You ❤ trucks.
You would like to have a truck. You may even think you need a truck. But, you’ve put off purchasing one because, with fuel prices as high as they’ve been the last few years, a truck just isn’t a practical choice. Buckle up, ladies, cause Ford is turning the tables with their brand new 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel.
Thanks to a whole new 3.0L V6 engine, combined with Ford’s new 10-speed transmission, the nation’s most popular light-duty pickup just got better.
I just got to drive a couple of these trucks at Ford’s reveal event in Denver, CO and I’m so excited to share my experience with you.
We’re also going to be looking at this truck from a used perspective — how it’s fared since it first came out. This Ford F-150 has been plagued with some issues, but it can still be a great buy if you want something with great mileage that will get you where you need to go.
With an EPA Estimated 30 MPG You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it Too with a Fuel Efficient Pickup Truck
Yes, you read that right. A truck can now compete with a mid-size SUV and some sedans. And it’s certainly better than any full-size SUV’s we’ve seen on the market!
We’re talking 22mpg city and 30mpg highway for a combined average of 25pmg for the 2-wheel drive version of the 2018 F-150 XL SuperCab model which starts at just $31,790.
Before You Run Out and Buy an F-150 Power Stroke Diesel, Here’s What You Need to Know
It’s important to keep in mind that the F-150 is a light-duty truck. That means it’s great for most people, but not all. If you’re a rancher who hauls large loads of hay, cattle, or horses, you’ll probably need an F-250 or F-350. The same goes for those pulling extra large recreation vehicles like boats and campers over 11,000 lbs, which is what this pickup truck is rated for.
Also keep in mind that everything in this section references the 2-wheel drive 2018 F-150 XL SuperCab, which is the base model and comes with a 3.0L V6 engine. What that means is, from the capability to price, everything goes up from there! And of course, if you’re driving a 4-wheel drive version in that mode, or hauling something, your expected fuel economy will change too.
Who This Pickup Truck is For
- Anyone who needs or wants a truck, but doesn’t need a heavy-duty truck like the Super Duty
- Families who enjoy outdoor activities like camping, biking, and skiing
- Weekend warriors who need to pull a boat or camper
- Self-employed contractors, small business owners and hobby farmers
- People like me who just really like trucks. 🙂
What You Need to Know
- 3.0L Power Stroke® Turbo Diesel V6 Engine
- Electronic 10-Speed Automatic Transmission
- 250 horsepower @ 5000rpm
- 440 torque @ 1,750rpm
- 145” Wheelbase
- 10,100 lb Towing Capacity
- 1,957 lb Payload Capacity
- Base MSRP: $31,790
Remember, it only goes up from here! The new diesel engine is available for every trim level from XL to Limited and comes in both 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive options. You can also choose between the SuperCab and the SuperCrew cab options.
My 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel Drive Experience
If you want to test a truck’s hauling and towing capabilities, take it to the mountains of Colorado! Ford invited us to experience this truck and put it to the test. And boy did we!
I found a great drive partner in Ben Stewart and we got to test several different F-150 Diesel models in real-life situations from trailering a massive 3,500lb boat in moderate terrain, to driving a truck with 3500lb of lumber in the back up to 8,888’ above sea level. We also drove an empty truck out on the highway for the fuel economy challenge and Ben won with an average of 34.7mpg.
Despite the absolutely nasty rain/snow mix which kept us from enjoying Denver’s beautiful scenery, we had a grand time. And the inclement weather only made the experience that much more real-life.
You Won’t’ Believe What This Truck Can Haul & How It Handles
Hauling (that is weight in the truck bed, otherwise known as payload) was first. We grabbed a Platinum Edition truck loaded with 2 dirt bikes for a combined weight of 685lb of and headed up into the mountains. Unless I looked in the mirror and saw the bikes, I forgot they were there. This payload seemed to have no effect on the truck at all, and even though we were driving up steep grades and making lots of sharp curves, the average fuel economy remained in the mid-twenties.
A little while later we tried the same mountain drive in the XL model detailed above, loaded down with a 1,000 lb lumber/deck kit. The added weight only made the ride feel smoother… like the truck was actually made to be loaded down. I was impressed.
Next up we tried the fuel economy challenge! This meant taking an empty Lariat Sport SuperCrew (4-full doors) out on the highway for an 8-mile loop that would simulate someone’s commute to work, or to the store and back. There were traffic lights and stops, on and off ramps, some city and some highway combined. I rode for this test while Ben drove. He ended up winning the contest and took home a really fun silver trophy for his 34.7mpg average! And what’s cool is, we weren’t being super competitive. We just didn’t gun it after stops or accelerate too fast on the on-ramps. So I think driven completely normally, the EPA estimated 30mpg is a reasonable expectation for an empty truck.
Yes, I Drove This Truck While Hauling A Massive Boat!
Now for the real test; trailering. Ben and I opted to test the largest load available… a 6,500lb boat. We put the Platinum edition in trailering mode and turned on the 4-wheel drive. Off we went for a 23-mile scenic drive with a wide range of grades, a few stops and turns, and the chance to bring the rig up to 65mph. About half-way through we decided to turn the 4-wheel drive off and try it in 2-wheel drive to see if the truck could still handle the load on the wet roads. It did, and it increased our fuel economy by around 2.5mpg. No spinning out when accelerating after stops, or slipping on corners. We were both impressed.
Trailering is something the Super Duty trucks are known for. Until now, Ford’s light-duty, F-150, wasn’t really considered a hauler. Thanks to the new diesel engine, the F-150’s towing capabilities have improved to the point that many people who would have opted for an F-250 just for its trailering abilities will be able to save money and fuel by buying a 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel. We’re talking weekend warriors who haul campers and boats, construction workers, lawn-care companies, people who show horses and small livestock… anyone who is pulling a light-medium load on a regular basis. I really think it’s going to be a game changer for this segment of buyers.
We ran out of time before we got to test the truck on the off-road course, which really disappointed me because I love off-roading and I’ve done quite a bit of it in other trucks. I would love to have seen first-hand how it stacks up in a situation like that.
The F-150 Diesel is My New Favorite Truck
I’ve wanted a truck for a long time, but buying one will have to wait a little while longer. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been shopping. Being an auto journalist means I have the incredible opportunity to try different trucks for a week at a time, making them a part of our daily life. Over the last two years, my favorites have changed a few times due to body style or the way a truck sounds. But never has an option so quickly and easily taken the top spot on my list. The fuel economy of this truck makes it a major contender considering my location and commute. Suddenly a truck is a practical choice for our family!
How Does the 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel Fare as a Used Truck?
The Ford F-150 is a mainstay in the truck world — but the 2018 model has been plagued with issues. Most customers complain about the V6 engine, not the diesel, but if you’re considering buying this particular year used, you’ll want to make sure you’ve done your due diligence as a buyer. Make sure all recalls are taken care of, give it a nice long test drive, and see if you can source repair paperwork to check out everything that’s been done or has gone wrong.
You can generally buy a used 2016 Ford F-150 diesel for around $24,950 to $68,075, depending on where you’re buying it, its condition, and the packages that were included on it when it was new. Do note, though, that used pickup trucks can go for pretty close to the cost of a new pickup.
You’ll want to watch for the following problems, which have either been the subject of recalls or have caused owners an issue:
- Incorrectly installed ball joints and other front suspension issues
- Poorly made tires
- Daytime running lamps stay illuminated in a bright position
- Thirsty engine that uses a lot of oil
What Owners Are Saying
- “Seats are very comfortable the ride is better than any car i have driven the noise level could use improvement it isn’t bad but could be better” – Randy C. from Kentucky
- “Fast and easy to handle on the road. It is even great while pulling a 25 foot Airstream.” – Brian P. from Texas
- “Noisy downshift when coming to a stop (1st gear)” – Stephane B, Quebec
Disclosure: I was Ford’s guest for this test drive; travel to Colorado and accommodations were provided. All opinions are my own.