2011 Ford F-150 Towing Mileage Challenge Update No. 1

We Need Your Help: 2011 Ford F-150 Towing Mileage Challenge

We're almost there! Two readers have stepped up to let us test their 2011 Ford F-150s to find out which powertrain has the best towing fuel economy.

So far, we have a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and (surprise!) a 6.2-liter V-8. We still need a 5.0-liter V-8 SuperCrew 4x4 with a 5.5-foot cargo box and a 3.73 rear axle.

Remember, we'll pay to rent your 5.0, plus food, lodging and fuel. You can drive your truck during the testing.

Please contact me at mlevine_at_pickuptrucks_dot_com if you're interested.


Where are the five point ohs?

Out here there are ton of them...

I wish you guys could have done this test just a few months later...I'll be getting a 5.0L FX4 Extended Cab in Auguest and I would love to help out with this test.

I just wont have my new truck for a few more months though. :(

The beauty of this engine is that you'll be pleasantly surprised at the fuel mileage if you consciously drive with conservation on your mind while not towing.
Then when you need to tow at or near it's capacity it can do it. Fuel mileage will rate with the V8's however.
You'll drive it more without the trailer than with in most applications.
It's a win for Ford and the consumers!

Hope the test is run in hotter weather to evaluate the EB's quirky turbos.


My experience with turbo's..they never run the same..its fast its slow...I just stick with no turbo's,no superchargers..just cubic inches !!

@ Ken, I don’t know what turbo engines your driving, but my last 3 trucks have had turbos and they have been nothing but consistent, durable and reliable. Im sure the water cooled turbos on the ecoboost will prove to be the same.

Ford owners are riding high these days with the new F-150 motors and with the 6.7L V8 Scorpion (Power Stroke) diesel.

I wonder,; if I pulled the Ram emblems off of my Dodge, and replaced them with Ford blue ovals, would I be able to fool people into thinking that my truck is a Ford? I want to join in all of the positive news and glory the Ford owners are eating up right now.

Has there ever been a time where a car company had as much good press and news as Ford has right now? There are some marketing geniuses over at Ford!

@Buy American - Ford does seem to be making all the right moves. I hope they do not fall into 2 of the 3 traps that got the "old" Big 3 in trouble. That would be complacency and arrogance. The 3rd on is the UAW getting greedy.

The truth is that Ford is making aggressive changes throughout their engine lineup. Everything from the Fiesta to the Super Duty is getting newer and better motors/transmissions. Nearly everything they make is being updated or completely revised in order to meet customer demands.

Just wait till the 3.7L hits the Expedition and it gets around 23mpg highway. Soccer moms will go nuts!

@Brian, an Expedition EcoBoost can't get to the market soon enough, it should have happened yesterday!


I agree, I don't see it happening. Ecoboost Expedition.

How about the 5.0L & 6.2L?

Coming soon!

I haven't said one negative word about fords new engines except the ford fans bragging about fuel economy and then finding out that it was two wheel drive models they were quoting and then finding out they were quoting the 3.7 liter mpg at 23 and not the ecoboost at 22mpg.

Ecoboost has great horsepower and torque, but then it should have both as it has TWO f....ing TURBO'S that spool up the power. Great engine for ford, but GM'S 5.3 liter matches the Eco boost for 4 wheel drive fuel economy at 15 city and 21 mpg highway and both engines are rated at 22mpg on the highway on their two wheel drive models.

GM achieves 15 city 21 mpg highway with a six speed automatic and Active Fuel Management and a 32 bit microprosser can turn off half the cylinders when you don't need all the power. Ford achieves 15 city 21 mpg highway with their 4 wheel drive models because they ony have 6 cylinders to burn fuel in. So Yes, the ecoboost does produce more power than gm's normally aspirated 5.3 liter pushrod V8. Put two TURBO'S on any normally aspirated engine and of course it's going to produce a LOT more power and torque.

Just look at Arctic Cats 4 stroke F-1100 engine. Normally aspirated it produces about 120 horsepower but with ONLY one turbo it produces 177 horsepower and is quoted as the fastest production snowmobile on snow. So what's my point? My point is the ecoboost is a great engine and will be a grand slam for ford but to anyone bragging about how much more power than gm's 5.3 V8, well your just not comparing apples to apples. Fords 6.2 liter V8 and GM'S 6.2 liter V8 would be a much more fair head to head comparison.

For the record, I love turbo engines rather it's a snowmobile, truck or car. So while the ecoboost is impressive with horsepower and torque, it should be. It has TWO turbo's that produce that horsepower and torque. So congradulations to ford for being the first to use turbos in their trucks

It's ok Bob, we all know where you come from.


Why do you keep touting the 5.3L MPG? The GM 5.3L on;y achieves that with a 3.08:1 axle. The GM 5.3L will tow less than half of what the Ecoboost with a 3.15:1 axle is towing.

You keep sounding dumber and dumber everyday.

I am not hating, just stating the facts.


How about tires they should have the same tires
18" or 20"
Similar miles as well

The G.M. 5.3L engine achieves it's fuel mileage as a V4 (Active Fuel Management mode).

The Ford 3.5L EcoBoost achieves it's fuel mileage as a V6. Now tell me that this does not leap frog the Ford 3.5L ahead of the G.M. 5.3L in fuel economy. Ford needs to have cylinder deactivation for two of the cylinders on the EcoBoost motor. That way the fuel mileage of the 3.5L EcoBoost would be that much better than the 5.3L again!

Where Frank? Where does it say that gm's 5.3 liter engine will only produce 15 city and 21 highway with a 3.08 axle???
Show it to me in writing. I know exactly where you got this bogus rumor. Right on this site when some idiot ASSUMED that only the 3.08 rear axle would get that fuel milage.

If you cannot produce in writing any evidence to prove your ASSUMPTION, then shut that mouth you call a pie hole. I am sick and tired of your crap frank and your constant attacks on GM. You have no evidence or proof to back up your ignorant posts. I am not trying to get you or anyone else to be a GM fan. If Ford is your favorite brand of truck, great. If Dodge floats your boat, great.

And another thing about fuel economy, no manufacture puts the fuel economy numbers on their vehicles. The EPA tests all new vehicles and puts the ratings on the vehicles. They never say, well this engine gets this with this real axle and this engine gets this with this rear axle. So your ASS umption about only the 3.08 gets 15, 21 is a FLAT OUT LIE!!!

So unless you can prove your ignorant posts. SHUT your pie hole frank.

@ Bob
i see gm commercials all the time that say 16/22 in two wheel drive

hahaha it's bob vs the world!! relax man and learn to enjoy the good things in life. Face it. The ecoboost is better than the gm 5.3 in probably every way except that it hasn't proven it's reliable in the real world. I hope for all our sakes that gm comes out with something better. But face it, they aren't even close right now.

Well Dan the woman, show me one commercial where gm claims 16 city and 22 highway. Once again, a ford fan caught in a FLAT OUT LIE! Dan the woman must be taking lessons from Barack Hussein Obama.

@ Bob
do not EVER put put words in my mouth and do not EVER compere me to Oblabla again or i will hunt you down

I saw a train of f150's and Expeditions last summer all with Manufacturer license plates, and one of the Expeditions had the offset license plate and intercooler opening! I know ford has been working on it, but when are they going to release Ecoboost and 5.0, 6.2 V8's in the Expedition???? I can't wait!



Straight from the source.


"I have 5.3 with 308 gears...6 speed...getting 18 around My town...sorta rural..not alot of stops and a light foot. Plenty of power for towing a full 1 car trailer....got over 13 on an 800 mile trip through Pa. Hills...I'm not an engineer but this 4/8 cylinder system with a 6 speed and 308 gears is really a design for flat country as the tranny and system continually kick down or in and out of 4/8 on any incline. I'm not very pleased with that."

In the GM Truck Manual it states:

"The owner's manual recomends only using the tow/haul mode when towing 70-100% of the max towing capacity. My truck has a 7,000 lb capacity, so 70% is 4,900 pounds. My boat, fully loaded with gear, fuel, etc is about 4,000. So, I did not use the tow/haul button. the truck towed the boat just fine. I may try using the tow/haul mode just to see the difference, but in general probably will not use it. Also, I just left the truck in drive, and let the truck "do it's thing"


3.08 axle towing 4000 and averaging 13 mpg and 18 unloaded around town with a light foot.

The Ecoboost towing 9000lbs averaged 9.6 mpg with a 3.55 gear and 23mpg hwy unloaded.

Ecoboost does this without the AFM.

I'm curious regarding AFM, what about the piston that are not being used, they get abused more so then the other four and possibly lose more compression then the others.

I dunno, I really don't care, Ecoboost murders it.

All I can say about the 5.3 from GM is it is a great motor in a suburban (the only vehicle ive driven for any length of time with a 5.3 in it).

My fiance has a 04 suburban with 210,000 miles and the engine still runs like a champ (too bad its on its 3rd transmission), but ive never managed to get more than 18 - 18.5 mpg out of it. No idea what gears it has.

Here is an interesting story on rear end ratios.
Not sure of the age of the story,but it does mention 4 speed auto's.
They also seem to be talking about the old EPA guidelines.

This next link is from GM-Trucks.com.
they list the fuel economy improvements and how they achieved those improvements.

Exerpt -
"Contributing to this development is a new fuel saver mode which enables the trucks to make better use of GM’s Active Fuel Management system, running on four-cylinders in light throttle conditions instead of eight. In addition, more efficient six-speed transmission shift points, engine variable valve timing and a lower gear ratio of 3.08 (now standard on GM full-size pickups) each play an important role in the improved fuel economy."

Please note "and a lower gear ratio of 3.08 (now standard on GM full-size pickups) "


Thanks for the link to the axle ratios! It is very informative.

Oh Canada, or is it, O Canada...

Just fooling with you.

@ Buy American - EH?????


Aren't you in Ohio or Iowa?

Hay Dan the woman, hunt me down huh. Watch your mouth little boy or I'll wash your mouth out with soap. Frank with the little hammer and dont know your ass from a hole in the ground. I dont care what someone claims they got with their truck.

The 5.3 liter V8 is rated 15 city, 21 highway and 17 mpg combined.
This person said he got around 18 mpg around town. So if he is averaging 18 overall, that isnt bad at all.

You dont need a 3.08 rear axle to get 15 city and 21 highway on the 5.3 and can get that with the 3.42. 13 mpg towing is dam good.

So Dan the woman and Frank with the little hammer you are both WRONG again!

What mpg are you getting in your truck?

What Ken is talking about I think is that hot air is less dense than cold air, making it harder to compress, relatively speaking. Hot days at altitude would be great turbo testing conditions. Cold days at sea level are already optimal for any engine, turbo or normal, this air is already dense. The real test is of the turbo is what it accomplishes in hot thin air.

@ken, that what you're getting at?

bob, if you were talking about my post let me clear up a few things, we get about 18 cursing at 70 on the highway with it, in the city its a total pig, maybe 13-14 in everyday driving, no where near 18 combined. As i said, its a good solid motor that im pretty sure will run forever as long as we keep changing the oil.

As for your argument about mileage, i get the same in my 4.6l f150 on the highway and and 14- 15 in town, same town and same highways, and with 3.55 gears, which im pretty sure are taller than the suburban. I realize its not an apples to apples comparison but its close and i drive both on a regular basis (everyday).

To the people who call the 5.3 a gutless wonder, thats not totally true, it has plenty of power, but you do have to wind it up to get it going. As i said, I would not want to tow very much with it.

I still feel you need to do some testing on 91 octane. Ford recommended it in the manual for improved performance. I believe you ran premium in the GM models during the half ton shootout.

Frank "THE HAMMER" - no.

Well Michael, first of all your 2004 Suburban doesn't have a six speed automatic transmission and it doesn't have active fuel management and to top it all off you are driving a fricken Suburban you ignorant one. A suburban is the heaviest and biggest suv GM produces so I am not suprised your 04 Suburan with a 4 speed tranny gets the mpg you are stating.

I am talking about GM'S 5.3 liter with active fuel management and six speed automatic tranny. I have driven several of these trucks and can easily surpass the fuel economy ratings when setting the cruise control. Infact when driving in cruise around 65 miles per hour and in V4 mode I have seen 25 to 27 miles per gallon on several occassions. and to anyone who flat out lies that you need a 3.08 rear axle to get the 15, 21 rating you are flat out lying about it and making it up because some ignorant person said so on this very board.

So to set the record straigt the 5.3 liter with active fuel management and six speed automatic transmission is rated at 15 city and 21 highway and 17 miles per gallon combined by the EPA. If you haven't driven one of the six speeds with the newly calibrated Active fuel management, I invite you to drive one on the highway and set your cruise control at 65-70 miles an hour and see what you getting on a level road. You will easily surpass 21 miles per gallon going a steady speed. So, until ford released their new engine line up, GM was the fuel economy champ and now ford has caught up with the ecoboost and is rated exactly 15 city 21 highway for their 4 wheel drive models. GM'S 6.0 liter Hybrid 4 wheel drive is rated 20 city and 23 highway and has a combined rating of 21 miles per gallong and NOBODY makes a full size truck that will touch that

@Bob, I have family coming in a couple of weeks, and we are renting a current model Suburban, I'm sure I will post somewhere the fuel economy that I will get. I will decode the VIN to see what axle ratio it has too.

Yo, Bob:
The GM Hybrid is too expensive. You won't save any money even with the slightly higher fuel economy.

In the F-150, the EcoBoost engine with its 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque provides best-in-class towing capability of 11,300 lbs combined with up to 20 percent fuel economy savings. The 2011 F-150 EcoBoost carries an EPA rating of 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, making it the best combination of capability and efficiency among light duty full-sized pickups. NOBODY has a truck that will touch that best combination FROM FORD. Nobody but Ford! Not even GM with the Hybrid. The debate is over, Bob.


4x4 CrewCab starting prices...
GM Hybrid: $41,490.00
Ford EcoBoost: $38,000.00

Combined fuel economy...
Hybrid: 21 mpg
EcoBoost: 17 mpg

Average miles driven per year....
15,000 miles

Price gas $3.85

It would take you 5-6 years of you driving your GM Hybrid to break even with EcoBoost.

As the price of gas drops, it will take you even longer.

If the price of gas drops to the level of when Bush left office, it will take you 10-12 years to break even with the EcoBoost and your Hybrid will be long outdated and worthless.

Nobody makes a truck that can TOUCH Ford's combination of capability end economy. Nobody.

@ Chris
i had a salesman stop in one day with a Suburban 6.0 Hybird
he said 22 MPG's HWY and 20 MPG's just driving around town he paid $75,000 for that vehicle
to rich for my blood
P.S. i seen a new Expedition for $48,000 fully loaded 14/18 MPG,s you can buy a lot fuel with $27,000

Ford makes a full-size 1/2 ton pickup truck that will tow 11,300 pounds!

Ford makes a full-size 1/2 ton pickup (the same one that will tow 11,300 pounds) that gets the same fuel economy, unloaded, of a 1/4 ton compact pickup with a V6!

NOBODY can touch that!

Anyway, do people buy full-size trucks for capability or for fuel economy? Good fuel economy is an added bonus, not an expectation, of a full-size pickup.

Hey bob, thanks so much for calling me ignorant, i really appreciate that. So you once again fell back to personal insults, nice.

I chaecked, the 2004 suburban is less than 300 lbs heavier than the new silverado, an ammount that doesent matter as its the difference in one person.

A sliverado with the XFE package, the only way to get the numbers you claim will only pull 7000 pounds, and the hybrid will only pull 6000. as has been said, the hybrid is way to expensive and no one buys them.

Also, please enlighten us all since you have driven "several of these trucks" just how often do you drive these? Once a month, a week, every feww weeks when you do to the dealership to look at them? Or every day like I and many others on theis site that constantly call you on your B.S. do.

You say people are telling LIES about GM trucks yet you give no facts to back your position up. Look at chevys own website, the normal silverado is rated at 15/19, which is worse than a eb or 5.0 f150 is rated, and the eb can tow more, and get well abouve 20 mpg on the highway unloaded. This is off of this website as well as many forum posts around the internet.

Face it bob, ford got GM on this one.

Exactly, If you had to spend $650 more on fuel a year on a non-Hybrid but the vehicle was $27,000 chepaer than the Hybrid, you would have money to buy gas for a lifetime and still be better off.

NO Micael you ignorant one. The 15/19 is the 4.8 liter engine and that engine doesn't have a six speed tranny and doesn't have active fuel management you embysol. who cares about the xfe model? I wasn't referring to that truck at all. The Silverado Hybrid is rated at 20 city and 23 highway and 21 miles per gallon combined. And so what if it is only rated to tow 6100 pounds. I didn't know every truck owner had to tow 10,000 pounds. If towing that much is important to you than a half ton is not the truck you should own anyway.

And no Michael I don't have to lie, the ford 5.0 is rated at 14 city and 19 highway you ignorant one. you keep wanting to quote 2 wheel drive ratings but I'm not going to let you get away with it. So NO ford does not got GM on this one and no amount of your B.S. statments will change that fact.
To sum up for your little pee brain Michael, NOBODY makes a full size truck that gets better gas milage than GM'S trucks period end of story!

The ford ecoboost only matches the 5.3 liter V8 at 15 city and 21 highway and I am calling you out on your B.S.
Additionally, when driven with fuel economy in mind on the 5.3 liter, you can easily get in the mid 20's for fuel economy.
So who manufacture gets the best fuel economy in their trucks??? GM of course and Ford loses again!

Which manufacturer gets the best fuel econ, but is so expensive it takes away any of the savings, and has less capability? GM of course.

Again, personal attacks, how mature of you. Again, you never give any info on where anyone, anyone has gotten mid 20's out of there 5.3 GM truck.

I never have, no one in my family ever has. My uncle had a 2009 GMC wih the 5.3, on flat roads in Kansas he got maybe 18.5 unloaded and he had far from a heavy foot. He just traded it on a Tundra of all things because his 3 year old truck was already falling apart and he wanted to try something else.

And so what if I want to use the 4x2 milage, cheys website only gives one set of mnumbers that I could find, and you better believe that they are for their 4x2 trucks, and you can also bet that its with the 3.08 rear end. Also, you were the one that brought up the hybrid, so dont get defensive when people call out its lack of practicality. There is no way that it would get 21 in combined driving with more than 2-3000 lbs behind it, the gas motor would run almost all the time.

Moreover, if you read my post, I say nothing bu great things about our suburban and the 5.3 engine. It is solid and has more power than people give it credit for, but there is no way in that set up to get more than 18mpg out of it, I know because i drive it every day. With a load of people or stuff its 16 and it gets 13 in any kind of stop and go traffic. A six speed transmission wont make up all that ground to get it to mid 20's. Youre full of it.

In short, grow up, you call other people idiots and pea brains while failing to give one logical argumen or back up any of your claims. i tried to give you the benefit of the doubt when I began to read this site, but I know understand why it seems like no one can stand you.

i have two friends both own GMC 1500 pick up trucks with the 3.08 rears in them v8/v4 mode both of them said they have never gotten over 20 mpg's on hwy cruse set at 70 mph
so again like everything else gm says is lies epa owned by the government and gm owned by government both liers don't trust the government that is why i will never own a gm JUNK way behind the times BROKE BANKRUPT GOVERNMENT OWNED

Oh and bob, BTW, when you drive anything with gas milage in mind you can get a lot more than you think. I can hypermile my f150, with the measly 4.6 and get 21-23 if I go 55 on a flat highway and have the truck totally empty.

You could drive a semi off a clif and get in the mid 20's too, doesnt mean it would do you any good

Oh man, bad news for the General.


@ Frank "THE HAMMER"
like i said before

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