Op/Ed: Owner’s Perspective – Ford F-150 5.0L Coyote vs. EcoBoost

2011 ford f-150 v8 5.0 liter off-road

Editor’s Note: We recently received this email from an owner of a 2011 Ford F-150 XLT Supercab 4×4 with the 5.0L V8 engine. At TFLtruck we do not publish long term truck reviews, so we thought you might find this one owner’s experience helpful when purchasing your next pickup.

This is a 2011 Ford F-150 XLT Supercab 4×4 with the 5.0L V8 engine bought brand new back in August of 2011. It has the chrome, convenience, and off-road packages. An XLT with the off-road package is the same as an FX4 packaged F-150, but a FX4 has a nicer interior as well as different decals on the exterior of the truck. With this package, I have off-road tuned shocks, skid plates, and a 3.73 electronically locking rear differential. The color is dark blue pearl with a two toned silver bottom.

Why did I go with the 5.0 liter engine versus the famous Ecoboost engine?  Several reasons factored in to the decision. First, I wanted this exact truck with these options. When I saw the truck, I knew that it was the one for me, regardless of what engine it had in it. I could not afford any of the higher trim packages at the time so I knew I had to settle with the XLT.
5.0 liter v8 coyote ford engine

Second, I took a considerable amount of time researching the EcoBoost, and at that time, there were little real world tests or reviews out there. Although Ford’s torture test videos were impressive, there was something that I just didn’t like about the twin turbo V6. To me it just didn’t seem like an engine that should go in a 6,000 pound truck. It didn’t have that grunt of a V8 and the low gurgle at idle. But, it was definitely fast. And who doesn’t like to go fast, right?

Finally, the reason I chose the 5.0 was the test drive.  I was blown away during the test drive. Yeah it gets all of its power in the higher RPM ranges, but what V8 doesn’t?  The 5.0 has an impressive exhaust note that is similar to the mustangs. The intake note you hear when the engine really starts running up the RPM range is just awesome. And last but not least, I could not tell that much of a performance difference between the EcoBoost and 5.0. Therefore, I didn’t see it worth the extra premium cost to get the Ecoboost versus the 5.0. It just didn’t make sense to me at the time.

ford f-150 xlt

Looking back now at my decision on the engines, I don’t ever wish I had the Ecoboost. I have two family members that have EcoBoost F-150’s and a coworker that also had one. The two family members are both are fairly pleased with them.  The one complaint I hear from them concerning the EcoBoost is the MPG. The MPG’s are not near what Ford advertises them to be. In my 5.0, an average tank runs in the low 18’s for MPG’s, which includes city and highway driving. In their EcoBoost trucks, an average tank runs 15-16 MPG’s. When I am cruising down the interstate running 75 mph, I can easily get 19.4 – 19.5 MPG. Ecoboost? Not so much. Seems like with the Ecoboost, you really have to feather the gas pedal to get any decent MPG.

My coworker traded in his EcoBoost for two reasons. The first reason was he didn’t get good MPG. He said no matter how he drove, he could never get over 14 MPG. The leveling kit and slightly larger tires didn’t help either. Next, he had a problem with the engine shutting off during rainy weather. He investigated this problem online, and found out many others were also having issues. So much so that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened up an investigation on Ford F-150s with the EcoBoost concerning the exact issue that my coworker had. I have not heard much else about NHTSA’s investigation. Now in saying all of this, I am not bashing the EcoBoost engine. I understand there are a large number of people who have not had any problems with it. I do think it is a great start of an era of different type of engines for trucks. We are already seeing the new Chevrolet’s take note of the direct injection that Ford seemed to start off. We are also starting to see other manufacturers start coming out with engines other than a V8 such as Nissan and Dodge coming out with a light duty diesel engines. They see the market that F-150 was filling with the EcoBoost engine, and they wanted a piece of the pie as well.

2014 ford f-150 interior dash

I do light towing with my truck, pulling an ATV with other various hunting gear on it. I get pretty good gas mileage pulling this 1,600 lb load (just about 16 MPG). I have taken the truck off-road some and it has never hesitated to get me out of a sticky situation. The traction control in these trucks is phenomenal. I plan on keeping my truck for as long as I can. The supercab serves my wife and I well and even if we decide to have kids one day, it still has plenty of room for little ones.

I am very happy with my 5.0-liter F-150, and wish that review sites including TFLtruck.com would start doing reviews of the 5.0.  The 5.0 has very similar numbers to the new 2014 Silverado and their new 5.3L engine. I would be very interested to see how the two engines compare when it comes to a 0-60 MPH test and a towing test. I also wish that Ford would just once, create a commercial for the 5.0. The only commercials I see are for the Ecoboost engines and also, sometimes to advertise higher MPG numbers of the 3.7L V6.


Take a look at this TFLtruck video from Ford proving grounds: