Awards Car Reviews Truck of the Year

Ford F-150 Diesel: 2019 Motor Trend Truck of the Year Finalist

Last year's TOTY winner returns with a diesel engine

Last year's TOTY winner returns with a diesel engine

WE LIKE Good fuel economy, quiet ride

WE DON’T LIKE Poor towing performance, ponderous acceleration

Fresh off last year’s TOTY win, the Ford F-150 returns with a diesel engine and a few surprises up its sleeve.

This year marks the first time Ford has offered a diesel variant of the F-150. Under the sheetmetal sits a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 making 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. As impressive as those numbers sound, sometimes it still isn’t quite enough juice.

“It feels fine at city speeds, but there’s nothing there at highway speeds,” Christian Seabaugh said.

We can forgive its leisurely gait on the highway because of its superior fuel economy. In our Real MPG tests, this truck creamed competitors by returning 20.9/28.5/23.7 mpg (11.2/8.2/9.9 L/100km) city/highway/combined. It performed better than its EPA rating of 20/25/22 mpg (11.8/9.4/10.7 L/100km), as well.

The truck benefits from a surprisingly quiet ride and nice handling unladen, though we took note of its rough edges, including its firm ride and body roll. “If you want a truck that drives like a truck, this is it,” Scott Evans said. “In the age of adaptive dampers, air springs, and coil springs, it’s definitely the busiest ride here.”

Unfortunately, this truck failed in a key area where it was meant to excel: towing. Handling suffered when attached to a trailer, and drivers can feel plenty of turbo lag off the line. It took 22.0 seconds to reach 60 mph under load—4.3 seconds slower than the next-slowest truck. What’s more, when Kim Reynolds was climbing the Davis Dam grade, the F-150 would hang at 53 mph (85 km/h) for a while before getting the gumption to accelerate again. In addition to the uncompetitive acceleration, our tester’s dated interior doesn’t really befit its $64,935 USD price tag.

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2018 Ford F-150 4X4 Lariat (Crew)
BASE PRICE $48,195
PRICE AS TESTED $64,935
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck
ENGINE 3.0L/250-hp/440-lb-ft turbodiesel DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 10-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5,579 lb (59/41%)
WHEELBASE 145.0 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 231.9 x 79.9 x 77.2 in
0-60 MPH 7.7 sec
QUARTER MILE 16.1 sec @ 84.4 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 121 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.74 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.3 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 20.9/28.5/23.7 mpg
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 20/25/22 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 189/151 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.01 lb/mile