10-speed automatic helps Ford F-150 achieve impressive fuel economy

It's only a hair ahead of the competition, but it's ahead nevertheless.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
John Roe

Back in May, I spent some time learning about Ford's new 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine and the 10-speed transmission attached to it. Ford wasn't talking about fuel economy in specifics back then, but with the EPA's estimates now public, it's ready to pimp the figures.

The rear-wheel-drive 2017 F-150 will hit 18 mpg city, 25 highway and 21 combined. That's a net positive of 1 mpg across the board. In 4x4 guise, the F-150's numbers are 17 mpg city, 23 highway and 20 combined. In that instance, the gains are 1, 1 and 2, respectively.

While the numbers are important alone, they're also good news in the context of the F-150's segment. The Silverado, with a 4.3-liter V6, is less efficient on the highway but equal in the city. The Ram 1500, packing a 3.6-liter V6, is down in the city but equal on the highway. That puts the V6 F-150 ahead of the competition, but only by a razor-thin margin.

However, one place the F-150 decidedly dominates is power output. This new V6 puts out 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Neither the 305-horsepower Ram nor the 285-horsepower Silverado can match those figures.

In terms of what's changed, this second-generation 3.5-liter now features both direct and port fuel injection. The turbochargers have been tweaked, and auto stop-start is now standard on this engine, as well. The transmission, developed with GM, features wider gear ratios, which lowers the rear axle ratio, contributing to this fuel economy bump.

Take a look inside Ford's new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and 10-speed automatic (pictures)

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