3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0

3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0 – Which Engine Is Perfect For You?

A classic V8 vs a V6 on steroids, the 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0 Coyote, many Ford enthusiasts have been a part of this debate for almost a decade now. These two engines have captured the pickup truck market and have won the hearts and orders of many truck owners out there.

A classic V8 has been a go-to choice for an engine for many people for quite a long time. The experience of raw power and torque, with the added benefit of the sound of a naturally aspirated engine, is the perfect recipe for a pickup. Well, all of this changed when Ford introduced its 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine for the F150.

The EcoBoost was more efficient and powerful than its sibling rival, the 5.0 Coyote. The 3.5-liter twin-turbo engine is practical, powerful, and puts a smile on your face. So, here is all you need to know about the two engines to make the right choice for you.

Introduction To The EcoBoost Engine

The Ford F150 3.5 Ecoboost engine is a combination of turbos and direct injection. The main aim of this engine is to improve fuel economy without compromising the power output that people are usually used to. For more than 50 years, people have been enjoying the tried and tested combination of a pick-up truck with a V8. But since the introduction of the Ecoboost, things are a little different for all the Ford fans out there.

Ford introduced the EcoBoost to cater to the growing demand for a pick-up truck with a better fuel economy, and the EcoBoost was an absolute hit in the pick-up truck market. This was something that the Ford F150 customers and enthusiasts had never seen before.

First Generation Ecoboost

The first generation of the Ford Ecoboost was introduced in 2011 with the Ford F150. The first generation of the F150 EcoBoost came equipped with a twin-turbo from the engine factory and has Ti-VCT ( Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing). The 1st gen EB is capable of producing 365 horses and 420LB/FT of torque at 5000 RPM.

The EcoBoost delivered on its promise of great power without compromising on fuel efficiency. The EcoBoost engine caught everyone’s attention. The deal of not compromising on efficiency and having the power of a V8 started a turnover effect that is never before seen in the truck market!

Second Generation Ecoboost

The second generation of the EcoBoost engine was introduced in 2017 and it came out punching above its weight class. The new and improved engine is capable enough to produce 450 horsepower along with 510 LB/FT of torque. The EcoBoost is one of the most powerful and efficient engines.

That’s not only in the F150 lineup but also when compared to any other truck available in the market. Ford knew that they developed a gold mine in engine technology and performance! There are two variants of the 3.5 liter V6, the basic second generation, and the high output variant.

Even though several people still like having a V8 under the hood, the popularity of the EcoBoost engine is growing at a great pace! The 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0 has gotten many enthusiasts scratching their heads. Now, they’re wondering which engine is more suited for their use!

Introduction To The V8 Coyote Engine

Since the birth of Ford’s flathead V8’s in the 1930s, pick-up truck enthusiasts have been obsessed with raw power, a lot of torque, and the sound of an American V8. For several years, Ford enthusiasts have taken pride in enjoying the raw power and thrill they experience while handling a V8 like the Boss 302, Foxbody 5.0, or Cobra Jet 542.

It was the late 1980’s when Ford introduced the 5.0 Pushrod V8. This engine was a huge success for every Ford owner and enthusiast out there. The low-end torque, ease of modification and high horsepower capability was the reason why this engine was so amazing.

Ford realized that this engine was the perfect fit for the truck industry. Low-end torque and high performance were the perfect recipes for off-roading, towing, and payload hauling. All the way up till 1995, Ford was putting the 5.0 V8 in every Mustang and F150 out there. It was in 1996 that the 5.0 was replaced by a 4.7 modular V8.

3.5 ecoboost vs 5.0

The 5.0 V8 was reintroduced by Ford in 2011 with the code name “Coyote”. This engine was introduced in the F150 and the Mustang together. The Ford enthusiast couldn’t wait to get their hands on this new beast. Little did they know that it was being introduced alongside its sibling rival, the 3.5 EcoBoost. The first generation of the Coyote was a big leap in the V8 truck engine technology.

First Generation V8 Coyote

The first generation Coyote engine was made from 2011 to 2014 and it came equipped with Ti-VCT technology. This allows the engine to breathe better and increases the amount of power and efficiency that is created by the engine. The first generation created 350 horsepower and about 380 LB/FT of torque.

Second Generation V8 Coyote

The second-generation Coyote was a tuned-up version of the already buffed-up 5.0 V8 which was made from 2015-2017. The second generation of the V8 had larger intake valves, better camshafts, better exhaust valves, and much more. The second generation made about 385 horsepower alongside 386 LB/FT of torque.

Third Generation V8 Coyote

The third generation of the 5.0 received the most number of changes. Direct injections along with port fuel systems allowed the engine to increase its compression ratio which helped increase the power and fuel economy. Connecting rods from the Boss 302 V8 and many more engine upgrades helped the 5.0 reach its true potential. The third generation was introduced in 2018 and it produces about 400 horsepower and 400LB/FT of torque.

Seeing all the updates made to both the engines, Ford made the 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0 talk between all the enthusiasts and truck owners even more difficult and interesting.

The F150

The Ford F150 was introduced back in 1948. The first generation of the F 150 was a two-door pickup that quickly gained a lot of popularity and love in the United States of America.

The Ford F series gained a lot of traction immediately. It was because of the pickup’s versatile nature and durability that Ford had to offer. The F 150 was able to take a complete beating off-road and help the farmers and the workers get the job done. The F series became one of the most popular vehicles that were ever produced.

To this day the Ford F150 is one of the most widely produced and used pickup trucks in the United States. There are a total of 14 generations of the F series that are spanned for over 70 years.

The Latest Generation Of F150

The current generation of the Ford F150 is one of the best pickups in the market right now. Ford accumulated everything from their past F150 generations and improved it by a big margin. The latest generation of the Ford F150 does come in the same configuration and size as the previous model. The only difference is that the technology used inside the truck is very advanced and this generation qualifies to be the best tech-equipped pickup truck on the market.

For the past three years, Ford has managed to sell more than 900,000 units of the F150 and it continues to do so. If divided by 365, shows that Ford sold 2,486 F150 pickups per day for the past three years. That translates to 103 F150 an hour and it further goes down to 1.7 trucks sold per minute. F150’s closest competitors like the RAM and the Silverado are nowhere near selling as much as the F150.

Engines That Ford Offers

There are a total of 8 Variants that Ford is offering with the F150 in its 2020 lineup. The lineup has to offer a total of 6 engine choices, but the engines all Ford enthusiast are not able to stop talking about is the 3.5 liters V6 and the 5.0 V8. Both these engines are used in the top-end variants of the F150.

The EcoBoost V6 is used in the top-end variants of the F150, which are the Raptor and the Limited variant. On the other hand, the 5.0 is used in the King Ranch edition and the Platinum edition. The choice between buying the classic King Ranch edition (the old school King Ranch edition) and the Raptor (the sports edition) has increased the rivalry between the two engines, and 3.5 Ecoboost vs 5.0 is still the question all enthusiasts are asking themselves.

Difference Between 3.5 EcoBoost And 5.0 Engines

The 3.5 liters vs 5.0 has been a question almost every ford enthusiast is asking. Both the engines have their differences and are more than capable of producing large amounts of power and torque.

Even though these engines are a part of the same truck’s lineup, there are a number of differences-

Cost – 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0

One of the main differences between these engines is the cost. Even though the EcoBoost has two fewer cylinders and has smaller displacement, the 3.5 is still the more expensive engine for the F150. Even though there are several advantages for buying the 3.5, the price was a huge factor for people opting for the tried and tested V8.

There is a significant difference between the price of these engines, and even in the second-hand market, you can get a V8 F150 for cheaper in comparison to the 3.5 liter V6. The fact that there are only two variants of the F150 present that use the 3.5 liters engine, is the reason why people are more inclined towards the old-school V8 that is loved by everyone.

Power – 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0

There wasn’t a huge power difference between these engines when their first generation came out, but over the decade, these engines have been tuned and upgraded to produce more power and be more efficient on the road.

The 3.5 liter EcoBoost (second-generation high output variant) is capable of producing more power and torque than the 5.0 V8. The 3.5 is only available in two variants of the F150, which produce about 450 horses and 510 LB/FT of torque. On the other hand, the 5.0 produces 395 horses and 400 LB/FT of torque. The only area the V8 is superior to the V6 is in the towing capacity. The V8 can tow about 11,500 pounds, while the V6 is only capable of towing 8,000 pounds.

When we talk about the numbers from the base variant of the V6, it produces less horsepower than the V8. On the other hand, the torque produced by the V6 is superior to that of the V8. So the choice of the engine is highly dependent on your requirements or sometimes it’s just your Joie de vivre!!

Fuel Economy – 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0

Despite being the engine that produces the most power, the 3.5 liter also gives amazing gas mileage. The 3.5 liter V6 gives a gas mileage of 18 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. On the other hand, the V8 Coyote gives a gas mileage of 17 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway. Even though there is not a lot of difference in the mileage, the EcoBoost does have some extra features like the Flex-Fuel Capability which gives the 3.5 EcoBoost an edge over the 5.0.

Reliability – 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0

Ford has been a part of the automobile sector for the longest time. All of their cars and engines are extremely reliable and work well. The EcoBoost is no exception. The 3.5 liters has been around for a decade and no major red flags have been noted about this engine. Still, when compared to the V8, the 3.5 has more moving parts, which makes it more likely to have a bad part and might cause problems.

Maintenance – 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0

The V8 engine has been a part of the F150 lineup since the 1950s. It is way less complicated to work on the 5.0-liter Coyote engine rather than a 3.5-liter EcoBoost. The V8 is one of the most common engines that are available in the United States. Any part of this engine can be easily replaced because of its wide availability. Along with that, the V8 is such a common engine that any problem can be solved at a cheap price. So practically, it is easier to maintain a V8.

Common problems reported with the 3.5 EcoBoost engine include intercooler condensation in 2011-2012 units and some damage to the timing chain due to worn-out oil. Ford has taken care of the carbon buildup issue on the intake valves, so that will help ease the burden of a Ford owner.

The 3.5 EcoBoost Pros And Cons

For many years, the pickup truck segment has been changing drastically. They want to introduce lighter, powerful, stronger, and more efficient trucks in all key areas. The F150 has been able to dominate this market for a very long time and any Ford enthusiast would never change their Ford with a Chevy or a Dodge.

When Ford introduced the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, the enthusiasts were a little skeptical, but after about a decade in the market, the Ecoboost engine has performed better than expected. Even though the EcoBoost like every other engine has its pros and cons, the engine has surprised everyone.


-Just like the 5.0 V8, the Ecoboost almost produces the same amount of horsepower and torque while giving better fuel economy in a half a ton pickup.

-People who buy the F150 for offroad purposes, work, and towing purposes are very happy with their F150 because of the low RPM torque.

-The EcoBoost engine is relatively quiet due to a V6 engine under the hood.

-The dual turbo system is a very good option for someone who likes the instant acceleration and sound of a turbo.


-The downfall of the 3.5 EcoBoost is that it has to rely upon forced induction to create most of its power. A problem with the turbos can cause a huge power drop while driving the truck.

-The EcoBoost uses extra components that go through wear and tear over time. This causes more maintenance for owners down the road.

-ForpPurists, the raw sound of the V8 will not be present.

-The 3.5 EcoBoost is more expensive than the 5.0 Coyote engine.

-Excess carbon build-up on the 3.5 EcoBoost is a common problem faced by the owners. It may cause power loss and misfires.

The 5.0 Coyote Pros And Cons

Americans everywhere are accustomed to having a big torquey V8 under the hood of their Ford truck since the early 1950s. As the F150 evolved, so did the V8 that came with it. The V8 has had its fair share of triumphs and downfalls. The Coyote isn’t an exception. Here is a list of pros and cons that will help you make your decision about the 5.0 Coyote V8.


-Unlike the EcoBoost, the Coyote engine uses all American muscle and modern engine technology to create power and torque in a naturally aspirated capacity.

-The owner has to worry about fewer parts that can go bad, and the Coyote is an engine familiar to the American people, which makes maintenance easy and cheaper.

-The experience of raw power and torque that goes well with an American V8 is always a positive.


-Tunability is an issue to a certain degree. It depends upon what you are planning to do with your F150.

-From the factory, the 5.0 Coyote creates a significant amount of less torque than the EcoBoost does, therefore it cannot tow or haul as much.

-The EcoBoost has better fuel economy and efficiency than the 5.0 Coyote V8.

The 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0

Almost every Ford enthusiast has wondered about the engine they want to get with their Ford F150. Choosing one of these engines can be a really daunting task. With the number of features available for the F150, it can be really confusing to choose. Along with that, the debate between 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0 doesn’t make it easy for people to choose.

3.5 EcoBoost Problems

At the end of the day, different people have different preferences. Both the engines are more than capable of getting the job done. You just have to find the right fit for you. So here are some variables that might help you decide which engine is more suitable for you-

Primary Usage

The engine you want to choose for your F150 can be heavily influenced by what would be the main usage for this vehicle. Be it a daily driver, a work truck, or just a pickup to have fun in over the weekends, knowing the primary usage will help you make the right decision.


Some F150 owners buy certain variants of the truck for towing, payload, and capacity it can handle.

Fuel Economy

As the F150 evolved, so has the fuel economy of the vehicle. Both the engines, for the power they produce, give great gas mileage and are highly efficient. The people who use their F150 to tow a lot will choose the EcoBoost because out of the two engines, the EcoBoost has better gas mileage.

Fun Factor

This point usually boils down to who is a purist and who is not. A purist who loves the raw power and torque will go for the Coyote V8, while someone who wants the best of both worlds in terms of power and efficiency will choose to go for the 3.5 EcoBoost

These are certain questions that might help tip the scales for one engine and help you buy your own Ford F150.

How to Improve the Reliability of Your 3.5 Ecoboost Engine

If you own a Ford F-150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost engine, you may have concerns about its reliability. While this engine is known for its power and fuel efficiency, some drivers have reported issues with oil consumption, cam phasers, and turbocharger failure. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve the reliability of your 3.5 Ecoboost engine and avoid costly repairs.

One of the most important things you can do to improve the reliability of your 3.5 Ecoboost engine is to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This includes regular oil changes, tune-ups, and inspections of the turbochargers and other components. You should also check your engine oil level frequently and top it off if needed.

Another way to improve the reliability of your 3.5 Ecoboost engine is to use high-quality oil and filters. Synthetic oil is recommended for this engine, as it can provide better protection against wear and tear. You should also use a high-quality oil filter that can trap smaller particles and prevent them from circulating in your engine.

In addition, it’s important to avoid excessive idling and aggressive driving, as these can increase the stress on your engine and reduce its lifespan. You should also avoid towing or hauling heavy loads beyond the capacity of your F-150, as this can put a strain on your engine and other components.

If you do experience problems with your 3.5 Ecoboost engine, it’s important to address them promptly to prevent further damage. You should have your engine inspected by a qualified mechanic who is familiar with this engine and its common issues. They may be able to diagnose and repair the problem before it becomes more serious.

By following these tips and taking good care of your 3.5 Ecoboost engine, you can improve its reliability and enjoy many miles of trouble-free driving.

Conclusion – 3.5 EcoBoost vs 5.0

The discussion related to the 3.5 Ecoboost vs 5.0 goes has been going on for almost a decade and it keeps on continuing. Both the engines are great in their own aspect. Even though both have their pros and cons, they both are doing exceptionally well in the market. The choice of the engine depends more upon the person, his/her usage, and especially the price. No matter what you choose both these engines have helped continue the legacy of the Ford F150.

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  • Michael Fennelly Says

    The redesigned 3.5L Ecoboost’s are said to be free from the carbon on the valves issue. They are now port fuel injected and the gas now washes over the intake valves cleaning them along the way providerd people use Tier 1 gasoline. At the same time the timing chain was redesigned so that is no longer an issue. Please respond as I have included my e-mail. Thank you,

  • selina Says

    Will 3.5 twin turbo tow as much if not more than the 5.0? Also, will it be more fuel efficient than the 5.0?

  • Vince Says

    In one section of this article you mention “ The V8 can tow about 11,500 pounds, while the V6 is only capable of towing 8,000 pounds.” yet in the V8 pro/con section one of the cons is less towing capacity. Which is it?

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