Most Reliable F150 Engine Ever: Head-to-Head Analysis

The Ford F150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the US for 46 years, and it is clear why. It offers a unique mix of reliability and practicality, making it the perfect choice for Americans. The current F-150 is the most technologically advanced and powerful generation yet.

Over the decades, dozens of powerplants have made their way under the hood of this legendary vehicle. But, which one is the best? Keep reading until the end to find out the most reliable F-150 engine ever.

By considering all Ford powerplants throughout the years, it is safe to say that the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 is the most reliable F-150 engine yet.

Whether Ford makes an engine that tops this one in terms of reliability is yet to be seen.

History of the Ford F150

2023 Ford F-150 price and specs: US top-selling pick-up to start from  $106,950 - Drive

We believe it is important to have an understanding of the different F-150 generations before diving into engine reliability. Are you excited? So are we!

Although the F-150 nameplate only made its debut in 1975, the history of this pickup truck runs back to the early days of motoring. The roots of the F-150 lie with one of the first vehicles of its kind – the 1917 Model TT pickup.

The 1935 Model 50 introduced a V8 engine to the pickup truck Formula, and the first F-Series of trucks made their debut 13 years later. If you hear some old timers talking about “Bonus Built trucks,” these are what they’re referring to.

1953’s second generation carried forward the classical design while renaming the previous F-1 to F-100. This generation also marked the first time that Ford outfitted their pickup trucks with automatic transmissions.

With each generation, the F-100 gained additional features, which made it a popular choice among Americans nationwide. The addition of four-wheel drive as a factory option in 1959, twin-I-beam suspension in 1965, and a four-door crew cab variant in 1965 are among the most significant additions.

As we mentioned earlier, the sixth generation of the Ford pickup in 1975 marked the first appearance of the F-150 name. 1987 marked the 50th anniversary of this iconic pickup. This was marked by a minor refresh, which came with creature comforts like Anti Lock Brakes (ABS) and power steering as standard options.

Stepping into the new millennium, the 10th generation of the F-150 brought a major redesign. The boxy exterior was replaced by a more aerodynamic body, and the twin I-beam setup was replaced with a torsion bar suspension.

2015 marked another milestone in the F-150’s legacy, as Ford shifted towards an aluminum body in place of the tried and tested steel one. By reducing the overall weight, Ford was able to increase performance while reducing the overall fuel consumption.

Innovation continues with the 2023 F-150, with several trim levels powered by different engines on offer. These include an efficient hybrid powerplant, as well as an all-electric variant for the first time in the model’s history.

F-150 Engine Reliability

Now that you know all about the most significant F-150 models, let us look into the reliability of some popular engines that powered them.

The top contenders for the title of most reliable F150 engine include,

  • 300ci I6
  • 351 Windsor V8
  • 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8
  • 5.0-liter Coyote V8
  • 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6

Now, we will take a look at each of these entries in detail to pick out the best from the rest.

300ci I6

The 300ci inline six is the oldest entry on this list, having made its debut back in 1965. Since then, this engine has gone on to be used in a whole host of vehicles, including the F-150, dump trucks, and UPS delivery vehicles for nearly three decades.

The sheer longevity of this powerplant acts as a testament to its reliability, making it a worthy entry to this list,

351 Windsor V8

Just like the F-150, the V8 engine is an icon in American motoring. First introduced in the 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1, it took 11 years for this powerful 5.8-liter behemoth to finally make its way to the F-150.

Along with the 460, the 351 was one of the most powerful engines available for the F-150 in that era. The fastest pickup truck of that era – the first gen F-150 Lightning had a 5.8-L V8 under its muscular hood.

The combination of great performance and reliability has given the 351 Windsor a cult following. There are several crate engines based on this tried and tested design, ready to power all your project car builds.

6.7-liter Power Stroke V8

Producing 475 horsepower along with close to 1000 lb-ft of torque, the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel V8 is the more reliable cousin of the 3.0-L V6, which will also be making an appearance on this list later.

Although the Power Stroke V8 is not a powerhouse, it more than makes up for it with its great reliability record and heaps of torque. Since 2011, this engine has made waves in the truck market. The use of reverse flow headers and a twin-scroll turbo compressor are some unique features that set the Power Stroke V8 apart from the competitors.

5.0-liter Coyote V8

The 5.0-liter Coyote is notorious for powering the Mustang GT, but you can choose it with your F-150 as well. However, keep in mind that choosing the Coyote will add an extra $2000 to the final price.

We believe this isn’t a bad price to pay for the only V8 engine currently on offer for the F-150. Producing 395 horsepower with 400 lb-ft of torque, this is a perfect choice for those who want some extra “OOMPH” with their full-sized pickup. The 3270 lbs of towing capacity is a great addition, too!

Some might find the exclusion of forced induction as a positive, which improves reliability. And the Coyote V8 keeps up with this reputation, being one of the most reliable V8 engines currently available.

Ford has made some improvements to the 5.0 Coyote to make it more suitable for use in the F-150. Areas like the camshaft intake manifold and engine compression received special attention, resulting in Coyote-equipped F-150s gaining more pulling power than their Mustang counterpart.

Overall. for those who believe that there is “No Replacement for Displacement”, the Coyote V8 is one of the most reliable engine choices out there.

3.5-liter EcoBoost V6

Ford has made significant improvements to their EcoBoost line of engines since their introduction in 2011. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that powers the F-150 acts as a testament to Ford’s technological prowess.

The first generation 3.5-L EcoBoost made 365 horsepower along with 420lb-ft of torque, both of which were impressive performance figures for the era. These already eye-catching figures were later improved with the second-generation engine, which debuted in 2017. Here, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost made 400 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque.

The towing and fuel economy of this powerplant was as equally impressive. The first generation could tow 8600 lbs, while the second generation took it up to 14,000 lbs. But, remember that other aspects of the F-150, such as the bed configuration, wheel size, and cab choice, also play a part in determining the towing capacity.

The EPA-rated fuel consumption figures for this EcoBoost stand at 19 in the city and 22 on the highway. Combined with the proven reliability record, the 3.5-liter does well to become one of the most reliable F-150 engines ever.

Preventative Maintenance Tips to Keep Your F-150 Engine Reliable

No matter which engine lies under the hood of your F-150, here are two of the most important tips you should follow to ensure its reliability.

  • Follow the Service Schedule
  • Take Care While Driving

Follow the Service Schedule

Sticking to the service schedule provided by Ford is the best way of prolonging your engine lifespan. Typically, the F-150 should be serviced every 10,000 miles at an authorized dealership.

During these services, the mechanics will go through all important aspects of your engine, and replace damaged components with genuine parts.

Take Care While Driving

Your driving characteristics also affect the reliability of your F-150 engine. Typically, trucks that have been cared for by their drivers last longer than those which have been abused. It’s always a good idea to check the different fluid levels when driving, and don’t forget to let the engine warm up, especially on those cold winter mornings.


While it is true that many different engines have powered the F-150 throughout the years, there can be only one powerplant that deserves the “Most Reliable F-150 Engine” title – the ever-popular 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.

Offering a great mix of fuel economy and performance along with bulletproof reliability, there are only a few other engines that can hold a candle to this Ford V6. If you have been on the lookout for the most reliable F-150 engine, now you know which one to spend your hard-earned money on!

Related Posts:

Problems That Cause Ford F150 to Loose Power Going Uphill

Common Problems With The Ford 2.7 EcoBoost

Common Problems with the Ford F-150 5.0 Engine

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Mahir Ahmed


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