• How Fast and Efficient is the 2017 Ford F-150 10-Speed? First Drive Review


    Ford-F-150

    How fast and efficient is the 2017 Ford F-150 with the Gen2 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and the 10-speed automatic transmission? This is precisely what we set out to find out during a first drive opportunity near Dearborn, Michigan and Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds. The first findings were surprising.

    The 2017 Ford F-150 upgrade is focused on the seconds generation 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and the new 10-speed automatic transmission. Otherwise, you will not be able to tell a 2017 truck from a 2016 counterpart. Exterior and interior appearance, trim levels, and options carry over from the 2016 model year.

    2017 ford f150 ecoboost 10 speed automatic review first drive
    2017 Ford F-150

    The Gen2 3.5L EcoBoost V6 builds on the block of the same displacement with new components and dual (direct and port) fuel injection. The are two injectors per cylinder, new turbochargers, and engine management software to produce 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm. The engine is bolted to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which Ford co-developed with General Motors. Both companies are very protective of the facts about which components or designs are shared and which are unique to each company. However, Ford specified that transmission control logic, physical case, mounting plate, and more are unique to the F-150.

    After about 60 miles on Michigan highways, side streets, and several acceleration and high speed runs at the Michigan Proving Grounds, I went away impressed with smooth and seamless gear shifts. I tried the transmission in regular drive mode, tow/haul mode (when I challenged Kent “Mr.Truck” Sundling to a quick uphill towing test), and sport modes. My first impression of the engine’s power delivery and transmission performance is very positive. The truck feels powerful, there is still engine sound augmentation that makes the twin-turbo V6 sound more deep and throaty. The transmission is happy and quick to change gears. At times, I would not even notice that the truck shifted gears. However, the transmission gear display in the main gauge cluster always displays the gear you are in. I did not notice the transmission “hunting” for gears, but I also did not go up or down any significant grades.

    2017-ford-f150-ecoboost-high-speed
    High speed run at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds

    The Gen2 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and the 10-speed automatic transmission will be available in all F-150 trim levels, from the base XL to the top-of-the-line Limited. The may be cab or bed length configuration that are not available with the new power-train duo, but Ford is looking to offer this maximum-tow engine/transmission in as many configurations as possible.

    Payload and towing capacities for the 2017 truck remain the same as with the 2016 model – the maximum towing rating is 12,200 lbs.

    I performed two impromptu 0-60 MPH tests at the proving grounds, one in a 2016 F-150 crew cab 4×4 King Ranch, and one in a similarly equipped 2017 King Ranch. The results were interesting close or nearly identical. The SoloDL GPS device clocked the 2016 truck at 6.91 seconds and the 2017 truck at 6.86 seconds. Both runs were performed in 2WD mode and with two people in the truck. Ford engineer told me that they tested the 2017 truck with an average 0-60 MPH improvement of 0.2 seconds. I tried a couple more runs, but could not improve on the 6.86 sec time.

    2017-ford-f150-10-speed-vs-2016

    Next, Mr.Truck and I performed two impromptu mixed loop MPG tests between the Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, MI and the Detroit Zoo. Don’t ask why we chose the Zoo. We ran about 38 miles in the 2016 truck with a final trip computer reading of 20.0 MPG. Later, we did the return trip (although via a slightly shorter route) in the 2017 truck and got a reading of 21.2 MPG. This was not a rigorous test and we were not able to verify the numbers at the fuel pump due to time constraints. However, the 2017 truck showed a clear advantage in fuel economy. EPA and Ford did not provide the MPG estimates for the 2017 EcoBoost/10-speed truck.

    The 2017 Ford F-150 should reach dealerships in October of 2016.

    Check out my first drive review below:


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    62 thoughts on “How Fast and Efficient is the 2017 Ford F-150 10-Speed? First Drive Review

    1. Sounds like the 10 spd is nice setup. Glad to hear they are available throughout the model lineup. Be some interesting comparisons over the next couple months.

    2. People who say 10 speed will “hunt” more are just clueless idiots, doing nothing more than speculating. The reason transmissions hunt in the first place is because it’s lacking the ideal ratio for the situation. So it’s constantly oscillating between two gear, not being truly happy with either. Bring on the 10-speed for the heavy duty diesels too!

      1. @Jim they say “hunt” because it can be a more common issue with more gears. The more gears you have the more shifting that will take place plain and simple. That said we have to wait and see how this on preforms before we make any judgements.

        1. More gears and more shifts is not considered hunting, hunting is when a transmission keeps shifting up and down between two gears because neither one is providing the operating point the engine wants to be at for the given load. Additional gears solve this by having smaller spacing between gears. In addition the ecoboost is a torque monster and has no hunting issues with its current 6speed even while towing, I don’t expect there would be any issue with the 10speed.

    3. Thanks Andre for the “report from the front”.

      From what you experience, would you recommend the 3.55 rear axle ratio vs. the 3.31 for 50/50 city/hwy driving conditions? Or the 10 speed makes the 3.31 a 3.55ish or more?

      I always learned to never fear the gear and always go with a 3.73 or 3.92 (Ford/Ram)

    4. Wow all that for a negligible improvement in acceleration and efficiency lol. Way to go Ford! The new 2018 RAM is going to slaughter this thing.

      1. Lol because to many pickup truck owners care what a truck does empty. This is a mere glimps at what this truck will do. How will the new Ram slaughter this? I own a 2014 Ram Hemi 8 speed and Ram would be lucky to catch up to Ford let alone slaughter lol. We know Ram will come with gen 2 ZF 8 speed with improved Ratio spread among some other things. I don’t imagine any new rendition of the hemi beating the new ecoboost especially if Ram doesn’t reduce the weight of their trucks. My 2015 F150 3.5l ecoboost smokes my 8 speed Hemi Ram. I like both trucks but the Ram makes more engine noise, moves more slowly and revs higher while towing. Ram rides nice. Ford feels tighter though.

        1. Owners do care what their trucks do empty, let’s not pretend even the hardest working guys drive around with a constant payload or something in tow. Obviously, this is why I didn’t state that the current Ram would beat it. I’m sure the new Ram will be using more light weight materials to reduce weight and the HEMI would need an update with direct injection etc. People prefer the engine noise of the V-8 to the turbo 6 and that includes ecoboost owners.

          1. Spoken like a true ram fan, all their concerned with is the rumble coming out the fake daul exhaust or the fake hood scoops taken in air….lmao!!

          2. While I do like the throaty rumble at a v-8 in my recreational car, I don’t have any need to listen to it for 4 hrs a day. I MUCH prefer the quiet cab of my EB. Enjoy the music, carry on a conversation, talk on the phone. It’s my mobile office, not a day at the track. Btw, I will be working with the dealer to kill the “enhanced” audio.

            Thanks for the write up. Long wait until my 17 EB arrives.

            1. Do you have the sony sound system? Other wise you don’t have enhanced engine sounds. Bringing it up just so others know too not that I actually doubt you do.

          3. Let’s not pretend the F150 needed to be quicker. Also let’s remember gasoline is about topped out on efficiency these days. So it takes billions of dollars for a vehicle to see another MPG or two. I’m sure Ram will bring good things to table when it finally updates but to say slaughter is you being extremely bias. As it stands the current Ram has a lot of ground to cover especially as of 2017 model year. Your statement about v8 sound is errellevant because since ecoboost came out in 2011 it has been the best selling F150 engine. These means other variables are more important than simply having a v8. I owned a 11′ 5.0l F150 and currently own 15′ 3.5l EB and 14′ 5.7 Hemi and my wife and I prefer the ecoboost. Turbo whistle sounds nice and the engine doesn’t make a lot of noise to get moving very briskly. We are not all kids that want to hear our truck screaming all the time especially when pulling a trailer. Hemi sounds great but I’m over the days of loud engines in trucks anyways. Even my wife says the Ram makes a lot of noise and doesn’t seem to move like the Ford and it’s true. Both trucks bring good feature sets. Why don’t you stop being so bias.

            1. powerful w/o all the “drama”. We rarely take our Chevy 2500 gasser to tow our travel trailer (8600 dry, 10k ish wet and loaded). My 13 ecoboost gives a much better ride, and towing experience. Gobs of power. Only thing we did was add airbags to give the leaf springs a little help with the payload. The difference after long day of towing is amazing. Our F150 makes it seem almost effortless.

      2. It will slaughter it with all the recalls!! Good luck owning the quickest depreciating vehicle on the market.. Ram!! Lol!! You love getting rammed!!

        Congrats on the dumbest comment of the day!!

      3. What are your sources? Ram has to make a super upgrade under the hood to Match this new ecoboost. The tourqueflight transmission has proven to be an outstanding transmission. Time for a new engine though, great engine but it’s time to retire it!

    5. Will be interesting once you can get your hands on one for testing. The drag race showed a pretty significant difference, full truck/trailer length lead at the end. 1.2mpg improvement would be impressive if true.

    6. I’m surprised to hear the towing capacity did not change, which implies there’s a physical limit of some kind for the F-150. However, going up the Ike at max load should show the benefit of the extra gears and power.

      1. It probably isn’t for a lack of power, rather tongue weight (chassis, brakes, hitch and definitely tires), not to mention the set up to accommodate the addl payload/towing capacity will degrade the unloaded ride character significantly, which is were most of these trucks will spend the majority of their service.

        How many folk really want to pull more than 6T in a half tone anyway.

    7. tfl would of liked to see the full 0-60 of the new one rather than showing the dash show towards the end, even if it means breaking continuity of the shot

    8. It’s no small feat that the 2017 pulled a trailer length out on the 2016 on 7% grade with almost 10k behind them in relatively short run. Considering the 2016 3.5 EB would already badly beat anything else except maybe a 6.2 8-speed GM in that sort of towing race.

    9. I’m a Ford guy and have been waiting anxiously for this combo. I understand this is a preproduction model and a 38 mile MPG test really doesn’t tell the whole story. But a 1.2 MPG advantage over the 16 model is only 6%. This is a big major investment with this engine/transmission combo and I really hope that in the real world the mileage is more then 6%.

      1. 6% is good in the truck world on gasoline. Look how long it has taken to get to this point. Gasoline alone is about tapped out on efficiency. Why is it all about gas mileage? Gas has been low for awhile now and surely it will go up but buying a new truck isn’t a solution to save fuel expenses. To me the new engine/trans represent better performance and driver experience while delivering some form of efficiency gain while doing so.

      2. What were you hoping for, Todd, magic? A 6 percent increase in fuel mileage is significant. How many other manufacturers will increase their fuel mileage at all in 2017? BTW, the Chevy Silverado 5,3L V8 went down one mpg for 2017!

    10. This truck is fast. Ram and GM have a lot of catching up to do in the engine compartment. Did you hear the cheap plastic sound when Andre tapped the dash board? The information screen is nice but please class up the rest of the counsel.

      1. GM needs to be less stingy with the 6.2. For 2016, it was the top performing truck. This will probably beat it, but not by much.

    11. @TFLTruck: 1/2 ton towing capacities have been increasing every year for a number of years now. As noted every once in a while, some are beginning to question towing beyond 10K lbs or even close to 10K lbs. How about a survey asking what is ones max towing threshold for a 1/2 ton.
      Thanks

    12. This updated combo should make the F150’s optioned with it better than the already good previous combo. Hopefully they fixed some of the EB’s known problems along the way. They make great power and are reasonably reliable , but expensive to repair and replace when they break .

      It really NEEDED better mileage ….. real world numbers have never been impressive for the EB with GM’s monster powerful 6.2L matching or beating it at times in a heavier truck with much more power.

      Should be interesting to see how GM empolys this transmission in the trucks. Now that the mid sizers all have an 8 spd with V6 power , I wonder if they will offer the 10 with V8’s only or what…..

      As for Ram , it is rumored that they have a 400+hp twin turbo gas V6 coming….who knows….

      1. Hopefully Ford fixed the issues that plagued the EcoBoost since 2011. Surge in power due to condensation in the intercooler, cam phaser problem, etc. With them finally adding waste gates on the turbos, this should help improve mpg more. I’m on the fence between the Coyote V8 F150 or the new EcoBoost with 10 speeds.

        Hope this transmission won’t have issues or first year growing pains.

      2. Shriker, the 6.2 does not have “much more power” than the EB V6. The V6 now has ten more foot-pounds of torque than the Chevy 6.2 in case you haven’t noticed. And torque is more important on the street than horsepower. Combine that with the fact that you have to buy the most expensive GM truck to get the 6.2 V8 and it’s a no-brainer. I’ll take the EB V6 every time!

    13. Does anyone know if the EB’s 375/470 power ratings are with regular gas? And is there a difference using premium like there was with the first gen? My 2014 Explorer EB is rated at 350 HP on regular and 365 on premium. In real driving I don’t really notice a difference so I just save money and use regular.

    14. A question to both test drivers about trailering with these trucks: Did you feel the 9000# box trailer was stable behind those trucks? I am thinking about using an F150 to tow a 7500# trailer (enclosed with a car inside) and want to know how you feel about stability/safety.

      1. Our travel trailer is over 9k, and is 36′ long. The difference between a nice Sunday drive, and a handful of constant hunting and drifting is a good, and properly set up weight distributing hitch. Sway control is important too. We run a Reese dual cam, which combines distribution and sway. Other good options out there, but this works very well, cost effective, easy diy install and relatively easy to “tune” to your tv and trailer.

    15. Good news on the F150. Improvements to competitive products give us another choice. As far as many of the posts mentioning RAM or Chevy 6.2; all you have to do is look at the specs to see how one of these will tow. The current gearing and engine powerband of the Chevy engines requires high RPM for torque and power- noisier while towing. Ram less so but, still so. Ford’s move with the 2017 addresses the DI weakness of carbon build-up still to be addressed by other brands and provides the new 10 speed to be shared between Ford and GM. Good move.

    16. Going by the on board fuel mileage calculator is a mistake. When my average fuel economy display says 21.5 when I fill up it’s always 1.5 mpg less. I have a 2015 with the 3.5 NA engine. I could only imagine how much a replacement 10 spd transmission will cost to replace out of warranty.

      1. I too average (probably) around 1.5 MPG less than trip meter indication from tank-to-tank. I state “probably” because, at least in my truck, it is the “gallons used” data that is very flawed, but the error is not consistent. Last time I checked against it though, it was 1.5 optimistic, but that was after correcting the odometer error that goes in the other direction 1.8% that I calculate at 1.5% just to be conservative. I would assume though that the odometer error is most affected by specific wheel/tire combos, level of tire wear, and even specific tires. Mine are Michelin LTX 24570R-17s and I’ve checked against two GPSs four times, with each result falling between the odometer recording between 1.7-1.8% less miles than actual driven miles. With respect to the big error, I have recorded errors as high as 1.9 and as low as 1.1 optimistic and since my hand calculated results have been super consistent over 15K, with all tanks coming in between 21.4 and 25.3 and those differences being accounted for by speed, weather, and use, I’m confident my numbers are pretty accurate with 2.7 standard cab and 2WD and 3.31 rear axle ratio.

        To me, it’s not about absolute power and torque provided with turbo charging and direct injection; it’s more about what these components bring to the driving character and decent mpg without the “weaselly effect”; a more easy-going demeanor during regular driving and under mild stress. For example, my truck, with cruise on, the tach will stay around 1550 RPM at 59 mph, in 6th gear, up a 5% grade, even with 3.31 gearing. Smooth as silk highway cruising is part of that character that Ecoboost brings to the F150 lineup and the ability for me to get really good mpg by taking it easy, but yet having more than enough horsepower if and when I need it, and the fact that, unlike other manufacturers, Ford lets you have their best power trains starting with base trucks. Try, for instance to configure a Ram ED or a GM 6.2 for under $28K.

    17. Andre, that must have been awesome hitting that Ford track. 100 on the bank. Looked smooth. I just went to the Dearborn Plant tour and museum. Very Impressive. The Museum is one of the coolest I’ve been. Sure you all have checked that out. Great Video review. Cant wait to see the Ike reviews soon.

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