$8,745 - $28,463

2011 Ford F-150 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Ford F-150 was new.


Performance: 8.6

Reviewers are generally pleased with the 2011 Ford F-150's performance. The new engine lineup is given praise for its power and towing capabilities, as well as its fuel efficiency. While fuel efficiency numbers haven’t been released for the powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, reviewers report very good numbers. As Automobile Magazine says, “Illustrating what can be achieved with feather-foot driving, we recorded over 32 mpg on a mileage test conducted over rolling Texas terrain." In fact, reviewers have few complaints other than ride quality that’s comfortable but falls short of the Dodge Ram. Some reviewers complain about the new electric steering in F-150 models that are not equipped with the 6.2-liter V8 engine.  

  • "If anything, the EcoBoost F-150 feels lighter and quicker on its feet than a comparable 6.2-liter V-8 pickup." – Automobile Magazine
  • "Firm, responsive steering complements capable handling to make the F-150 among the more agile-feeling in this class, but like other big pickups, it's ponderous in tight maneuvers. Brakes have good pedal modulation." -- Consumer Guide
  • "We easily achieved 25 mpg in a casual fuel economy test during Ford’s press event, not even bothering to turn off the air conditioning. That’s an unprecedented combination of power and economy." – Road and Track
  • "With little else new for 2011, the F-150 otherwise drives as it did before, which is to say solid and refined but not quite as handily as the Ram 1500, which won our last pickup-truck comparison test in 2009." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The 2011 Ford F-150 is given applause by the automotive press for its new engines. With 302-horsepower even the base 3.7-liter V6 accelerates with authority. Consumers looking for some added oomph can move up to the optional 5.0-liter V8 or 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which offer 360- and 365-horsepower, respectively. The top-line 411-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 is only available on the off-road oriented SVT Raptor or more luxurious Lariat, Lariat Limited, Platinum models, as well as the Harley-Davidson edition F-150.   

  • "Acceleration is almost diesel-like in its relentlessness, and the truck has more than enough in reserve for passing maneuvers, even with a trailer behind." -- Car and Driver
  • "The EcoBoost V-6 lived up to its expectations of V-8 like pulling performance towing trailers, but in our opinion it felt more like a small-displacement V-8 instead of large-displacement engine." – PickupTrucks.com
  • "The turbos are quick to contribute. Brush the gas and there’s a powerful but silent surge ahead." – Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

The 2011 Ford F-150 is a competent handler for a full-size truck. Some reviewers say the Ram offers a more compliant ride, though most agree that the F-150 is comfortable. Critics also have mixed feelings on the new electric power steering system which they say is devoid of feel. F-150’s with the 6.2-liter V8 continue to use a hydraulic steering pump.

  • "While all-around ride quality is good, the F-150’s still don't top Ram pickups equipped with well located coil-sprung rear axles." – Automobile Magazine
  • "The (steering) setup is more efficient than a hydraulic setup and makes for easy low-speed maneuvering, but it offers nil in the way of feel." – Car and Driver
  • “Instead, each and every version of the F-150 we've driven offered exceptional ride quality, no shudders, hops or hiccups, and a level of quiet that was startling." – Kelley Blue Book

Off Roading

The reviewers who took the 2011 F-150 off-road were impressed with its capabilities. Four-wheel drive is available on all trims, and the SVT Raptor is designed for off-road use. The Raptor comes with special bodywork and over 11-inches of suspension travel front and rear.


For those looking to tow, the base V6 with its 5,500 pound towing capacity should be looked over in favor of the optional 5.0-liter V8 or 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which offer 10,000 pounds and 11,300 pounds of towing capacity, respectively. The top-line 6.2-liter V8 can also tow 11,300 pounds, but is only available on the off-road oriented SVT Raptor, Lariat, Lariat Limited, Platinum models, as well as the Harley-Davidson edition F-150.  

  • "We drove several F-150 models, as well as competitive trucks, both unladen and towing trailers weighing up to 6700 pounds, and the EcoBoost felt noticeably strong and never seemed to run out of breath." – Car and Driver
  • "Perhaps most impressive was the towing demonstration in which we hauled 20-foot trailers with absolutely zero drama, thanks in large part to the pickup's trailer sway control, rearview camera and integrated trailer brake controller" – Kelley Blue Book

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