2018 Ford F-150: Monthly Update for March 2018
by Will Kaufman, Associate Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2018 Ford F-150 continues to be much in demand, both for its ability to do truckish things such as move large objects and its general comfort and ease as a daily commuter. It's certainly easier to enjoy the plush seats in a traffic jam when you're not personally footing the bill for gas.
In March, the big Ford didn't venture far from home base. It handled some light hauling, moved some furniture, and got a visit from a not-too-distant cousin, the new 2018 Lincoln Navigator. Look to see mostly more praise this month, although we did find a few quirks we dislike.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We drove the Ford 1,175 miles in March and managed to eke out an impressive-in-our-experience 18.1 mpg over that distance, increasing our long-term average to 17.1 mpg. We had hoped to see better numbers from the EcoBoost engine this time around, but even our best fill to date barely broke the F-150's 19 mpg city rating.
Average lifetime mpg: 17.1
EPA mpg rating: 21 combined (19 city/24 highway)
Best fill mpg: 19.4
Best range: 620.5 miles
Current odometer: 7,665 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Having just been in the new 2018 Lincoln Navigator, I can see all the inherent DNA in that vehicle in our long-term F-150. It's so comfortable inside and easy to drive. It used to be that these large trucks and SUVs felt so cumbersome and lumbered around when you drove them. Now, not so much. In fact, it's quite the opposite. They're still large and you get that sensation, but they're not as intimidating to drive as they once were." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle testing technician
"I've figured out why Ford sells more than 800,000 of these a year in the United States. It's not because half of those buyers are moving gravel, mulch, lumber and fishing boats around. Come on, there just aren't that many quarries, sawmills, or bodies of water.
"No, it's the steering. Seriously. You can move this truck side to side solely with your index finger — there's that much power assist. It shouldn't be this easy to bend such mass to your directional will. It seems to invalidate some physical law. But there it is. You turn the wheel and your elevated view of the world just sweeps left or right, like some RC version of an aircraft carrier. Granted, there's about as much steering feel as in a bumper car but, thankfully, significantly more accuracy." — Dan Frio, staff writer
"All weekend long, every time I got into the F-150, as long as my phone's Bluetooth was on, the stereo picked up whatever I was playing immediately. Every time I connected via USB, the Ford's system cataloged my music quickly. This isn't a particularly elegant or visually pleasing infotainment interface, but it works extremely well, and that should be the top priority." — Travis Langness, staff writer
"The fold-up rear seats in our F-150 are so confusing. To fold them up and make more room in the rear seat, you simply lift up. No release button, no handle, nothing. But then to fold them down again, there's a big handle you have to fuss with on both sides of the seat. When you're loading furniture into the back by yourself, this makes things seriously cumbersome. Don't bother with the release handle at all. A simple flip-up and flip-down work best." — Travis Langness
"It was interesting to see the Navigator and the F-150 side by side. The F-150's interior, especially with our fancier trim level, doesn't feel cheap. That said, there are a lot of hard, utilitarian plastics around and a lot of design concessions to truckishness. With the Navigator, Ford has done an excellent job of classing up the F-150's interior, making it much more visually striking and improving material quality just about everywhere. That's important, considering the price premium. I've certainly been in the luxury versions of mainstream vehicles that left me wondering where all the money had gone, but the Navigator didn't leave me feeling that way. Why couldn't Ford and Lincoln have been on their game like this with the Continental?" — Will Kaufman, associate staff writer
"These standard mirrors are so much better than the towing mirrors we had on our last F-150. They give a plenty-big-enough view of what's happening behind you, they're power-adjustable, and we haven't broken them on a parking pole once. Unless you're towing more than 50 percent of the time, don't bother with the optional towing mirrors. You'll thank yourself." — Travis Langness