2019 Ford F150 Exterior

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Beloved for its legendary capabilities, the F-150 is the truck we deem worthy of our 10Best award for 2018. Engines include: a 3.3-liter V-6 (265 lb-ft), a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 (400 lb-ft), a Power Stroke diesel 3.0-liter V-6 (440 lb-ft), a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 (470 lb-ft), and a 5.0-liter V-8 (400 lb-ft). All engines save the base V-6 get a 10-speed automatic. A touchscreen infotainment system is optional, as is 4G LTE Wi-Fi, adaptive cruise control, and automated emergency braking.

At its core, the domestic pickup truck is a rudimentary device: a collection of boxes riding on a ladder frame underpinned by at least one solid axle, with a front-mounted engine and transmission. Brilliantly simple from the start, the basic formula hasn’t had to evolve much to keep its place in the food chain. Even with a host of unprecedented advancements coming online in the last decade or so—turbocharging, active suspensions, transmissions with up to 10 speeds, lightweight materials, and a bevy of innovations in safety and driver-assistance tech—its primary appeal remains an ability to haul people in relative comfort while their unwieldy and often messy stuff rides in back. The blueprint hasn’t changed much for a reason.

2019 Ford F150 Release date and Specs

Take the 2018 Ford F-150 Platinum tested here. Second only to the Limited in the Ford F-150 trim hierarchy (the F-150 Raptor is on a wholly different branch of the family tree), it sports an aluminum body and a 10-speed automatic transmission but relies on a naturally aspirated V-8 for motivation. An advanced and capable example of the eight-pot species, the latest version of Ford’s 5.0-liter engine also placates the dwindling contingent of traditionalists who may never cotton to the notion of a turbocharged V-6 pickup. While Ford claims that 65 percent of F-series buyers opted for one of its EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6s in 2017—30 percent choosing the 3.5-liter and 35 percent going with the 2.7-liter—the V-8 isn’t going away soon.

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Rated at 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, the 5.0-liter has been upgraded for 2018 with a port and direct fuel-injection system to improve efficiency, drivability, and emissions, along with spray-in bore liners to squeeze as much mass out of the aluminum block as possible while enhancing durability. (The 5.2-liter flat-plane-crank V-8 in the Shelby Mustang GT350 employs the latter technology as well.) Producing 10 more ponies for 2018, the naturally aspirated V-8 wins one for the old guard by eking out a 20-hp victory over Ford’s 375-hp twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. The celebration is short-lived, though, as the storied V-8’s torque figure falls a full 70 lb-ft shy of the EcoBoost’s 470 lb-ft.

Despite being somewhat grunt deficient versus the boosted six, the upgraded V-8 has little trouble returning solid results at the test track. Propelling the 5284-pound pickup from zero to 60 mph required just 5.9 seconds, only 0.2 second slower than the last 2017 F-150 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoostand 10-speed we tested. It’s also a 0.4-second improvement over a 2016 F-150 SuperCrew 4×4 with that year’s less powerful V-8 and six-speed automatic. The 2018 V-8 also ran the quarter-mile in 14.4 seconds, matching the EcoBoost’s time precisely. It even cleared the traps doing 98 mph—1 mph faster than the EcoBoost. (The earlier V-8 truck ran the quarter in 14.9 seconds at 95 mph.)

2019 Ford F150 New Release

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