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Old 12-17-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default Comparing New F-150 XL to Previous F-150

During the recent Thanksgiving holiday, I traded in my 2007 F-150 XL for a new 2013 XL model. My prior model was then newly purchased bare bones “work truck” with the manual transmission and 4.2 L “Essex” V6 that served me well. While I enjoyed the 2007 truck, I am very happy with my new purchase.

Many of my friends and colleagues also own F-150’s, and several of us have been discussing the “upgrade” of the base engine in the XL from the 4.2 to the 3.7 L model. As I noted to them, while the newer engine is more powerful and efficient on paper, I have not noticed a “real world” difference between the two engines regarding either aspect. While no one would confuse me for a thermo-nuclear engineer, I conclude that for my practical application of each vehicle, the 3.7 is not any more or less powerful than the old 4.2. The empirical evidence is as follows;

My 2007 F-150 with the 4.2 L V6 made 202 hp @ 4350 rpm, and 260 lb-ft of torque at 3750 rpm.

My new 2013 F-150 with the 3.7 L V6 makes 302 hp @6500 rpm, and 278 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm.

Assuming a linear track of horsepower and torque per rpm, the 3.7 V6 makes 202.1 hp @ 4350 rpm, and 260.6 lb-ft of torque @ 3750 rpm.

While test driving the 2013 F150, I never felt as though the truck possessed more power than the model I traded in, though the newer engine is much smoother and quieter than the Essex. I generally do not rev the engine any higher than 3,000 rpm, and did the same on my prior model as well. The newer engine is certainly smoother and more responsive at higher rpm due to the higher redline, but for my normal driving habits, its on par with the Essex.

Regarding the 3.7’s marketing as a “fuel saving aficionado,” I’m getting 17 city and 22.5 highway mpg with my light foot—not much of an upgrade from the 17 and 22 I got with the 2007 model. My new truck only has 1,100 miles though, so I realize the engine and drivetrain are not fully broken in to this point.

Any other owners or enthusiasts noticing the same outcome between these two engines?

Last edited by LA F150XL; 12-17-2013 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:01 PM   #2
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Congrats on the new truck! Hmmm, well, I currently have a 2008 F-150 XL 4.2L 5-speed, same as you used to. I love the truck, and it makes enough power to pull/haul everything I throw at it, but it's definitely low on the power scale. It has decent torque, aka down-low power, but it falls on its FACE around/after 4500 rpm. It can move alright if you get on it, but no one would confuse it for fast

Now, I don't own a newer F-150 with the 3.7, but I've test driven a couple, and IMO, the 3.7 blows the 4.2 out of the water, in all aspects! Smoother, accelerates faster, pulls strong all the way to redline...just feels like a much power powerful, refined engine. I don't have any experience with the 3.7's gas mileage, but reports are good; 22 on the highway would certainly beat my 4.2, as the best I ever got was ~20. Mine usually gets ~18 with all highway, averages 16-17.

When I upgrade in the semi-near future, I will definitely give the 3.7 heavy consideration if I go the used route, and it would absolutely be a huge upgrade, lol.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:13 AM   #3
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Nagata, I concur with you on two fronts: the newer engine is much more refined, and I never felt comfortable pushing my old 4.2 past 4000 rpm--you can feel the engine strain at that point to make any more power. Considering that the 3.7 technically has 100 more hp, it doesn't feel any more or less powerful for most of my daily driving. Third and fourth gears feel especially strong, just like in my previous 07. Passing between 60 and 70 mph is easier with the new truck, though my normal commutes don't involve a lot of driving at those speeds.

The newer truck is definitely a substantial upgrade, regardless of engine semantics. It is much quieter, has a smoother ride, and both seats are by far more comfortable than the ones in my 07. You'll be very happy with the upgrade, regardless of engine choice! To be fair, I didn't test drive the 5.0 or EcoBoost; the largest thing i'll ever haul around in my truck is a push mower or garden tiller.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA F150XL View Post
Nagata, I concur with you on two fronts: the newer engine is much more refined, and I never felt comfortable pushing my old 4.2 past 4000 rpm--you can feel the engine strain at that point to make any more power. Considering that the 3.7 technically has 100 more hp, it doesn't feel any more or less powerful for most of my daily driving. Third and fourth gears feel especially strong, just like in my previous 07. Passing between 60 and 70 mph is easier with the new truck, though my normal commutes don't involve a lot of driving at those speeds.

The newer truck is definitely a substantial upgrade, regardless of engine semantics. It is much quieter, has a smoother ride, and both seats are by far more comfortable than the ones in my 07. You'll be very happy with the upgrade, regardless of engine choice! To be fair, I didn't test drive the 5.0 or EcoBoost; the largest thing i'll ever haul around in my truck is a push mower or garden tiller.
Sounds like you bought the new engine for your needs

I hope you enjoy it. Keep us updated and you add some miles.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:05 PM   #5
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The 3.7's a great motor and I LOVE the way it screams when you mash it. Welcome to the forum!
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA F150XL View Post
Nagata, I concur with you on two fronts: the newer engine is much more refined, and I never felt comfortable pushing my old 4.2 past 4000 rpm--you can feel the engine strain at that point to make any more power. Considering that the 3.7 technically has 100 more hp, it doesn't feel any more or less powerful for most of my daily driving. Third and fourth gears feel especially strong, just like in my previous 07. Passing between 60 and 70 mph is easier with the new truck, though my normal commutes don't involve a lot of driving at those speeds.

The newer truck is definitely a substantial upgrade, regardless of engine semantics. It is much quieter, has a smoother ride, and both seats are by far more comfortable than the ones in my 07. You'll be very happy with the upgrade, regardless of engine choice! To be fair, I didn't test drive the 5.0 or EcoBoost; the largest thing i'll ever haul around in my truck is a push mower or garden tiller.
Cool, I get where you're coming from; sounds like your driving habits are fairly modest, you keep the revs low, and as such, you get very similar performance out of both engines. I can see that. The nice part for you is that now, if you need it, you can push the pedal more and have all that extra power band and HP your old 4.2 lacked

Sounds like you were very honest with yourself and made a wise decision on your new truck! I see nothing but compliments for the 3.7; even if you do need to tow something, it's still rated for over 5000 lbs, and towing reports from 3.7 owners indicate that it pulls very well, even when loaded near its "limit." I'm looking forward to a modern engine; if I don't end up with a 3.7, it'll be the 5.0, and would only be because if I buy new, I want the electronic locking diff, which Ford won't offer with the 3.7

Have fun with the new truck!
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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I must retract my earlier observation about fuel economy; now that the engine is broken in, I got 25.2 hwy mpg on a 100 mile trip today! Speeds were between 50-65 on a two lane road, i'm very pleased with the gas mileage now!
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA F150XL View Post
I must retract my earlier observation about fuel economy; now that the engine is broken in, I got 25.2 hwy mpg on a 100 mile trip today! Speeds were between 50-65 on a two lane road, i'm very pleased with the gas mileage now!
There ya go!
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:09 AM   #9
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ROTHFL @ The 4.2 being equal to the 3.7
The 4.2 is maybe a 12 second 0-60, the 3.7 is low 8 to high 7's.
Even shifting both at 4000 rpms, the 3.7 blows away the 4.2 because the closer spacing of gears in the 6 speed. The 3.7 is quicker and more responsive than a similar geared 5.4 / 4 speed.
Glad to hear you are now getting the fantastic mileage the 3.7 is capable of. Now put the hammer down and enjoy the Dr Jekyl / Mr Hyde power aspect!
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:26 AM   #10
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An if U fill it with 24 gal of E85 it'll really snort. That adds another 12/20 HP and equal addition of torque.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:26 AM
 
 
 
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