CleanMPG Coaxes 32 MPG from Ford F-150 EcoBoost Pickup

Cleanmpg-1-560
Photo courtesy of CleanMPG.com

The hypermiling mavens from CleanMPG.com have completed a 2,500-mile cross-country trip in a 2011 Ford F-150 SuperCrew using just three tanks of gas. They squeezed an astonishing 32.281 miles per gallon from the EcoBoost-powered half-ton.

During our recent twin F-150 EcoBoost road test, we averaged 21 mpg with an empty truck. So how'd CleanMPG wring another 11 mpg from the 365 horsepower, 420 pounds-feet of torque gasoline twin-turbo direct-injection V-6? By driving the most efficient configuration slowly.

CleanMPG drove a two-wheel drive model from California to Georgia with a conservative 3.15 rear axle for maximum fuel economy. That doesn't mean they didn't use the truck like it was meant to be used. There were five adults in the pickup for most of the journey plus a cargo box full of camping gear and supplies that pushed the F-150's gross vehicle weight to 7,120 pounds -- 20 pounds over its 7,100-pound GVWR.

Here's a look at CleanMPG's observed Interstate highway steady state fuel economy at different speeds:

  • 70-mph - 22.3 mpg (6th gear with transmission's torque converter locked)
  • 60-mph - 25.5 mpg (6th gear with transmission's torque converter locked)
  • 50-mph - 31.6 mpg (6th gear with transmission's torque converter locked)
  • 45-mph - 33.9 mpg (6th gear with transmission's torque converter locked)
  • 40-mph - 32.6 mpg (6th gear with transmission's torque converter locked)

Another interesting fact -- CleanMPG squeezed 36 gallons of gasoline into the F-150's 26 gallon factory fuel system by following a slow fill approach that utilized all of the gas vapor space in the tank and fuel lines. This required up to an hour to trickle fuel into the truck.

For more details and a full recap of the trip, head over to CleanMPG.

Comments

Totally unrealistic. If gas were $15.00 per gallon then this would make sense. If you want to save fuel, buy a Prius or an electric car, but don't try to hype a vehicle designed to carry large payloads as being a gas saving vehicle.

I love to see Ford consider putting the same hybrid engine in the Ford Fusion in the 150 pickup,eVen at a slightly larger die and maye still be able to get 32mpg realistically . Please respond to this question if possible.

I have a 2011 F150 4WD Club Cab with an EcoBoost engine and a 3.55 rear end. I'm averaging 22+ mpg over 70 mph and 19 mpg for city driving. There is less than 3,000 miles on the truck. The mileage is getting better. I love the truck.

How do you figure putting more gas in the tank improves your mpg, were you just going by the computer? If so you did nothing more than confuse the computer that is set up to calculate a full tank at being 26 gallons so if you put in 36 gallons and the computer said you got 32 mpg then you're lying to yourself..

Did they keep track of speed / mpg per segment?

Just how long did it take to cover the distance?

I test drove a new 2011 F150 crew cab and in my mix of driving I found about 22 MPG -- This is about 25 miles of Highway @ 65 MPH and 15 city. I currently drive a 2007 Explorer with the 4.6 V8 and get about 20. Still impressive for a truck that can tow over 11,000 lbs.
To the doubters please take any pickup capable of that and see what they get with the same load as tested.

Follow up, I forgot to mention this was a 4 x 4 model with 3.73 axle ratio I was driving

i have a f150 supercrew with the ecoboost v6 with 9200 miles on it now. just returned from a 4300 mile trip from wisc to vegas and back. my mpg average for the whole trip was 17.4 keeping it at close to the posted speed limits wich were anywhere from 60 to 80 mph with 2 people and luggage. nowhere close to fords claim of 22mpg!!!

Weight DOES matter! Also, turbos have been around for decades in big trucks (semis) and have been proven very effective for power and efficiency. This has came to pickups in diesels in late 80s to mid 90s. Ford is implementing the technology learned in diesel engines into this engine. Having driven the ecoboost f150 as well as my share or Macks, Freightliners, L-model Fords this truck reminds me of those trucks and fun as hell to drive. Owned 2007 tundra with 5.7. Great truck awesome power, not near truck as ford when comes to looks, finish and ride. The ecoboost is a step in the right direction. Chevy guys give it up the 5.3 is past prime and tundras 5.7 is not much bigger displacement and is don't even compare power. So don't cry foul about Two turbos you have Two more cylinders. You have a cute little truck for people who want looks over substance.

(I was going) "anywhere from 60 to 80 mph...." - ron

If you're going 80 mph you're going to kill your fuel economy. It is that simple. I don't care what the posted limit says.

Direct from the Department of Energy at fueleconomy.gov:

"While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph."

You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.28 per gallon for gas.

Fuel Economy Benefit:
7–23%"

Ford did not lie. Here is a vid of a 4x4 3.73 EcoBoost getting 25 mpg at 65.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTCGT-fJS4c

"Stop comparing the 5.3 with the EcoBoost. The 5.3 might equal the EcoBoost in MPG (but I doubt it with the truck weighing 7100 lbs.), but it is down on HP and torque (50 HP and 82 ft. lbs.) and isn't even close in its towing capacity. The 5.3 doesn't even compete with the EB, I highly doubt anyone is going to cross shop the two."

It is alot a lot more cash upfront and more costly to maintain and repair. But it is a kick butt motor. GM does however have a surprise set to debut. I love good old American competition.

Why is it so hard to get this kind of mileage these days? My 1974 Pontiac Grand Prix would get 21mpg on the highway traveling around 62-65 mph. That was with a big 400 cubic inch V8 engine. Have emissions caysed

I have a 2011 F150 EcoBoost 4x4 max tow pkg with 5500 miles on it. It struggles to get 16 MPG highway. I've taken it to dealer and complained about poor mileage and they say it's running perfectly. My 2006 F350 4x4 6.0L diesel w/ camper/snow plow pkgs gets 19 MPG doing the same driving. I would sure like to know the trick to getting these super numbers.

My 2012 lariat ecoboost has averaged 13 mpg highway and city since I bought it last January and the won't admit there is a problem with it. This is at 70 mph highway driving. I have kept receipts and fuel logs as proof and keep getting the run around. I will never buy another Ford if nothing is done soon!

I have a 2012 fx4 with the EB and I can say that it delivers!
Moved my son this week with a trailer full of his furniture
and the EB delivered 14 ish mpg trucking along at 70-75. Ofcourse I was no where near the 11300 rated tow capacity!

This truck delivers on all aspects is all I can say. With no load I average around 17.5 mpg in Houston traffic which is stop and go! If I try to monitor gas consumption I have gotton as high as 23.4 mpg on my 35 mile drive to work. Never went over 65 though!

I have been a chevy man all my life. I have always preached chevy. I currently own a chevy. But as i look at all the ecoboost facts & reports, I am seriously interested in this pickup!! I might just see an F-150 in my future.

My 3.75 EB 150. Tows my 31ft. 5th Wheel ABSLUTELY MUCH MUCH better than my 95GMC 5.3. I worked for GM for 34yrs. SO!!!!

I have 6000 on mine and get 13.1 mpg adv.

I am currently looking for a new truck & came across this article while researching. I have to say I was very disappointed to read what configuration of truck & speeds traveled were required to achieve the listed results after being very excited by the title. Like a few people have already stated, a consumer who purchases a pickup truck (for practical reasons other than thinking it's cool anyway), is likely purchasing a 4WD model with standard 3.73 gearing & certainly driving faster than 40mph!

I live in central Alberta which is very rural country, involving a lot of driving to get around & can tell you if you tried to drive anywhere close that slow on any of the highways here you would not only get ticketed for dangerous driving but probably wouldn't last a month before getting in a serious accident.

As an aside I have to fully agree with what xs29L says about longevity; a turboed V6 which is worked for most of it's life is not going to last nearly as long as a V8. Not a big deal I guess if you plan on unloading the truck before you start having troubles but may affect the V6 resale values in a few years.

Having said that I really like the cab layout & leg room in the Fords as well as the 6.5' box more so than either GM or Dodge short boxes. Still haven't decided yet but if a guy could get 28-30mpg out of a standard setup F150 4x @55-60 mph I would buy one tomorrow!



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