Turbos in a truck? Outside of heavy-duty turbo-diesel models, that's a foreign concept to truck people. At least, it was until the Ford F-150 EcoBoost came along.
Defying the longstanding truck tradition of normally aspirated V8 power, Ford's F-Series team took a chance and added twin turbochargers to the company's workhorse 3.5-liter V6. Turns out truck buyers are willing to take a chance, too: the F-150 EcoBoost has been a strong seller from day one.
We recently spent some quality time with a 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew, and here are our five reasons why this groundbreaking truck deserves a spot in your fleet.
1. Awesome Power
Ford knew there would be plenty of EcoBoost doubters out there, so it had to knock the power delivery out of the park. The numbers alone are pretty impressive: 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, besting Ford's 5.0-liter V8 (360 hp, 380 lb-ft) on both counts. But what really sets the EcoBoost apart is that all 420 lb-ft are available from just 2,500 rpm, so whether you're accelerating up a grade or simply passing on the highway, downshifts are optional-there's plenty of force on tap.
2. Top-Notch Towing and Hauling
The EcoBoost engine excels in work truck scenarios, too. Again, let's start with the numbers: maximum towing capacity is 11,300 pounds, while the payload rating checks in at 3,060 pounds. If that sounds like a lot, well, that's because it is. The 5.0-liter V8 we mentioned before is limited to 10,000 pounds in the trailer test, and even the range-topping 6.2-liter V8 merely matches the EcoBoost at 11,300 pounds, while neither V8 can beat that 3,060-pound payload. In other words, the EcoBoost V6 isn't just a V8 replacement; it's actually an improvement.
3. Impressive Fuel Economy
Grunt is all well and good, but what about the "Eco" part? Has Ford delivered on the promise of superior fuel economy? The answer is yes, albeit barely. Our 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew test truck is EPA rated at 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway, while the same truck with the 5.0-liter V8 yields 15/21 mpg. At an annual rate of 12,000 miles, that means you'll save roughly 40 gallons per year. Keep in mind, though, that an EcoBoost-equipped F-150 generally costs more.
4. Serious Passenger Space
One look at this truck's three-across back seat will prove that the SuperCrew designation is no joke. There's enough room back there for a trio of lanky cowboys to stretch out and cross their boot-clad legs. In fact, we consider the four-door F-150 SuperCrew a viable alternative to family sedans and crossovers if your lifestyle demands the functionality of a truck.
5. Upscale Interior
With all the excellent trucks on the market right now, it's easy to conclude that one model's as good as the next. But every time we hop into an F-150, we're reminded that Ford went above and beyond with this truck's interior design. From the chrome-ringed vents and gauges to the available leather upholstery and touchscreen navigation system, this truck does a strong impression of a luxury car once you're inside.
What it means to you: If you asked us to find a fly in this 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew's ointment, we might be here for a while. That's how good this truck is all around. Drive it; we think you'll like it.