Ford’s new F-150 2.7L EcoBoost Engine – Gimmicky or Good Idea?

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Recently at a Ford media event, I was able to talk with a representative who drove the new F-150 with the 2.7L EcoBoost. While, he was short on specifics, the engine has created a lot of questions for truck fans. Is the engine simply a fuel-economy gimmick? Let’s discuss.

Ford's new F-150 2.7L EcoBoost - Gimmicky?

Is Ford’s new 2.7L EcoBoost engine a great offering or a gimmicky idea aimed at producing high fuel economy numbers.

If you ask Ford or Ram, you will hear how they both feel customer’s have placed fuel economy as their top priority. These companies are both trying new innovations to push full-size trucks to get unheard of fuel economy. While Ram has invested in diesel, Ford has gone all in with aluminum and now a tiny 2.7L EcoBoost engine.

This tiny engine might be able to hit high fuel economy numbers on highways, but is it really what customers want? Has the line between fuel efficient and still a towing-capable truck swung too far? Or is something else at play?

Ford’s CAFE Future

Like, we told you Monday about Ram, Ford also doesn’t have a great CAFE future. They, like Ram, sell a lot of trucks and very few smaller fuel-efficient cars. While, it isn’t as drastic as the FCA, it is a concern.

For reference, Ford offers several compact cars, sedans, a few plug-in and electric models. Their Energi SE just had a great month with nearly 2k units sold. However, these sales dwarf the 60-70k trucks Ford sells on a monthly basis.

In June, 2014 Ford reported the following sales by type:

  • Cars – 81,198
  • Utilities – 62,785 (Escape, Edge, Flex, Explorer, Police Interceptor, Expedition)
  • Trucks – 78,081

The car sales were mainly made up of Focus and Fusion models (53,870). Of note, Ford is working to make these cars even more fuel efficient and has been eliminating the large displacement and gas guzzling models.

While customers may be clamoring for better fuel economy, Ford also needs to sell more fuel efficient trucks. Let’s be frank, the surge of EcoBoost engine offerings is partly due to customers and also, a big part, due to future CAFE regulations.

Fuel Economy Vs. Capability

Ford is pretty keen on making sure they still produce capable trucks as was evident throughout my conversation. Yet, how capable can a 2.7L EcoBoost F-150 really be? As of this writing, the HP and torque numbers aren’t yet available. Ford does say the engine will compete with mid-range V-8 engines.

Let’s assume that statement applies to engines like Toyota’s 4.6L V-8. That engine puts out 310 HP with 327 lb-ft of torque. And knowing, the V6 EcoBoost puts out 365HP and 420 lb-ft of torque, we can safely assume the new 2.7L will be around the Toyota engine and below the V6 EcoBoost.

This truck, then, will likely have better fuel economy than the V6 EcoBoost (16 city/22 hwy/18 combined mpg). With the weight loss of the aluminum, our wild guess is the 2.7L Ford will have an EPA fuel economy number of 18 city/26hwy/24 combined.

Two notes on these fuel economy numbers:

  • Publications like Car and Driver have had trouble hitting Ford’s EPA numbers
  • When towing, the fuel economy numbers drop drastically according to numerous owners

While the 2.7L EcoBoost may push Ford’s truck fuel economy numbers to new heights, it may fall short of the industry-leading EcoDiesel at 28 MPG – a pretty expensive option for Ram 1500 customers.

In the end, this engine seems more gimmicky to us. While Ford has made a lot of fans of its EcoBoost engine, it seems like a lot of work and expense to midly improve fuel economy while trading towing fuel economy.

What do you think? Is a 2.7L EcoBoost a gimmick engine or a good offering?

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  1. toyrulz says:

    I thought the V6 EcoBoost was gimmicky so it’s little sister takes it to the next level.

    Where I do think the concept is sound where you get V6 economy when not working, and V8 power when you are, this is not so simple to implement. Full size trucks are heavy off the line, and not aerodynamic on the highway, people are in boost (v8 mode) more than not unless they drive the truck like grandma does her Focus.

    My point is that turbos add air, so more fuel can be burned, the new 2.7L will probably get its boost used even more then the V6 and see just a small advantage in real real world scenarios. The use of these engines would be closer to the concept if in a very lightweight aerodynamic car, but in truck Form – gimmicky.

    The old saying “there is no replacement for displacement” holds true to those who tow and haul. And naturally aspirated engines are more durable and reliable for the long haul. If your foot is to the mat and in big-boost all the time, you will shorten the life expectancy of components. Ford may have overbuilt the Ecos’ to take the forces of full throttle/boost, but I doubt they applied a factor that this duty is rarely seen or is for shorter durations.

    Reality is most 1/2 tons do not tow and haul regularly and this helps Ford get reasonable numbers. Many of the bad scenarios are likely from those few that use their truck as a truck regularly.

    The ecoboost differentiates Ford from its competitors and allows needed lower EPA numbers (real world mpg is not their concern). Marketers leverage this tech to convince the masses that it is better and Ford gets the sale as only they have it. Is it better? Depends on you, but it is different and unique to Ford.

    My money is on natural V8s for working. I would look to a big V6 in a Tacoma size. I would not get Turbo in a vehicle for heavy tow/haul – for mostly passenger only use, maybe a turbo then.

  2. Randy says:

    In addition to the new 2.7 EcoBoost Ford is claiming new revisions to the 3.5 EcoBoost for 2015. I do not know to what degree improvements have been made?

    It is possible that the 2.7 Eco will be moving more air volume through the CAC (because the smaller engine has to work harder) which could lessen the effects of condensation? It is very sad that Ford has chosen not to test any EcoBoost engine at dew point as far as I know. Hence it is very likely their problems with their design will continue.

    Both the 2.7 and the 3.5 EcoBoost in a truck could be a good idea if it had excellent engineering, excellent quality control, and a real warranty. Unfortunately those “key” elements are not part of part Ford game plan.

    Because of the increasing tightening nature of CAFÉ and the EPA, it could be in just a few short years the excellence of the Tundra 5.7 may be a thing of the past. Just like the diesel Fords of the 90’s are now history.

  3. Larry says:

    It’s a gimmick for sure but, what choice do they have with the demands being made by the FED? Build a little motor which gets good fuel usage to meet the FED demands, then the user can ignore the fed by running around with major turbo boost drinking fuel. This is about the biggest joke I have ever heard. Trucks getting 25 MPG? Gas sipping motors which then get turbos so they can drink fuel and then explode in 5 years after the last payment is made. Just who is going to drive a turbo truck around with zero boost? If that’s the case take the turbo off slow down and save fuel. No chance.

    • Brian J says:


      Just out of curiousity how many Ecoboost engines have you read about/seen that have “exploded”? Not talking about engines modded out or chipped. I’m talking about factory stock engines that have exploded a turbo under normal operating conditions with proper factory-recommended maintenance.

      From what I’ve read online the Ecoboost has exceeded reliability expectations in the 5 years since it was introduced. I think what the Detroit 3 are doing with their truck engines is great. Even GM getting 22MPG with a pushrod V-8! It disappoints me that Toyota isn’t at least meeting similar mileage. The 5.7 is a great motor, but its like they are just saying “this is good enough” and not offering to up the ante. I guess they will just use their fuel credits from their long list of hybrids to cover the lackluster mileage of their trucks? While certainly not the only factor, MPG is a major consideration I will give to my next new truck. I can’t say with certainty I will buy another Tundra with the current fuel economy numbers being offered.

      • Larry says:

        Explode,,,,,,, Figuratively.

        You can’t put an Indy car motor in a truck, work the hell out of it and expect it to run 10 years. It’s flat out the wrong engine for a truck. After a rebuild all savings if there were any will be gone.

        My 3.0L V6 T100 engine worked hard for 19 years with only 150HP. How long would it have lasted putting out 300 HP with twin turbos? Small gas turbo high RPM motors don’t make sense in a truck.

        Put one in an F250 and see what happens.

  4. toyrulz says:

    I heard the mid model refresh is already planned to include push button automatic weight reduction. When in passenger only mode, half the box frame disconnects and stays in driveway for better ride and fuel economy. Additional research is also investigating adding nitrous to allow a new 1.8L to power the truck. Hahahaha

  5. LJC says:

    Good engine choice for a slightly larger Ranger pickup, weighing in at around 4200 LBS. This assumes of course that all “bugs” have been worked out of the ecoBoost engine.

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