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Improving the Breed

Ford works continuously to sharpen and strengthen its bestselling F-150 pickup, and it's clear from Motor Trend once again naming it "Truck of the Year" that the automaker has succeeded. The current generation features practical technology and utility features throughout and a high-strength military-grade aluminum body that is unprecedented in such a mass-market vehicle. Ford doesn't stop there, though. For 2018, it’s rolling out multiple new powertrain options that will suit the diverse American truck owner, including the popular high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6, coupled to an industry-first 10-speed automatic transmission.

Performance

The Ford F-150 was already a capable full-size pickup truck, but for 2018 it gets even better. Ford is launching an upgraded version of its 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® V6, which continues to offer the power of a larger-displacement engine in a more sensible package. The 2018 Ford F-150 engine is teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission—the first of its kind in mass production.

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost® now produces 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque—increases of 10 hp and 50 lb-ft over the previous version. All F-150 powertrains are available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive models with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost® and 10-speed automatic get 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway), while four-wheel drive models get 20 mpg combined (17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway).*

Ford also continues to offer a smaller, 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost® V6. This engine produces an impressive 325 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque, and it gets 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive and 20 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive.* All F-150 engines other than the 3.5-liter EcoBoost® use six-speed automatic transmissions.

One new V6 option is the naturally aspirated 3.3-liter unit with twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) which produces 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. This engine returns 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive, and 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive.* Full-size truck buyers still demand V8 engines, though, and Ford doesn’t disappoint. The F-150’s 5.0-liter V8 produces 385 hp and 387 lb-ft. It gets 18 mpg combined (15 mpg city, 22 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive, and 17 mpg combined (15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive.*

Features

The 2018 Ford F-150 is a full-size pickup truck available with three cab configurations and three-bed lengths, with seating for up to five. There’s a two-door Regular Cab, Super Cab with rear-hinged half doors, and the Super Crew with four full-size doors. It’s available in six trim levels, priced starting from $27,705.**

Standard equipment on the base F-150 XL includes a 2.3-inch Productivity Screen (available 8-inch screen), automatic headlights, Easy Fuel® capless fuel filler, 17-inch wheels, and other features. The XLT model includes those features and adds cruise control, power door locks, SYNC® with AppLink, chrome exterior trim, fog lights, power-adjustable exterior mirrors, and more.

The F-150 Lariat incorporates the applicable standard features from those models and adds steering wheel controls, ambient lighting, push-button start, power-adjustable pedals with memory, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated and cooled front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, SiriusXM® satellite radio, SYNC® 3, leather seats, auto-dimming heated exterior mirrors, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.

The King Ranch adds more useful features, including a 110-volt/400-watt power inverter, flow-through center console with floor shifter, flat load floor (on Super Crew models), power tilt and telescoping heated steering wheel, leather seats, quad-beam LED headlights and taillights, remote tailgate release, and model-specific trim.

The Platinum model takes the F-150 further into luxury territory with features like automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, satin finish chrome exterior trim, power running boards, and 20-inch polished aluminum wheels.

The Limited is the top F-150 trim level, with virtually every feature available on other models as standard equipment. It also gets niceties like a twin-panel moonroof (on Super Crew models), massaging front seats, and upgraded interior trim.

Design

The F-150 looks tough, but designers also created something more stylish than the stereotypical boxy truck. The F-150 continues with a high-strength military-grade aluminum body, which Ford says saves up to 700 pounds compared to a conventional steel body.

The interior styling reflects the chunky look of the exterior, and controls are ideally placed for easy operation. The F-150 is available with Ford’s latest SYNC® 3 infotainment system, which includes straightforward voice control and smartphone integration. In the top-level Limited trim, the F-150 even offers features one would normally expect on a luxury car, like heated massaging leather seats and wood trim.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2018 Ford F-150 includes anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, curve control, trailer sway control, and a full complement of airbags. Optional features include blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, park assist, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, and a 360-degree camera system.

Verdict

The Ford F-150 is already America’s best-selling vehicle, and the upgraded 2018 model looks set to retain that title.

Be sure to contact us online or visit Tom's Ford at 200 State Hwy 35, Keyport, NJ 07735 to schedule a test drive.

* EPA-estimated city/hwy mpg for the model indicated. See fueleconomy.gov for fuel economy or other engine/transmission combinations. Actual mileage will vary. On plug-in hybrid models and electric models, fuel economy is stated in MPGe. MPGe is the EPA equivalent measure of gasoline fuel efficiency for electric mode operation.

** Starting MSRP excludes destination/delivery charge, taxes, title and registration.

Image: Ford