The Ford F-150 pickup truck has been America’s best-selling car for 30 years and best-selling truck for 40 years. The 2018 Ford F-150 models build on 2015’s big switch to a military-grade aluminum-alloy body and boxed steel frame, adding power and convenience — and tech smarts.
Ford comes back in 2018 with the same seven F-150 model as in the 2017 F-150 lineup, with prices ranging from $27,380 to a high of $60,520. The 2018 lineup has new and upgraded gas engines, but the biggest power plant news is a 3.0L Power Stroke turbodiesel engine. Other changes include design tweaks and a raft of new productivity, driver assistance, and infotainment tech goodies. The new models won’t appear on dealer lots until the fall, but here’s what we found out so far about the 2018 Ford F-150.
Engines and transmissions
F-150s Ford offers five gasoline engines for 2018 F-150s, plus the promised Power Stroke diesel coming later in 2018 for truck owners with extra-serious towing needs that call for the diesel engine’s extra big helping of torque.
All F-150 engines now have Auto Start/Stop engine tech to save fuel: Come to a complete stop and the engine cuts out. Take your foot off the brake and the engine starts back up.
The base engine for the Ford F-150 XL and XLT is new for 2018. The twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) 3.3L V6 develops 290 horsepower and 265-foot pounds of torque. The 3.3L V6 is paired with an electronic 6-speed automatic transmission with three driving modes: Normal, Tow-Haul, and Sport.
Ford F-150 Lariats come with the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 with 325 hp and an impressive 400 lb-ft of torque plus Ford’s electronic 10-speed automatic transmission. Moving up to the fancier pickups, the F-150 King Ranch and Platinum come standard with the Ti-VCT 5.0L V8 with 395 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The top-end Ford F-150 Limited model has one engine choice, the second-gen 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.
Serious desert racers need serious power, which clears the way for the only engine for the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor. The Raptor’s twin-turbo, intercooled DOHC, 24-valve, 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with port fuel and direct injection puts out 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. The 10-speed automatic transmission has two modes in the Raptor: Normal and Tow-Haul.
Economy ratings aren’t available for the 2018 F-150 models and engines. We’ll update with the fuel economy data as soon as it’s available.
The 2018 F-150s have a broad selection of standard and optional smart tech features. Some features help you be more productive like a standard rear camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist to help you hook up a trailer. Ford SYNC 3 with SYNC Connect works with FordPass, a mobile device app that lets you find your truck in a parking lot, check the fuel, lock, unlock, and start the truck, and even check fuel prices while you’re traveling.
An 8-inch dashboard LCD is standard on the Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models and lets you monitor trip, vehicle, fuel economy, towing, and off-road displays. Ford now has an optional remote tailgate release operated by an inside door switch or the truck key fob, for hands-free SUV tailgate opening.
Four cameras are used with the optional 360-degree camera with a split-view display. You can use this feature for a bird’s eye view of the surroundings while backing into tight spaces — this adds another level of precision to the Dynamic Hitch Assist.
Available driver assist features include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, a Lane-Keeping System, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go tech including full stops and starts in traffic, and BLIS, a Blind Spot Information System that not only signals when another vehicle is in a blind spot, it also detects cross traffic for the truck and for a trailer when one is attached.
Cab choices, box length
The Regular cab, available only on XL and XLT models, has two doors and seats three people. The SuperCab and SuperCrew each have four doors and seat five or six people, depending on whether the front has bucket seats.
SuperCab rear doors are rear-hinged, a style called “suicide doors” on 1960’s Lincoln Continentals because exiting backseat passengers had nothing between them and oncoming traffic. Yikes! The SuperCab has the widest opening to the truck cab when both front and back doors are open; it’s available only with XL, XLT, Lariat, and Raptor models. Except for the Raptor, which only comes with a 5.5-foot box, the other three models can be ordered with the longest 8-foot box.
The SuperCrew style also has four doors but the rear doors are front-hinged, like a passenger car. The SuperCrew Style is only available with 5.5-foot and 6.5-foot boxes but can be ordered with all seven F-150 models.
Box length choices for Ford F-150’s are driven by storage needs. Boxes are available in 5.5-foot, 6.5-foot, and 8-foot lengths, all rounded to the nearest half foot. All boxes are 50.6-inches wide between wheelhouses and 21.4-inches high. Cargo volume (with nothing sticking up above the truck box walls is 52.8 cubic feet for the 5.5-foot box, 62.3-cubic feet for the 6.5-foot box, and 77.4 cubic feet for the 8-foot box. You can’t have the best cab for passengers with the highest capacity box; the SuperCrew cab and 8-foot box can’t be ordered on the same vehicle.
Which Ford F-150 is best for you?
Ford carries over the same seven models as in 2017. For every model except the Lariat, which has a $180 price drop, the 2018 prices increased from $270 to $520. There are three “standard” models, the F-150 XL, XLT, and Lariat, with starting list prices ranging from $27,380 to $40,685. Three fancy versions including the F-150 King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models start from $51,080 to $60,200. The desert racer 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor now has a $49,785 starting price. In all cases, even with the $60,200 top-of-the-line F-150 Limited, you can drive up the prices quickly if you don’t show restraint checking option boxes.
2018 Ford F-150 XL, XLT, and Lariat
Contractors, farmers, sports enthusiasts, people who pull boats, campers, and other trailers — and even commuters who prefer a truck to a car are all hot markets for the less-fancy Ford F-150s: the XL (starting at $28,375), XLT ($33,965), and Lariat ($40,685).
Note that the words “less expensive,” are not in the previous paragraph. You can easily configure a Lariat to a list price north of $60,000 without going for shiny big wheels and special edition seats. Even a 4×4 XL with a SuperCrew cab and a 5.5-foot box gets up to $37,340 before adding any tech, and that’s without power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, rear window defroster, or even a trailer hitch.
So let’s take a look at the “standard” 2018 Ford F-150s.
The F-150 XL base model starts with 4×2 drive, the 3.3L V6 engine with 6-speed transmission with auto start/stop, and a 23-gallon fuel tank. Inside you’ll find cloth seats, manual single-zone AC, AM/FM stereo but no CD, automatic headlights, and a 2.3-inch productivity screen. The XL also comes standard with a rear view camera with dynamic hitch assist, electronic stability control, and curve control.
Moving up to the F-150 XLT, you’ll find the standard equipment includes Ford SYNC with AppLink, a single-CD player added to the radio, power door locks, chrome bumpers and grille, fog lamps, power adjusting, manual-fold side mirrors, and power windows.
The F-150 Lariat raises the basic work and family truck ante significantly. The Lariat brings the following features to your garage: the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels, leather-trimmed, power, heated and ventilated front seats with driver memory, the 8-inch productivity screen, push button start, power-adjustable pedals with memory, woodgrain interior trim accents, a cargo lamp, LED box lighting, heated power side mirrors with memory and power everything mirrors can have, a tailgate LED, perimeter anti-theft alarm with a passive anti-theft system, and a class IV trailer hitch.
|Base engine||3.3L Ti-VCT V6||3.3L Ti-VCT V6||2.7L EcoBoost V6|
|Base torque||265@4,000 RPM||265@4,000 RPM||400@2,700 RPM|
|Transmission||6-speed automatic||6-speed automatic||10-speed automatic|
|Fuel||Regular gas||Regular gas||Regular gas|
|Fuel capacity (gallons)||23||23||23|
|Maximum towing weight||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Cab styles||Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew||Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew||Regular, SuperCab, SuperCrew|
2018 Ford F-150s King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited
How fancy do you want to get? That’s the question Ford F-150 shoppers choosing an upscale pickup will have to answer. One caution while looking at these luxury trucks with big price tags: it’s not inconceivable you might get a better overall price by buying a King Ranch ($51,600 starting list price), Platinum ($54,155), or Limited ($60,520) than if you loaded up an XLT or Lariat with options and packages.
Starting with the F-150 King Ranch, in addition to the Lariat’s features you’ll get the 5.0L V8 engine, two-tone exterior paint, a powerful B&O Play premium audio system, remote tailgate release, wheellip moldings, power outlets front and rear, a lot more interior leather, a steering wheel with memory and electronic locking, leather bucket front seats that are heated and cooled, heated rear seats, reverse sensing, remote start, a universal garage door opener, and a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system with SiriusXM traffic and travel links.
The F-150 Platinum has 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, genuine wood interior trim, LED mirror-mounted spotlights, power deployable running boards with SuperCrew cabs, side mirrors with an auto dimming feature, a window wiper de-icer, the BLIS blind spot and cross traffic system, and inflatable second-row safety belts.
You won’t leave too many unchecked boxes on the option sheet with the F-150 Limited — though have no fear, you can still spend more. Notable extra features on the lineup-leading include the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine, a twin panel moonroof, even larger 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, Ford’s lane-keeping system, and seats, side mirrors, and windows with more power features than you’d want to have to remember for a test.
|Base engine||5.0L Ti-VCT V8||5.0L Ti-VCT V8||3.5L EcoBoost V6|
|Base torque||400@4,500 RPM||400@4,500 RPM||470@3,500 RPM|
|Transmission||<10-speed automatic||10-speed automatic||10-speed automatic|
|Fuel||Regular gas||Regular gas||Regular gas|
|Fuel capacity (gallons)||23||23||26|
|Maximum towing weight||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Box lengths||5.5 to 6.5-foot||5.5 to 6.5-foot||5.5-foot|
2018 Ford F-150 Raptor
There’s no kidding around with the 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor, but that’s not to say it lacks fun. As long as your idea of fun includes off-road performance and desert racing, Ford’s Baja-inspired pickup has the chops to ensure you have a great time.
The Raptor is available in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations, but the engine and transmission, box size, and drive train are fixed. All Raptors are equipped with the H-O 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and 10-speed transmission, 4-wheel drive, and a 5.5-foot box.
Additional off-road performance features include high-out put, off-road Fox Racing Shox, a long travel suspension, a 4.10 front axle with Torsen differential and a rear 4.10 axle, torque-on-demand transfer case, and 17-inch cast aluminum wheels with 315/70 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. The Raptor also has Ford Performance aluminum scuff plates, a hood with air extractors, and performance bumpers front and rear.
The Raptor’s unique look includes an interior unlike other models, flared front fenders with air extractors, cast aluminum running boards, and heavy duty skid plates under the front and the engine. Unless you live or work in locations inaccessible by normal vehicles, the Raptor is better positioned as a sport truck than as family or work transportation.
|Base engine||HO 3.5L V6 Ecoboost|
|Base torque||510@3,500 RPM|
|Fuel capacity (gallons)||26|
|Maximum towing weight||TBD|
|Cab styles||SuperCab, SuperCrew|