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2013 F-150 Ecoboost or 5.0

Tuesday, September 25th 2012. | 2013 Ford F-150

There are many arguments going back and forth over which is the better buy between the two. From the reading I’ve done it is not a very easy decision. So lets delve deeper into this and explore what each engine’s strong suits are. I am not really comfortable showing/using any extensive calculations here as the real world will, almost guaranteed, vary strongly from them.

Let’s start with the 5.0, which is less complicated than the ecoboost and only gets an EPA estimated 1mpg less than the ecoboost. It’s also a less costly engine option and isn’t low on power either, whatsoever. But it does make its power higher in the RPM range, which isn’t considered ideal for trucks. Especially when towing or hauling heavy loads. But again, its a tried and true v8 truck engine, we’ve been using them in trucks for as long as I can remember.  For those of you that want the lower cost of entry and/or that v8 burble, the 5.0 is the engine for you.

Now for the EcoBoost, yes, it’s a complicated engine and can be expensive to repair, I hear replacing the turbo’s costs upwards for $2000. But are expected by Ford to last over 150,000 miles and that is just an estimate, for all we know they’ll last 200,000. The point is, because of the mpg you gain over the 5.0 the difference becomes negligible, it is a trade-off, nobody can predict the future. For that premium Ecoboost engine you do get some perks, like best in class towing and even more power than the 5.0. Also the 3.5 makes its power much lower in the RPM range making the engine very useful for towing and hauling. But in the end these are two very capable engine’s that far exceed what was available in the previous generations of F-150’s.

Now you may be interested in a conclusion here, weighing the pro’s and con’s here. But I say go with your gut on this one! Ford makes it pretty fool-proof here, either way you’ll have a great engine in your truck and the trade-offs, while there, aren’t very significant one way or the other. If you like the idea of having a v8, go for it! Do you want the coolness factor of a twin-turbo engine, you can do that too! In the future the EcoBoost option may pull further ahead in mpg’s, but for now it is a great alternative to the v8.  Research further by all means, but I think you’ll find, as I did, that it’s splitting hairs and that it really comes down to personal preference.

5 years from now when these trucks have accumulated some miles, we’ll be able to revisit this issue, but than that is a used truck buying decision, not a new model buying decision where you have the comfort of warranty and low mileage on your vehicle. Remember that when deciding between a new 3.5 or 5.0 you will have the comfort of a factory warranty either way.


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