Ask TFL: Which Ford F150 Engine Do I Choose? 5.0L V8 or 2.7L EcoBoost?

Ford’s engine lineup is the most extensive in the half-ton segment, and choosing from one of many good powertrains can be tough.¬†

Michel Roy from the lovely province of Quebec, Canada, e-mailed TFLTruck to ask:

I want to have your opinion on which engine is more reliable for long term – 12 to 15 years, 200,000 miles – the 5.0l or 2.7 ecoboost.
Towing about 6,500 pounds 3,000 miles a year.

Thanks for the question and the info Michel.

Ford F150 5.0L V8 or 2.7L EcoBoost?

This is a very interesting question because both engines produce the same 400 lb-ft of torque, although they deliver it in different ways.

First off, it’s always hard for us to comment on engine reliability in the long term, as we don’t have the data to backup any claims. Doing a quick google search on the reliability of both engines reveals plenty of anecdotal evidence of issues with both the 2.7L and 5.0L, but these stories have to be taken with a grain of salt. Not to say that these owners didn’t have these issues, but it’s hard to gauge how large a problem could be in an engine lineup based on stories on the internet.

We cannot give you a straight answer on reliability, but we can make a few educated guesses and assumptions.

What we do know is Ford builds great trucks, and we don’t believe the brand would stake so much of its reputation on turbocharged engines if the engineers didn’t believe they would last in the long run. I would have no issue recommending the 2.7L EcoBoost. Plus, with 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, this small engine is formidable and can be optioned to tow up to 9,000 pounds.

At 6,500 pounds, the 2.7L would no doubt be working itself pretty hard to keep the load moving, so don’t expect to be getting the 21 mpg combined that this engine is rated at with four-wheel drive.

2016 ford f-150 v8
2016 Ford F-150 5.0L V8

Now, on the 5.0. I think it’s safe to say that a naturally aspirated engine is a little less complicated and therefore has a few less parts that can fail. That doesn’t necessarily make it more reliable, but there is a common held belief that simpler is better and we wouldn’t disagree.

This engine offers 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque and can be optioned to tow up to 11,600 pounds. The 5.0 delivers incredibly smooth power that comes on low and stays strong as the revs climb, unlike the peaky feeling of the EcoBoost. The 2.7 lags a little longer off the line, then a huge wave of turbo power hits that makes it feel easily as quick at the 5.0. So each is strong, but it depends what kind of power delivery you like.

Fuel economy for the V8 comes in at 18 mpg combined, so a penalty of three mpg. This would probably hold true for unloaded city driving, but once your trailer is attached, fuel economy probably wouldn’t be all that different.

Hopefully this helps with the question of 5.0L V8 or 2.7L EcoBoost!

What do you guys think? Use the comments section and the poll below to let us know.