By Nauman Farooq
Pickup trucks are big in North America; not just in size, but also in popularity. However, while in the rest of the world, anything even resembling a truck is powered by a diesel motor, it has not been the choice of motor for North American pickup buyers – probably because there was no option for it.
Now, however, more and more diesel trucks are being offered – although, Nissan just dropped the diesel option from their Titan model. Ford is the latest to offer a diesel motor, and it comes on their F-150 model. How is it? Let’s find out in detail!
Styling: From the looks department, it is no different from any other F-150 that has been around for the last few years – which is not a bad thing. The F-150 still looks butch and imposing, which means other road users give you a bit more space.
However, the new Ford Ranger has heralded in a fresh new style for pickup trucks, and I reckon the next generation of the F-150 might look like a bigger Ranger!
That only time will tell, but for now, the F-150 still looks fine, and has plenty of features, such as a step and support bar that folds out of the tail gate. Others have copied the idea now, but Ford was the first to introduce this feature, and it truly is a good one.
Interior: Step inside, and nothing much has changed at all over the last few years. It is still spacious, with very comfortable seats, plus all the infotainment functionality you’ll need – although, if you’ve recently have been in the new Ram 1500 Sport, you’ll be wishing for a much larger infotainment screen in your F-150.
A feature I have not come across on any other pickup truck is massaging seats, and it is a wonderful feature to have after a long day’s work. However, the massaging seats in this F-150 were the noisiest I’ve ever come across. Usually these massaging seats do the function in utter silence, but in the F-150, you could hear every motion of its seat motors – which was a bit annoying, especially since this truck is otherwise very quiet.
All in all, this F-150 is a nice place to spend time in.
Powertrain: Under the hood is a 3.0L turbo diesel V6 motor that produces 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox and selectable all-wheel drive. It’s not a fast truck, but this motor allows this F-150 to tow 11,400 lbs – perfect for when you need to tow your yacht to the harbour!
Performance & Driving Dynamics: Start driving this F-150
Power Stroke turbo diesel, and the first thing that pops in your head is – is this really a diesel!
This engine is smooth, and largely rattle free – you certainly can’t hear anything in the cabin, and there is only a faint clatter you can hear when you’re standing beside it as its idling. This is a very impressive motor, and thanks to its torque figure, it’ll pull off cleanly from the traffic lights. This isn’t the quickest F-150 on the market, but it is more than good enough, and on the highway, it piles on speed even more impressively.
On the highway, this truck also shines thanks to its smooth ride (which at city street speeds felt a bit too stiff) and thanks to its adaptive cruise control, it just melts away the kilometres; just activate the massaging seats and you’ll arrive at your destination feeling fresher than when you started your journey.
Fuel Economy: In my test cycle (170 km of highway driving + 130 km of city driving) I averaged 9.9 L/100 km, which is astonishing for something as big and heavy as this F-150 – easily the most economical pickup truck I’ve ever tested.
Pricing: Well, all this goodness doesn’t come cheap, in fact, just the diesel engine option is going to cost you $5,650. Couple that with the Platinum package (as tested) and a handful of optional extras, and your pickup will set you back roughly $70,000.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a pickup that can do it all, and drink less than just about any minivan on sale today, than the F-150 Power Stroke turbo diesel is the vehicle for you. Its infotainment tech needs an upgrade, and its ride quality at slow speeds can benefit from being much better, all of which I’m sure will be addressed on the next-gen F-150.
Is this diesel better than its petrol counterpart?
I certainly think so.