(Editor’s Note: Welcome to NAPA Knows New Cars with the 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel 4×4 SuperCrew Platinum. This is not your normal new car review. This series focuses more on the nuts & bolts of the vehicle that are not usually covered by other outlets. The intention is to inform, not endorse. Ultimately the decision to buy a vehicle should be based on an individual’s needs and situation.)
Ford’s current generation F-150 launched in 2015 with aluminum body panel construction and a new body design. While the body itself is aluminum, the frame is constructed of high-strength steel. Power options have ranged from a twin turbo EcoBoost 2.7L V6, to the 5.0L Coyote V8 engine. Ford added the 3.0L Power Stroke® V6 turbo diesel in 2018 as an option across most of the popular F-150 models for those who prefer a diesel engine without stepping up to a heavy-duty pickup.
The diesel F-150 is quieter than what most people expect from a diesel-powered vehicle. There is no clatter or harsh vibration. The old days of waiting for glow plugs to warm up are over, with nearly instant starting from the little V6. Low end power is abundant with only slight lag between throttle input and power delivery. The 10-speed automatic transmission is quick to get into the higher gear ratios, but the torque of the diesel doesn’t make the engine feel lagged. The truck is happy to cruise along at highway speeds with very little throttle input needed to maintain velocity. Visibility is good thanks to the not-too-tall ride height. While the rearview camera is standard, the optional 360-degree camera system makes parking this full-size truck much easier.
As expected with a four-door full-size pickup truck, interior space is plentiful. Dual front bucket seats are supportive but not cramped. Both driver and passenger have plenty of legroom to stretch out. The large center console houses the shifter and two cup holders. The forward console cubby has two smart USB ports and enough room to hold most cell phones. One 110v AC outlet and one traditional 12v DC outlet located to the right of the radio control knobs.
Back seat passengers have plenty of room in the rear bench seat. Three adults fit easily, or any mix of child seats. Like the front seats rear legroom is spacious for all thanks to the flat floor (no center floor hump here). Rear seat passengers also have access to two USB charging outlets, a single 12v DC outlet, and a 10v AC outlet all located on the rear of the center console. One handy feature is the folding rear seat. When the bottom of the rear bench seat is folded upward, a large open flat storage space is created.
Max towing capability of the diesel F-150 is an astounding 11,400 lbs. when properly equipped. Payload capacity is an equally impressive at 1,940 lbs. Although untested for this review, the test vehicle was equipped with the same Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature previously detailed in our review of the 2018 Ford Expedition. Click here to read the review and how the Pro Trailer Backup Assist works. A Class IV trailer hitch receiver is standard on Platinum level trim and also includes built-in 4-pin/7-pin trailer wiring connectors.
The height of the F-150 makes is possible to reach most underhood components easily and without the need for a step stool. The air filter is easily found at the front of the engine compartment on the driver side. A handy built-in service gauge gives a quick visual check on the health of the air filter, and when it should be replaced. The factory equipped AGM battery is located at the front of the engine compartment on the passenger side. Like its 6.0L big brother, the 3.0L diesel engine oil filter is located on top of the engine. The oil filter is a cartridge type which is accessed via threaded cap. The metal oil pan drain plug is located at the rear of the oil pan, and is concealed behind a removable splash shield panel. The panel is easily removed via four bolts and two nuts. The diesel engine holds 6.5 quarts of oil.
Due to the setback of the engine and the location of the front axle, most services to the front engine accessories will be easier from the top of the engine compartment. The radiator fan is engine driven via the water pump pulley, which is a setup people familiar with older vehicles will recognize. Servicing the front engine accessories and serpentine belts may be easier with the cooling fan and shroud removed.
One service that drivers new to diesel engines will need to remember is occasionally draining the water from the fuel system. A black plastic fuel water trap is located along the frame rail on the drive side of the truck. Luckily there is a “water in fuel” warning light that tells you when it needs to be drained. Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is added via a blue filler cap located along side the diesel fuel filler behind the fuel door.
The 10-speed automatic transmission uses 13.1 quarts of MERCON® ULV Automatic Transmission Fluid XT-12-QULV or equivalent and should be changed every 150,000 miles. There is no traditional transmission fluid level dipstick. Rear axle fluid should be changed every 150,000 miles with SAE 75W-85 Synthetic Hypoid gear lube. Like a growing number of new vehicles on the road, power steering is electrically assisted, so there is no power steering fluid to maintain.
2018 Ford Diesel F-150 4×4 SuperCrew Specifications:
- Engine Type: Power Stroke® V6 turbo diesel
- Engine Displacement: 3.0 liters
- Engine Horsepower: 250 @ 3,250 rpm
- Engine Torque: 440 lb.-ft. @ 1,750 rpm
- Transmission: 10R80 10-speed automatic transmission
- Rear Axle Ratio: 3.55:1
- 22 city / 30 hwy / 25 combined mpg
- Length: 231.9″
- Width: 96.8″
- Height: 77.2”
- Weight: 5,271 lbs.
- Standard Package: 11,400 lbs..
- 20” polished aluminum
- 275/55R20 BSW All-Terrain
- Front: : 13.8″ Diameter Disc
- Rear: : 13.7″ Diameter Disc
- Head room: 40.8″ front / 40.4″ rear
- Leg room (max.) : 43.9″ front / 43.6″ rear
- Hip room: 62.5″ front / 64.7″ rear
- Shoulder room: 66.7″ front / 65.9″ rear
- Seating Capacity: 5
- 2018 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4×4 – $57,910
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on owning a 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel 4×4 SuperCrew Platinum, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
With an automotive writing career spanning over two decades, Brian has a passion for sharing the automotive lifestyle. An avid DIYer he can usually be found working on one of this many project cars. His current collection includes a 1969 Olds Delta 88 convertible and a slant-6 powered 1975 Plymouth Duster.