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F-150 Coyote vs EcoBoost: Which Is Better?

Kevin Cassar
April 3, 2020

Back in 2011, Ford unveiled two revolutionary engine platforms for the F150 in engine design, performance, and capability. Since the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and 5.0L Coyote V8 have been duking it out for bragging rights, it's a natural comparison to see which engine is best suited for America's favorite truck.

At first, the EcoBoost platform was very hard to accept for F-150 enthusiasts because for decades the formula for engine power in a truck has been an all-American V8 under the hood. So, when a twin-turbo V6 was introduced, customers were pretty nervous to give it a good look because of the proven reliability and power that an American V8 provides for duties such as towing, hauling, and off-roading. To this day, there is still a debate on what engine is the best. Steeda is here to inform you which engine platform is best suited for you!

Ford F150 EcoBoost Engine

What Is An EcoBoost Engine?

In the F-150, the 3.5L EcoBoost engine is quite simply the power of a V8 with the fuel efficiency of a V6. For many decades, the formula for an American pickup has been the tried and true V8. Since the 1950s, Americans have enjoyed the sound and power a great thumping V8 under the hood to get the job done. But over the last 20 years, F-150 customers were asking for greater fuel economy, efficiency, and power in their trucks.

Ford answered the call to this growing demand when they unveiled the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6. This engine was an absolute milestone, something which the likes of F-150 customers and enthusiasts have never seen before. The first generation F150 EcoBoost came equipped with twin-turbos from the factory, supplied from Borg-Warner. It was equipped with Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing), 365 horsepower at 5,000 RPM and 420 LB/FT of Torque at 2,500 RPM. The EcoBoost delivered on the promise of greater power and effciency. Customers started to take notice of this quickly. By enabling people to get the fuel efficiency of a V6 and get the power of an 8-cylinder engine, it started a turnover effect that has never been seen in the truck market.

Once people realized how incredible this engine platform was, customers started to lineup at Ford dealers across the nation. Ford really knew that they developed a gold mine in engine technology and performance. This enabled the EcoBoost 3.5L to punch over its weight class among the F-150 engine lineup as well as its competitors.


EcoBoost 3.5L Specs

EcoBoost 3.5L V6 Horsepower Torque Towing Capacity
Gen 1 2011-2016 365 HP @ 5,000 RPM 420 LB/FT of Torque @ 2,500 RPM 12,200 Pounds
Gen 2 2017-2020 375 HP @ 5,000 RPM 470 LB/FT of Torque @ 2,500 RPM 13,200 Pounds
Gen 2 High Output
2017-2020 Raptor & Limited Models Only
450 HP @ 5000 RPM 510 LB/FT of Torque @ 3,500 RPM 8,000 Pounds


F150 Coyote Gen III

Rebirth Of A Legend

Since the birth of the Ford flathead in the early 1930s, V-8 enthusiasts have been obsessed with the raw power, torque, and sound of an American V8. For years, Ford enthusiasts raved about the raw power and thrill they would experience from legendary V8s such as the Boss 429, Boss 302, 428 Cobra Jet and Foxbody 5.0.

During the Foxbody Mustang era, the Ford 5.0L Pushrod V8 debuted. From the start, it became a success overnight due to its low-end torque, ease of modification, and high horsepower capability. Due to this success, F150 engineers took notice of the engine’s capability to deliver huge amounts of torque at low RPMs. This was a perfect setup for truck applications for off-roading, towing, and hauling payload. All the way up until 1995, Ford was pumping out these amazing V8s into every F-150 and Mustang they could build. Until 1996, when Ford replaced both engine platforms with the overhead cam 4.6L V8 modular engine.

It wasn’t till 15 years later that the 5.0L made a glorious return. Code-named “Coyote,” it was both launched into the F150 and the Mustang at the same time in 2011. Ford enthusiasts couldn’t wait to get on their hands on the new American legend! Little did it know the Coyote would have to square up against a sibling rivalry in the EcoBoost 3.5L V6. The first generation of the Coyote in the F-150 was a huge leap forward into V8 truck engine technology.

For the first time in Ford’s history, a V8 would come equipped standard with Ti-VCT technology. This enables the engine to breathe much more efficiently and bring in more air to the engine which results in more efficiency, horsepower and torque. This technology allows for performance at any RPM, roller finger followers for razor-sharp valve action, and a deep breathing cylinder head with four valves per cylinder. To aid in burning all that oxygen and fuel is a coil-on-plug design for efficient combustion. Lastly, piston cooling jets were adding to keep performance high and engine life long.


5.0L Coyote Specs

Ford Coyote 5.0L 32V TI-CVT V8 Horsepower Torque Towing Capacity
Gen 1 2011-2014 360 HP @ 5,500 RPM 380 HP @ 4,250 RPM 11,300 Pounds
Gen 2 2015-2017 385 HP @ 5,750 RPM 387 LB/FT of Torque @ 3,850 11,200 Pounds
Gen 3 2018-2020 395 HP @ 5,750 RPM 400 LB/FT of Torque @ 4,500 RPM 11,500 Pounds


Steeda F-150 EcoBoost

F-150 EcoBoost Pros & Cons

For years, the truck segment has been changing drastically in order to be lighter, stronger, and more efficient in all key areas. If you ask a purist F-150 enthusiast, they will tell you that there is no replacement for displacement. Ford said otherwise when they introduced the engine platform.

Pros

  • Like a V8, the EcoBoost creates the same amount of power in a much more efficient way, while giving you the best fuel economy in a half-ton pickup. For individuals who purchase an F-150 for work, the job site, or towing. The capability is unsurpassed against the Coyote due to the initial low-end torque at only 2,500 RPM.
  • This allows the user to get out of the hole from a stop much more efficiently. In turn, there will be less strain and wear on vital driveline components when towing an excess of 10,000 pounds or more.

Cons

  • The downfall to an EcoBoost is that it has to rely upon forced induction to create power.
  • In the long term, these extra components can wear over time. Causing more maintenance for owners down the road.
  • For purists, the raw sound and thrill of a V8 will not be there any longer.

F-150 Coyote Off-Road

F-150 Coyote Pros & Cons

Americans everywhere have been accustomed to a big torquey V8 underneath their Ford truck since the early 1950s. As trucks evolved, so did the V8 along with it. Over the years, V8s have had their fair share of triumphs and downfalls the Coyote is no different to this.

Pros

  • Unlike the EcoBoost, the Coyote uses all American muscle and modern engine technology to deliver its power and torque in a naturally aspirated capacity.
  • This allows the owner to worry less about extra components malfunctioning over a long period of time.
  • The raw experience and power that is synonymous with an American V8.

Cons

  • Tuneability can be an issue to a certain degree when it comes to Coyotes depending on what you plan to do in your F150.
  • From the factory, the 5.0L Coyote creates a significant amount of less torque than the EcoBoost does, therefore it cannot tow or haul as much.

EcoBoost vs Coyote

Choosing Between a Coyote & EcoBoost

Choosing your options on your F-150 can be a daunting task. With the number of options, engine choices, and models you could be second-guessing yourself for some time. When it comes to the perfect engine option, you have to really ask yourself what the intended use for the truck is going to be.

Here are some variables that you should look at before you decide:

  1. Primary Usage: Are you planning to have it as a daily driver, overland vehicle, construction site work truck, or tow rig? This is the first key decision before choosing either engine platform.
  2. Capability: A lot of truck owners will buy a certain model and engine choice in the F-150 due to the amount of towing, payload, and capacity it can handle.
  3. Fuel Economy: As Ford F150 engines have evolved, they have been able to achieve greater fuel efficiency. Which is a major factor in the decision process in choosing either engine. Individuals who tow a lot will choose to purchase the EcoBoost platform due to the greater torque and fuel efficiency.
  4. Fun Factor: This will boil down to who is the purist and who isn’t. The enthusiast who wants to have all the capability of an F-150 but still has the raw power and sound will most likely choose the Coyote. On the other hand, the EcoBoost is going to provide the best of all worlds in terms of power, capability, and efficiency.

After you have processed all this information, you'll have all the knowledge you need to an informed decision to purchase your next F-150 and choose the correct engine option. Everyone at Steeda loves both engine platforms for there capability, modification potential, and performance. No matter what you end deciding, each are proven platforms that have only helped the F-150s continue its legendary legacy in the world of American truck performance!





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