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F-150 EcoBoost economy falls short of Ram EcoDiesel

by Bill Cawthon on

After much delay, Ford finally announced today the EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings for the F-150 pickup equipped with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The new, aluminum-bodied pickup has been rated at 19 mpg City, 26 mpg Highway and 22 mpg Combined.

The Ram 1500 3.0-liter EcoDiesel is rated at 20 mpg City, 28 mpg Highway, 23 mpg Combined. The same truck with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 is rated at 17 mpg City 25 mpg Highway and 20 mpg Combined.

“At this point, fuel economy numbers are as much of a marketing game than anything,” commented Akshay Anand, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “The ‘best truck mpg’ claim probably matters more than the cost savings from a one or two mpg difference over competitors, especially if gas prices remain low for the foreseeable future. We know some of the import trucks will be released in the next year or two, and you can bet those will have solid mpg numbers, especially as diesel looks to gain more traction in the truck segment.”

Ford’s claims for payload and towing depend on optional configurations and equipment. When base models with no other options than engine and axle ratio are selected, the F-150 is not really exceptional and the weight savings of the aluminum body must be weighed against the shortcomings of an aluminum body in a vocational vehicle.

Make, Model, Engine Axle City Hwy Comb. HP Torque Towing Payload
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT 4.3-liter V6 3.23 18 24 20 285 305 6,100 1,950
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT 5.3-liter V8* 3.08 16 23 19 355 383 7,200 1,940
Ford F-150 XL 2.7-liter EcoBoost 3.55 19 26 22 325 375 7,600 1,800
Ford F-150 XL 3.5-liter EcoBoost 3.55 17 24 20 365 420 7,600 1,910
Ford F-150 XL 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 3.55 18 25 20 282 253 5,100 1,910
Ford F-150 XL 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8* 3.55 15 22 18 385 387 9,200 1,930
Ram 1500 Tradesman 3.6-liter 3.55 17 25 20 305 269 7,600 1,940
Ram 1500 Tradesman 5.7-liter Hemi V8* 3.55 15 22 17 395 410 10,650 1,820
Ram 1500 SLT w/3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6* 3.55 20 28 23 240 420 9,200 1,620
*Equipped with 8-foot box.

As the 2.7-liter engine is a $795 option, the Ford F-150 XL with that engine carries a MSRP of $26,215 plus $1,195 destination charges. The price for the Ram V6 Tradesman is $25,060 plus $1,195 in destination charges. Using the EPA-estimated Combined mileage for the two trucks and today’s national average price ($2.839/gallon) of regular unleaded, it would take more than 89,500 miles to recoup the difference through fuel savings. Even at $4.00/gallon, it would take 63,500 miles, or more than two years of typical commercial fleet use, to justify selecting the Ford over the Ram on the basis of fuel savings.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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