Armen Hareyan's picture

What I Learned From Reading Ford F-150 Owners Discussion About Possible F-150 Diesel

Several days ago TorqueNews managing editor Patrick Rall published an interesting story saying Ford F150 could become the segment's most efficient with a Land Rover Diesel. I shared the story in Ford F-150 EcoBoost Owners group on Facebook and it created an interesting discussion.

In the story Patrick wrote that "while the EcoBoost engines have made Ford the most fuel efficient gas-powered pickup – a small diesel in the F150 could make it the most fuel efficient half ton truck in the segment." I wanted to see what F-150 EcoBoost owners think about the idea and here is what I learned from their discussion, which you can partially read below.

Mike Wood
Ford has put way too much into these ecoboosts to offer a diesel in the 1/2 ton at this point. I don't see this happening anywhere in the near future at all.

BW Rimnyak
I don't know Mike Wood, with the success of the eco diesel anything is possible. Never say never. 10 yrs ago we all would call bs on a TT v6 too.

Matthew Ryder
Eco diesel has an 8-speed Trans which gives it it's efficiency . It has way less power than the Eco boosts.

David Myers
The ecodiesel is a dog compared to the ecoboost. Ford will never do it.

Mike Wood
Check how many eco-diesels have been sold compared to how many 3.5 ecoboosts.

BW Rimnyak
Guys, I am not meaning to be argumentative, I am just saying never say never. I love my eco beast. I am just saying as the world's largest auto maker, if they can find a new niche, they may jump at it.

David Myers
BW Rimnyak Ford has already said 1000 times no. They built the ecoboost as the alternative.

Mike Wood
Never? No, I wont say that. In the near future? Definitely not. I've been a diesel guy for longer than I've been an eco-boost guy. They have just seen so much success from this ecoboost platform they would have almost no incentive to go to a diesel. It would directly compete with sales for the ecoboost trucks.

BW Rimnyak
Frankly I agree, and as a regular drive with moderate towing, wouldn't go with a diesel, the cost difference here is close to 1$ per gallon. Diesels that aren't worked are dogs and when they break the cost is big.

David Myers
My biggest gripe with a half ton diesel is maintenance costs. Oil changes are just as frequent but twice as expensive. Same with when stuff breaks.

Mike Wood
You can say that for any diesel. So many people buy them for the wrong reasons. They can do more work, but they definitely cost more to maintain. Some people seem to think because it's a diesel it will just run forever without any maintenance. I never understood that.

David Myers
True, but I'm buying a 3/4 or 1 ton for a purpose.

What do you think about ecoboost vs ecodiesel? Also don't miss these 2 tough tests for the 2015 F150 2.7L EcoBoost.

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I much prefer the Ecodiesel to the Ecoboost, but I own an F150 with an Ecoboost. It's not as simple as choosing one or the other without other considerations. When faced with the choice, it wasn't as simple as it might first seem. A buyer can get either a Ram 1500 or Ford F150 for around $26.5K during a time with some incentives going on in a work truck and base engine, before taxes and registration fees and dealer fees. However, Ford lets you have an Ecoboost for $795 from the base model until one gets up to the higher trim levels where only the V8 and larger Ecoboost are offered. I got an F150 with the 2.7 EB and a modest option package, chrome bumpers and aluminum wheels for around $27.5K; but Ram Ecodiesel starts in an extra cab and a certain trim level, beginning price at or about $38.5K. I fully realize that the average truck buyer is looking at these higher end trucks any way, so for them, it's a simple preference choice for about the same money. But for me and what I wanted and wanted to spend, it was almost $11 thousand difference and it would have forced me into more truck than fit my lifestyle and that's not worth 3 mpg even though I really love the way diesels drive.

Can't believe I'm the only one with something to say about this article.

Two major points I'd like to make:

First, although Ford is "all-in" with respect to turbo-charged, spark-ignition engines they call Ecoboost, this does not mean that they will not go strongly into the diesel realm.

In fact, in some respects, it could make them more likely to offer them. The fact that Ford engineers value efficiency and fuel economy improvements via smaller displacement, turbo-charging, and direct-injection, means that they fully understand the benefits and know how to design engines using these technologies and actually prefer them over cylinder deactivation and the like.

Along with this assertion is the fact that Ford has an engineering advantage with respect to diesels over, chiefly, the Asian rivals in the product segment, since they have learned much about diesel technology back during their partnership with PSA. Although Renault has Nissan's back, they still chose to buy a Cummins and Toyota has been rumored to do the same thing. Those two companies, especially Toyota, would have to do a lot of catchup or stay at a cost disadvantage if the segment forces manufacturers to cough up a diesel for the segment.

In this same vein, one has to consider how dog-eat-dog this segment is and how secretive some auto manufacturers are, and what auto makers may be willing to do if they can make money. If Ford sees a way to steal some market share without losing too much margin per unit (since they're making tons of cash on the average F150 sale), or they feel they can make a profit on a new Powerstroke for the 1/2-ton, irregardless of how much money they're making on Ecoboost, they may do it. Look what GM just did. Mr. Lutz spoke for years about how diesel don't make sense for the market. A few years later, they started offering diesels. So Ford could be faining about a diesel for the F150 to get a competitor to spend money, or they could be more serious than they are letting on. We just don't know. We can't go by what they are saying. That would be a mistake.

And my last word about this first point is this...Many drivers like what they like and it doesn't always come down to payback and dollars and cents. Take for instance what goes on in the sportscar segment. People will spend $12-$15K more for the fastest, biggest, baddest engine that requires premium fuel, because that's the engine they want. It's this way for many who prefer diesel. If I had the money,and a big enough carport, I'd be driving either the Canyon with the Duramax, or the Ram with the Ecodiesel today even though it would not have been my preferred cab choice and would have cost me at least $9K more than my regular cab F150 with the new, little Ecoboost. That's how much I love diesels. I can't be the only one out there who reacts this same way. Look at the percentage of buyers who choose the heavy-duty trucks with the PowerStroke, Duramax, and Cummins diesels. It's upwards of 70%; there are worthy gas-powered choices from each manufacturer that are $10K less or even greater. But diesels rule this segment and there are many, many prospective buyers that are waiting on a diesel and will pay what it takes as was seen with the introduction of the Ram Ecodiesel. So Ford could conceivably give prospective buyers another reason not to buy a Ram or a Silverado or a Sierra or a Tundra or a Titan, and that's because they too would offer a diesel pickup below 3/4-ton.

My second point is more straight forward. Ford must test an F150 with a well-designed diesel and have it ready for production. One day, technology will break; there will be a much cheaper and more simple way to certify diesels for emissions certification and when this does happen, as long as technology on another front; say hybrids, electrics, or something like homogenous-charged compression ignition doesn't break first; all trucks will have a diesel.