2018 Ford F-150: Monthly Update for June 2018
by Travis Langness, Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
I hogged our long-term 2018 Ford F-150 a bit in June. I needed it for a big trip and it was the only candidate in our fleet suited to hauling two motorcycles more than 1,200 miles. I'd also be loading up on all sorts of parts from an old Chevy on the return leg. This is what full-size trucks are made for, right?
It was no surprise that the Ford excelled at hauling all this gear, but it was very surprising to see how close we came to its payload limit when weighing the rig. After loading up some spare wheels, a few bucket seats and two toolboxes, the truck was 300 pounds over its payload limit.
The most surprising part? It pulled its highest mpg number yet while hauling all that stuff.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The road trip didn't last long, but my L.A.-to-NorCal round-trip jaunt made up most of the F-150's miles in June. The F-150 traveled 1,280 miles with two motorcycles in its bed, averaging 17.0 mpg. That's right on par with our lifetime average of 17.1 mpg.
For one of the three tanks (on the trip from Sacramento to Los Angeles), I achieved the F-150's highest mileage to date: 19.3 mpg. Hauling two 400-pound motorcycles, two 200-pound passengers, a full tank of gas, and a few hundred pounds of gear put the F-150's weight at 6,700 pounds. That's about 300 pounds more than our truck's gross vehicle weight rating. It wasn't intentional, but once we were loaded up and headed home, there was nothing to do but keep going.
That 19.3 mpg isn't that impressive in the grand scheme, though. It's just the first time in more than 13,000 miles that we've beat the F-150's city rating (19 mpg), and we're still nowhere near the truck's combined or highway estimates of 21 and 24 mpg. As if to drive home the point, I checked some old records and found that this F-150 is returning almost the exact same fuel economy as our 2015 F-150. That truck also had the 2.7-liter EcoBoost and also averaged 17.1 mpg.
We like the new F-150's 10-speed automatic and how it performs on the road, but it doesn't seem to do anything to improve real-world fuel economy.
Average lifetime mpg: 17.1
EPA mpg rating: 21 combined (19 city/24 highway)
Best fill mpg: 19.3
Best range: 620.5 miles
Current odometer: 13,275 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"If the F-150 were mine, I'd add at least four or five more tie-downs. Sure, not too many people are going to haul two motorcycles at once, but we were definitely crowding the tie-down points. Also, the locations weren't ideal. Most of the bed tie-downs were too high for my taste. It's a simple fix, though: Just bolt a few more to the floor and you're good to go." — Travis Langness, staff writer
"Hauling two motorcycles in the bed of the F-150 is a breeze. The width of the bed made me feel like I could easily accommodate a third bike back there, no problem. And these aren't skinny dirt bikes we're hauling either. Since we were stowing bikes side by side, the Ford's tailgate step was useful in loading the bikes too.
"One problem is that we had to use a wood spacer near the front of the bed because a lip on the bedliner prevented the wheel chock from sitting flush. Otherwise, loading bikes in and out was a breeze, even if the bed does sit a little high up. The F-150's suspension handled it well too, shaking off bumps and keeping the rear suspension relatively flat." — Travis Langness
"There's a lot of interior space in the F-150 for passengers, but carrying large items in the cab can get a bit precarious. The thick seats, even though they fold up out of the way easily, take up a lot of space. Since I haul car parts and gear way more often than I haul other people, I'd go with the long bed/extra-cab on this one." — Travis Langness
"My passenger and Edmunds colleague on this NorCal road trip, Don, is a fellow car guy and he has a pretty well-tuned butt-dyno. He commented near the end of the trip that he had never noticed the F-150's 10-speed transmission. No kickdowns, no jutters forward, no abrupt shifts. Even on the multiple steep grades we encountered, with all the motorcycle stuff in back, there were no complaints. That's a big compliment in the drivability category. When you don't notice it, they've done it well." — Travis Langness
"Long road trips in the F-150 are as easy as they'd be on my couch. Lots of space, lots of seat cushioning, low road noise and all the creature comforts you could ask for. Heated and ventilated seats, satellite radio, driver warnings — the list goes on. This F-150 may have a hefty price tag, but there are few vehicles I'd rather cruise across country in." — Travis Langness