2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost Engines
In our opinion, the Ford 2.7 and 3.5 EcoBoost engines are by far the best engines in the Ford F-150. They both offer an excellent balance of power, performance, towing, fuel economy, and reliability. It’s hard to go wrong with either engine. However, it can be tough to make a decision on which F-150 EcoBoost engine is right for you. In this article, we compare the 2.7 EcoBoost vs 3.5 EcoBoost and look at specs, towing, performance, and more.
Basic 2.7 & 3.5 EcoBoost Specs
|Engine||2.7 EcoBoost||3.5 EcoBoost|
|Horsepower||325 HP||365-450 HP|
|Torque||375-400 lb-ft||420-510 lb-ft|
|Fuel Economy||20/26 MPG||18/25 MPG|
|Max Towing Capacity*||10,100 lbs||14,000 lbs|
|Max Payload Capacity*||2,480 lbs||3,250 lbs|
|Cost*||$0, base engine||$1,400 option|
The above specs are a good summary of the notable differences between the Ford 2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost engines. 2.7L twin turbo EcoBoost’s are currently the base engine option at no cost in the XL SuperCrew. An extra $1,400 allows you to upgrade to the larger, more powerful 3.5 EcoBoost. If you’re in the market for a used F-150 then the 3.5 EcoBoost will actually have some cheaper choices since it dates back to 2011.
Anyways, Ford 3.5L twin turbo engines offer the best max towing capacity for the F-150 at 13,200 lbs. Its 470 lb-ft of torque is available at low RPM’s, which makes it a great choice for towing. However, the 2.7 EcoBoost also offers excellent power, torque, and towing capacity. It just doesn’t deliver quite the same performance given its smaller design. In return, though, the 2.7L EcoBoost offers better fuel economy vs the 3.5 EcoBoost.
Again, this is a pretty good overall summary of the 2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost. However, in this article we’ll break down this info further for those who are still torn between the twin turbo F-150 engines.
*Engine cost is based on the 2021 XL SuperCrew F-150. Exact cost varies on specific trims, but the 3.5L is generally about $1,400 more expensive than the 2.7 EB. Towing and payload capacity are from 2021 F-150 models equipped to tow the maximum weight.
Ford 2.7L vs 3.5L EcoBoost Performance
We’ll avoid getting too specific with anything like 0-60 or quarter mile times. Those numbers can vary significantly depending on trim, 4WD vs RWD, etc. Of course, all else equal, the 3.5 EcoBoost is going to be the faster truck. Both share the same basic twin turbo, direct injection, V6 design. The 3.5L engine simply has the displacement advantage to offer more power and torque.
Long story short – if you’re after performance the 3.5 EcoBoost is the clear choice. That’s not to say the 2.7L engine is a slouch by any means. It still offers more than enough power and torque for most. The 2.7 & 3.5 EcoBoost engines are also both very mod friendly, and can make quite a bit more power with basic bolt-on upgrades.
One major consideration is engine generation. The 3.5 EcoBoost and 2.7 EcoBoost each have a 2nd gen option that came out in 2017 and 2018, respectively. These engines have some good updates that improve performance and tuning potential.
Winner: 3.5 EcoBoost
Ford EcoBoost Tuning
It’s not hard to get an extra 100+ horsepower and torque out of the F-150 EcoBoost engines. We wrote an article about some of the best upgrades for the 3.5 EcoBoost here. A few basic mods take the 3.5 EcoBoost to 450-550+whp. That’s probably more power than most people need in a truck. However, additional mods can even push the 3.5l twin turbo engine north of 600whp.
2.7 EcoBoost engines can also pick up tons of power with similar mods. However, as a smaller engine the gains aren’t quite to the same degree. A tune and an E85 fuel blend can boost the 2.7L engine to 400+whp and 450+wtq. Throw on the other basic upgrades and the 2.7 EB F-150 can deliver more power. Upgraded turbos can even push it to 500-550+whp. Very impressive numbers for a relatively small V6 engine.
Winner: 3.5 EcoBoost
2.7 EcoBoost vs 3.5 EcoBoost Towing
When similarly equipped the 3.5 EcoBoost offers about 4,000 lbs more towing capacity vs the 2.7 EcoBoost. The 3.5L engine actually offers the highest towing capacity available on the F-150. That holds true for payload capacity, too. However, chances are the 2.7L engine still offers plenty of towing capacity for most F-150 owners.
If you are planning on towing heavy loads often the 3.5 EcoBoost is the better choice. And it’s not simply due to the fact it has a higher towing capacity on the F-150. The smaller 2.7L EcoBoost has to rely on the turbos a lot more when towing heavy loads. Larger displacement on the 3.5 EB gives it a considerable advantage. It won’t need to use quite as much turbo.
Of course, the engines are designed to withstand the boost and stresses while towing. Twin turbo engines like the 2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost do generate a lot of heat, though. It can be pretty hard on the engine when you’re towing a lot of weight on steep terrain. That’s where the 3.5L engine has an advantage since it can rely on its displacement.
Winner: 3.5 EcoBoost
F-150 2.7 vs 3.5 Twin Turbo Fuel Economy
Finally, an area the 2.7 EcoBoost has an advantage over the 3.5 EcoBoost. It’s hard to dive into specific details since exact fuel economy comes down to many different factors. Is the F-150 4WD or RWD, what is the truck weight, etc? Anyways, in a similarly equipped F-150 the 2.7 EcoBoost is going to deliver about 2-3 more MPG than the 3.5 engine.
It’s pretty straight-forward since the smaller displacement is going to have the advantage. This is especially true since both engines utilize very similar designs and technology. All else equal, the smaller Ford 2.7 EcoBoost is more fuel efficient.
However, when towing, the 2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost likely offer very similar fuel economy. In certain situations the Ford 3.5L twin turbo engine might even have a small advantage. Again, this boils down to its larger displacement not needing to use high boost from the turbos quite as often.
Winner: 2.7 EcoBoost
Ford 2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost Reliability
This is a topic we’re very familiar with since we spent a lot of time researching and writing about reliability for both the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost and 3.5 EcoBoost. Ford has done very well with these engines, in our opinion. They both suffer from pretty similar issues, but problems are few and far between. Some of it simply comes down to the luck of the draw. However, with proper maintenance, the 2.7 and 3.5 EcoBoost engines should deliver good reliability.
One thing is clear – Ford did an excellent job with the 2nd gen engines. Direct injection engines suffer from carbon build-up problems on the intake valves. Ford addressed this on the 2nd gen 3.5L and 2.7L engines with the addition of port injection. They also ironed out some timing chain problems the 3.5 EcoBoost suffered, and oil pan issues on the 2.7 EcoBoost.
Check out the below links for more information specific to each engine:
EcoBoost Engine Longevity
Long-term reliability of the 2.7 EcoBoost vs 3.5 EcoBoost can be up for a lot of debate. Is one engine generally going to last longer than the other? It’s almost impossible to say as of now. The 3.5L engine has been around for a decade now, but the 2.7 EB is still only about 6 years old. As of now there really isn’t enough info to say one engine has the advantage.
Anyways, the 2.7 & 3.5 EcoBoost engines shouldn’t have any issues making it beyond 200,000 miles in most cases. Exact longevity, of course, comes down to tons of different factors. How the engine is maintained, used, driven, etc will all have an impact on longevity. Again, we’re big fans of both F-150 EcoBoost engines and which is better might simply come down to the luck of the draw.
F-150 2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost Summary
The Ford EcoBoost engines are among the best choices in the F-150 for their good balance of performance, towing, fuel economy, and reliability. There are a number of differences between the engines, such as engine block material. However, they also share many things in common. Notably, the 2.7 and 3.5 EcoBoost engines are both twin turbo, DOHC, direct injected V6 engines with Ti-VCT.
If maximum performance and towing capacity are the goals then the 3.5 EcoBoost is the clear choice. Although, the 2.7L engine delivers great performance and towing that’s more than enough for most. Its smaller displacement also delivers better fuel economy making it a great choice for a daily driven truck.
Reliability between the two engines like isn’t a big factor. The 2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost each deliver good reliability, and the 2nd gen engines are a great improvement. All around, Ford has done an excellent job with these F-150 EcoBoost engines. Which one is right for you likely just comes down to your needs and wants.
Do you have a 2.7 or 3.5 EcoBoost? Which one are you considering?
Drop a comment and let us know!