2018 Ford F-150: Monthly Update for May 2018
by Will Kaufman, Associate Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
After an eventful month in our last update, where our 2018 Ford F-150 moved exciting things like race cars and books for our editors, this month it didn't do much of anything but commute. Like the old saying goes, "Sometimes it rains, and other times it doesn't rain."
So our F-150 basically did the same job as a Kia Rio for the last 30 days — a very large, very thirsty Kia Rio with the world's loudest horn.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
In May, our non-hauling, non-towing Kia Rio substitute only managed one-third of the miles it drove in April when it towed, hauled all sorts of stuff, and generally acted like a truck. Apparently it's much better at being a truck than a Kia Rio because its fuel economy in May actually fell a few tenths.
Over 533 miles, the F-150 averaged about 16.5 mpg in May, compared to the previous month's 17.1 mpg. The reason is highway miles. As we've noted before, the F-150 doesn't give a good gul-durn about how much stuff you make it carry. All the trucking it did in April included highway jaunts. Negotiating L.A. commute traffic, even totally unloaded, is not the job this truck was meant to do.
Of course, it's still consistently falling tremendously short of its EPA rating. Our range from best to worst tank has been pretty narrow, coming in from 15 mpg to 18.9 mpg. The keen observer will notice that none of those numbers matches even the F-150's EPA city rating of 19 mpg.
Average lifetime mpg: 17.1
EPA mpg rating: 21 combined (19 city/24 highway)
Best fill mpg: 18.9
Best range: 620.5 miles
Current odometer: 11,992 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"You only notice the 10-speed automatic when it's cold and makes the occasional clunk. After everything's up to temp, it's smooth and largely invisible to the driving experience." — Carlos Lago, senior writer
"Parking in cramped lots highlighted the need for an around-view camera system that Dan Frio already reported on. I wish our truck had one." — Carlos Lago
"The interior layout works well. I especially like the design of the instrument panel and center console. The cubby ahead of the shifter and cupholders makes for an easy place for wallets, sunglasses and phones, and you can tuck the charge cable in there, too." — Carlos Lago
"The F-150's ride quality is generally quite good, but L.A.'s choppy freeways are its Achilles' heel. The regular spacing of the bumps just seems to set up a resonance at speed, making for a jiggly ride. If you want to keep feeling good about the weight you've lost recently, I would recommend not driving an F-150 at 65 mph from Van Nuys to Long Beach on the 405." — Will Kaufman, associate staff writer
"We need to talk about the horn. Our truck may have the loudest one I've heard on a stock car. On one hand, I respect it. It's the kind of volume you'd expect to come from a truck. On the other, I hate it when I double tap the lock button on the key fob while standing in front of the truck. The loud honk makes me flinch. Every time." — Carlos Lago
"I spent the week in our F-150, but didn't do anything that would fall under the Truckin' category outside of listening to that Grateful Dead song. Instead, I did the things I'd use a smaller commuter car for: running errands that require driving through tight streets in Los Angeles' Westside and downtown areas.
"Yes, the F-150's size requires some extra concentration in these areas, but it's by no means burdensome. The feel through the steering wheel, the outward visibility, and the size and placement of the mirrors make it easy to gauge the truck's place in its lane. On top of that, smaller cars and SUVs tend to give you a wide berth when roads get too tight for two-way traffic." — Carlos Lago