Ford F-150 Performance
Reviewers appreciate the F-150’s broad engine lineup, saying power is sufficient with the base V6 and that the optional engines are great choices to make towing and hauling heavy loads easy. They also like the standard six-speed automatic transmission, which has smooth shifts and helps deliver decent fuel economy for a full-size pickup. While the F-150 is capable of towing and hauling great loads, critics say it still has a composed, comfortable ride. Some reviewers do note that the F-150’s size erodes its steering quality somewhat, but that overall, the truck is fairly easy to steer and maneuver.
- "With a string of modern engines, including a turbocharged V6, and the latest in transmission and 4x4 mechanical componentry, the F-150 shows it isn't resting on its laurels." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "If you overlook its rather flat exhaust note, it would be easy to mistake the EcoBoost V-6 for a burly V-8." -- Car and Driver (2011)
- "If anything, the EcoBoost F-150 feels lighter and quicker on its feet than a comparable 6.2-liter V-8 pickup.” -- Automobile Magazine (2011)
Acceleration and Power
The 2013 F-150 has four available engines, each paired with a standard six-speed automatic transmission. The base engine is a 302-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6. There are two optional V8s, a 5.0-liter with 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque and a 6.2-liter with 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. The 6.2-liter is the standard engine in the off-road-oriented SVT Raptor. There is also an optional turbocharged EcoBoost V6, which makes 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
Reviewers like the F-150’s broad engine lineup. They say that the base V6 is adequate for day-to-day driving, but doesn’t make the truck particularly fast or strong. Critics say that those who’ll use their truck for serious towing and hauling should opt for one of the V8s or the EcoBoost V6. Reviewers say the transmission shifts smoothly, and several attribute the transmission to the F-150’s respectable fuel economy numbers, at least from the V6s and the 5.0-liter V8.
The 6.2-liter V8 is the least fuel-efficient of the quartet of engine choices, topping out at 13/18 mpg city/highway with two-wheel drive. The EcoBoost V6 achieves up to 16/22 mpg, which is good considering its strong output. The 5.0-liter V8 tops out at 15/21 mpg, and the base V6 gets up to 17/23 mpg city/highway with two-wheel drive. Both figures are decent for the class. Opting for four-wheel drive will drop fuel economy slightly. The four-wheel drive-only SVT Raptor gets just 11/16 mpg city/highway.
- "Each version also provided ample power, with the least-liked engine being the base V6 and the most appreciated being the new twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The base 3.7-liter V6 has enough muscle to move a 2WD crew cab truck and two passengers, but it never quite manages to feel quick. The 5.0-liter V8 is notably stronger in any situation, with satisfying grunt. The available 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is impressively strong.” -- Consumer Guide (2012)
- "The low-end torque means you can keep your revs down and there's no such thing as turbo lag with the (Ecoboost) truck's performance. Ninety percent of the engine torque kicks in at 1,700 rpm and holds until 5,000 rpm. Most engines need much higher rpm to reach their full potential.” -- The Detroit News (2011)
- "Shifts are well orchestrated and free of shock and vibration." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say that for a truck with substantial towing and hauling capabilities, the F-150 has a comfortable and composed ride, and doesn’t feel jarring over rough road surfaces. The brakes get mixed reviews, with one critic saying they’re touchy, but another commenting that they produce quick stops. Reviewers say that the steering is well-weighted, though one notes that, like most vehicles of the F-150’s size, it tends to feel ponderous. Two-wheel drive is standard, while four-wheel drive is optional on all models. The SVT Raptor comes with four-wheel drive standard. One critic does note that the Raptor, with its unique, wide body and off-road features, isn’t the easiest truck to drive around town.
- "Despite its impressive payload and towing ability, the 2013 Ford F-150 doesn't ride like a stiffly-sprung work truck. In fact, it rides more like a plush Lincoln SUV. Every version of the F-150 we tested was devoid of a rough ride, with no shudder or hopping over rough or unpaved roads and a level of quiet unheard of (no pun intended) in a full-size pickup." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Like other big pickups, F-150 is ponderous. The steering is nicely boosted at low speeds with firmer action on the highway. The brakes can be touchy to modulate.” -- Consumer Guide (2012)
- "Of course, the purpose-built SVT Raptor is the halo truck that off-road enthusiasts dream about. It can tame some of the toughest terrain around, but it's also a bit trickier to drive around town due to its wide body and higher ride height." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "This truck needed only 176 feet to stop from 70 mph, although it needed a few tries to get heat into the brakes and tires before performing its best. Note to those who will need to perform a panic stop: It will behoove you to practice panicking a couple of times immediately before you do so for real." -- Car and Driver (2011)
- "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 (2011)
Two F-150 trims cater to those who often find themselves off the beaten path. The mild version is the FX4 trim, which comes standard with four-wheel drive, skid plates, hill descent control and all-terrain tires, but is otherwise similar to other F-150 trims. The SVT Raptor, also in four-wheel drive-only, is a purpose-built off-roading truck with unique body panels and suspension components, all designed with hardcore off-roading enthusiasts in mind. The FX4 is a better choice for the occasional off-roader, while the Raptor is the better choice for those looking for a rugged, off-road truck and don’t have as much concern for on-road comfort or driveability.
- “It's in off-road driving where Raptor truly shines. It can tame the most severe conditions, inspiring even novice drivers with high levels of confidence.” -- Consumer Guide (2012)
Towing and Hauling
When properly configured, the F-150 can tow up to 11,300 pounds with a conventional hitch when equipped with either the Ecoboost V6 or 6.2-liter V8. Trailer sway control is standard on the base F-150 and an integrated trailer brake controller is optional. The F-150 can haul up to 3,120 pounds of cargo in its bed when properly equipped. Reviewers are impressed with the F-150’s abilities as a work vehicle, saying it has plenty of power, and that the brake controller and sway control help make towing easy and safe.
- "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
- "Pulling a 10,000-pound trailer, the EcoBoost powered F-150 never hesitated up big hills at Ford's Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo. (It's rated to handle up to 11,300 pounds.)Maybe the eco-part of the boost happens every time you find yourself pulling your foot off of the accelerator because you think you're going too fast." -- The Detroit News (2011)
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