2018 Ford F-150: First Impressions

18FordF150_05_HR II

By Aaron Bragman

Ford always has had a tricky task when updating the F-150. It's the most popular vehicle in the country by sales, selling hundreds of thousands of units a year — approximately 550,000 in 2016 alone — and retaining its title as the best-selling pickup for 40 straight years. So when it's time to update the half-ton pickup truck, Ford's only willing to go so far for fear of alienating those millions of loyal buyers.

The last big change was a drastic one in 2015 when the F-150 went to an almost entirely aluminum body. Since then, there have been some minor updates to the powertrain. For the 2018 model, debuting at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we've seen the biggest styling change to the truck since the 2015 redesign. Some of these design changes are meant to bring the F-150 more stylistically in line with the look of the new 2017 Super Duty, and I'm pleased to say that they work quite well.

The original horse-collar-style grille on the 2015 F-150 always looked a little too imposing to me. It made the truck seem ungainly and tall, but the new grille and headlight designs on the F-150 are much more horizontally oriented, giving the truck a lower, wider, more planted look.

There are new grille designs for each of the F-150's seven trim levels; higher trims get the "twin I-beam" design and lower trims and some Sport packages get a large mesh opening with "nostrils." But even these seven designs can be modified with paint and coatings to create much greater differentiation between trim levels. Enthusiasts will likely amuse themselves by learning the different ones and playing "spot the Platinum" when these trucks hit the streets in the fall.

18FordF150_02_HR Rear II

At the rear of the truck, there's a massive new F-150 logo stamped into the tailgate sheet metal on lesser trim levels, probably a nod to Toyota and Ram, which have been stamping nameplates and huge logos on tailgates for a couple years now. On Lariat and higher trim levels, that stamped logo is replaced by a plastic applique trim piece. The F-150 logo was removed for those trims, a Ford designer said, because it looked too busy with the applique and trim level script.

There isn't much to talk about inside, as the only visual changes are the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the Sync 3 multimedia system, some new leather colors on the higher trims, new seats for the King Ranch and a new B&O Play premium audio option.

As to the new additions under the hood, we're stoked. However, we'll have to wait a bit longer to see just what kind of improvements the new powertrains will feature. The all-new base 3.3-liter naturally aspirated V-6 seems small for a truck this size, but Ford insists that it's an advanced engine with the same power and torque as the outgoing 3.5-liter V-6, but with better fuel economy. The one we all want to drive is the new turbo-diesel 3.0-liter, but that's not arriving until nearly nine months after the 2018 F-150 hits dealerships in fall of 2017.

The new look for the 2018 F-150 is subtle but attractive, creating a better-looking pickup than the one it replaces. With a 10-speed automatic transmission and powerful turbocharged engines across most of the lineup, it should be just as appealing to drive.

Manufacturer images

 

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Comments

So it seems like PUTC is admitting that the 2015 F150 is a homely truck...

Ugly grill alert...

Best truck ever!!!!. looks like shaky and garbage motors company or (gmc) are in trouble. Hahahahahahahaha. I think things are gonna get better with the diesel comes out garbage motors is doomed.

Ford raises the bar, again!

Love all of the updates Ford is doing.

This may be my next truck.

5 new powertrains. This may be the greatest update in F-150 history!

Why cant we get the 302hp 3.7 V6 in the Mustang?

We'll see a new 3.3 NA V6, 2.7 Turbo with upgrades, 5.0 with changes, 3.5 turbo with upgrades, and (new for F150) 3.0 Lion diesel.

I'm only seeing 2 new drivetrains. Only one if you figure that the 3.0 Diesel has been used extensively elsewhere.

The 5.0 will get replaced by a 4.8 just like the Mustang.

Albert1967 - I believe that the Mustang will only have 2 engines. 3 if you count hybrid.

Oh, that reminds me, the F150 will get a hybrid drivetrain eventually. Some rumours say diesel hybrid.

Truck Trend originally said in the headline 5 new powertrains. The 2.7L is the second gen. 3.3 is new. 5L will be revamped so I'll call that the new 5L. The 3.0 is new - isn't the one that was used elsewhere - new. So I'll count 4 new and 1 3.5 EB carryover.

press tidbits:

"The 2018 F-150 also adds an available all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine, designed, engineered and tested in-house and paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s the first-ever diesel engine offered for F-150.

In addition to the segment-first 10-speed automatic, the Ford F-150 is now the first full-size pickup truck to add automatic start/stop as standard equipment across all models and engines."

Ford will not be using the 10 year old engine in JLR products.

Dave Z. - everything I have read says the 3.0 diesel is based upon the Lion found in the Range Rover.

Wish I could see a pic of the 2018 grill with NO chrome.

I HATE plastic chrome cause it fades out in the sun and looks horrible after a few years and there's nothing you can do to protect it from fading away.

PUTC ? can you PLEASE post a pic of the one with NO chrome?

The stamping isn't a nod to Ram or Toyota. Super Duty was stamped on tailgates long before Toyota stamped Tundra on tailgates.

Following Rams Eco diesel Lead. Haven't got the suspension that Ram offers which outperforms all others in head to head testing unloaded and loaded with a thousand pounds in the bed. Rams aero is better too. Nothing beats load leveling when towing a heavy trailer.
the ride quality of Ford is not up to par when compared to Rams air and coil spring rear.

Ram is still the mark to beat. In ride quality and MPG. Ram is also the longest lasting Brand in pick ups. Ford is also adding an unproven power train.

I will be interesting how GM will respond on this new diesel. I think they MUST. Now GM are the only one not having diesels in their half-ton trucks. Will the Baby diesel V8 at 4,5 liter be the answer? That engine was fully deweloped but delayed in 2009 when the crisis came for GM.

@willy

Check the recent sales figures for 2016! Evidently GM customers don't care that diesel is not an option in the half ton.

Chevy and GMC outsold Ford by 100k units. They out sold Ram and Tundra by more than 2x. Nissan and Honda were not even in the running.

As RAM fans point out, Ford's ride is hard and jittery. As GM fans point out, the RAM has lousy customer-satisfaction ratings and reliability issues.

Sounds like GM is the way to go in half ton trucks.

And I thought the current grille was ugly.

I like the new front end, it looks more integrated then before. Instead of the bumper just being a straight piece of steel across the front it has some shape and integrated into the grill and headlights.

That front end reminds me of the GMT900 Silverados front end, only the Chevy looks WAY better!

http://www.pickupsplus.com/wp-content/gallery/chevrolet-silverado-1500/09CHSL01014_Wallpaper_850.jpg?lang=fr

I was disappointed to hear that the 3.0 diesel was the old lion diesel, but it's actually a completely new engine. That's why it's taking forever to be released. Takes time to test a new engine. If they were to use the lion diesel they would have released it already. The 3.3 liter v6 is also all new with port and direct injection. Probably a significant improvement over the 3.5.

@beebe

It's hard to imagine a 3.3 liter v6 in a half ton crew cab. Limp! Lame!

Ford and GM would not even offer six cylinder engines if it were not for the EPA and the CAFE. RAM sells so many fleet models and rentals in my area that their business conditions probably demand a 3.6 engine.

Hopefully there will be enough decency and common sense in the next administration to neuter or completely eliminate these useless and very intrusive federal agencies.

New 3.3 V6 seems like a good move, if it didn't have antiquated 6 speed automatic connected to it.
'Next generation' 2.7, so does this mean the 3.0 ecoboost with a shorter stroke: 85.4 bore X 78.5mm stroke, versus current 83 x 83mm. Does it get port injection to prevent intake port deposits?
Since the 5.0 V8 gets the 10 speed automatic, does it revert back to Mustang spec camshafts-meaning 7000 rpm rev limiter. Does it make 400hp
Did Ford upgrade the terrible headlights? The base H11 halogens are weak.
The LED headlights are horrible. The color temperature is far too high, meaning WAY too much blue light.

@hemi v8- the ram Ecodiesel falls flat on its face towing and hauling, because of the limited payload. When a full size crew cab only has 500# of bed or tongue load left after you put a few grownups in the cab, it's nothing more than a big car.

Ford is lazy.

@Mr knowitall, Sure thing bud. You can believe that. lol
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaeGiQRyzWA

Know other truck even comes close.

Guts

Glory

RAM! In a class of their own.

The 3.3 is here temporarily until the hybrid and/or diesel get here I believe. Probably just to satisfy CAFE. It's been rumored that the hybrid will be with an eco boost engine. I believe it will be the 2.7. There is also room for the 2.3 ecoboost to replace the 3.3 eventually. The 2.3 puts out 310HP in the mustang and 350hp in the focus rs.

the 3.0 Diesel has been used extensively elsewhere.

Dave Z. - everything I have read says the 3.0 diesel is based upon the Lion found in the Range Rover.
Posted by: Lou | Jan 8, 2017 1:07:01 AM


Maybe basedbut it's not the same as the Lion or found elsewhere.

The press release says that it's 'all-new', that means that even if one supposes that they started with the Lion V6 (a reasonable assumption, you always start somewhere), it's not currently for sale in any JLR product.

Nor will it be, IMO.

JLR's contract with Ford ends in 2020, and I doubt very much that Ford is interested in making their most advanced diesel V6 available to a company that will not be doing business with them 18 months later.

To be sure, the 3.3 with the six speed is exclusively for the fleet and rental market. Fleet managers don't want a turbo charged gas engine to deal with if a cheaper and simpler approach is available. They want to keep it simple.

Presently Ram offers fleets a basic six. It's what they want.

Re: Mustang 3.7

The 3.7 has left the Mustang.

I like the look, but I'm not a fan of the start/stop tech. I guess if I want a V8 that's not a 3/4 ton I'll have to buy a 2017 5.0l.

Did anybody else release anything pickup related at the Detroit auto show? If not ford just secured the media market for a good 6 months to a year. The second gen 3.5 ecoboost and 10 speed hasn’t been really tested by the media. Now Ford can dribble little data here and there on the new v6, the diesel, the 5.0 power bump, and the new 2.7. Plus these mated to the 10 speed as well as the new design. Much like Tr$mp controlled the media, Ford is as well.

Just forewarning the commentators in these sections if nobody came with anything new besides ford be prepare to here nothing about anybody except Ford. I am getting myself ready for all the whining about the ford “bias” coverage on the truck websites. Epic butthurt through out the year will be on display!!!

Pickups had lettering stamped in the tailgate back in the 60s & 70s. I miss it - glad to see it come back.

Hope the headlights are all LED!! Across the board. The halogen lights on the current model (15-17) suck!! Now I know why the NHSTA is making headlights a priority.

It looks like they tried to mock the Silverado grill to me

The grilles look more like the Super Duty.

http://icdn9.digitaltrends.com/image/2017-ford-super-duty-front-angle-2-970x647-c.jpg

Also, PUTC, Ford has been stamping tailgates since the 1940s and the Super Duty had it way before Toyota. So its more like the other way around, they are copying Ford.

Because the more you know.....

2008 SuperDuty tailgate stamp...Ford started the trend...

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=15304&stc=1&d=1242734167

Omg , the grill is terrible, hopefully the old model year grill will fit because if not this truck is off my radar .

It is a bigger change than I had expected. I like more of a framed grill look myself. Not sore which one I would choose.

Why do you want it to look wider than taller. My wife said the obvious, it looks like a Chevy.

Nice job Ford...definitely more mature rounded style from the last update which had a bit more square/sharper edges.

Can't wait to see numbers for the new diesel...

Looks likes a refined superduty grille to me. Ford stamped there tailgates long time ago, get the facts straight putc,lol. The leds look to be only on the higher trim levels only.


FCA announced an additional $1 billion of investment in plants in

Michigan and Ohio, and the addition of 2,000 new jobs. The investment will retool and modernize the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Mich.) to produce the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, and the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) to build an all-new Jeep pickup truck. Expected to be completed by 2020, the added benefit of the investment in Warren is that it will enable the plant to produce the Ram heavy duty truck, which is currently produced in Mexico. In total, FCA US has committed investments of more than $9.6 billion in its U.S. manufacturing facilities and created 25,000 new jobs since 2009.

Jeep pickup is coming.

FCA announced an additional $1 billion of investment in plants in

Michigan and Ohio, and the addition of 2,000 new jobs. The investment will retool and modernize the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Mich.) to produce the all-new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, and the south plant of the Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio) to build an all-new Jeep pickup truck. Expected to be completed by 2020, the added benefit of the investment in Warren is that it will enable the plant to produce the Ram heavy duty truck, which is currently produced in Mexico. In total, FCA US has committed investments of more than $9.6 billion in its U.S. manufacturing facilities and created 25,000 new jobs since 2009.

Jeep pickup is coming.

Next up, GM needs to get moving on their half ton diesel. Hopefully they are developing something as the old 4.5L v8 is overkill. Maybe they lop off 2 cylinders and go with a 3.38L V6?

And for those criticizing Ford's ride you need to remember some owners prefer a pickup truck that does work versus one that drives like a car. There's enough soft riding half tons out there to choke a soccer mom.

Agree with the above comment & rented recently a '16 RAM 1500 from Alamo; nice truck & I admit the ride was softer than my F150 but I think it's not enough of a reason to sacrifice payload limitations (besides knowing it's the most unsafe full size truck on the road right now).

Lou, NAIAS hasn't even started yet. Ford jumped the gun so thisn't fair to the other auto makers who also have news to make. Jeep gets a pickup truck and Ram HD is moving back home. Wait to Monday for more FCA news and you are going to feel the bang!!!!!!!

https://youtu.be/-1ygpO-OrME?t=35s

http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/detroit-auto-show/2017/01/08/fca-invest-1b-michigan-ohio-plants-confirms-jeep-pickup-grand-wagoneer-wagoneer/96319702/

Agree with the above comment & rented recently a '16 RAM 1500 from Alamo; nice truck & I admit the ride was softer than my F150 but I think it's not enough of a reason to sacrifice payload limitations (besides knowing it's the most unsafe full size truck on the road right now).
Posted by: Lionel | Jan 8, 2017 10:15:41 PM


Lionel/Allwon1/Cummins or whoever you are, Disagree with the above comment. Did they fix the sagging rear on the 2018 F-150? Don't be bringing your sagging Ford slim jims because Ram and Jeep are brining something a little bit better. Bang!!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1ygpO-OrME&feature=youtu.be&t=35s

Marchionne is scheduled to speak Monday at 10:15 a.m. at a previously scheduled news conference at the auto show inside Cobo Center.

BANG!



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