Driven: Ford F-150 Diesel Review

With global sales exceeding 1,000,000 units in 2017 (the only vehicle to do so), the Ford F-Series is the world’s best-selling vehicle. This year, the Detroit-based company launched the Ford F-150 diesel which features a UK-designed and built 3.0-litre V6 diesel unit, but how does it perform and what do the Americans think of this alternative form of propulsion?

Ford F-150: History

The Ford F-150 was launched in 1948 and over its 80 years and 13 generations, it has gone to sell over 40 million examples. The latest generation made its debut in 2015 and is available in seven trim levels and six engines.

Over the past 10 years, the Ford F-150’s biggest rivals – the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado – have released successful diesel variants but it wasn’t until 2018 that Ford introduced to 3.0-litre V6 ‘Powerstroke’ diesel. The powerplant was partly developed at Dunton Technical Centre in Essex and is built at Ford Dagenham in East London.

Ford F-150: Diesel Technical Specification

The 3.0-litre (2,991cc) V6 engine is comprised of a compacted graphite iron cylinder block construction and a forged-steel crank. The engine features a variable-geometry turbocharger and a high-pressure 29,000psi (2,000bar) fuel injection calibration enables smoother, quieter operation with reduced emissions.

Producing up to 250hp at 3,250rpm and an impressive 595Nm at 1,750rpm, the 2.2t Ford F-150 diesel reaches 60mph in just 8.7 seconds. However, due to America’s expensive diesel prices of 65p a litre (comparatively; their petrol prices are 57p a litre), it still doesn’t make great financial sense given the engine returns just 25mpg combined (21mpg on the 3.5-litre V6 EcoBoost).

Ford F-150: Performance

The engine is well matched to Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission, which has been tweaked for this specific engine to keep it at the top of the torque band. The 0-60 time is respectable, but the F-150 diesel is even more impressive at picking up speed from a rolling start and it is remarkably quiet – even during heavy acceleration.

Ford F-150: European Debut in 2019?

Ford has announced that it will be retiring the 2.2 and 3.2 Duratorq engines that currently feature in the Ford Ranger and replacing them with the new 2.0 EcoBlue engine producing 214bhp/500Nm. However, with the 3.2TDCi engine currently making up two-thirds of UK Ford Ranger sales, many (including ourselves) doubt that a 2.0-litre is a suitable replacement and insiders at Ford has hinted that the UK-designed and built 3.0 V6 Powerstroke may make an appearance further down the line.

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