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Ecoboost or 5.3 Vortec?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by joed, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    I'm searching for a new truck. I have two offers. They are:
    2011 GMC Sierra Ext. Cab 4X4, SLE
    5.3 Engine
    6 speed auto

    2011 Ford F150 Supercab, XLT
    3.5 Ecoboost engine
    6 speed auto.

    Both trucks are $34K Canadian on the road, including taxes. The GM includes a locking diff while the Ford doesn't.

    Fuel economy wise, Transport Canada has the 5.3 Vortec listed at 14.4L/100 km in the city or about 20 mpg and 9.5L/100 km or about 29 mpg on the highway. The Ecoboost is rated at 14L/100 km city and 9.6L/100 km highway.

    Performance wise the ecoboost has 365 hp and 420 lbs/ft of torque while the 5.3 has 326 hp and 348 lbs/ft of torque. Advantage Ford but it's not a big deal for me as the power is fine on the vortec.

    So, with price and fuel economy being pretty much the same, the next big question is maintenance and durability. I'm not familiar with turbo charged gas engines. I keep my trucks for at least 10 years. So, which engine gives me the most durability and the least maintenance? Anybody have any idea?
  2. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    Go for the Ecoboost, 29-32 mpg is crazy nuts.
  3. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,017

    For me if I traded truck every 3 to 5 years I'd go with the Ford but if 10 years then the Chevy has a proven engine. I am not devoted to a certain brand of trucks, the big 3 all make a good truck with stong and weak points.
  4. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    I'd give the Ford another 1-2 years on the market before looking into purchasing it. I too hang onto vehicles for a decade or longer.

    GM Advantages:
    - smoother ride
    - proven engine
    - last I checked, higher payload, providing truck configuration is the same with Ford
    - parts are everywhere and rather inexpensive
    - GM still holds one of the better warranties in Canada (last I checked)
    - The 5.3/6 speed can get 18+mpg highway easily when using cruise control as it makes better use of the cylinder deactivation

    In say, six years, Ford parts should be well into the market. However, a new turbo for instance will fetch a premium price used! On the Ford of Canada website they are torture testing an Ecoboost engine. However, they don't use the same truck to rack up all the miles in.... It's really an engine durability test rather than an "F150" test with the premium engine. Strange if you ask me. Besides, anyone can rack up over 100K on a new engine without problems. Real problems only happen as time progresses, not just miles.

    Also, I don't think Ford changed it for 2011, but the wiring to the transfer case is exposed. If you crawl underneath, you'll see what I mean. If 4wd isn't important then that's not an issue of course.
  5. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    I hope you're meaning metric. No way does the ecoboost get those numbers at least not in a truck.
  6. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Good points 360. The ecoboost seems like a nice engine but it doesn't offer much of a fuel advantage over Ford's 5.0L V8. The ecoboost is rated at 14L/100 km city and 9.6L/100 km on the highway in 4X4 mode. The 5.0L V8 is rated at 15L/100 km city and 10.5 L/100 km on the highway. So, with gas at about $1.20/litre where we live here in Canada, if you drive 20, 000 km per year, the ecoboost would, in theory, consume 200L less than the 5.0L V8 for a savings of about $240/year. Considering the ecoboost carries a $1000 premium over the 5.0L, it would take you about 5 years to recoup the initial cost. After that, the ecoboost gains but if things like the turbochargers go, that fuel advantage disappears fast.

    As for GM, I really do love their trucks and would like to stick with them, as I currently own a 2000 Sierra, but their 2011 1500 is so outdated compared to Ford's. For example, they still have rear drum brakes. I know there's a redesigned 1500 coming out for 2013 but it will be way more expensive than what's there now. So, I have a tough time parting with $34-35K for an outdated vehicle.
  7. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    I'd go for the 5.0L V8 as well. It's a derivative of the Mustang engine so it should be more popular down the road (easier to find parts, etc). The Ecoboost means well, but to get maximum mileage out of it it's best to be treated as a commuter vehicle. If you're consistently in the higher rpm range (over 3000rpm) when hauling/towing maximum boost kicks in and mileage might actually be worse when compared to the 5.0L. If you have a tendency to idle your vehicles, then the EB will save on fuel as it's a smaller engine.

    If it's any consolation around early 2013 Dodge should have a small diesel in their half ton truck line. Someone has to take the initial leap, and I'm almost certain it will be them. Ford chose smaller displacement boosted gas engines, which leaves GM and Dodge to play with smaller diesels as they don't have decent smaller V6's that consumers want. www.fueleconomy.gov I find gives you better 'real world' fuel economy numbers, try it out.
  8. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Thanks for the info. For me, the truck is mostly for personal use. I do do landscaping on the weekends. Very rarely do I tow. So, I wonder if the ecoboost or 5.0L V8 is better for my needs?

    That diesel in the 1500 dodge seems interesting. Did GM shelve their plan to stick a 4.5L diesel in their 1500? I wonder if maintenance on a small diesel would not be greater than on a turbocharged gas one?

    Sure do wish GM had an updated 1/2 ton. Their current offering is so outdated.
  9. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    GM knows they need to revamp their truck lines. The only problem is cash flow. They need a revamp before they can even think about adding an engine to the current lineup, let alone that engine being a small diesel.

    Dodge has a better foothold here, and I think they'll jump the gun on the idea first as knowingly, this baby Cummins won't require Urea fluid for emissions, which is a bonus I think!

    Diesel's can go 10-15K on an oil change today, a little longer using synthetic. The problem with diesel's and engine oil is that the higher compression ratio allows more gunk to seep past the piston rings, which is why diesel oil turns black quicker than that in a gas engine. Spark plugs help more evenly burn the fuel air mix, rather than relying on compression alone.

    If you drive light on the throttle I think the 5.0L V8 would be the better buy. Less cost than the EB 3.5 and if you plan to modify it in the future with some go fast goodies, you'll more than likely see a better option line for the V8, as it's similar to that in the new Mustang. With the EB engine, you might get away with increasing boost slightly, but then you have to worry about engine durability, or mostly head gasket and piston burn problems.

    I don't always need my 5.9L V8 engine in the Durango, but when I get a heavy enough load I'm glad its there even if it gets so-so mileage overall when towing, or not. If I had to replace my 360 cubic incher with anything, I'd pick up a 2.7 I5 or 2.8L diesel to swap in there. I'd do it mostly for the additional driving range when I hit the bush. I had a 4.0L V6 lined up through a contact with Detroit Diesel at the time, however they cleaned house and my contact moved to an alternate company and the engine program never made it as far as me! Arg!
  10. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    The GM is an antique and I doubt the company will be around in 10 years. There product pipeline, post-Lutz, is hopeless.

    The Ford is a newer design (still a few years old) and the engine is a newer design. The official milage numbers are alway gamed. The 6 cylinder engine will have lower friction losses; those loses consume half the power made from combustion.

    The Dodge has the most advanced chassis in this group with a coil spring rear suspension. It was going to be used by Renault-owned Nissan until Chrysler was acquired by Fiat.

    I've owned 2 Suburbans, now drive a QX56, and wouldn't consider any GM product.

    Note: Buick only exists because the brand name is used in China. Virtually none of the Chinese market products have anything to do with the US products.

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