2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel First Drive: Zero Compromise

– Denver, Colorado

A diesel F-150? We never thought we’d see the day. It seemed as if Ford had been mulling the decision to drop an oil-burner into the half-ton pickup truck for decades. Of course, if you wanted a diesel from Ford, you could get the 6.7-liter Powerstroke in a Super Duty, but that meant a more expensive and physically larger pickup truck. Where was the diesel for the average consumer? Finally one exists, and after an afternoon towing horse trailers and boats, and playing in the mud, it seems Ford has not only delivered a fantastic F-150, but a diesel F-150 with zero compromise. Ford has built the perfect daily truck.

2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel

The turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine generates 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. Peak power arrives at the truck’s 5,000-rpm redline, while peak torque starts at 1,750 rpm. From the driver’s seat, it’s a torque monster, and is perfectly matched with the 10-speed automatic transmission. Whereas the gasoline-powered F-150 transmissions can feel slightly jerky upon throttle input, the torque and new transmission programming for the diesel pair up beautifully. Shifts are smooth and subtle to the point where they’re almost imperceptible. All you feel is torque. Better still, this truck eschews the traditional diesel attributes of clunkiness and noisiness.

Where this can be acutely felt is in its lack of noise, vibration, or harshness. While Ford’s engineers optimized the truck’s cabin for the diesel engine, little was added in terms...