Review: The 2018 Ford F-150

Posted: Apr 3 2017, 10:52am CDT | by , in Reviews | Cars & Vehicles

 
Review: The 2018 Ford F-150
Image: Ford

The 2018 Ford F-150 is ready for work again, with a few improvements to an old classic.

It seems like only yesterday Ford introduced the brand-new, all-aluminum F-150. Guess what, though? That was four years ago! And when you're America's best-selling vehicle, it's a good idea not to slack on updates. That means it must be time for a fresh take on our nation's favorite pickup. What has Ford brought us this time?

To borrow a classic muscle-car phrase, the new F-150 is "all ate up with motor” thanks to a new diesel option and outstanding support from the aftermarket. If you’re staring down the barrel of a self-driving pickup, it seems logical you might as well enjoy cooking a few last liquefied dinosaurs in the form of burnouts and trailer pulls.

It’s a Work Truck!

The F-150 broke the mold around the year 2000 when it began offering luxury options like leather and premium stereos. Ford had hit on a humdinger of a formula: The pickup truck as a commuter vehicle. These days, you’ve got to offer a sweet interior and carlike amenities just to compete, but utility is still crucial. That’s why the new F150 offerings one of the most versatile truck beds we’ve ever heard of.

Keeping your payload under control in the F-series' snazzy new bed are uprated leaf springs. Even though this is a design that's now a century old, there are a million ways to do leaf springs, and this upgrade should keep you from needing to seek an upgrade for your F-150 anytime soon.

What’s Under the Hood?

The addition of a new diesel power plant to Ford’s menu for 2018 is something truck drivers will appreciate. Diesels have long been valued for their economy and torque delivery, and the new F-150 has been without a diesel option since debuting in 2015 with no Powerstroke engine.

Unlike prior Powerstrokes, this unit uses a V6 layout. Ford has shown that they can deliver a hearty V6 with their Ecoboost 3.5-liter, already available in many F-150 models. Expect the aftermarket community to equip this thing with six-inch exhausts and have it belching black smoke real soon.

And what about the gasoline options? You get your choice of two EcoBoost sixes and a range-topping 5.0 V8 — one that the tuners are all too familiar with. Which flavor of F-150 do you prefer? The one with more power than a Mustang GT, or the one with more power than a BMW M5? The gang at Roush Performance can do all that and then some, which is probably partly due to their experience working with the Mustang.

There's also the special off-road Raptor, which continues to use its own special variant of the Ecoboost 3.5. It’s unchanged for 2017, but let's face it — the truck is insane when it rolls off the lot.

Old Faithful Does It Again

Ford has raised the bar yet again in the full-sized pickup truck segment. Their lighter chassis, innovative engine technology and utilitarian accessories are why the F-150 continues to sell like hotcakes. Now all that’s left to do is make friends with one of those Raptor owners.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/56" rel="author">Scott Huntington</a>
Scott Huntington is a writer and journalist from Harrisburg PA who covered movies, tech, cars, and more. Check out his blog Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

 

 

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