2018 Ford f-150 power stroke the little workhorse – the car guide gas emoji meaning

DENVER, Colorado – Ford’s been teasing us for quite some time with the idea of a diesel-powered F-150. It’ finally among us, and while its engine is more French than American, at last, Ford will sell you a half-ton work truck with decent fuel economy. We sampled the rig in the American Rockies, and here’s our verdict. Lion Heart

In reality, the Power Stroke moniker slapped on the side of this truck stands for an engine, and nothing more. This remains the same tried and tested Ford F-150 recipe that’s proven so popular among North American consumers. At the moment, the truck is offered with either a naturally aspirated, 3.3-litre V6, twin-turbo 2.7-litre and 3.5-litre V6s, or a 5.0-litre V8. The Power Stroke joins the family as a 3.0-litre, turbo-diesel V6.

It’s the only diesel option in the F-150 lineup and competes directly with the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Its engine is heavily based on the Lion architecture, conceived by the PSA Peugeot Citroën alliance, an engine which also powers some current Land Rover vehicles. However, Ford gave it its own bespoke American truck-ready components, such as a forged crankshaft, a variable geometry turbo, and a dual-stage oil pump.

Power is rated at 250 horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque. The only available gearbox is a ten-speed automatic, the same as in the entire F-150 lineup (except the base 3.3-litre V6). Evidently, consumers may choose between a 5.5-foot (168 cm) or 6.5-foot (198 cm) bed, as well as a regular or SuperCrew cabins.

Our test period was comprised of five separate programs: dynamic drive, towing capacity, payload capacity, fuel consumption, and off-road course. Upon my arrival, the trucks were sitting there under a blazing American Midwest sun, all painted in various colours, and configured in different ways. Some were hooked up to horse trailers; others had their boxes filled with dirt bikes, small trees or wood planks. One of the trucks was even hauling a military grade Hummer H1!

During my dynamic drive through the Rocky Mountains, my bright red, short box, 4×4 Lariat model did a formidable job of dealing with the steep inclines. The diesel engine is surprisingly quiet, you only hear a bit of valve action at idle, and the instant low-end torque that surges at 1500 rpm makes this a peppy half-ton rig off the line. Sadly, the same can’t be said about that ten-speed automatic. It’s laggy, taking several seconds to actually downshift when gunning the throttle.

My second test was done towing a huge 8000-lb. (3628-kg) trailer through the mountains. With a total towing capacity rated at 11,400 lbs. (5170 kg), the Power Stroke is currently the best in the segment, more so even than a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel (9290 lbs. / 4214 kg) or even a V8-powered F-150 not fitted with the tow package (9000 lbs. / 4082 kg).

Again, it was the engine’s massive torque that impressed me the most, allowing the truck to launch hard off the line, even with that enormous bright orange box on wheels trailering behind. That V6 may be strong off the line, but it lacks the power needed at higher speeds. I couldn’t get my truck to drive faster than 60 mph, even with the pedal to the floor. After all, this isn’t a V8.