It seems like every other truck commercial includes a shot of some random heavy thing being dropped into a pickup bed: rocks, hay bales, giant novelty weights. Denis Leary is usually talking, or Bob Seger singing. That the truck in question doesn't collapse like a hot marshmallow under the strain is presumably meant to prove it's not a wimpy truck for wimpy guys who can't get girls. Truck, tough, grr. Well, with commercial logic in mind, we can report the 2018 Ford F-150 King Ranch with the new Power Stroke diesel engine option is not wimpy. Even when resplendent in its extra chrome trim and stuffed with a Lincoln's worth of luxury upgrades like massaging seats, the fancy-pants King Ranch proved its tough-truck worth as a front-end loader dumped a half-ton of river rock into the bed. The resulting cloud of dust caught the searing midday sun. I remember it now in slow motion, as if living through one of those commercials. Yup, that's a tough truck. After Senior Editor Alex Kierstein put a 2018 F-150 Platinum and its new Power Stroke V6 to the tow test, it seemed worth the effort to test the hauling capabilities while also sampling a different range-topping variant. Though the equipment levels of the Platinum and King Ranch are comparable, the King Ranch is, well, more ranch-y in its styling elements. The earthy, rust-colored two-tone interior accented by multiple King Ranch squiggle logos (a replica of the actual ranch's cattle brand) remain from earlier versions, but everything is toned down and classier inside and out. The real open-pore wood trim is lovely. I'm actually a big fan of the overall vibe despite not exactly being a belt-buckle, cowboy-boot kinda guy. The new Power Stroke diesel engine is a 3.0-liter V6 built in Britain and related to a number of Jaguar/Land Rover products, including the Range Rover and Discovery. "Related" is the key word, as Ford changed the turbocharger, fuel injection system, connecting rod and main bearings, oil pan and crankshaft to make "Power Stroke" more than just a sticker attached to the engine cover. The end result is a diesel mill that produces a stout 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. As Kierstein noted, this is an astonishingly quiet application of a diesel engine. Heck, it's an astonishingly quiet engine/truck pairing, period, regardless of fuel. You can occasionally hear a tell-tale turbodiesel whine when the Bang & Olufsen sound system is muted, but the expected diesel roar is never there. You have to roll the windows down for that, and even then, it's not exactly Peterbilt in its decibel level. Paired to Ford's new 10-speed automatic, the Power Stroke is smooth and responsive, and not especially diesel-like in its drivability, either. Clearly, this engine was meant to provide the capability and fuel economy (22 mpg combined as equipped) of a diesel engine without the negative side effects that might otherwise shoo people away. Job well done. As for its hauling capability, the F-150 …
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|MPG||17 City / 23 Hwy|
|Power||395 @ 5750 rpm|
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