First Drive: How Different is the Updated 2018 Ford F150?

2018 ford f150 limited
2018 Ford F150 Limited

How different is the updated 2018 Ford F150 lineup from the outgoing truck? The new pickup indeed looks different. Just check out the variety of grilles (six of them in total), larger wrap-around headlights, new wheel designs, and mildly updated tailgate. You won’t have a tough time telling the 2018 from the 2017 model.

The interior is largely the same, although there are four updated interior design themes. The King Ranch interior theme is called “Kingsville”.

This first drive review is brought to you by our friends at American Trucks. Check them out for latest accessories for the F-150 and other trucks.

The other differences are underneath. Ford spent a lot of time updating the engines, transmissions, and the chassis itself to boost power, efficiency, and load capability. We were not able to verify all of these claims during our first drive opportunity in Michigan. Still, there is one thing that rings loud and clear. The 2018 F150 is a smooth combination of suspension, engine, transmission, and interior appointments.

The all-new 3.3L V6 base engine is rated at 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. It’s the only engine that’s mated to the 6-speed automatic. The power is adequate for a work truck (XL model), and the transmission is as smooth as it’s every been.

The uprated 2.7L EcoBoost V6 and the 5.0L V8 are mated to the new 10-speed automatic, that made its debut in the 2017 Ford Raptor and the 2017 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost. If you have driven those trucks, you know that the 10-speed is ultra smooth and can roll through the gears with great speed. It works just as smoothly in the 2018 truck.

The 2.7L EcoBoost V6 has been the best seller for the F-150, and now it is also the most fuel efficient version of the truck (according to Ford). It surely will remain as the best seller.

The 2018 F150 takes another step up in refinement, and we cannot wait to put the truck through more grueling tests.

Note: (We are working to produce more first drive video reviews from this event. Please stay tuned.)

There will be time for more thorough testing once we get the trucks to Colorado.