Last year, the Ford F-150 offered most buyers a choice of legacy two-valve and three-valve 4.6-liter V-8 engines or a three-valve 5.4-liter V-8. While those engines got the job done, they weren’t known for power or performance.
This year, Ford has totally revamped the F-150’s powertrain lineup with three all-new advanced engines, plus wider availability of the 6.2-liter V-8 that was previously limited to the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor.
We’ve extensively tested the 6.2 in the Raptor and the new entry-level 3.7-liter V-6 during our six-cylinder Work Truck Shootout. We’ve also spent several hours towing and piloting the novel twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, the F-150’s top-of-the-line towing engine. But our time with the fresh 5.0-liter V-8 was limited to a brief drive and drag race in Texas last year. That’s no longer the case.
A 2011 F-150 XLT SuperCrew 5.0 4×4 showed up in our driveway last Tuesday, and we wasted no time putting it through its paces. In less than a week, we drove it 800 miles – 622 miles of which it towed a 9,000-pound conventional tandem axle horse trailer.
Snap judgment? This could be the best all-around engine ever offered in the F-150 – at least until EcoBoost’s early adopters can confirm that mill’s reliability and efficiency in real-world use.