3.7-liter V-6 STX Regular Cab
This work truck's plain cabin has gray cloth seats and few goodies. The STX comes in at an as-tested price of $27,570. Says Febbo, "The little engine that does. This is the utilitarian of the group. It kind of disappears, but in a good way. You don't have to think about it. It never feels fast, but it doesn't feel particularly slow, either. If you aren't towing, or towing anything big, this might be the perfect engine. I think it would happily tow a small boat or two jet skis."
The lack of amenities and its shorter wheelbase turn into benefits at the track, where the truck's light weight -- the only one here under 5000 pounds -- gave the 3.7 the best possible chance to shine. Like the 5.0-liter Coyote engine, the 3.7 was detuned relative to its Mustang specification. Horsepower is 302 at 6500 rpm, torque 278 at 4000 rpm. It got from 0 to 60 in 7.4 seconds, and through the quarter mile at 89.4 mph in 15.7 seconds. Its best dyno run showed 232 horsepower at 6120 rpm, and 217 pound-feet of torque at 4240 rpm.
There is no definitive winner here. All four engines in these four trucks show the breadth of the F-150 line: The 3.7 serves as a work truck base model, but it's far from a penalty to drive. The 5.0-liter V-8 is the volume engine, most similar to the 4.6- and 5.4-liters that were replaced, but is vastly better than both. The 6.2-liter gives you the sound and feel of a big V-8 -- it's the one for showing off. The EcoBoost has the potential for providing decent fuel economy, plus plenty of towing capacity -- just not necessarily at the same time. When it comes to fuel economy, those who tow frequently may prefer the V-8s, but for buyers who are looking for a daily driver and only occasionally tow, the EcoBoost is, as Febbo aptly stated, "the game changer for trucks. If they can get enough people in them, they will have converts left and right."