2018 Ford F-150 Preview

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By Aaron Bragman

Competes with: Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra

Looks like: Super Duty light

Powertrains: Standard all-new 3.3-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic transmission; optional 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost, 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost, 5.0-liter V-8 or turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6, all with a10-speed automatic; rear-wheel or four-wheel drive

Hits dealers: Fall 2017

The 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit seems to be the place to see the latest updated versions of the country's best-selling vehicles this year, as Ford is taking the wraps off of its refreshed full-size half-ton pickup. The 2018 Ford F-150 debuts here this week with some new styling, new wheels, new leather colors, a couple new features and perhaps most significantly — a new optional diesel engine.


The biggest changes come to the front of the F-150, which sees its grille, bumper and headlights replaced with newly styled versions. The horse-collar look is gone, replaced by what Ford calls a "twin I-beam" grille (not to be confused with the old twin I-beam suspension found under the front of every Ford Ranger and Explorer in years past).

While the 2018 doesn't add new trim levels, the designers worked hard to differentiate the trims that already exist. So now there's a very different look between "low-series" trims XL, XLT and the STX Appearance Package, and the "high-series" trims of Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited. Seven new grilles have been tooled up, but even more variations can be created via paint, chrome and plating options.

New headlights with an updated "double C-clamp" LED profile replacing the larger one-piece units seen on the current F-150; that LED is duplicated in the taillights.

New wheels ranging from 17 to 22 inches are available, depending on trim level.

Out back, a new tailgate with a stamped F-150 logo comes on lower trims, while three new appliques are used on higher trims without that stamped-in identifier.


Inside, not much has changed. The shapes are the same, but high-level trims get some new leather color options and the King Ranch gets new seats. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now compatible with the available Sync 3 multimedia system, while a premium B&O Play audio system is now available, the first appearance of the system in a Ford product. Aside from these slight changes, the interior remains the same spacious, airy cabin that it has been.

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Under the Hood

There are a variety of powertrains available for the F-150, starting with a new base engine and transmission combination. An all-new 3.3-liter V-6 gas engine replaces the previous 3.5-liter motor, mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission. The combination reportedly delivers the same power and torque as the outgoing V-6, but with better fuel economy (exact numbers will be released closer to the on-sale date, according to Ford). Up from that are an optional twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost or a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 engine, all mated to the 10-speed automatic transmission (the six-speed is for the 3.3-liter V-6 only). Ford is promising more power and torque across the range, while maintaining or bettering fuel economy for each engine.

New to the lineup will be a light-duty turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6, used in some of Ford's European vehicles, also mated only to the 10-speed automatic. No fuel-economy numbers were made available for this engine yet as it is still pending EPA certification, but Ford did say that this motor will not arrive until summer of 2018.


Full stop-and-go ability has been added to the F-150's optional distance-keeping cruise control, enabling the vehicle to brake itself to a stop in traffic and start up again. Available precollision sensing assist with a pedestrian detection function warns the driver of an impending collision before acting autonomously to brake the vehicle if need be.

Ford says the 2018 F-150 will appear in dealerships in the fall of 2017. To check out our first impression, click here

Manufacturer images


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@papa jim--The Global Ranger has been a top seller in the Global Market just behind the Toyota Hilux. There have been many reviews on the Global Ranger on other websites that give it the top rating. I doubt that midsize trucks will stall in sales because many are switching from sedans to crossovers and trucks. For many suburban homeowners a crew cab midsize is a replacement for the family sedan. This is true as well for the full size crew cabs but many want a little smaller size that will fit in their garage and has a bed for going to Home Depot or the Nursery. You are assuming that every consumer wants a full size truck, but you have not factored in those looking for a vehicle to replace the midsize family sedan with more utility. Have you tried to get in and out of today's midsize sedans? Have you tried to haul something in the trunk of those sedans? A good midsize truck will increase all truck sales. You are only considering those who own trucks not those who switch from the traditional sedan to a truck based vehicle. The boom in midsize trucks has little to do with gas prices and more to do with a switch to a more utilitarian vehicle that is not too big but offers more function. The Colorado/Canyon and the Honda Ridgeline have opened the market up for the midsize truck and there is plenty of room for a version of the Global Ranger.

The front headlights really don't do it for me....

Jeff S; don't waste time with papa jim; he's stuck in the 60-70's & has no clue of current mid-sizers capabilities & the global Ranger's new reputation with raved reviews from Aussie land to Asia & across to South Africa & has taken the throne from Toy maker's Hilux in many places.

I believe the US market is in for a rude awakening with mid-sizers popularity as it will only increase. Who knows, soon the Big 3 will need to change their bread-butter investment from full size trucks...

@Jeff S @Lionel

take a look at the sales figures. I did not make them up. LARGE SUVs and LARGE pickups led the pack.

For years gullible buyers assumed that mid sizer sedans (like the Taurus) and smaller pickups offered a big advantage in fuel economy.

The old Ford Sport Trac is a great example. Even the 6 cylinder Sport Trac got about the same mileage as half ton crew cabs.

The Sports Trac is not a good comparison. The bed is bigger on a crew cab Colorado, Tacoma, Frontier, and Ridgeline and even the crew cab version of the Global Ranger has a larger bed. If you look at the same statistics for the midsize trucks you will notice the new Colorado/Canyon and Ridgeline have increased sales of all midsize trucks. With a Global based Ranger there will be an additional increase. This is not the 50's or 60's so trying to just compare the size of a vehicle is not valid. The new midsize entries will not take away from the full size market as much as they will increase the overall market for trucks. In a 2 to 3 car suburban family the utility offered by a crossover, SUV, or truck is much greater than the addition of another sedan. People are willing to spend a little more for a crew cab midsize than to get another sedan. If you notice the crew cab 4x4 midsize trucks are selling the best. Most of the dealers around me manage to sell most of their midsize trucks especially the crew cabs. Buyers are willing to pay for a nicely appointed midsize trucks especially since they are using it as a family vehicle.

@papa jim--Here's link to a series of articles on TTAC "Death Watch of the midsize sedan" Read some of the comments in regards to head room, leg room, and trunk space of the midsize car.


Your have to realize that many midsize trucks especially crew cabs have become a more practical and functional replacement for a sedan.

@Jeff S

read the damn news Jeff!

I did not make it up. Big SUVs and big pickups have been the story in 2015/2016.

Don't blame me! Facts are facts!

The Sport Trac is a perfect example, which is why you never like me to bring it up. The Sport Trac was a 14 city/20 highway kind of truck. It weighed damn near 5000 lbs. The only Sport Trac worth having was the V8 six speed. It got the same FE as the half ton trucks.

Midsize trucks are supposed to be about Goldilocks. Not too big, not too small.

Ford could have brought a compact truck in 2019 and instead decided to bring back the Sport Trac with lipstick.

Not a winner.

@paoa jim--I do read the damn news and the news along with the sales figures show that the midsize truck is gaining. You are only looking a big trucks and big suvs but you fail to see the number of customers switching to midsize trucks from cars. The market for all sizes of pickups, suvs, and crossovers has been steadily growing. Most midsize trucks get much better fuel economy than a Sports Trac and have features that make a Sports Trac look ancient. You are comparing a generation old midsize truck with a current generation. A manufacturer can make more profit on a midsize truck or crossover than they can on a 4 door sedan and the plants making midsize trucks and crossovers are running a full capacity. Why do you think that Jeep has given the green light to a new pickup and that Ford is now going to enter the midsize truck market. The Global Ranger is a proven truck and even if Ford does something similar to GM in that they produce a different Colorado than the Global one it will still be similar enough to the Global Ranger. You do not realize that except for the full size American pickups that most vehicles are globally designed and global platforms are used. A Ford Fusion is a Ford Mondeo in Europe as a Buick LaCross and Regal are Opels in Europe. To compare a Sports Trac to a Global Ranger or Colorado is like comparing a 1997 F-150 to a 2017 F-150 or a B-52 Bomber to a B-1. The technical advances in engines, transmissions, computers, safety features, and comforts are much more advanced than those of the past 5, 10, 15, and 20. GM has been selling as many Colorados/Canyons as they can make which is much more than you can say for some of its other products. There is a market for all sizes of trucks, suvs, and crossovers. Over a 100k Colorados/Canyons selling in the past year is not too shabby.

When they push them out the door as fast as they can they are not building reliability.
Toyota Tacoma 2016 horrendous amount of issues
Ford F150 horrendous amount of issues
GM silverado Sierra colorado canyon horrendous amount of issues
Ram trucks horrendous amount of issues
less people buying Nissan means high reliability
you can buy what ever you want but be prepared to bring it to a garage often if you buy anything but Nissan for 2017.

Having owned a 2010 F150 that is paid off it's extremely difficult to justify the purchase of a new truck however I believe the 2018 is going to be worth a look. As for those who have been critical of the new Ford F150's it's just proof you haven't driven one or owned one. There is NO Comparison between the Ford Truck and GM trucks (Chevy or GMC) as the Ford just drives, and rides, so much better it isn't even close. GM has hit Ford's decision to go to the aluminum body but that's kind of hypocritical given that Chevy & GMC are both going to the same aluminum body in their future trucks.

The only truck that comes close to the drive and ride of the new F150's is the Dodge RAM and while Dodge makes a good truck I just believe you get better value in the Ford Truck as well as getting more for your money. All anyone has to do to understand why Ford has been the best selling truck for so many years is spend some time in one, driving one and checking out what you get for what you pay. It really isn't close, in this buyer's opinion, but then each brand has it's fans and while GM and Dodge both have good products Ford is the only one of the group that rejected Government money and control and I think that also is a benefit for Ford.

If though you have purchased a GM (Chevy or GMC) or a Dodge RAM then by all means don't go drive a Ford F150 otherwise you may experience buyer's remorse.

Ford is fine except ---- why would anyone want a pickup with plastic bumpers, no vent windows, no bench seat and direct injection without a catch can ??

@alan day

Sorry but vent windows are deader than disco.

I loved 'em but the Big 3 started phasing them out decades ago. Just like crank windows.

When I was kid you could buy a very nice coupe or sedan with interior and performance upgrades but it still offered a choice of power windows and power steering (or not).

They never asked me about the vent windows but they're gone now.

Bumper isn't plastic. Bench seat is available.

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