Road Test Review: 2011 Ford F-150 XLT 5.0-liter V-8

Road Test Review: 2011 Ford F-150 XLT 5.0-liter V-8
By Mike Levine and Mark Williams

Last year, the Ford F-150 offered most buyers a choice of legacy two-valve and three-valve 4.6-liter V-8 engines or a three-valve 5.4-liter V-8. While those engines got the job done, they weren’t known for power or performance.

This year, Ford has totally revamped the F-150’s powertrain lineup with three all-new advanced engines, plus wider availability of the 6.2-liter V-8 that was previously limited to the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor.

We’ve extensively tested the 6.2 in the Raptor and the new entry-level 3.7-liter V-6 during our six-cylinder Work Truck Shootout. We’ve also spent several hours towing and piloting the novel twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, the F-150’s top-of-the-line towing engine. But our time with the fresh 5.0-liter V-8 was limited to a brief drive and drag race in Texas last year. That’s no longer the case.

A 2011 F-150 XLT SuperCrew 5.0 4x4 showed up in our driveway last Tuesday, and we wasted no time putting it through its paces. In less than a week, we drove it 800 miles – 622 miles of which it towed a 9,000-pound conventional tandem axle horse trailer.

Snap judgment? This could be the best all-around engine ever offered in the F-150 – at least until EcoBoost’s early adopters can confirm that mill’s reliability and efficiency in real-world use.

Driving-1-560

The four-valve per cylinder, dual overhead cam 5.0 is positioned as the midrange engine choice for the F-150 — below the EcoBoost six-cylinder and 6.2 V-8 and above the 3.7. It’s rated at 360 horsepower (at 5,500 rpm) and 380 pounds-feet of torque (at 4,250 rpm). That’s more power than the old 5.4-liter V-8, but it doesn’t carry as high a tow rating. In the regular cab, it can pull up to 10,000 pounds instead of a maximum 11,300 pounds.

Like its engine, our test SuperCrew four-door was a middle-of-the-road model with a relatively steep MSRP of $39,445, after a $1,500 discount for the optional chrome, convenience and tow packages that runs through the end of the model year.

The metallic red F-150 came equipped with cloth captain’s chairs, AM/FM/CD stereo and Ford’s Sync hands-free multimedia system and Bluetooth connectivity. It lacked navigation, a rear backup camera and reverse sensors, making tail-first maneuvers a challenge in tight spots, and we couldn’t back up to the trailer without the help of a spotter. The optional chrome package added brightwork that included side steps and wheel covers. If it were our choice, we’d skip the package and invest in a nice set of aluminum wheels.

Despite a lack of luxury items, the XLT F-150 was more than comfortable inside. We turned our phone into a substitute for satellite radio by using Sync and Pandora to stream tunes wirelessly over Bluetooth, though we had to pair the phone and truck twice after the F-150 stopped playing music this way.

Ford has updated the F-150’s instrument cluster with nice gauges and an optional 4.2-inch trip computer that Ford calls a “productivity screen” that we’ve liked since it debuted in the F-Series Super Duty. It includes apps that provide fine-grained details about towing, off-roading, fuel economy and more. Controls on the steering wheel make short work of finding the information you want quickly and with minimal distraction.

Interior-1-560

The truck’s second-row seats and flat load floor made it easy for us to stow our gear for our tow test or accommodate two kids in booster seats running errands around Los Angeles.

Our four-wheel-drive 5.0 was rated 14/19 mpg city/highway. These days, we’d expect fuel economy to be higher, especially in a small-displacement eight-cylinder. It should have at least tied the 15/21 mpg rating of the 5.3-liter V-8 in the Chevy Silverado 1500. But making up for the so-so mileage was an optional 36-gallon fuel tank that gave us peace of mind and extra range pulling the heavy trailer. For comparison, the premium EcoBoost V-6 F-150 is only available with a 26-gallon reservoir.

Unloaded, the F-150’s trip computer calculated a bladder-busting driving range of 521 miles, though we wouldn’t come close to that with the trailer behind us. In our first stretch of towing — 226 miles from Norco to Needles, Calif., which included the challenging Cajon Pass on Interstate 15 — we averaged 9.42 mpg, burning 24.03 gallons of fuel (versus an optimistic trip computer estimate of 9.8 mpg and 22.9 gallons of fuel). Those are respectable numbers for a rig that weighed 14,780 pounds on a CAT scale -- just 320 pounds less than the truck’s gross combined weight rating.

On that same stretch, we also started to realize the vast potential that’s locked inside the 5.0. As we left the L.A. basin and started climbing Cajon Pass, the truck shrugged off the weight behind it. Visibly, we could see the rear squatting lower, and we could feel the truck hunker down from inside, but power wasn’t an issue. It was available on demand.

On the steepest parts of Cajon, we had no problem keeping up with traffic at around 65 mph with the modest 3.73-to-1 rear axle. When the engine needed more power, its six-speed transmission smoothly downshifted to 3rd gear, and the mill found its sweet spot at around 4,000 rpm. The truck never lost momentum. In fact, it gained speed to the point where we had to ease back on the accelerator. After cresting the top of the grade, the truck quickly upshifted into 6th at 1,600 rpm and 65 mph.

Coyote-1-560

We noticed some interesting transmission behavior as the terrain flattened out. We kept the truck in tow/haul mode the entire time it was hooked up to the trailer. Tow/haul mode does two things: The transmission holds gears longer when the truck is working hard to keep power up, and it downshifts automatically to slow the truck with a tap of the brake pedal on descents. Every cog swap was carlike, but several times after upshifting into 6th, we felt the torque converter lock up about 20 seconds after the gear change. We’re sure that helped with shift feel, but we wonder if we weren’t sacrificing a bit of fuel economy with the torque converter seeming to stay loose for such a long period. If we could squeeze out extra mileage with a faster-locking torque converter, we’d take that option over smoother shifts.

Another trait we noticed as we requested more power from the engine on climbs and to pass traffic was its split personality – similar to that of the 3.7-liter V-6. Loping along, the V-8 was subdued and quiet. But when we needed more power, the exhaust note snarled like a sports car – not surprising, since the engine is also shared with the Ford Mustang. We loved the deep notes it made. They were perfectly tuned to match the engine’s effort and sounded much better than the flat exhaust note of the EcoBoost V-6 when that engine is under load. There’s nothing like the tenor of a hard-working V-8 in a half-ton pickup.

The 2011 F-150 also features standard 12-volt electric power-assisted steering for every engine except the 6.2 V-8 – the first half-ton pickup to do so. (The limited-volume Chevy Silverado Hybrid uses a 42-volt system.) The steering feels light when the truck is stopped and during low-speed maneuvers. It dynamically adjusts steering effort to match the speed and loads the truck is under. On the highway, the steering was precise and provided excellent driver feedback. There was none of the numbness generally associated with electric steering’s early days in small cars. It seemed to vary boost levels as we entered turns, smoothly assisting the trailer around bends in contrast to the on/off boost that can occur with conventional hydraulic steering pumps.

As we drove across the desert, we encountered strong winds that had knocked several semis off the highway the day before. While we could feel the gusts buffeting the truck and trailer, we never felt control was an issue. At least once, immediately passing an 18-wheeler, we were hit by a strong gale that seemed to trigger the F-150’s trailer-sway control system.

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Trailer-sway control senses difference in yaw between truck and trailer and uses the wheel brakes in both vehicles to counteract any sway before it becomes dangerous enough to throw the rig off the road.

If you order a 2011 F-150, we highly recommend you option it with the integrated trailer brake controller, which extends sway control to the trailer (in addition to controlling the trailer’s brakes via ABS). Even though our truck was optioned with the F-150’s trailer towing package, it didn’t include the brake controller, which costs an extra $230 from the factory. A local dealer had to add the controller after it arrived for our test.

Our turnaround point for our road test was near Laughlin, Nev. Cajon Pass was a warm-up for testing the 5.0 F-150 on the 12-mile, 5 percent grade Davis Dam hill climb on Arizona Highway 68, just east of Laughlin. Davis Dam has become the default location for measuring performance against the industry’s new trailer towing standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It’s also where Ford recently tested the EcoBoost six-cylinder against competitors’ eight-cylinder engines. On Highway 68, the 5.0 was incredibly strong — so strong that we could accelerate at any point along the route and still gain speed to where we had to slow down to safely control the truck and trailer around turns.

We also staked out a 7,500-foot stretch of the grade where we could safely climb the hill from a full stop and measure its performance using our VBOX kit. Zero to 60 mph up the steady 5 percent grade took 30.29 seconds, and the truck finished the quarter-mile in a respectable 25.06 seconds at 55.5 mph.

Those numbers, plus seat-of-the-pants feel, make us wonder how much Ford might be sandbagging the 5.0-liter V-8’s power figures, something we suspected during our first drive in Texas.

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We also ran the same performance tests on level ground. The zero-to-60 mph time with the trailer was cut almost in half, to just 16.85 seconds. Unloaded, the 5.0 yielded a zero-to-60 time of just 7.18 seconds – almost as quick as the large displacement 6.2-liter V-8 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab 4x4 that was the fastest truck in our 2008 Light-Duty Shootout.

Our final confirmation of the tremendous towing performance and potential of the 5.0 came on the Dynojet Research chassis dyno at our friends at K&N Engineering in Riverside. At the rear wheels, we measured a very healthy 311 hp and 325 pounds-feet of torque. While the torque curve isn’t as flat as the EcoBoost V-6’s curve, it is broad, and power steadily climbs over most of the rev range instead of being peaky near 4,000 rpm.

Overall, we’re very impressed with how comfortable the F-150 5.0 was during our long-haul towing legs. We towed just under the truck’s max GCWR and towing capacity, yet the truck felt like other half-tons towing much less. A truck that drives this smoothly and comfortably, with very little driver fatigue, at max capacities is something quite special — even unusual in any truck segment.

The truck was also comfortable and relatively easy to manage in unloaded driving around Los Angeles. It was also fun to show off some of the 5.0’s power at one or two green lights. We averaged between 13 mpg and 17 mpg depending on traffic conditions, surface streets and highway driving. Nothing to brag about for fuel economy, but superior to what we’ve observed driving a 6.2-liter V-8 in LA.

Which engine should F-150 buyers choose? If you’re going to tow and haul more than 10,000 pounds frequently but want something smaller than a heavy-duty pickup, opt for the 6.2. If you’re going to tow more than 10,000 pounds occasionally and need a truck for light-duty hauling activities the rest of the time, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 would probably be a good fit. But if you’re going to tow 5,000 to 10,000 pounds regularly and aren’t quite ready to trust a twin-turbo six-cylinder to move your rig, the 5.0 is for you. If we were going to buy an F-150 today, the 5.0 is the box we’d likely check on the order form.

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Special thanks to K&N Engineering and American Horse Trailer Rentals

Comments

WOW is all I can say Mike... I want this truck so bad. I have to wait 8 more months until I can get something new but I'm pretty sure I know what its going to be now. This is why I love this site. Keep up the good work!

Ford is really stepping up their powertrain program. Never have been a true Ford fan but i will give them credit for putting out not just 1, but 4 impressive powertrain options. Thanks Mike for the write up .. great job as usual!!

Superb reporting Mike!

Great review.

Thanks for all the effort you put into this website.

Keep up the good work Mike Levine and crew.

Hopefully a 3.5L TT review similar to this will be presented by you very soon.

A really nice looking truck with what sounds like to be a good engine, but the picture of the engine makes it look like it's on life support with all those hoses.

Any videos?

Great report.

I have to disagree with one thing - that if you are towing 5,000-10,000 lbs regularly and unsure of the EcoBoost the 5L is for you.

10,000 lb trailer with 15% tongue weight is 1500 pounds. Most crew cab half tons do not have that much payload, and the truck still needs to hold the people. And you haven't put anything in the cab or bed.

Lighten the load to tow 8000 lbs with a 15% tongue weight is 1200 lbs. If you have 1400 lb payload. That leaves only 200 lbs for passengers and cargo.

This is where the EcoBoost and Max Tow Package with the greater payload comes in.

Maybe if I was towing up to 6000 lbs occasionally, didn't have many passengers or cargo to weigh me down, didn't care about fuel economy, and was afraid of EB (I don't know why I would be) I would go with the 5L. Above that I would go with the Max Tow Package of the EB.


"Unloaded, the 5.0 yielded a zero-to-60 time of just 7.18 seconds – almost as quick as the large displacement 6.2-liter V-8 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab 4x4 that was the fastest truck in our 2008 Light-Duty Shootout."
- Wow. Excellent article Mike. Very impressive truck!

@Mike

I disagree with this statement "If you’re going to tow more than 10,000 pounds occasionally and need a truck for light-duty hauling activities the rest of the time, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 would probably be a good fit."

The ecoboost IS Ford's max tow engine. It is advertised as being the workhorse of the bunch. The torture tests show that it can handle the work.

You appear to be from the school "that there is no displacement for replacement". That is your personal opinion and that is fine, but a journalist is suppose to be open minded and you have made this statement without even doing a comparsion test on the ecoboost.

Mike,

Your reports at pickuptrucks.com are the best. On the strength of your light duty shoot out I bought a 3.7 four days ago. Now I really wish I had bought the 5.0.

Meh...I'm not impressed. All it is, is a modern engine in a sea of dated ones. And the truck is far too ugly and overpriced to be taken seriously. $38K for that? Are you kidding me? My truck's MSRP was $39K OTD with every option except one. My truck has options that new LINCOLN's don't have.

And on the MPG figures, one must keep in mind that Ford did not come to that mileage figure using 3.73 gears. They used the tallest gear offered (which is a 3.31 for the 5.0). So the mileage figures are deceiving. Sadly though, they will be about the same as the TwinForce (or NON-Ecoboost), highstrung V6. Makes you wonder why anyone would suffer with a more expensive to buy/maintain/repair high-strung V6 when the mileage will be the same as a far superior V8 (well..if the V8 was made by GM/Chrysler/Toyota/Tata, etc)

@ carl not to put words in mikes mouth but I think he means exactly what you are that if you are going to tow alot get the 3.5 if not go with the 5.0

@p dont be a troll there isnt a fully loaded pickup out there that msrps for under 40 unless you bought in the 90s

Great job mike and putc crew

1) Love the infographic!
2) Just added a horse to the family, figured I would get the Ecoboost but not totally decided on it, these reports help. My truck will mostly be a daily driver but also horse hauler.

Those are some pretty impressive performance numbers!

But the "reality" numbers are pretty sad:

--That fuel economy is disappointing for an all-new, cutting-edge, small engine.

--When a 1/2 ton with cloth interior and few doo-dads starts getting around $40K+, it is time to start looking at an HD/diesel, IMHO... .

The real problem of the 5L without the max tow package is the payload on the Supercrew, especially the 6.5' bed. You get at least 300 pounds more payload with EB Maxt Tow, 400 pounds more with a supercab, which is the limiting towing factor for almost all trucks.

Take a 7000 pound trailer with 15% tongue weight and a 200 pound driver and you can be over the payload/GVWR of the truck, even if tow rating of the 5L is 1000 pounds. Oh, and then there is the wife, kids, firewood, bed cover, tools, cargo, etc that goes in the truck.

So if you are going to be towing "7-10k regularly" get EcoBoost with Max Tow.

I also heard Mike say EcoBoost might be better in high altitude than the V8's, and when looking at the 6.2's fuel economy the EB might be the better choice.

even if the tow rating is *10,000 pounds

Great Truck! I'll be ordering an FX4 Extended Cab 5.0L this summer. I can't wait!

@Carl
What about this review made you feel as though this was an attack against the Ecoboost? Mike acknowledge the capibility of the Ecoboost and even recommeded it as well. He's just stating that the 5.0L is just as impressive as the Ecoboost.

@''P''
Seriously dude, like the guy above me said, go troll somewhere else. The American consumer hasn't be able to get a fully loaded 1/2 ton truck under 40K for close to 10 years now. And to say this new Ford engine is not impressive just show's that you really are nothing more than a troll. As far as fuel mileage goes, Mike stated that they avaraged between, 13 and 17mpg IN TOWN. 13mpg is meh, but 17mpg is quite impressive for a 4x4 Crew Cab V8 Powered 1/2 ton truck (The Heaviest Model) in stop and go traffic. I've been keeping up with this engine on Ford Truck Fourms and many personal owners of this truck are achiveing between 15-19mpg around town and up to 23mpg on the high...''Hand Calculated''. And if you don't beleive me why don't you read the fourms for yourself.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1023920-5-stars-new-5-0l-10.html#post9937870

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1037369-fuel-milage.html#post9932362

2009 Chevrolet Silverado 6.2L 4x4 crew cab (3.42 rear):
0-60=7.04 second
1/4 mile=15.52

2011 Ford F150 5.0L 4x4 crew cab (3.73 rear):
0-60=7.18
1/4 mile= 15.53

That's pretty impressive that the 5.0L keeps up so well with Gm's beastly 6.2L. While I'm sure the 6.2L with its 3.73 max tow rear would destroy the 5.0L, the 5.0L isn't Ford's max tow engine. They've still got the Ecoboost and their own 6.2L sitting above the 5.0.

It's also worth mentioning that it beat the 2009 Tundra (with 5.7L V8 and 4.30 rear) and the 5.7L 2009 Dodge Ram in the 1/4 mile. This 5.0L seems like a real power house despite being the smallest displacement of the bunch.

All we needed was a EB, a Ford 6.2L, a GM 6.2L along and we'd know "the rest of the story".

In any even , this fine review puts to bed the argument of " 5.0L vs. 5.4L".

fin

Also another thing I was curious about...The 5.3L Silverado can be had with anything higher than a 3.43 rear right?

If I'm wrong let me know, but I thought that's how it was.

It does sound like an impressive engine.
To put it in perspective - I had a 1990 F250 with a 5.0. It only had 195 Hp and got around 12 city and 16 highway.
This engine has close to double the horsepower and 20% better MPG.
I'm getting 12 - 14 around town with my 5.4 and 3.55 gears.
"P" is like Bob - to them a product is only great if it has a bowtie on it.
It does not make any sense that you can get a 36 gallon tank on this truck but not the EB 3.5. I can't see why Ford would even offer the smaller tank.
The tow package should come standard with the trailer brake controller, tow mirrors, and backup camera.

@ Mike - quote " Despite a lack of luxury items"
man - oh - man
I'd love to have your job if you think this truck is lacking in luxury:)

@ Mike - how did you find towing without the optional trailer mirrors?

@Fordguy1988

The GM 5.3L V8 is only presently available with a 3.08 or 3.42 rear.

The GM 6.2L V8 is available with a 3.42 or 3.73 rear (Max Tow package).

Ford's 5.0L V8 is available with a 3.31, 3.55, or 3.73 rear.

Now, it's worth mentioning that Ford takes their MPG measurements from a truck with the 3.31 rear, while GM uses a truck with the 3.08 rear.

It wouldn't surprise me if Ford's MPG measurement with the 5.0L and 3.31 ratio would be the same or better than Gm's 5.3L with the more comparable 3.42 ratio, all while blowing it out of the water as far as power is concerned. However, the only way to know for sure would be to have both trucks tested, since the EPA doesn't test the other gear ratios.

Great report, Mike & crew! Excellent details!

It looks like no matter what engine you get, in the 2011 F-150, you can not go wrong. They are all winners! The people, that opt to buy another truck instead of the Ford F-150, will all be whiners kicking themselves for going against better judgement.

Mike Levine,

How did this F-150 perform with P rated tires in the city/highway and with the 9000 pound trailer?

Impressive performance, especially after comparing it to the competition from the last big half ton shootout. The dyno numbers confirm that Ford isn't sandbagging the numbers, perhaps it's just a combination of linear power and good gearing.

Great article Mike! Your articles are the best in the field! Keep up the good work! I just love the F150 with yhe 5.0! From the sound clips on You Tube it sounds so good as stock! I wish I could order one (Don't live in USA..., don't have the money...) I have seen here (Israel) an F150 2009-10 with the older Mod engine and it sounded so good - it was completley stock- I know the 5.0 sounds even better!

@paul810
I believe you are right on the gear ratios of the new silverado.My friends dad just bought a new Chevy silverado 1500 z71 ext.cab.He was told he had the towing package,but it has the 3.08 gear plus come to find out he isn't sure if he can get a gooseneck hitch for it because it has no predrilled holes,and not much room.His older 04 silverado 1500 had predrilled holes for his gooseneck,and a much heavier frame,needless to say he isn't to pleased.I also noticed on his new truck how poorly it was put together.The leftside fender had a place that was higher than the hood,and the rightside was level.On the ext.cab door if you looked at it good enough you could tell it wasn't lined up even with the other door,just seemed very poorly put together.

"P" is a worthless little troll that has been kicked off numerous forums for his constant Ford bashing.

It all started with him having to replace the intake on his old Crown Vic police car. He thinks Ford needs to pay him back and he's been whining for YEARS now about it.

He's a small,pathetic little man with no life.

@Mike Levine Is it even an option to get the tow mirrors?

@Carl: I'm not negative against EcoBoost. We have yet to do a long road test of the 3.5L EB like the 5.0L V8. But I have towed a 6,700 lb trailer with EB during Ford's first drive for media and observed towing fuel economy during that brief drive was about the same as the 5.0. I've also seen the fuel economy in the EB when the truck was unloaded and it's terrific (low 20s w/out effort).

I see no reason that the 5.0 couldn't tow 11,300 with the max tow package, if it was available. This engine has headroom. Lots.

Great write up !
The first 5.0 F-150 test I have read.

I would love to see a comparison of a 2011 5.0 Reg. cab 2wd with the 3.55 gears and limited slip.
I would venture to say very low 15's in the 1/4 mile.

fyi, for all u throwing out rear end ratio's. that's only half the equation. factor in the tranny ratio's n u'll come out with diff numbers to the ground. ford n gm's new tranny ratio r geared lower so they opt for taller rear ratio to offset for final output.

can't really say tundra's 4.30 is lower than gm/ford's 3.73 with out knowing the tranny ratio. this concept was in the titan. the titan went with 3.36 or something bcuz ther tranny was geared low. the benefit to gearing the tranny low is it's less strain on the tranny. cheaper to replace a less likely to fail rear end than a tranny.

Wow, either the rear-end is sagging with the trailer, or the rear fender wheel housing is smaller than the front...or both. Anyway, go five-point-oh!!!

"Our four-wheel-drive 5.0 was rated 14/19 mpg city/highway."

I would say because it's four-wheel drive. They have more equipment and they burn more fuel in 4WD. Even if you kept it in 2WD the 4WD equipment will still be there to pack on the truck pounds. That said, I hope the 2WD is at least 20 highway mpg!

Thanks for the great read Mike. I can see for Ford half-ton buyers right now, it would be a tough choice between the 5.0 and EcoBoost! Personally, even though I'm a bit of a power freak, I would not go the 6.2, because the mpgs are so crappy. The 5.0 and EcoBoost seem to offer a lot of performance, even though they are balancing the fuel consumption well with it.

@Mike Levine, you mentioned the tranny shifted into 6th once you crested Cajon Pass. So this engine will steadily pull that weight and somewhat high profile trailer at 65 mph in overdrive on flat ground? That would be as impressive as the uphill power imo. I do a lot of highway towing on flat ground, in traffic. The biggest issue with gassers is the constant downshifting or the inability to stay in OD pulling a heavy or high profile trailer at highway speed or for small increases in speed. They usually have the power once the rpms get way up but not much under 2k rpm for maintaning highway speed in OD.

@Mike: Correct. In steady state driving at 65 mph on level ground, the truck had no issues running in 6th gear. When we needed passing and hill climb power, it downshifted to 3rd or 4th. Sweet spot for extra power is 4,000 to 4,200 rpm. Going full out, it would upshift around 6,000 rpm.

@Tom: The toughest decision for 2011 F-150 buyers is engine. The 3.7-L V-6 in your truck is a great choice. Best naturally aspirated V-6 in the segment.

ford just now get up to a even with a old gm 6.0 can't wait for the new gm motors to come out so we can go back to blowing ford outta the water sounds like ford trying to copy gm with higher rpm for maxs hp tq must of figured out when poeple put there foot down that they want more power not losse now there getting smart good job ford your learning something for once

REMINDER: You are trolling if you post comments that are nonconstructive (e.g. XYZ sucks) or personal attacks (e.g. John Doe is an idiot). I will delete those comments. Take that stuff to the War Room in the PUTC forums. It has no place in the comments section of stories.

Thoughtful debate and intelligently comparing the merits of one truck/brand versus others is welcomed and appreciated.

Mike Levine, Great article. It is clear Ford took full advantage of the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies and got way ahead in their product line-up. What I can't wait for is to see how GM will respond to this major threat to their market share.

Mike, would you be willing to speculate on what could potentially be GM's next move in the half-ton segment? Whatever it is, this will be fun to watch.

@Chevy Guy, you're right, we want power up high too. But we don't want to lose anything down low either. So looks like Ford is on to a winner. Probably why I'd go the EcoBoost if I were buying a brand new half-ton (and I wish I were).

@ Mike,

This performance makes me want to see a towing comparison between a top-end half ton,a gas 3/4 ton, and a diesel 3/4 ton. Get an F150 with the 6.2L, an F250 with the 6.2L, and an F250 with the 6.7L. Equip them as equally as possible and run them with various trailer weights in an attempt to see which truck is the best tow vehicle for which people.

@AL: That would be great. I agree. On a related note, we could do comparison tests almost every week that I think would be highly valuable to buyers. I smell a budget increase. :-)

Great article Mike and crew! New competitive technology always brings out the best from all manufacturers for future products. I can hardly wait to see a full blown shootout, with all the manu's best against each other in each engine-horsepower class. That will be truly EPIC. As far as mileage is concerned, when you need a gas powered vehicle with the required horsepower to get your particular job done, you will sacrafice mileage for power, that's physics. If you want mileage, buy a V6 or a car. Even with GM's rating of 21mpg, that is best case scenerio with the Active Fuel Management and best gear ratio. Real world results put all V8 trucks around the same mileage with everyday driving.

Nice Horsepower and Torque figures on the 5.0 engine but the gas milage sucks!!! Give me a GM Duramax engine that will out haul and out tow anything Ford makes and get better gas milage to boot!!!

What did Ricky Bobby say "second place is the first Loser"!!!
Well ford is back to second place!!!! behind GM.

@Mike Levine

I'd read all the odd-ball comparisons. Not everything has to be cut and dry Ford F150 vs. Chevy Silverado 1500, some people do want to know if they should get a half ton or an HD, a small V8 or the biggun, etc.

@Tim, I agree. I got in a wreck in my F150, and the rental company gave me a Silverado 1500 5.3 with 6 speed auto. I thought it was going to sip fuel like a Prius compared to my 5.4 F150! Nope, not a discernible difference really. I wasn't being scientific about it, I was just expecting a big difference and there wasn't. Seemed like I went through the tank just as quickly. I did notice the huge lack of low end torque though!

Don't kid yourself Alex, the 5.4 liter Ford doesn't get near the fuel economy of GM's 5.3 liter. Go to www.fueleconomy.gov and look for yourself. The Silverado is rated at 15 city and 21 highway and the ford is 14 city and 18 highway.

consumers reported their results and the 5.4 averaged 15.9 and the Silverado averaged 17.2 and this is drivers reporting their results. The Silverado is the only V-8 with over 300 horsepower and 21 miles per gallon. Sure fords ecoboost is rated at 21 mpg with their new engine and only matches GM'S 21 mpg. GM'S engine is a V8 and fords engine is a V6.

Just wait until GM'S next generation engines debut and they will once again dominate the fuel economy offered in a truck.

So let it be written, so let it be done!

Why are some surprised by the price? A similarly equipped GM Sierra SLE with 5.3 and 4x4 is $40,527. and not nearly as nice or powerful.



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