"Forget the customary 'for a diesel' qualifier, as we can say the 3.0-liter Power Stroke is just straight-up quiet. Other than a small amount of telltale diesel clatter at startup, there's little indication that the engine within forgoes spark ignition in the process of combustion. Obviously, standing directly in front of the truck's grille or popping the hood will reveal the engine's true nature, but in terms of NVH at the helm it sounds far more like a mild-mannered gasoline V-6 than a heavy hauler.
"We sampled a few different trims and configurations equipped with the diesel, starting off with a King Ranch SuperCrew 4x4 with 700 pounds of landscaping supplies in the bed. Step-off is as confident as you would expect from an engine with 440 lb-ft of torque available at just 1750 rpm and coupled to a 3.55:1 rear-axle ratio, but you don't get the same redline-chasing rush offered by the 2.7- and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6s. Navigating the circuitous two-lane Highway 72 west of Broomfield, Colorado, to an elevation of more than 8800 feet above sea level presented little challenge for the diesel. The 10-speed automatic transmission in its Normal mode — Sport, Eco, Tow/Haul, and Off-Road modes also are available — performed almost imperceptibly. Then again, with 10 cogs to choose from there's not a lot of real estate in between the ratios. The ride was remarkably smooth, controlled, and quiet. Slipping the shifter into its manual mode allowed us to select a gear for optimum engine braking while rolling down the mountain; sadly there is no exhaust brake, ruling out the possibility of indulging our inner 10-year-olds with a quick and noisy game of 'big rig nearly out of control' while enjoying a dance with gravity and momentum."
-- Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver