Powerstroke diesel in a half ton is finally here!
After years of waiting and wishful thinking Ford has finally done it! We now have a half ton F150 Powerstroke diesel! The new F150 diesel powered pickup will be in dealerships soon and is now available for order.
Our test truck was a fully loaded King Ranch much like you have been able to buy for years, except for the 3 liter Powerstroke diesel and 10 speed transmission. If what you are looking for is a bone rattling diesel that you have to shut off to be heard at the drive-in line you will be disappointed. If it wasn’t for the Powerstroke emblems, the 24.5 mpg overall average we got and the 3000 dollar bump in price you might not know you were driving a diesel.
There are a thousand reviews out there on Ford 150’s including some that we have done. They all talk about the great ride, high tech and exceptional performance available in the pickup. A few of the things now offered include stop and go cruise control, blind spot and cross traffic monitoring and parking assist. These are becoming required options for a lot of truck buyers and almost all of the makers are now offering version of them for half tons. What now sets Ford apart from all but Ram is the V6 diesel choice.
Ford choose to revamp the same diesel they use in Europe on the Range Rover as the power for this pickup. It has had so many changes that it barely qualifies as the same motor. A forged steel crank and graphite alloy block add strength and reduce weight. A 26 thousand pound fuel injection pressure improves economy, decreases noise and lessens emissions. A dual stage turbo charger reduces turbo lag to almost nothing. It couples to the 10 speed automatic transmission that allows the engine control computer to select a gear that keeps the motor in it’s highest torque band.
The motor produces only 250 horsepower but a strong 440 foot pounds of torque at a mere 1750 rpm. This low power band makes the 3 liter Powerstroke respond quickly to throttle changes as the transmission shifts up or down as needed.
Our 4 wheel drive test vehicle got an overall average of 24.3 miles per gallon, and on a steady run on a flat road with cruise control set at 70 miles per hour the economy gauge stayed above 30 most of the time. This is a 7 to 10 mile per gallon improvement over anything else Ford offers in a half ton currently.
The engine is amazingly quiet and smooth and most of the time you couldn’t tell it from the 3.5 liter EcoBoost motor for acceleration and response. Our truck had a curb weight of 5286 pounds giving it a substantial feel that was comforting as we wandered the freeways.
Ford claims best in class towing
of 11,400 pounds on the fleet version 4×2 XL. Our King Ranch was rated to tow 10,700 pounds. Hooked to a 5000 pound trailer it performed well at take off and low speeds but once we got to freeway cruise it didn’t seem to have much left to offer. Trying to accelerate up a small hill with the load was a bit disappointing for anyone used to driving the monster 6.7 Powerstroke. Fuel economy dropped into the high teens with the trailer behind; much better than the single digits I experienced with the 3.5 EcoBoost. On the plus side a 1000 pound payload in the bed didn’t effect the performance at all other than to smooth out the drive a bit.
We didn’t go off road in the King Ranch but our experience with Ford’s 4×4 performance, combined with the low peak torque curve make us believe this would be a beast on the hills, desert or dirt.
The new Powerstroke diesel power plant
will be available in the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum editions on the consumer side and in a work truck version of the XL and XLT for fleets. In a Lariat the price bump is 5 grand but that drops to only 3 thousand if you go for the higher trims. The least I could find on the Ford site for a Diesel optioned pickup was the Lariat at 52,295 and that lacked a lot of the options we would really like to see on a truck in that price range. Our test truck stickered at 68 thousand and had everything we could think of on it. This puts the half ton diesel very close in cost to the Super Duty F250.
If you’re looking for a half ton to rack up the highway miles, haul light to moderate loads and give great fuel economy the light duty Powerstroke may be for you. If you’re looking for an ego boost that’s ok too. Nothing says in your face Ford lover like the Powerstroke. If you’re hauling heavy loads or towing a big RV across the country maybe the Super Duty would be a better investment.
Overall we really like the F150 Diesel and if your budget allows would recommend looking at one for your next truck.
Learn more about the power options for the new F150 here