2018 Ford F-150: Monthly Update for January 2018
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Ah, new love. I've heard that the brain activity of those who are newly smitten with a mate resembles psychosis. We're just in the getting-to-know-you phase with our 2018 Ford F-150 Lariat FX4, and while I don't think any of us are clinical, we're enamored with our new addition. I mean, we can transport a massive flat-screen television — upright! — in the crew cab right before the Super Bowl. How can you not love something that will do that for you?
We started driving the F-150 during the last week of November, while December served as a good break-in month of mostly local driving, and the extended miles started piling on in January. We're already sold on the new 10-speed automatic transmission, the truck's ride comfort, the comfortable seats, and the convenient storage nooks. And the big crew cab's easy driving demeanor means it'll be a popular choice among our editors whether they live in the wide-street world of the 'burbs or the narrower lanes of dense Los Angeles.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We added about 980 miles in just one week at the end of November (many of those during a photo shoot far afield), another 1,540 in December, and about 2,000 in January. So far we're averaging just 16.8 mpg combined, a number that looks a lot like the average of the F-150 we had two years ago. Engine improvements and the new transmission were meant to boost real-world mpg, so it's a little concerning to see this kind of lackluster result.
It's early yet. No need to get ahead of ourselves. In January, the month we covered the most miles, the F-150 averaged 18 mpg combined. We also posted the best single-tank average, 19.4 mpg, in January. And that range record we set back in November is bananas: 620 miles! OK, so the tank is huge (filling up after that distance required 33 gallons), but that's still some major-league distance. Better not need a restroom break with a truck that inhales miles like this.
Average lifetime mpg: 16.8
EPA mpg rating: 21 combined (19 city/24 highway)
Best fill mpg: 19.4
Best range: 620.5 miles
Current odometer: 4,692 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I know it's still the break-in period, but this new 10-speed automatic transmission is smooth. The upshifts are quick, and I get up to 10th gear fairly quickly once I'm on the freeway. I can't wait to finish break-in and really get into the groove with this transmission." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle testing technician
"This truck is ideal for this trip, a banzai 880-mile blast from L.A. to Sacramento and back, all without stopping overnight or, really, for any prolonged period whatsoever. Just rocket there, pick up some parts in Sacto, others in San Leandro, and go home. The F-150 rides well (for a pickup) and has truly comfortable thrones. They're plush and shaped well, and who doesn't love heated and cooled seats? Above all, the F-150's noise levels are quite low. There's little wind noise even at freeway speeds and road noise is a nonissue. I'd do that trip in the F-150 again in a heartbeat — if I had to." — Jason Kavanagh, senior road test engineer
"Senior Editor Ed Hellwig saw me getting situated into our F-150 and commented about how comfortable it is, how it's easy on the body and doesn't wear you down on long drives. This intrigued me since I normally dislike how trucks ride; my ideal truck is a Honda Ridgeline. But once on the road, I started to see if I liked the seating position, ride comfort, etc., and I will say this: Ed was right. This truck is super comfortable and roomy. There's no lack of space in this thing. Now I get why this truck sells so well." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres
"This F-150 makes a great first impression. It's a massive truck, but it feels light on the road. The cabin feels plush and all the controls are logically laid out. I can see why so many people buy these trucks. But it's just too big for my life. When parked at home, it juts out a couple feet past my parking space. I have to park near the back of every parking lot and sometimes occupy two spaces." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor