In early 2019, Ford announced that the F-150 was again the best-selling truck in the U.S. for the 42nd year in a row. Not only that, the F-150 has been the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. for the last 30 years.
It’s no wonder the F-150 is so popular. It’s capable and versatile, available in a wide variety of trims and with several different powertrains and bed choices so you can pick the truck that fits in your budget and meets your hauling and towing needs.
In 2018, Ford added a new diesel engine, saying it was something that buyers had been asking for. But it was only offered on the top three trims, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. For 2019, Ford adds the diesel to the mid-grade XLT trim. This means the majority of F-150 buyers can now choose diesel power, but it costs more—anywhere from $2,400 to $4,000 more than the gas-powered engines.
The engine is a Power Stroke 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that makes 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. It’s based on the engine Ford makes for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. It’s paired with the same 10-speed automatic transmission found across the F-150 line-up.
Diesel engines offer more torque and better fuel efficiency than gas engines, which can make for better towing and hauling. The F-150 Diesel is quick off the line—it accelerates smoothly and quickly making you forget that you’re driving a full-size pickup. It’s quiet, too. There’s only the slightest diesel ticking when the engine is pressed. You can choose from Normal, Tow-Haul, Snow-Wet, EcoSelect and Sport modes.
When properly equipped, the F-150 Diesel can tow 10,100 to 11,400 pounds and haul up to 1,940 pounds.
It’s less thirsty than its gas-powered siblings. EPA ratings for my AWD tester are 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a combined rating of 22. I got 23 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Auto stop/start is standard.
The interior of my Lariat tester is pleasant, roomy and attractive. Seats are comfortable and supportive on longer drives. My SuperCrew tester has a spacious second row which is roomy enough for three taller adults. Controls are logically laid out. Some rivals offer ritzier interiors but all in all, this is a pleasant place to spend time whether you’re on a short drive or long road trip.
Standard in all F-150 models are a rearview camera, cloth upholstery, radio, manual climate control, automatic high beams and some driver assistance technologies including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection.
Countless features are available including push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, vinyl or leather upholstery, heated steering wheel, front bucket seats, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, massaging front seats, twin-panel moonroof, MyKey, SYNC connectivity system, SYNC 3 infotainment system, eight-inch touch screen, navigation, 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot that can connect up to 10 devices.
Available driver assistance technologies include a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and active park assist.
I’m a fan of Ford’s SYNC 3 Infotainment system. It’s a breeze to figure out. The system responds quickly to touch and voice commands, the interface and menus make sense, and the system updates automatically when there’s a Wi-Fi connection. Old school physical controls let you quickly adjust volume or change radio stations.
The diesel engine is one of six available on the F-150
Good towing and hauling capability
Pleasant to drive
Good fuel economy for the class
User-friendly infotainment system
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available
Some rivals have more upscale cabins
My tester starts at $47,985. Equipment Group 502A adds BLIS with trailer tow monitoring, remote start system, reverse sensing system, LED side mirror spotlights, 110V/400W outlet, Bang & Olufsen sound system, heated steering wheel, and second row heated seats. The turbo diesel engine is $4,000. Power deployable running boards are $995. Twin panel moonroof is $1,495. Voice-activated navigation is $795. Trailer tow package is $995. Power mirrors are $250. FX4 Off-Road Package is $905. Tailgate step is $375. 20-inch six-spoke painted Aluminum wheels are $1,295. Integrated trailer brake controller is $275. Technology Package is $1,195. Lariat Sport Appearance Package is $300. Toughbed spray-in bedliner is $595. Destination fee is $1,595. Total discounts are $2,000, bringing the grand total to $68,100.
The F-150 Diesel can provide better acceleration, towing and fuel economy. It’s another reason why the F-150 has been so popular for decades. Whether you want a work truck or a weekend rig that can haul your toys and trailers, the F-150 is available with six different engines and a myriad of features so you can get the truck that’s right for you and your budget.