First Drive – 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel

First Drive – 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel

First Drive – 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel

It has been a long time coming but finally Ford has stepped up to the diesel challenge with an oil-burning version of the light duty F-150.

F-150 adds diesel engine option for 2018

The Ram pick-up has had a diesel for years, Nissan offers one on its Titan and Chevrolet falls in line with a diesel option in its all-new Silverado later this year.

So has the wait been worth it for diesel fans in the F-150? A first drive opportunity in the foothills near Denver, Colorado, demonstrated the pros and cons of the latest Ford truck.

Firstly, it’s evident that overall refinement – a hallmark of the F-150 range – has not been sacrificed in the diesel version. So smooth and quiet is this 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel application (unlike the much noisier heavy duty diesels) that you’d be hard pressed to know it wasn’t one of the gasoline powertrains.

Interior of 2018 F-150 diesel is shared with higher end gasoline models, so is comfortable and well equipped.

One key selling point of the diesel is, of course, its promised fuel economy advantage over gasoline versions. As an owner of a new F-150 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, my average economy reading has so far crept up to a less than thrilling 17.3 mpg. So it was interesting and a little envy-inducing to see the diesel display mpg numbers in the 20s as I drove around under light load.

The official fuel economy numbers from Ford suggest the model can hit 30 mpg, which is a remarkable figure. More realistically, the diesel is predicted to best the gasoline versions by up to four mpg in the city and up to six mpg on the highway. Not bad for a big truck, but the real advantage for diesels is supposed to be in towing.

Dragging a 5500-pound horse trailer, the diesel F-150 showed an average of 13.5 mpg, which may not sound that good, until you consider that a gasoline truck in the same situation would be in single digits.

This Ford diesel (which incidentally is related to a motor Ford makes for Jaguar Land Rover models) delivers a meaty 440 lb ft of torque at 1750 rpm and 250-hp at 5000rpm. That compares to 470 lb ft of torque at 3500 rpm and 350 hp at 5000rpm with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6.

Published at Wed, 30 May 2018 18:14:00 +0000

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