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If you're conidering a 2018 Ford F-150, the diesel engine option deserves a test drive.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Ford offers several engines for the F-150 including but new for this year is a PowerStroke 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 that combines the torque of a V8 with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder.The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in America for over 40 years. It's no exaggeration to call the F-150 America's pickup truck. For 2018, Ford has put some new features into the F-150 to keep it at the forefront of technology and at the top of the sales charts.

Ford offers several engines for the F-150 including V8, four-cylinder, and V6 options, but new for this year is a PowerStroke 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6. This engine combines the torque of a V8 with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder, and it's a great choice. The PowerStroke yields 250 horsepower and an impressive 440 pound-feet of torque, and it's mated to Ford's latest 10-speed automatic transmission for smooth power delivery at any speed.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The short version on the interior is that any features you want are available somewhere in the F-150 line, inlcuding a large eight-inch full-featured infotainment system and adjustable pedals.

As a result, when fitted with the trailer towing package, the F-150 diesel will take a payload of 1,720 pounds and tow up to 11,000 pounds. If you buy the rear-wheel-drive version of the truck, you can expect up to 30 MPG on the highway, or 25 MPG with the 4WD version that most Northwest buyers prefer. In a week of driving the 4WD F-150 SuperCrew back and forth from the coast, I saw real-world combined fuel economy of 23.8 MPG, so the EPA estimate is accurate.

The F-150 offers seven different trim levels. I tested the upscale King Ranch trim, which features a lot of saddle-colored leather and a western theme. You can go up from there to the Platinum or Limited trim, or down to the more economical XL and XLT trims. Lariat and Raptor are also available as mid-level trims.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The SuperCrew cab is incredibly useful for Northwest owners, because you can just flip the rear seats up and there's a very large, dry, and secure space for hauling anything from groceries to furniture.

The short version on the interior is that any features you want are available somewhere in the F-150 line. The test vehicle came with a dual-pane panoramic moonroof, large eight-inch full-featured infotainment system, adjustable pedals, and it was all very well made and easy to use. The SuperCrew cab is incredibly useful for Northwest owners, because you can just flip the rear seats up and there's a very large, dry, and secure space for hauling anything from groceries to furniture.

The SuperCrew four-door cab means you're limited to a 6.5-foot bed, but Ford makes it as big as possible. You'll get more than four feet between the wheel wells, and almost 79 inches front to back. One thing to note is that the tailgate has a smooth and slow drop-down function, but it's light and easy to close. There's also an optional step built in.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The SuperCrew four-door cab means you're limited to a 6.5-foot bed, but Ford makes it as big as possible. You'll get more than four feet between the wheel wells, and almost 79 inches front to back.

The bottom line on the 2018 Ford F-150 is that if you're buying a truck this year, the Ford dealer should be at the top of your test-drive list.

2018 Ford F-150

Base price: $27,200

Price as tested: $71,460

Type: Full size half-ton pickup

Engine: 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 (250 hp, 440 lbs-ft)

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

EPA estimated mileage: 20/25

Overall length: 243.7 inches

Curb weight: 5,236 pounds

Final assembly: Dearborn, Michigan

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