For the 2015+ F150, Ford has given owners a variety of power plant options, but which is truly the best F150 engine? Ford first began selling their legendary F150 truck in 1975, and since 1977 it has been the most popular truck in both the United States and Canada. In 2015, Ford released their current F150 platform, which has spanned both the 13th and 14th generations through 2023. Since 2015, Ford has put seven different power plants inside the F150, including naturally aspirated, twin-turbo, and turbo-diesel options. But which of these is really the best F150 engine? Today, I’m gonna break down all of the available F150 power trains today and determine which is right for everyone. Let’s get started.
Ford’s Best F150 Engine Introduction
Since 2015, Ford has offered six different engine options and one hybrid gas-electric powertrain available inside the F150. These are the:
- 2.7 EcoBoost V6 (Twin-Turbocharged) 2015–2023
- 325 horsepower, 375 lb-ft (2015–2017)
- 325 horsepower, 400 lb-ft (2018–2023)
- 3.3 Cyclone V6 (Naturally Aspirated) 2018–2023
- 290 horsepower, 265 lb-ft
- 3.5 Cyclone V6 (Naturally Aspirated) 2015–2017
- 282 horsepower, 253 lb-ft
- 3.0 PowerStroke V6 (Turbo-Diesel) 2018–2021
- 250 horsepower, 440 lb-ft
- 3.5 EcoBoost V6 (Twin-Turbocharged) 2015–2023
- 365 horsepower, 420 lb-ft (2015–2016)
- 375 horsepower, 470 lb-ft (2017–2020)
- 400 horsepower, 500 lb-ft (2021–2023)
- 450 horsepower, 510 lb-ft (High-Output) (2017–2023)
- 3.5 PowerBoost V6 (Twin-Turbocharged-Hybrid Electric) 2021–2023
- 430 horsepower, 570 lb-ft
- 5.0 Coyote V8 (Naturally Aspirated) 2015–2023
- 385 horsepower, 387 lb-ft (2015–2017)
- 395 horsepower, 400 lb-ft (2018–2020)
- 400 horsepower, 410 lb-ft (2021–2023)
2015+ Ford F150 Engine Options
As you can see, Ford has given buyers quite the range of options for the F150 truck. These include turbocharged and naturally aspirated gasoline versions, as well as a short-lived turbo-diesel option. For the most part, all of these engines are reliable and have pretty good performance, and it’s safe to say there is not a dud in the bunch. Let’s take a look at each of these engines just a little bit closer.
2.7 EcoBoost V6
First up we have the smallest engine available, the twin-turbocharged 2.7 EcoBoost V6. Yet, while it might be tiny, it certainly is mighty. Ford has made the 2.7 EcoBoost available in the F150 since 2015, and it has produced 325 horsepower and 375-400 lb-ft of torque. Like the rest of the EcoBoost series, the 2.7 V6 uses direct injection fueling and turbocharging (intercooled) to achieve outstanding power while still retaining decent fuel economy and lower emissions.
The 2.7 EcoBoost is available inside the F150 XL, XLT, and Lariat trim levels. While some people will complain the 2.7 EcoBoost is underpowered for a truck, it actually rates pretty decently in terms of towing and hauling capacity. I was surprised to see the 2023 2.7 EcoBoost capable of a solid 10,100 pounds towing and 2,470 pounds for hauling. It offers the best fuel economy for a purely gas-powered F150 at 20 city/26 highway, making it very savvy at the pump.
3.3 Cyclone V6
Next up we have the 3.3 Cyclone V6. Also known as the Duratec 33, the 3.3 Cyclone is a naturally aspirated V6 that has been available in the F150 since 2018. It is the successor to the larger 3.5 Cyclone V6, and produces 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque — the lowest output for any 2018+ F150 engine. It uses both port and direct injection fueling (PFDI), and has twin-independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT).
The Cyclone has decent gas mileage for a truck at 20 city/24 highway. Part of this comes from the auto stop-start function which shuts the car off whenever the car is stationary. Ford makes the Cyclone available in just the lower F150 XL and XLT trims, and its maxing towing capacity is 8,200 pounds and can haul 1,990 pounds.
3.5 Cyclone V6
From 2015–2017, Ford’s lowest powered option was the 3.5 Cyclone V6. Also known as the Duratec 35, it produced just 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque as a naturally aspirated V6. While it gained a reputation as a reliable engine, critics widely panned it for being woefully underpowered inside the F150. It uses standard multi-point fuel injection, is an all-aluminum engine, utilizes Ti-VCT, and has a 10.8:1 compression ratio.
If you’re looking to tow, the 3.5 Cyclone is not the power plant for you. However, many F150 owners found it to be adequate for light-duty use, and it had a 7,600 towing capacity and 1,910 maximum payload. In 2007, it made Ward’s 10 Best Engines list, and most of that had to do with its decent gas mileage (for the time) of 18 city/25 highway. It was only available in the F150 XL and XLT trims.
3.5 EcoBoost V6
Getting back to the EcoBoost family, we have the 3.5 EcoBoost V6. Like the smaller 2.7, it uses twin-turbochargers and direct injection fueling. As expected, it is capable of some serious horsepower and torque output. This is the same engine that Ford stuck inside their Ford GT, though obviously not quite the same exact 660 horsepower monster. The F150 version makes 365-400 horsepower and 420-500 lb-ft of torque depending on the year. Ford has also made a high-output version of the 3.5 available since 2017, which makes 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque.
Ford tuned the HO EcoBoost for sport not work, though it does excel at the former. The standard 3.5 EcoBoost can tow 14,000 pounds and haul 3,250 pounds, while the HO can tow 11,000 pounds and haul 1,520. Ford makes the 3.5 EcoBoost available in the F150 Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trims, while they reserve the HO version for the F150 Tremor, Limited and Raptor trims.
3.5 PowerBoost V6
Similar to the above engine, there is also the 3.5 PowerBoost V6. This uses the same 3.5 EcoBoost V6 as above, but combines it with a hybrid-electric system. The electric motor provides added performance to give the 3.5 PowerBoost a total of 430 horsepower and a staggering 570 lb-ft of torque. The PowerBoost allows up to 700 miles of driving range per tank, but towing and hauling is down. Maximum towing capacity is 12,700 pounds and maximum payload is 2,120 pounds both down from the less-torquey standard 3.5 EcoBoost.
5.0 Coyote V8
The only V8 offered for the standard F150 is the 5.0 Coyote. Ford only uses the 5.0 Coyote inside the F150 and Mustang GT, and it is one of the best modern V8s available today. The 2018+ Coyote V8s use a combination of port fuel and direct injection fueling (PFDI), which allow for good performance while maintaining decent gas mileage. It’s an all-aluminum engine that makes 385-400 horsepower and 387-410 lb-ft of torque inside the F150.
The engine is naturally aspirated and is most people’s go-to option if they plan on doing heavy towing and hauling. Ford rates the 5.0 Coyote’s towing capacity at 13,000 pounds and hauling at 3,325 pounds — the latter the best for all F150s. The Coyote uses Ti-VCT and has proven to be extremely reliable, and quite moddable, since its debut in the F150 in 2015. Ford makes the 5.0 Coyote available in the F150 XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trims.
3.0 PowerStroke V6
From 2018–2021, Ford made a turbo-diesel available inside the F150 — the 3.0 PowerStroke V6. This is the only diesel Ford has recently offered inside the F-150, and unfortunately it was not very popular with F150 buyers. The 3.0 PowerStroke had decent specs making 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque, but it was seemingly out of place. Those who wanted high torque specs for towing chose the Coyote or 3.5 EcoBoost, and those who cared about gas mileage chose the Cyclone or 2.7 EcoBoost. Ford only put the PowerStroke inside the F150 Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trims.
Best F150 Engine Options Today
As both you and I know, determining the best F150 engine isn’t just about raw specs or displacement size. Some drivers want the most power. Others want the best F150 engine for towing. And still there are more who are interested in the best gas mileage possible from a light-duty truck. I’ll break down the best F150 engine for whatever your need is, from power, to reliability, to towing, or even daily driving. Let’s start with the most powerful F150 engines out there today.
Most Powerful Ford F-150 Engine
If you’re looking for the best Ford 150 engine with the most horsepower and torque, your options are pretty simple. The most powerful F150 engines are the 5.0 Coyote and 3.5 EcoBoost, with the EcoBoost taking the top prize. Ford rates the standard twin-turbo 3.5 EcoBoost V6 at 400 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. However, that still pales to the 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque from the high-output 3.5 EcoBoost.
In comparison, the larger naturally aspirated 5.0 Coyote V8 produces 400 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are very responsive, with the 5.0 Coyote being one of the best modern V8 engines ever. If power is what you’re looking for, the Coyote and 3.5 EcoBoost are your best options.
Most Reliable F150 Engine
If you are looking for the most reliable F150 engine, it’s best to stay naturally aspirated. While the EcoBoost series has certainly proven itself to be decently reliable, they can’t compare to the solidness of the 5.0 Coyote V8 and both the 3.3 and 3.5 Cyclone V6s. While neither the Coyote or Cyclones are completely problem free, they have shown themselves to be very robust overall. The engines are reliable stock, and the Coyote can even take some mods.
Best Ford F-150 Engine for Towing
For those interested in the best F150 engine for towing, you have quite a few good options. The best F150 engines for towing are the 3.5 EcoBoost, 5.0 Coyote, and 3.0 PowerStroke. Of these, the 3.5 EcoBoost has the highest towing capacity and the second most hauling capacity of any F150 engine. At number two is the 5.0 Coyote, which offers almost as much towing capacity as 3.5 EcoBoost, but has the best payload rating. Coming in third, the 3.0 PowerStroke offers the least towing and payload capacities, but still gives pretty good returns combined with the best gas mileage.
Of all the engines, the PowerStroke makes peak torque at the lowest RPM, which is expected being a turbo-diesel. Surprisingly, the 3.5 EcoBoost, even though it is twin-turbocharged, makes peak torque lower than the Coyote. The 100 lb-ft of torque extra from the EcoBoost really makes it worth it over the Coyote for towing, and it even beats the turbo-diesel.
Best F150 Engine for Daily Driving
For the best F150 engine for daily driving, the 5.0 Coyote and both the 2.7 and 3.5 EcoBoost are all great options. The 2.7 EcoBoost offers the least performance and towing, but also has better gas mileage than either of the other options. You can never go wrong with the 5.0 Coyote, as it delivers outstanding performance and great reliability. It’s also the only V8 option still available, and this is a truck we’re talking about after all. Finally, the 3.5 EcoBoost does everything you could ever need and offers the best performance and towing.
Ford’s Best F150 Engine Summary
Of the several different power plants available for the Ford F150 truck, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. The 5.0 Coyote and 3.5 EcoBoost are the most powerful available, and they also offer the best towing and hauling capacities. In terms of reliability, the 5.0 Coyote and 3.3 and 3.5 Cyclones are incredibly solid and long-lasting. For daily driving, really any option is good, but the 2.7 and 3.5 EcoBoosts and the 5.0 Coyote are the best. The F150 is a phenomenal truck, and making sure you get the right engine is extremely important.
Ford’s Best F150 Engine FAQ
Of the several different power plants available for the Ford F150 truck, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. The 5.0 Coyote and 3.5 EcoBoost are the most powerful available, and they also offer the best towing and hauling capacities. In terms of reliability, the 5.0 Coyote and 3.3 and 3.5 Cyclones are incredibly solid and long-lasting. For daily driving, really any option is good, but the 2.7 and 3.5 EcoBoosts and the 5.0 Coyote are the best.
For the 2015+ F150, Ford has used seven different engines over the years. Most popular are the 5.0 Coyote and 3.5 EcoBoost, which both produce at least 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.
The best F150 engines for towing are the 3.5 EcoBoost, 5.0 Coyote, and 3.0 PowerStroke. Of these, the 3.5 EcoBoost has the highest towing capacity and the second most hauling capacity of any F150 engine. At number two is the 5.0 Coyote, which offers almost as much towing capacity as 3.5 EcoBoost, but has the best payload rating. Coming in third, the 3.0 PowerStroke offers the least towing and payload capacities, but still gives pretty good returns combined with the best gas mileage.
The most powerful F150 engines are the 5.0 Coyote and 3.5 EcoBoost, with the EcoBoost taking the top prize. Ford rates the standard twin-turbo 3.5 EcoBoost V6 at 400 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. However, that still pales to the 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque from the high-output 3.5 EcoBoost. In comparison, the larger naturally aspirated 5.0 Coyote V8 produces 400 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are very responsive, with the 5.0 Coyote being one of the best modern V8 engines ever. If power is what you’re looking for, the Coyote and 3.5 EcoBoost are your best options.