Ford’s 2017 F-150 gets a slight fuel economy boost with new 10-speed automatic

2017 Ford F-150
When Ford announced that the 2017 F-150 would get a 10-speed automatic transmission, teamed with an upgraded 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, the move was expected to benefit fuel economy. It turns out that all of those extra gears do improve efficiency, but only slightly.

The 2017 F-150 will get 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive, and 20 mpg combined (17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive. Those represent 1-mpg improvements in nearly all categories compared to the 2016 F-150 with the previous-generation EcoBoost engine and six-speed automatic, plus a 2-mpg increase in the combined category for four-wheel drive models.

Things look a bit more impressive in the power department. The 2017 version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine produces 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. That’s 10 hp and 50 lb-ft more than the 2016 model. To achieve that, Ford extensively overhauled the engine, adding a new fuel-injection system, new turbochargers, an electronic wastegate, and redesigned valve train components.

Read more: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will have 450 horsepower

The 10-speed automatic was co-developed with General Motors, and is the first transmission of its kind in mass production. Having more gears should, in theory, provide ideal ratios for a wider range of situations. During a brief drive on Ford’s test track in Dearborn, Michigan, last month, the 10-speed behaved fairly well. It shifted smoothly, and didn’t display the indecisive behavior sometimes seen in transmissions with high numbers of gears.

So far, the F-150 is the only confirmed Ford model to get the new transmission. It will be offered in both standard versions and the Raptor off-road performance truck, which should go on sale soon. Ford may also deploy the 10-speed in the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs when those models are redesigned. GM’s first application of the 10-speed will be the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Ford’s next step for the F-150 may involve even more aggressive measures to improve fuel economy. The company is rumored to be working on both hybrid and diesel powertrains for the truck, which could show up sometime in the next few years.

Cars

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Mobile

Looking for flexible and inexpensive phone service? Check out our favorite MVNOs

Looking to switch from a major carrier to something a little more affordable? Luckily, there are a ton of great MVNO options to choose from. Check out our guide to the best MVNOs, from Boost Mobile to Google Fi.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.