THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: Prodigious pulling and payload power with diesel operational frugality.
- What’s Worst: The $7,500 premium for the diesel makes it expensive.
- What’s Interesting: No fuss starting procedure with 440 lb/ft of torque on tap at just 1,750 rpm.
A 3.0-litre turbo diesel has been added to the arsenal of the pickup truck sales juggernaut that is the Ford F-150.
The F-150 once again had a starring role in Ford sales, posting a best August on record with a 13 per cent increase.
And its work truck cousins, the Transit commercial van’s August sales were up 74 per cent for the best month ever in Ford history, with Transit Connect up 21 per cent and E-Series up 28 per cent.
The 3.0-litre Power Stroke Diesel is the sixth engine offered on the F-150, with its turbo putting out 250 hp and 440 lb/ft of torque for claimed best-in-class towing of 11,400 lb and payload of 2,020 lb.
This is a Ford-built engine and was in fact developed by the same team who did the F-Series Super Duty 6.7-litre Power Stroke diesel for the F-250 and heavier work trucks.
The engine uses the same compacted-graphite iron block material and forged steel crankshaft as the 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 gasoline engine.
The 440 lb/ft of torque is achieved by a variable geometry turbo with injectors operating at an astounding 29,000 pounds for square inch.
Using the same aluminum alloy body that is 700 lb lighter than steel helps increase the payload and towing accordingly.
Ford’s ubiquitous 10-speed automatic transmission was recalibrated for the diesel with different shift points plus low-rpm efficiency, allowing it to non-sequentially select the best gear for the job based on demand.
With start/stop technology, fuel consumption is rated at 10.8/8.0/9.5L/100 km on the 4X2 models and 11.8/9.3/10.7L/100 km on the 4X4s.
In Canada, the diesel is offered on the F-150 Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum SuperCrew cabs with either a 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed configuration, and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5-foot bed configuration.
For fleet customers who use their truck for work, the 3.0-litre Power Stroke diesel engine will be available on all F-150 trim levels with SuperCrew 5.5-ft or 6.5-ft bed configurations and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5-ft bed.
Fleet operators can order the diesel on all F-150 trim levels with SuperCrew 5.5-ft or 6.5-ft bed configurations and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5-ft bed.
Tested here is the Lariat trim level with a starting price of $57,249 before options, of which there were several, starting with the premium for the engine which adds $7,500.
With the no-charge 20-inch, six-spoke painted alloy wheels, it’s a big step up into the cab, made much easier with the deployable power running boards which were a stand-alone option at $950. The tall 275/55R-20 all-terrain tires were added for a reasonable $700.
The optional box side steps and tailgate step add $500 and $400 respectively.
If you tow – and studies show diesel owners do a lot – the adaptive cruise control trailer tow package at $1,750 and integrated trailer brake control at $350 are wise investments.
There were other optional bits and goodies, such as $180 for wheel well liners and $550 for the spray-in bed liner that all added to $81,249 including a $1,800 destination fee all the way from Dearborn, MI, where it is built.
As noted, tested here is the mid-range trim level Lariat that comes nicely equipped with leather seats and console. But the highlight is the flat floor that makes sliding in and out unobstructed by a drive shaft tunnel so much easier.
I am still amazed at how modern diesels like the 3.0-litre start on the button, unlike up until very recently when it required glow plugs to get the cylinders hot enough to create combustion.
And there is none of the diesel hammer and anvil clatter sound except at full acceleration and even then, it was muted probably because of the turbo.
This is a big vehicle with the corners quite a bit away from the driver’s seat so, for me anyway, the optional ($1,350) Technology Package with its active park assist and 360-degree camera system came in mighty handy, especially when I had to park at a shopping mall.
The Lariat came with a premium B&O sound system, voice activated navigation, heated second row seats, Ford’s industry-leading SYNC infotainment system and my personal must-have, a heated steering wheel.
With just no payload and myself aboard, the Power Stroke was actually quicker than I expected and had more than enough punch for lane changing at highway speeds.
Changing drive modes is a simple twist of a rotary knob on the centre stack, located just above integrated trailer brake control that is optional, but at $350, is worth having.
The F-150 has been the number one selling full-size pickup for what seems like forever because Ford is giving consumers what they want and the new 3.0-litre Power Stroke diesel is one of the reasons.
2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel
BODY STYLE: Full-size pickup truck, 5.5-ft/6.5-ft beds
DRIVE METHOD: 10-speed automatic transmission, 4X2/4X4 drive
ENGINE: 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel (250 hp, 440 lb/ft of torque)
FUEL ECONOMY: (Diesel) 4X2, 10.8/8.0/9.5L/100 km city/highway/combined; 4X4, 11.8/9.3/10.7L/100 km
TOW RATING: Up to 11,400 lb
PAYLOAD: Up to 2,020 lb
PRICE: $57,249; as tested, $81,249 including $1,800 destination fee
WEB: Ford F-150
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