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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing
What Did We Buy?
The 2018 Ford F-150 does not represent a complete redesign, even though it does look slightly different behind its handsome new grille and headlights. Normally, that alone is not enough to provoke a second look at a vehicle we've already hosted in our long-term fleet. But the truck segment is no longer as stagnant as it once was, and the 2018 F-150 offers a collection of unseen improvements and new features we wish we'd had access to when we bought our 2015 Ford F-150 long-term test vehicle.
Since then, the 2017 F-150 debuted an improved turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 — two versions, in fact, because the off-road Raptor variant received a high-output version — and a 10-speed automatic transmission. This year Ford has made similar upgrades to the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6, and the 10-speed is now standard on everything except the 3.3-liter V6 base engine (which is also brand-new this year). Fuel economy ratings are up, as are power, torque and maximum towing capacity.
Except for disappointing real-world fuel economy, we were big fans of the original direct-injected turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 we had in our first truck. It made a healthy 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque and was rated at 20 mpg combined (18 city/23 highway). This revised 2018 version uses port and direct fuel injection, and the turbochargers are made from alloys that can resist higher temperatures. The upshot is 325 hp, a full 400 lb-ft of torque, and a rated fuel economy that's 1 mpg higher across the board. We had to have one.