Review of the 2018 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew

By John Hayden

Introduced in 1948, most Canadians can barely remember a time when Ford’s F-Series truck wasn’t Canada’s favourite pickup. There’s no doubt that the F150 is a legendary half-tonner.  Meanwhile, the 2018 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew follows this tradition.  Offering great value for money,  its reliability is underpinned by the Ford Tough promise.

However, not all models are the same, especially heavy-duty models bought second-hand. Even the Ford F150 had some years that were better than others, based on customer complaints. However, most of these problems had been ironed out by around 2015. 

Fresh Start with the F-150 XLT SuperCrew 

Launched in 2018, the Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew proved a nationwide hit. Durable and long-lasting, it was also easy to customise, for added comfort. A modern truck that’s fun for the family but still a solid jobbing ride, it switches easily from weekday workhorse to weekend warrior. Splurging on a few extras makes life easier for drivers, with features like pushbutton start and keyless entry. 

Updated and refreshed, the 2018 model is more of a family SUV than a no-frills work truck, especiallry with the 302A equipment package that includes:

  • 8-way power driver seat; 
  • power-adjustable pedals; 
  • 4.2” driver info centre; 
  • transmission cooler
  • upgraded front stabilizer bar; 
  • boxLink cargo management system; and 
  • upgraded radiator. 

Power to Spare with Options Galore

Its 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine includes a twin-turbo setup that churns out 325 horsepower and an impressive 400 lb-ft of torque. In addition to an FX4 Off-Road Package, XLT Sport Appearance Package, and Trailer Tow Package, other top-selling points include:

  • twin-panel power moonroof;
  • Apple CarPlay;
  • Sync3 screen + Android Auto;
  • heated front seats;
  • air conditioning; 
  • rear parking sensors; 
  • backup camera;
  • drop-in bed liner; 
  • rear power sliding window
  • remote start system; 
  • reverse sensing system; 
  • LED box lighting;
  •  all-weather floormats; 
  • rear wheel well liners; and 
  • halogen headlights (which could use an upgrade).

For sporty types, that trailer hitch is an invitation to adventure, hauling a couple of ATVs or a camper for wilderness getaways. When fitted with a 2.7 EcoBoost engine, its towing capacity outperforms almost every other SUV at a solid 7,584 pounds. 

Roll stability control and trailer sway control are standard features on all F150s; if the choice is there, go for the pro trailer backup assist as well, as a simple turn of a knob tells the truck which way the trailer should go, and then the system handles the entire manoeuvre. Added to all this is a passel of electronics that check for trailer wiring issues, with a back-up camera making sure the hitch ball is properly lined up for safe driving.

Differences between a SuperCrew and SuperCab

It’s easy to spot the difference between these two truck models, although both are designed for hauling cargo and carrying six passengers. An added advantage for passengers: the SuperCrew has a larger rear-seating area, with extra legroom.

The SuperCrew has four full-size doors that all open in the same direction, making it slightly harder to climb in and out. In contrast, the two rear SuperCab doors are smaller and open backward for easier entry and exit. 

Which is Better: The F-150 XL or XLT?

Indicating an Extra Luxurious Truck, the XLT tag dates back to the Ford Ranger in the 1970s. Still today, its extra features add up to a higher price, with the XL model more budget-friendly. Other aspects include: 

  • the XLT offers six steering wheel options, compared to only four choices for the XL;
  • the XLT has an optional 3.0L Power Stroke Turbo-Diesel V6 engine, while the XL comes as is;
  • silver-painted 17-inch aluminum wheels add charm to the XLT, while XL comes with plain steel wheels.

Fuel Savings

Although never the first choice for fuel economy, the 2018 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew is among the better options, as trucks go. Eager to offer better value for money, Ford increased the gas mileage in this model.

There are also some tricks for teasing a better fuel performance out of a Ford F-150. Here are a few of them: 

  • watch the road ahead, with a light foot on the accelerator;
  • keep tires well treaded and inflated correctly;
  • avoid carrying excess unnecessary weight;
  • use cruise control and stay under 100 km/h;
  • think twice about air conditioning;
  • get a custom tune-up before long trips.

The Competition

Pursuing its goal of all zero-emission electric vehicles by 2035, the Canadian government has announced its plans to eliminate combustion engines over the next few years, as part of the global pact to mitigate global warming. 

This means that gas-fuelled trucks and SUVs are a dying breed, chugging off into a smoky sunset. For the moment, a likely replacement is the hybrid Ford F-150, rated as the most efficient pickup in its class, according to EPA fuel-economy rankings. Delivering a combined 25 mpg, it can travel an impressive 750 miles on a single tank of gas.

Decisions, decisions…

However, its eco-friendly price tag is almost twice as expensive as a 2018 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew. Despite fast-approval auto loans with nine-year terms and low interest rates, wage-strapped Canadians will probably continue to pick the wallet-friendly 2018 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew: the first half-tonner to bridge the gap between a hard-working truck and a family ride. 

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