2019 F150 5.0 - Another Truck Rental Review

Apr 9, 2008
Central NY
First off, WOW that coyote can run!!

Had another PA trip this weekend. Unfortunately the Jeep made it about 3/4 of the way through the first day before breaking.

The Air BnB we were staying at was a 20 minute drive from the off road park and required us to go from 1500 feet, down to 860, back up to 1400 feet, down to 650 then up to 1400. Getting off of 81, I also had to go up and down about 1000 feet 2 or 3 times. My truck would have done it, but it would have been a lot of time at 4000 RPM in 2nd gear going 23 MPH.

This was pretty similarly equipped to the C1500 I rented back in October. V8, no factory towing package, 4x2, vinyl floor. I have surge brakes on my trailer. Trans code came back as 3.31 so it definitely didn't have any sort of towing package.

I wouldn't say this was a particurlarly engaging vehicle to drive; automatic transmission, severely overboosted electric power steering but it was probably the most nimble pickup I have driven. Maybe the aluminum body?

The powertrain in this truck impressed me the most! The 5.0 and 10 speed, even with crappy 3.31 gearing was just an awesome combination. The engine was always in it's power band. It did seem to like to go back and forth between 7th and 8th gear towing in the flat and small hills but didn't seem to shift excessively when towing. It held gears longer than I thought it would, but this 5.0 modular makes more than enough power below 2000 RPM. Quite surprised there for how much it loves to wind out.

Ford has the grade logic really figured out on this. One thing the 6 speed in the chevy I had before was lacking. I had a very hard time getting the Chevy to hold itself back without activating the surge brakes on my trailer. With the F150, it would automatically drop a gear on its own if it detected I was off the throttle but starting to point downhill. If i lightly touched the brake pedal it would drop 2-4 gears as needed. While it would shift quick, it would do it without a large jerking motion -- probably because it's such a close ratio -- and the truck would hold itself back. If I needed additional breaking (and I did a lot!), I could use the truck brakes and surge brakes. This was on a lot of 12-14% grades on PA 125 and I was going up and down them. It did a good job without smoking my trailer brakes! Unfortunately, that's one thing I couldn't say about the 5.3 / 6 speed.

The power was fantastic. I was impressed with the 5.3 /6 speed, but this 5.0 / 10 speed is something completely different. The "death hill" as we call it, where my truck will only go 24 in 2nd gear was not even a challenge for this. The 1500 5.3 topped out at 48 or so. This truck far exceeded that ;) I had to let off because I caught the person ahead of me. But same as the other truck, I didn't have it matted. The 10 speed just has the right gear at the right time and keeps the engine right in the powerband. The engine was 2 quarts low on oil (better than the chevy at 4 quarts low!) but honestly at 19000 miles and being a Uhaul truck, I'm willing to bet this truck has never seen an oil change either. It did have some rattle at part throttle at 2500 RPM, probably from being run low on oil for so long. While it isn't a "modular", it's an evolution of it. I was really surprised with how similar it sounded to any of the 4.6/5.4 engines over the years. Same exhaust note, same whistle under light throttle and same "whine" around 2500-3500 under hard throttle.

A lot of people complain about it shifting too much. It does skip around in regular mode, using 6 or 7 gears normally. In tow/haul mode it does use all 10 but I never got it above 9th towing. I followed a friend back with a 5.7 hemi 9 speed 1500 with 3.92 gears and that was always shifting up and down a few gears even on the smallest hills. But this 10 speed with 3.31s held 7th and 8th gear most of the time.

This truck seemed to handle the trailer better than the 1500. I always load my Jeep in the same spot on the trailer. Except this time I had more stuff in my toolbox on the tongue. Where the Chevy 1500 was sitting on the bump stops and required me to move the Jeep back further than I cared, the F150 wasn't anywhere near the bump stop. In fact, I was able to use the hitch as a 2'' drop instead of a 2'' raise. And I didn't max out my trailer jack trying to account for the suspension squat this time! It did rice more firm than the Chevy, which is fine I really prefer trucks that ride a bit more firm. I'm sure that is related to handling the trailer better.

Fuel economy was worse on this trip. A lot of it was the additional 45 miles of constant 10%+ grades that I didn't get in the last truck. On the highway I hand calculated between 11.8 and 13.5 MPG towing my Jeep. Pretty close to the chevy!

The interior is subjective. I have always liked Ford interiors and this is no exception. The seats sat like a truck should. I could see over the hood. The design language, buttons were all easy to use and just felt like "home". I'll give the split bench seat in the F150 points for being much more comfortable to sleep on than the chevys.

A truck like this really would fit my needs perfect! But, it doesn't matter how I run the numbers, it's significantly cheaper to stick with my current fleet and just rent a truck for longer trips.
The 10 speed sure is an interesting beast. I love the fact that they're putting it in almost everything from a 270hp ranger up to the 400+ HP F150's. I'm hoping that bodes well for me having one that is under-stressed and lasts a good long time.
I think the 5.0 with the 10-speed is the perfect combination, honestly. The EcoBoost has such a wide flat torque curve it really doesn't benefit from having all those gears. The V8, however, is perfectly paired with it.

I really enjoy how snappy the shifts in the 10 speed feel. No idea how it holds up long term but it has to be the best truck transmission out there right now.
I enjoy the 10-speed EcoBoost combo. My 3.5L will go up pretty much any mountain pass in VA in 9th or 10th gear and under 2,000 rpm. I've never had it out west, but I bet it would do pretty well in the Rockies with the turbos.
Yeah I never understood the “lack of torque” argument with the Coyote. I don’t think they’ve ever driven a non-PI 2v 4.6 F-150....a 3rd Gen Coyote with the 10 speed is a rocket ship in comparison.
Yeah I never understood the “lack of torque” argument with the Coyote. I don’t think they’ve ever driven a non-PI 2v 4.6 F-150....a 3rd Gen Coyote with the 10 speed is a rocket ship in comparison.

I have a NPI 5.4 from a 97 F150 in my F350. Once it drops below 2300 RPM or so there's nothing. Combine that with an extremely wide ratio manual transmission and it's just miserable in the hills.

I can't even imagine how it would be with an ecoboost and better gearing. This is an extremely light truck as it is. To be honest, I'm willing to bet with how light this is, it would outperform a HD pickup with a gas engine for speed on hills. I would guess an ecoboost for me would be a lot of blown tires and wheel bearings on the trailer. :D
I think my supercab 2.7 2018 comes in around 4800 lbs. my 2wd Jeep Grand Cherokee was 4600, and my 2006 tundra was right in there as well. The aluminum f150 does handle surprisingly well and is lighter than one would expect. Heck, Tesla sedans are now... 4100?
Since you have reviewed both the Chevy and the Ford, you need to find a current generation Ram for comparison.
I do see Uhaul rental Rams floating around. I haven't seen where people rent them. I believe Enterprise rents them but in the 2500 variant.
The 3.31 ratio isn’t crappy. The 10 speed more than makes up for it. Otherwise you probably wouldn’t have liked it’s performance so much lol.
I like the 10R80 transmission. I picked the 2.7 Ecoboost over the 5.0 for a couple of reasons. Fuel mileage was one. Oil consumption of the 5.0 was the second. The HP and torque specifications for the 2.7 are pretty close to the old 5.4. If I were doing a lot of towing, I would pick the 3.5 over the 5.0. I have the 3.55 rear axle in mine.
I had two cars with the 5.0 (both Mustangs, one of which was a track car). The 5.0 never burned oil. The 5.2 does, not the 5.0.
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sounds like you were in my neck of the woods, going to the AOAA by chance. if i were buying a newer full size truck the NA 5.0 would surely do, too bad theres no manual tranny!! ford techs interviewed chose the na 5.0 over the eco boosted engines they are USUALLY working on at their workplaces. simpler is always better IMO!!
Had a 2018 F-150 with 5.0 and 10 speed, 3.55 gears. Not a fan of the engine or transmission calibration (supposedly the software is better now). Had several problems with the Coyote, including it drinking oil until a PCM update two years into ownership. Now I am in a RAM, build quality much better and the powertrain is better IMO.
Here's one picture of it.


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ford techs interviewed chose the na 5.0 over the eco boosted engines they are USUALLY working on at their workplaces. simpler is always better IMO!!

Just going to point out that since over 65% of F150's are sold with an ecoboost engine, just going by percentages they would be seeing more of them in the shop anyways... all thing considered equal.

I also find it amusing at times that the same board that generally espouses dislike for dealer repairs then turns around and uses them as a selling point for their favorites...

The good news is that Ford has a flavor for whatever you are looking for. Currently 6 engine combinations available in NA V6, Turbo V6, NA V8, Diesel V6, and a Hybrid Powertrain. Buy what you like...