The EcoBoost engine doesn't sound like a V-8, but it certainly pulls like one. The twin-turbo's power delivery was much smoother than expected, with no noticeable turbo lag, and much quieter, too. It is very quick off the line, and there is plenty of pull at higher rpm as well. At 17.2 mpg, our fuel economy was right within the EPA estimates at 16 mpg city/22 highway. Associate editor Mike Febbo feels "This is the perfect truck engine. A torque curve you can lay a ruler on and decent mileage -- why do we mess around with V-8s anymore?"
For those who doubt the power of this engine, the EcoBoost excelled at the track. The twin-turbo propelled the SuperCrew F-150 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and through the quarter mile in 14.8 seconds at 95.0 mph. The last time we tested a 5.4-liter-powered F-150 was in 2009, when the four-wheel-drive Lariat took 8.1 seconds to hit 60. (And that was with the six-speed automatic. When we tested the 5.4 with the four-speed auto a few years before that, it took 9.1 seconds.) It's faster than the 4WD Silverado with the 5.3-liter V-8 (7.7 seconds to 60), Hemi-equipped Ram 1500 Laramie (7.0 seconds), rear-drive Titan (7.6 seconds), and 4WD Tundra (6.7 seconds). Not only that, but Ford offers the EcoBoost in a regular cab model. You could essentially build your own Lightning with this combination, and when we priced one out, the least expensive way to get the EcoBoost was in a rear-drive regular cab on the 145-inch wheelbase, with not much in the way of interior amenities, for $29,145. That is an absolute bargain, and in that truck, 0-60 times would be even faster than in the SuperCrew.
Is it too good to be true? Nope. This engine is fantastic. Our only concerns were with fuel economy and reliability. In real-world driving, we got 17.2 mpg. We do wonder if it would still surpass V-8 fuel economy when towing, but that's a test for another day. Ford has publicly tested the EcoBoost in tough environs; that and the resilience of modern-day turbocharging systems -- consider turbodiesels in heavy-duty trucks -- gives us confidence in the long-term reliability of this engine. As Febbo aptly says, "The EcoBoost is the game-changer for trucks. If they can get enough people in them, they will have converts left and right."