Driven: 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost Proves a V6 Can Make the Grade

January 24, 2011
2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost rear view - Drive Tour 2011

2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost rear view - Drive Tour 2011

It's no secret that Ford has been pushing EcoBoost, its combination of turbocharging and direct injection. But can it work in trucks as well as it works in cars?

Our partner site AllSmallCars first reported on the EcoBoost in the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO at the 2009 Denver Auto Show. Back then, Ford showed the engine in its cars, but hinted it would be used across the Ford lineup. Since then, EcoBoost has been featured in many of the new Ford models--including, for the first time in the company's history, the 2011 Ford F-150.

EcoBoosted trucks are pretty big news, something Ford announced back in November 2010. It seemed that there was only one thing to do--drive one.

Basically, EcoBoost allows for a smaller engine to produce as much power as a V-8, with the advantage of better fuel economy. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, we set out to set the record straight during the Ford F-150 EcoBoost Drive Tour. The tour was announced back in November along with the introduction of the EcoBoost, but if you missed it, the new F-150 will be making its away around to 54 cities in the U.S.

At the recent stop in Denver, we jumped in one and took it for a spin. The results might surprise you.

The benefits of the 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost is that it has 2WD fuel economy of 16/22 mpg city/hwy, can tow just over 11,000 pounds, is available in a four-door SuperCrew configuration and has 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, courtesy of the turbo V-6.

If you're used to driving late-model Ford, Chevrolet or Dodge trucks, what you will notice in the cab of the 2011 Ford F-F150 is that the seats are very supportive and the controls are easy to reach and understand--including the information center in the dash complete with animation at start up.

The driving experience is rewarding, with plenty of power from either a stand still or while already in motion. You will have to watch yourself if put your foot down around corners as it has enough power to get loose--however the traction/stability control will help keep you in check.

Part of what makes the F-150 driving experience favorable is the electric power steering setup. Unlike some of the early electric steering applications, the F-150 has a good weight and center feel; whether you are driving in traffic, the mall parking lot or out on the ranch, the F-150 feels stable in the wheel and in the suspension. With more than 11,000 lbs towing capacity, your passengers will appreciate the comfort of the F-150 suspension in-town, while you will appreciate the towing capacity when towing your boat to the lake or inevitably helping your friends move.

Soon enough, you'll forget you are driving a V-6--that is, until you fill up with 87-octane gas and see the estimated 20-percent improvement in fuel economy over the V-8 truck filling up across the station from you.

Ready to take your test-drive? Be sure to check out 
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