Monthly Update for February 2018 - 2018 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

2018 Ford F-150 Long-Term Road Test

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2018 Ford F-150: Monthly Update for February 2018

by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Manager

Where Did We Drive It?
February was a busy month for our 2018 Ford F-150 workhorse. We made multiple trips to the inland and coastal regions of Northern California, picking up car parts in Sacramento and transporting a two-wheeled hitchhiker to a weekend track gathering in Monterey.

Our F-150 is cut out for such work, with its quiet, spacious, well-appointed cabin and ride quality that's softer and less taxing than that of your typical full-size truck. And with 36 gallons of fuel onboard, you can cover a lot of ground between pit stops.

The staff has had few complaints about the F-150 so far, though one for me is the slightly abrupt downshifts from the 10-speed automatic transmission when coasting down from low speeds. Then there's the bill at the pump that always stings a little when you're not used to buying 30-plus gallons of gasoline at a time. It surprised our Senior Consumer Advice Editor Matt Jones enough to cause him to break down this F-150's monthly cost of ownership. You can find that below.

2018 Ford F-150

What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Our 2018 F-150 covered just more than 2,400 miles this month and matched our lifetime average of 16.9 mpg. Our best tank still stands at 19.4 mpg, which is still far from the EPA's 24 mpg highway estimate. Admittedly, though, we've covered many of our highway miles with something in the bed.

Average lifetime mpg: 16.9
EPA mpg rating: 21 combined (19 city/24 highway)
Best fill mpg: 19.4
Best range: 620.5 miles
Current odometer: 7,099 miles

Maintenance and Upkeep

Logbook Highlights

"I experienced an issue while refueling once this month. The pump repeatedly shut off, even if I barely squeezed the trigger. While contending with this pump, a car pulled up to the pump behind me, filled up and left. I reversed to the now-vacated pump to see if it worked any better. It didn't. I had to stand there with the lightest of pressure on the pump trigger to avoid the shutoff. It took forever to fill the F-150's fuel coffers. Oddly enough, the next time I filled up it went as expected — full speed, no issues. Head-scratcher." — Jason Kavanagh, senior road test engineer

"It cost $125.60 to fill up the 2018 F-150 with 87 octane over the weekend — 33.9 gallons, 598 miles. I've never had a fill-up that required that kind of money. I know we have an extra-large gas tank on our F-150, and that's why the bill was so healthy. Even still, the three-digit dollar amount on the pump display got me to thinking, 'How much would it cost to actually own this thing on an everyday basis?' So I did some math.

"First, I imagined that an average driver would drive about two tankfuls of gas per month, or roughly 1,200 miles. The average mileage is expected to be about 1,250 miles per month, according to bank lease guides. Two tanks of gas at $125 each (Los Angeles prices) is $250. I have to imagine full coverage insurance, even for the best of drivers, will run at least $200 per month. This is me making a very conservative assumption. Insurance: $200.

"Something like 84 percent of all new-car shoppers use financing in one form or another to pay for a car, so next I calculated a ballpark payment. Traditional car buying advice suggests making a down payment of at least 20 percent. Our all-in price for our 2018 F-150 was roughly $60,000, including taxes and fees. Twenty percent of $60,000 is $12,000. A $12,000 down payment leaves a balance of $48,000 to be financed. An average new-car loan term is 69 months. Assuming a 0.9 percent APR spread over 69 months, the payment would be $714.

"Let's add this up:

  • • Down payment: $12,000
  • • Monthly payment: $714
  • • Fuel: $250
  • • Insurance: $200
  • • Monthly F-150 bill: $1,164

"It doesn't look like I am in any danger of getting a new F-150 anytime soon. It is fantastic to drive, though." — Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor

"This truck is ideal for a banzai 880-mile round-trip blast from L.A. to Sacramento to pick up some parts. The F-150 rides well (for a pickup), has truly comfortable thrones, and the noise levels are quite low. There's little wind noise at freeway speeds and even road noise is a nonissue." — Jason Kavanagh

2018 Ford F-150

"I'm digging the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. It has plenty of thrust to shove this big beast around and it's responsive. It never feels soggy when off boost. In fact, it transitions into boost quite seamlessly and does so at very low speeds. It just works. It's also pretty refined, with little vibration or noise. The transmission also works great overall, especially if you simply leave it to its own devices in drive. However, it is slow to execute downshifts when commanded by the little rocker button on the gear lever. You can tap it a half-dozen times in rapid succession before it even acknowledges the first tap. A minor complaint about an otherwise excellent powertrain." — Jason Kavanagh

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