2019 Ford F-150

Performance


MSRP
$28,155
U.S. News Best Price Program

2019 Ford F-150 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.8

The 2019 Ford F-150 is up for any challenge. It offers several capable engines, most of which are paired with a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. The F-150 gets pretty good gas mileage, handles well, and rides smoothly. It has the highest towing and hauling capacities in the class, and it even offers an off-road performance trim – the Raptor.

  • "Taken on their own, the turbo V6 models pack all the power and performance a truck owner will need. Ford has worked hard to sell the 3.5-liter EcoBoost as the premium engine. It has the power and performance to back up that sales pitch. Even the smaller 2.7-liter EcoBoost has plenty of oomph. Yes, we may love the sound and instant response of the V8, but its days appear to be numbered." -- Autoblog (2018)
  • "The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 is now even more appealing, thanks to its punchier torque and the wider ratio spread of the 10-speed versus the old six-speed. The small six-cylinder sounds great under load, too, and emits a satisfying turbo whistle when the driver really sticks the spurs to it. Traditionalists, for whom Ford continues to offer the 5.0-liter V-8, likely will be more pleased by the continued availability of the big, naturally aspirated engine than concerned about the marginal improvements to its performance. … there's no beating the five-oh's muscle-car soundtrack and linear, old-school power delivery that builds thrust to a crescendo near redline." -- Car and Driver (2018)
  • … the EcoBoost V6 and new 10-speed transmission deliver plenty of power for towing and hauling as well as respectable fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Acceleration and Power

You might want to get a pen and paper: The F-150 offers six different engines, so we're about to throw a lot of information at you. This Ford comes standard with a 3.3-liter V6 engine that puts out 290 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. This engine doesn't unlock the F-150's full capability, but it's perfectly fine for daily driving.

The available engines include a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 395 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, a turbocharged (EcoBoost) 2.7-liter V6 that produces 325 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, and a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. There's also a 3.0-liter turbodiesel that puts out 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque.

These engines improve the F-150's towing and hauling abilities, and some get better fuel economy than the base engine. The V8 sounds great, and the larger EcoBoost engine has one of the highest torque ratings in the class.

Finally, there's the high-output turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 powering the Limited and Raptor trims. It produces 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. This engine makes the F-150 into something of a performance vehicle. It feels strong in any driving situation and delivers unbelievable acceleration.

The base engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, while every other engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic. The 10-speed delivers power more smoothly than the six-speed and is much better for towing.

With the base engine, the F-150 gets better fuel economy than most full-size trucks. It earns an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Fuel economy is about the same (give or take 1 mpg) with the two turbocharged engines. The 450-horsepower, twin-turbo V6 gets the worst fuel economy, earning 15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.

  • "Opt for the base 3.3-liter V6 and you'll end up with decent power for hauling and light towing coupled with good fuel economy. What you won't get is an engine with the power to quickly pass, merge and blast off from a dead stop. The 5.0-liter V8 offers good power, but poor fuel economy. If you want the right engine for such a big truck, you're going to want to go with either the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 or the 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 turbodiesel. These three engines offer superior abilities when it comes to towing, hauling, fuel economy and acceleration, and they really don't push the F-150's price all that much higher." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The F-150 is a strong performer, even without the range-topping engine. The turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 is punchy, and the smooth-shifting 10-speed gearbox makes the most of it." -- Edmunds
  • I first hopped into an XLT SuperCrew 4x4. Once just barely out of earshot from the Ford event tent, my drive partner laid into the throttle with full force. Not bad. The engine makes very usable power, but it does so way up at 6,500 rpm, and it has to work pretty hard to get there. It sounds sad and brutal doing it, as well. And while the transmission usually does a good job of not hunting for gears, it's a bit slow to shift and you really notice a big kick-down when you need to quickly dip into the throttle. That said, for a base engine, the new V-6 is far from an anchor, and I think most people who just want to get into an F-150 for cheap won't be disappointed." -- Automobile Magazine (2018)

Handling and Braking

This Ford truck delivers a cushioned ride; almost as smooth as a nice sedan at times. It even rides comfortably with a full bed and over rough pavement. This isn't just a cruising vehicle, however. The F-150 handles as well as most other trucks and feels composed on winding roads. Like all full-size trucks, the F-150 comes standard with rear-wheel drive; four-wheel drive is available.

The F-150 can hold its own off road, particularly if you add features like a locking rear differential, an off-road-tuned suspension, and hill descent control. But for serious off-roading, you want the F-150 Raptor. It's extremely powerful and comes with specialty features like beadlock wheels (which keep your tires attached to the wheels and rotating together in off-road situations where you might be running with low air pressure), and a new-for-2019 Trail Control system, which is like cruise control for off-roading. The Raptor also lets you change driving modes to match the terrain, and it can go just about anywhere you dare to take it.

  • "This truck steers and handles about as well as anything in the class. It has confidence-inspiring brakes, too." -- Edmunds
  • "As for ride and handling, you may be surprised such big trucks can be so responsive. The ride is smooth and stable, even with a loaded bed, and the F-150's interior can be anything from comfortable cruiser to luxurious land yacht." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Even top-dog F-150s with 21- and 22-inch wheels ride well, and while the Ford isn't as buttoned down during hard driving as General Motors' well-sorted Silverado and Sierra trucks, its excellent driving position and forward sightlines make it easier to maneuver." -- Car and Driver (2018)

Towing and Hauling

The F-150 is the class leader when it comes to towing and hauling. It can tow up to 13,200 pounds when properly equipped. Its max payload is 3,270 pounds. Perhaps just as importantly, the F-150 can pull heavy loads without feeling strained. The turbocharged engines are particularly good, delivering plenty of power even when the truck is climbing hills.

In addition to its high capacities, the F-150 offers helpful features like Trailer Backup Assist, Dynamic Hitch Assist, and Trailer Sway Control. These features make it easy to connect a trailer and maneuver it, whether you’re driving down the road or backing down a boat ramp.

  • "For example: a boat ramp. Ford's Pro Trailer Backup assist makes it a cinch. Simply tap a button to trigger the mode then use a small dial on the dash to aim the trailer in the intended direction. You control the speed, but the truck automatically handles the steering. This will be great for those owners that may only tower a trailer three or four times a year." -- Autoblog (2018)
  • "For the ever-critical towing aspect of trucking, the 10-speed doesn't disappoint. We drove a 2017 F-150-with a big dual-axle trailer that Ford claimed amounted to 9900 pounds of ballast-back to back with a 2016 model with the same load. Although we can't speak to the V-6's power advantage over its predecessor, the 10-speed holds a clear edge. Its extra ratios afford more options when downshifting, such as when descending a steep grade, and the shifts are even rev matched in Tow/Haul mode for maximum smoothness. The six-speed, by comparison, is slower to shift and feels lumpier when selecting a lower gear; it can also be caught out trying to choose among gears." -- Car and Driver (2017)
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2019 Ford F-150

MSRP: $28,155 - $70,560

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