The long awaited Ford F-150 Power Stroke diesel is now upon us, sporting the same 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 engine that has motivated Land Rover SUV’s and other vehicles for some time.
Made on the same assembly line in England as the engines destined for Land Rover, the version of the engine found in the F-150 does have a few differences here and there to make it suitable for truck duty and most important compete with the likes of RAM and now Chevrolet.
With 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque it comes to the F-150 mated to their new in-house designed and built 10-speed automatic transmission and according to Ford has a best in-class EPA fuel economy rating of 30 mpg highway, 22 mpg city and 25 mpg combined.
Specs are great and all but how does it work? My first impression sitting behind the wheel and firing it up is how damn quiet it is. After the initial crank over it settles into a near imperceptible purr that with the AC on barely registers more than a comparable gasoline engine.
The only real indicator you have a diesel is the slight graininess in its idle and roll into revving off the line. From there on out, the engine feels a bit smoother and more refined even than we remember it in the last Range Rover we tested.
Mash the throttle and it jumps quick, lighting up the tires easily. Turbo lag seems at a bare minimum and with the 10-speed automatic transmission clicking off gears at lighting speed the engine remains in the rev sweet spot at almost all times.This means power is on demand almost anywhere from a stop to passing on the freeway. It’s got lots of power and this truck is actually what you can honestly call fast.
I have liked the 10-speed automatic Ford makes in everything I’ve driven it in including other F-150s and the Mustang GT. It’s a great gearbox and because it can skip gears when it makes sense, it never feels like too many cogs around town. With the diesel I think it’s a great match up.
What I don’t at all like is the standard engine auto start-stop system which always sucks, but sucks especially with a diesel engine. Diesels by their nature shudder to a start and a stop and can be rough in that way. Make it happen at every stop light and ughhh, what a disturbance of the peace. Yes it has an off switch but it defaults on every time you start the truck – annoying.
The jury is still out on whether the auto start-stop does anything at all for fuel economy other than give manufacturers freebie points on their EPA testing procedures, the F-150 still performed as promised even with it turned off. I achieved 21 mpg city which is flat out amazing in a full sized pickup, combined was 24 mpg. Both 1 mpg less than promised but AC was on at all times as it’s still summer here in Arizona.
As tested the Platinum crew-cab F-150 Power Stroke I tested rang in at $67,000. If there is any major gripe with the new powertrain offering is that Ford only offers it on top trim grades in its largest cab configurations. You cannot for instance get an XL or even XLT regular cab work truck with the engine.
No, you have to spend $47,000 for a super-cab Lariat at minimum before stepping up another $3,000 for the diesel engine. I get it, diesels cost money and manufacturer’s like to bury them into only the higher profit models to hide their true cost and of course make more money by forcing up you the trim grade. So while you are cashing in on the diesel customer, why not offer the Raptor with this engine?
How will it compare to the 2019 RAM and 2019 GM twins with their 3.0 liter diesel engines? We won’t know until they hit the ground. Both competitors aren’t out with theirs yet nor have they spilled the specs. We’ll just have to wait.