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Old 12-10-2017, 03:18 AM   #1
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F150 #1, #2, #3 mpg 2018

The number-one-selling vehicle in the U.S. is the Ford F-Series pickup; it has been for many, many years. Number two is Chevrolet Silverado series pickup, and for the last few years, #3 is FCA's Ram Series pickup. The full size class of pickup truck, however, is not the number one selling class of vehicle in the U.S., it's just that those three companies dominate the market so completely, and there are total of only five manufacturers who compete in this segment; so most years, they come out: one, two three as specific vehicles. You also have to keep in mind that these vehicles are not in reality single vehicles, as each of them come in many, many configurations and duty levels, but the manufacturers still count them as one vehicle. Even so, they are very popular, and have historically been gas guzzler. Ford, however, is changing that.

In 2011, Ford initiated a strategy never before seen in a North American pickup; they offered a down-sized, gas-turbo engine as the most capable choice for MY2012 with improved mpg over V8 engines in the class and competitive with naturally-aspired V6s in the class that have much less performance and capability as that 3.5L V6 Ecoboost.

For MY2015, Ford brought an all-new, most-expensive-retooling-project-for-a passenger-vehicle in history, all-aluminum F150 to market. It slashed weight up to 700 pounds from the 2014 model in some configurations, and at least 300 pounds in any configuration. Also, for that same model year, they introduced more high-strength steel frame that helped slash weight, and they also introduced a second gas-turbo, direct injection engine that was even smaller; a 2.7L Ecoboost. Ram had already introduced a 3.0 V6 Ecodiesel in the half-ton Ram with mpg up to 21/29/24, city, highway, and combined. Ford was not able to meet Ram's FE rein for a half-ton at the time as it was the FE leader. The 2.7L fell in at 19/26/22, and the three other engines fell in lower than that.

In 2017MY, Ford introduced a 10-speed transmission and mated it to the larger turbo engine and increased mpg in that combination above any other brands' base V6, but it still fell short of Ram's Ecodiesel and their own smaller Ecoboost @ 18/25/21. However, the U.S. EPA accused FCA of cheating on diesel emissions with regards to the Ecodiesel, and it was banned from sales; leaving Ford at the top of FE scores in that segment. Towards the end of the model year, Ram was allowed to resume sales of already-manufactured 2017 models with the Ecodiesel with some software changes that lowered the mpg to just barely ahead of F150 2.7L Ecoboost. The new, lower rating was 20/27/23. Giving it an edge by 1 in each category over F150's highest fuel miser.

In 2018MY Ford did a mid cycle refresh of the F150, and included a new base V6 engine with improved mpg, a reworked 2.7L Ecoboost, and a reworked V8 engine. All with more power or torque or both and all with higher mpg. Meanwhile Ram has not re implemented their Ecodiesel in 2018 trucks. At the time of this writing, F150 has the top three spots in mpg EPA estimates when you look at only each engine with it's highest FE choice available in the half-ton segment.

1. F150 2.7L Ecoboos 20/26/22
2. F150 3.3L NA V6 19/25/22
3. F150 3.5L Ecoboost 18/25/21
4. Three way tie
GM 4.3 V6 18/24/20
Ram 3.6 V6 17/25/20
GM 5.3 V8 with eAssist 18/24/20 *available only in crew cab $44K and up
5. F150 5.0 V8 17/23/19
6. GM 5.3 V8 16/23/19

In fact, if you take the 2.7L Ecoboost and compare it to the compact pickup truck market, it meets or beats all truck / engine combinations, including four cylinder NA-powered trucks; save the small Duramax diesel in the GMC/Chevrolet Canyon/Colorado that starts at $36K. The F150 with the 2.7L Ecoboost V6 can actually be purchased with a higher mpg rating than Toyota Tacoma 4 cylinder with half the horsepower and far less than half the torque; better than Nissan Frontier four cylinder base truck; and higher than the Unibody Honda Ridgeline that is powered with a V6; and it's rating exactly ties Colorado/Canyon from GM with their base 4 cylinder. Ford currently does not offer a pickup in US or Canada in the compact class, but the Ranger will return in 2019.
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Old 12-10-2017, 05:30 AM   #2
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A diesel option for the F150 may be arriving soon, and maybe a parallel hybrid in 2020.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:51 AM   #3
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0% APR on 2017s makes me want one.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:55 AM   #4
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TFL Truck found that their is already an online owners' manual for the diesel-optioned truck, and it reveals some things about it; it will be available only in a super cab with a short bed and a long bed; and a crew cab in only a short bed. So no standard cabs and no crew cab with a long bed. The minimum trim level is not revealed, but I'd be surprised if one will be able to order a diesel in less than a Lariat trim, which is the third level up, and this will mean that a diesel F150 will not be available under about $40K.

Any parallel hybrid of the future will have the same dilemma. It will be a good option for those shopping for the higher-end choices, but not for in the lower end.

For the more mainstream engines, expect GM to go full steam towards next-generation cylinder deactivation called DSF and mild hybrid applications (start-stop with a generator system 48 volt).

Rumor is that Fiat Chrysler will trend towards Ford's strategy, as there is a rumor that the Hemi V8 will eventually be replaced with a gas turbo, direct injection, inline 6 engine.

The issue right now is that diesels and full-scale hybrids can't even come close to solving their needs to reach CAFE standards due to the cost of those systems, because any manufacturer that tries to drop conventional, gas-powered ICEs would lose huge market share on the low end of the price structure. And so there is this very secretive effort from each manufacturer to work on cheaper power train strategies that will concurrently satisfy their customers. Only Ford so far has begun eeking up mpg with non traditional power train strategies in this segment, but the others will have to start revealing their strategies soon.

At the time of this writing, Toyota Tundra is dead last with respect to their 5.7L V8, which comes in at 16 in the combined rating for 2WD, and 15 for 4WD. Ram Hemi V8 is second worst. There will be a new Ram introduced next month, but rumor is that there will not be many changes to power trains for a couple more years. But after watching this segment stay pretty stagnant in fuel economy for the last forty years, it's finally being forced to move into more modern power train technology era. It's being demanded not only via law, but also customer expectations.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:38 AM   #5
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Bought a manual stripper F150 work truck with radio and air, 1999 model for $13,500 plus fees to build a house, sold it when the house was done and included the cost of ownership in the total cost of the house. Without even trying hard I could push 18-19 local and 20-22 highway with the POS V6 and a manual. Bought a Tundra for house 2 and sold it when the house was built, 17-19 mpg in that truck with AT, close to the same price.

My neighbor has a 3.5 ecoboost Ford van and he claims it gets mid 20's for mileage. He spends $1000+ a month in fuel including a crazy commute to his girlfriends house, 100 miles each way through terrible traffic.

If I was even considering a truck, which I would ONLY do if I built another house (very unlikely at 67 years age) I would want a F150 with the 2.7 ecoboost. If I wanted to tow a big boat around, I'd go with the 3.5 ecoboost. I love the aluminum body, but abhor the lack of a manual transmission. Not sure if Ford offers those engines in a stripper work truck, but no manual sucks.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:19 AM   #6
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You can compare the 2.7 ecoboost to the 2.4 turbo diesel in the Mitsubishi L200 here I guess, still the best in class for almost everything and the only truck here that can tow in 4WD apparently. It can tow 8200 LBS and unloaded you can expect 32-34 US MPG. Diesel makes far more sense to me, especially in commercial vehicles, very hard to get a commercial vehicle with a gasoline engine here.
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Old 12-16-2017, 04:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Draigflag View Post
You can compare the 2.7 ecoboost to the 2.4 turbo diesel in the Mitsubishi L200 here I guess, still the best in class for almost everything and the only truck here that can tow in 4WD apparently. It can tow 8200 LBS and unloaded you can expect 32-34 US MPG. Diesel makes far more sense to me, especially in commercial vehicles, very hard to get a commercial vehicle with a gasoline engine here.
Well no. Not really. We've got a diesel compact truck over here with tow rating at 7700. Different highway rating standards, so it's possible that the Mits wouldn't be at 8300 over here, and you're Mitsubishi is an example of what diesels and mid size pickups could be over here. Our only diesel choice is offered in only a real loaded up version with all the bells and whistles; only a crew cab; a bunch of advanced towing features standard; and it's weight is nearly to that of a base full size truck standard cab. A mid size pickup should far exceed any full size truck with respect to fuel economy, and that's part of the point of my original post. That the F150 full size truck not only far exceeds other gas offerings from other brands, but that it nearly matches the Ram Ecodiesel in the same class with respect to fuel economy, and that, except for our only diesel offering, it meets or beats all mid size pickups.

With respect to diesel offerings, It's a different world and a different set of problems with fuel neutral regulatory policies and other issues even if you discount the biases against compression ignition as a technology option in our culture. You're near-equal tow rating example as compared to the full-size F150 would not put the Mitsubishi in the same class over here. The F150 can be configured to max tow 13,200 and payload at 3200. F150 is a full-size truck.

I'm a huge diesel fanatic, and I'd love the idea of a 2.4L four cylinder in a midsize truck that could serve as my daily driver and my weekend project vehicle. A second choice may come to us in the form of a Ranger, but so far Ford has to be dragged in to offering a diesel. There is a lot stacked up against diesels in the US and Canada for those products to be anything more than a niche choice. That is...at the current technological state with respect to what it takes to make them compliant over here. Most manufacturers choose not to bother with the effort of marketing them here even when they have them marketed elsewhere.

The problems are multi faceted but the biggest issue by far is cost to build, certify, and market diesels in these markets and the whole issue of economics. It's roughly about the same cost dilemma as a full-scale parallel hybrid vehicle option versus a baseline vehicle, except that parallel hybrids have a bias in the opposite direction and many consumers give that technology more merit than the actual benefit.

The second biggest issue is the "dirty" perception that has been further propagated even more by the cheating scandals. The third biggest issue is the North American obsession with published horsepower, which is related to the fact that many Americans associate diesels with only very high utility and many can't stand the idea of a lighter-duty diesel, especially in a pickup truck. In other words, Americans did not see the diesel revolution for passenger cars and light trucks that happened in Europe for improved mpg up and down the line, but instead saw the revolution as it relates to heavy duty trucks and light, heavy-duty pickup trucks/vans, and many have the perception that diesel technology is only good for improving capability; not mpg. In fact, I bet if you did a survey of American drivers, only slightly more than half even know that equally-performing diesels can get superior mpg to a gas vehicle in light duty applications, and probably half of them that do know it, believe that spark-ignition is catching up; because we see technologies being added to gas-powered vehicles that are not being applied to diesel vehicles over here, simply because we don't have them, and so that gives the illusion that somehow gas power is getting more efficient, and that diesels cannot use these same techniques to maintain their lead..

Below is a list of current light-duty diesels offered in our market to illustrate the challenge. In addition to the list below, there are a few European-based, premium-branded luxury sedans, coupes, and SUVs available with a diesel with only modest markups in price, but I'll not include them, because these are high end vehicles that will never make a dent into our market with any engine offering; let alone with a diesel choice.

General Motors:
Colorado and Canyon pickup trucks
Base Truck--$22K 2.5L MPG--20/26/22 HP/Torque--200/191
Duramax --$36K 2.8L MPG--22/31/25 HP/Torque--181/369
Premium for cheapest available diesel versus lineup starting price
+$14K or 64%

Chevy Cruze compact sedan base --$17K MPG--29/40 HP/Torque 153/177
Chevy Cruze compact sedan diesel--$22.9K MPG--30/52 HP/Torque 137/240
Premium for cheapest available diesel versus lineup starting price
+$6K or 35%

Equinox and Terrain compact SUVs
Base Price--$23.6K MPG--26/33 HP/Torque 170/177
Diesel --$31.5K MPG--28/39 HP/Torque 137/240
Premium for cheapest diesel available versus lineup starting price $7.9K or
33.5%

FCA *
Ram 1500 Pickup 3.6L Penstar V6--$27K MPG--17/25/20 HP/Torque 305/269
Ram 1500 Pickup 3.0L Ecodiesel --$39.6K MPG--20/27/23 HP/Torque 240/420
Premium for cheapest diesel available versus lineup starting price $12.6K
or 46.7%

* Due to an ongoing investigation into alleged cheating by FCA during emission certification, the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel is currently for sale with respect to only existing 2017 and earlier vehicles already manufactured and waiting delivery at dealership lots. FCA has not certified emissions for Ecodiesel at the time of this post for 2018 MY.

At the time of this post, except for premium brands such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar and Land Rover, those listed above are the only diesel offerings for light-duty vehicles offered in the United States. I had heard about a Mazda SkyActive D, but there are no models listed on fueleconomy.gov.

Pricing disclaimer. It should be noted that the cheapest available diesel is a much-more appointed version than the base vehicle, however, the point of my post is that due to the fact that diesels are available only in these higher end versions, that is part of the problem for full acceptance and market share in the US and Canada.

As someone has already pointed out, Ford Motor Company has announced that they will offer a 3.0 V6 diesel in America's number 1 vehicle; it's the same engine already available in a Land Rover vehicle in the US and therefore, has already been certified for emissions. Ford had previously announced that it would be available in Spring 2018, However, most likely due to the fact that FCA is having diesel woes with respect to getting recertified with the Ecodiesel for 2018 and Ford marketers see the pressure to offer a diesel relaxed, Ford execs have recently been quoted saying that the diesel may not come until late 2018 for F150. As shown in the original post, F150 holds the top three spots in mpg for the full-size class as the model year begins, meaning three out of their four available engines come in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, so, with Ecodiesel currently out of the rankings, they've got more time. GM will have a pair of new full size trucks next Fall, so I'd guess Ford will bring the diesel then to counter whatever GM has up their sleeve.
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Old 12-16-2017, 05:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by R.I.D.E. View Post

If I was even considering a truck, which I would ONLY do if I built another house (very unlikely at 67 years age) I would want a F150 with the 2.7 ecoboost. If I wanted to tow a big boat around, I'd go with the 3.5 ecoboost. I love the aluminum body, but abhor the lack of a manual transmission. Not sure if Ford offers those engines in a stripper work truck, but no manual sucks.
I'm with ya.

That 1997-2003 style truck has played out to be very durable. I see them still everywhere on the road. Except for just a couple of colors, the paint still looks real good on most of those trucks I see everywhere. They were lighter and more aerodynamic and it was a really bold styling move at the time. Their demise was crash tests, and so they went quickly to the style that's similar to what we still see today. I loved that older truck except for the power trains. I had a small V8 that I couldn't get beyond 16 mpg unless I was on a long trip, and then later had the V6, and I couldn't get over 17. They were both super cabs; 2WDs, and automatics, which probably explains a lot of my pitiful FE; they were for my wife to drive. I had an '89 regular cab, boxy style, straight shift with the 300 six cylinder during the time she drove those trucks. I got 18 mpg in that truck no matter how I drove it as long as it was warm weather. I don't care what anyone says. Even today, I bet I can get better mpg out of stick shift than even a ten-speed auto, but most of those choices have gone away and that sucks.

I like, but don't love my 2015 F150 with the 2.7L Ecoboost. I really miss a straight shift, V6s are almost too smooth with no character, and I really miss the riding height of that older truck for all kinds of reasons. But I prefer 23.5 mpg over 18. But imagine if Ford planted a 2.7L turbo 4 cylinder in that truck with a 5 or 6 speed manual for just a couple of the smaller configurations. Lower the height and tow rating and call it an F100. It'd have all the power an torque we'd need, it would be much more usable as a tool, and they'd sell at least two of them! What ever happened to the 1/2-ton truck? Half-tons are like the old 1-tons, and the 1-tons are like 5-tons; but for people that need/want only a runaround, reasonably-priced, reasonable-duty truck; that truck has gone away.
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Old 12-16-2017, 06:06 AM   #9
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CAFE targets for trucks are based upon the truck's footprint. Make a smaller truck, and the target goes higher. So the manufacturers stick with larger models that are easier to get to CAFE.

Manuals have disappeared in trucks because they don't sell, and the manufacturers don't want to deal with warranty claims from inexperienced shifters trying to tow are haul heavy loads.

The Mazda6 was supposed to have a diesel option when the SkyActiv model arrived. It, and the diesel Accord before it, were victims to VW's cheating. They saw the Jetta could pass emissions while maintaining performance and fuel economy, and really tried to get their cars to do the same. Rumor now is that CX-5 update will have a diesel.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:03 AM   #10
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@ trollbait. Thanks for that. I wondered what happened to the Mazda SkyActiv D, because Mazda still boasts about it as if it's available, but it's not shown on the fueleconomy.gov website as an available diesel option.

What is encouraging for diesel lovers, and even straight-shift diesel lovers is GMs move to fill the vacancy with respect to diesels. Their decision to downsize their 2.0 with an equally-performing 1.6L in their next generation, instead of going towards more power and torque that a new 2.0 could provide is a good move from my perspective in the name of practicality and fuel economy. The new Cruze is estimated at 52 mpg highway, and now available in an Equinox/Terrain at 39 mpg highway. I know a lot of the electric-or-bust crowd will minimize how well a diesel can perform on the highway, and they'll exaggerate the emissions profile of all diesels or any ICE for that matter, but I think it's a good option...That is except for the price.

The bad part about GM is, unlike VW who unfortunately let down their north American diesel fan base who they had served for a few generations, they seem to look at a diesel offering as a chance to make extra margin for themselves and not a chance to bring a value choice at higher mpg for the consumer. Instead GM goes to great lengths to make their diesels less costly via solenoid injectors and cast iron block, Thailand built, etc. which is a good thing, but then they want to sell them as if they are super costly diesels with very high mark ups. The best example of this is the 2.8L Duramax in the Colorado and Canyon pickup trucks. This is a truck that starts at $22K, but you can't have a diesel until you're ready to spend $36K for a mid size pickup. I was faced with the decision

As for manuals, I think most of us who miss them know their time is over. We're just wishing for a different reality. The manual mode or paddle shift is no substitute. In my pickup with the 2.7 V6 Ecoboost, the engine is way to smooth and way to quick revving for the manual shift mode to have any usefulness. You'd have to shift every 2-3 seconds.
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