. It’s much more middling, with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. The driving experience doesn’t suffer from its modest packaging though.
A new 10-speed automatic transmission was silky smooth in operation. I like that Ford lets you watch which gear it’s in at all times in a neat little stack in the instrument cluster. It’s already popped into third gear under light acceleration as the speedo crests 10 mph, but you wouldn’t even know it’s changing cogs unless you were watching. Under heavier acceleration, it behaves a lot like the outgoing six-speed. First and second gear are dispatched like a normal six or seven speed transmission, and then it starts shuffling through the upper gears. At no point did it feel like it was hunting for the right gear. I think Ford and GM did well with this 10-speed — cruising along the highway at 75 mph with the revs comfortably sitting at 1,700 rpm made for a fuel-efficient commute.
I love the F-150’s interior too. It’s not because of any special techno gadgets or quirks either. No, Ford just nailed all the fundamentals. Arm rests on the door and center console were the perfect height. Huge volume and tuning knobs make operating the quick Sync 3 system a breeze. Sight lines are better than all the full-size pickups, and the seating position feels just right. The Ram might look fancier and have more features when fully-decked out, but I wasn’t missing any of that in our F-150 with cloth seats.