2018 F-150: Award-Winning, Undisputed
The 2018 F-150 is the best truck in the world. You don’t have to take my word for it. Automotive experts have been heaping praise on the F-Series’ light-duty, and wrapping medals around its… front fascia? But before we look at what the media is saying, let’s back up a bit and take a look at the truck itself.
A few years ago, Ford switched from using steel to aluminum for the F-150’s body. At the time, it looked like an unnecessary risk for Ford to take with the best-selling vehicle in North America. Consumers worried that aluminum would make their trucks weaker, a fear that competitors seized upon. Plus, Ford had to completely redesign some of their manufacturing facilities to adapt to the new material’s production demands.
Immediately, the aluminum F-150s were 700 pounds lighter than their steel predecessors. That translated not only to superior fuel economy but also to fantastic driving feel. Regardless, after the shift to aluminum, the results were mixed. The F-150 continued to outsell everything, but it wasn’t quite as dominant as it once had been. But that has changed. With the 2018 F-150, Ford has found its stride.
The 2018 F-150
For 2018, Ford has introduced an entirely redesigned engine lineup with EcoBoost V6 powerplants that rival traditional V8s for power, and eclipse them in terms of fuel economy.
Ford’s flagship has been redesigned on the outside, too. The new two-bar grille and C-clamp headlights make all rivals look painfully outdated. Inside, drivers will find huge cabins with tons of headroom and legroom. The space and available comfort features even make the F-150 a worthy daily driver for small families.
Most importantly, the F-150 has no clear weaknesses (that’s crucial for something purporting to be the world’s best truck). It leads its class in many performance categories while being a joy to drive. It’s fuel-efficient. Ford has made all of the latest safety technology available. Finally, with the sheer amount of trim levels, equipment packages, and sizing configurations, there’s an F-150 for every kind of pickup driver. And that’s been recognised by the community of automotive journalists.
Car and Driver
Recently, Car and Driver reviewed the F-150 and called it “the best pickup around. Period.” What drew their decisive praise? They particularly admired the F-150’s versatility: “The handsome hauler can be outfitted for every job and every personality, with three cab and bed styles and numerous appearance packages.” And they make a good point.
The 2018 F-150 lineup ranges from stripped-down workhorse to unmatched luxury pickup (on top of that, King Ranch and Platinum offer two very different brands of luxury). But, for Car and Driver’s money, they’d split the difference: “The mid-level Lariat SuperCrew with the six-and-a-half-foot cargo bed represents the best combination of versatility and value.” The LARIAT, which comes with the 5.0L Ti-VCT V8, 18” aluminum wheels, and heated and ventilated, leather seats; has an MSRP of $48,499.
Car and Driver was far from the only publication to award the 2018 F-150. The F-150 is also the 2018 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. Editors at Motor Trend credited many of the same strengths as their peers, writing, “Ford silences its critics with a midcycle F-150 that is simply dominant.” What makes the F-150 so dominant? Well, a bit of everything: “…the interiors have gotten nicer, the infotainment system more intuitive, the steering better. The F-150 chassis is stupendous, the innovations have increased, and it has earned an NHTSA five-star safety rating.”
Like Car and Driver, Motor Trend praised the LARIAT particularly. Some editors, however, preferred the entry-level XL model. At first glance, its list of available features may seem scant. But the pickup truck segment is arguably about performance and productivity. And, for a modest starting MSRP of $30,499, you get the same class-leading towing and payload.
No, not that Best Buy. The 2018 Ford F-150 is the winner of Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy Award in the truck category. KBB highlighted the impressive range of the F-150 lineup:
“Want a stripped-down truck for your plumbing business fleet? Look no further. Need a “cowboy Cadillac” to look good in town when you’re not towing your boat? Check. The Ford F-150 has you covered at both ends, and with virtually anything in between.”
And, whichever model of the best truck you choose, you get a powerful, efficient engine. KBB particularly likes the “it’s the two turbocharged V6 engines that earn the spotlight here. The bigger 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 pumps out horsepower that nearly equals the big V8.”
And, later in the model year, Ford will be introducing the first-ever diesel F-150 engine. With an emphasis on high torque and fuel savings, the Power Stroke engine will shore up one of the only gaps in the F-Series lineup.
Clearly, it’s hard to find anyone saying bad things about the new F-150 (except for that balding guy from the Chevy commercials). But the best way to find out if the 2018 Ford F-150 is the best truck for you, is to test drive it for yourself.