2015-f150_skv_6107-1024x699-8274753 The 2015 F-150 features an all-new 2.7L EcoBoost engine.

Last Friday, Ford unveiled the EPA fuel economy numbers on the 2015 F-150. The new F-150 is special because it’s the first truck to use aluminum extensively in production. Saving over 700 lbs of weight should surely help with fuel economy, and a new small 2.7L EcoBoost that was also introduced with the new truck will help even more.

On a 4×2 truck with the 2.7L EcoBoost, the Ford F-150 is claimed to make 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, or combined for a 22 mpg score. The 2.7L does also have stop start technology, meaning the engine will turn itself off at stop lights and intersections. In comparison with the cost-to-own of a Ram 1500 with the EcoDiesel, Ford’s Mike Levine had this to say.

From Ram 1500 3.6L V6, EcoDiesel costs +$4,770. 2.7L EcoBoost is only +$495 from #2015F150 3.5L V6

— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) November 23, 2014

Compared to EcoDiesel at 23 mpg combined, #2015F150 2.7L 22 mpg is less expensive to drive the same distance at +$.76/gallon more for diesel

— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) November 21, 2014

Would cost a customer $449 more to drive 15,000 miles with a Ram EcoDiesel than 2.7L EcoBoost in #2015F150

— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) November 21, 2014

But let’s compare 4×4 trucks, which is the majority of trucks sold. Just looking at EPA fuel economy ratings alone, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has a rating of 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, or 22 mpg combined. The 2.7L EcoBoost in the Ford F-150 is rated at 18 mpg on the city, 23 mpg in the highway, or 20 combined.

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On Sunday, November 23rd, 2014, the American Automobile Association‘s nationwide average for gasoline is $2.820 per gallon. We are going to use Mr. Levine’s $0.76 more per gallon for diesel number.

Over 15,000 miles of combined driving, the 4×4 2015 Ford F-150 would cost an owner $2,115. That’s using 750 gallons of gasoline. For the Ram EcoDiesel, it would cost an owner, at $3.58 per gallon of diesel, $2,440. That was calculated using 681.81 (repeating) gallons of diesel. That makes the Ram EcoDiesel 4×4 $325 more expensive to drive for 15,000 miles.

Assuming the EPA numbers hold true for both the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and the Ford F-150 with the 2.7L EcoBoost, the Ford is the less-expensive truck to drive based on combined mileage.

Let’s Change It Up

rm015_004fn-1024x682-8788287 The Ram 1500 is the only diesel currently offered in this segment, for now.

During our time with the diesel-equipped Ram 1500 4×2 Tradesman, our mileage for the week was nearly identical to the 28 mpg claimed for highway mileage. So let’s assume that both trucks are driven primarily highway miles. Does that change things dramatically?

To drive 15,000 highway miles in the 2015 Ford F-150, using the same numbers above, it would cost $1,839.13 in gasoline. For the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, it would cost $1,988.88 (repeating) in diesel. That makes the 2015 F-150 less expensive, even driven 100% highway, to own by $149.75.

But That’s Not All

diesel-exhaust-fluid-7956021Diesel engines require DEF fluid in order to pass emissions testing. That does add a small additional cost to driving a diesel vehicle.

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Additionally, the EcoDiesel does add to the purchase price of a Ram truck more than the 2.7L EcoBoost adds to the Ford truck. Yes, on base trucks that EcoDiesel is expensive at over $4,000, but compare a 2015 Ford F-150 Super Crew 4×4 with the 2.7 at $42,410 to the Ram 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab 4×4 with the EcoDiesel at $44,585. Those prices were current as of 11/23/2014 on each manufacturer’s build-and-price tools on their respective websites.

Final Thoughts

Having the highest fuel economy in your class is important for an automaker. They’ll spend considerable amounts of money in research and development to make sure they can eek out one or two additional miles-per-gallon out of their vehicles. Sometimes they eek a little too much out. Ford has, in the past, had to adjust the fuel economy numbers lower on several of its vehicles. That shows that there can be some variation in the fuel economy testing procedures set by the EPA compared to real-world driving of many people. It’s the exact reason why your mileage may vary (YMMV) exists in our vocabulary.

We have driven the 2015 Ford F-150 2.7L EcoBoost in that 4×4 XLT trim we mentioned, and we saw near that 20 mpg combined that Ford is claiming on that configuration. Until we see real-world numbers on production-ready trucks (the ones we drove were pre-production), we are going to reserve overall judgement. But, for this battle in the epic Truck Wars, the victory goes to the folks at Ford.

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