There’s no denying the fact that the twin-turbo V6 gas engine from Ford is one of the best engines for your Ford vehicle. And not only does the 3.5 EcoBoost let you harness your vehicle’s all-round capabilities, but it’s modern enough to last ages without throwing a fit. But what’s next? How can you make it even better? One way is by making sure that the 3.5 EcoBoost in your Ford breathes the way it’s supposed to — impeccably. For it to breathe freely, you have to have a good air filter. And that’s what we’re looking at today: the best air filter for 3.5 EcoBoost in your Ford truck or SUV.

The 5 Best Air Filters for 3.5 EcoBoost:

  1. S&B Filters Cold Air Intake – best air filter for 3.5 EcoBoost
  2. K&N Performance Air Intake System
  3. K&N Performance Air Intake (Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO)
  4. Spectre Air Intake
  5. aFe Power Magnum Force Cold Air Intake

Our Recommendations

Preview
Best all-rounder (Dry)
S&B Filters 75-5081D Cold Air Intake for 2015-2017 Ford F-150 2.7L & 3.5L Ecoboost (Dry Extendable Filter)
Want more power
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2015-2016 Ford F150 Turbo Ecoboost, 3.5L V6,63-2592
Wide compatibility
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2011-2018 Ford (Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO) Turbo Ecoboost 3.5L V6, 69-3531TS
Easy on the pocket
Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Desgined to Increase Horsepower and Torque: 2015-2020 FORD/LINCOLN (F150, F150 Raptor, Expedition, Navigator) SPE-9034
Another all-rounder (Oiled)
aFe Power 54-32112-B Magnum Force Ford F-150 EcoBoost Performance Intake System (Oiled, 5-Layer Filter)
Name
S&B Filters 75-5081D Cold Air Intake for 2015-2017 Ford F-150 2.7L & 3.5L Ecoboost (Dry Extendable Filter)
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2015-2016 Ford F150 Turbo Ecoboost, 3.5L V6,63-2592
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2011-2018 Ford (Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO) Turbo Ecoboost 3.5L V6, 69-3531TS
Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Desgined to Increase Horsepower and Torque: 2015-2020 FORD/LINCOLN (F150, F150 Raptor, Expedition, Navigator) SPE-9034
aFe Power 54-32112-B Magnum Force Ford F-150 EcoBoost Performance Intake System (Oiled, 5-Layer Filter)
Our Rating
Prime
-
Compatibility
F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 (2015 - 2017)
F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 (2015, 2016)
Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO
F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 (2015 - 2019)
F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 (2012 - 2014)
Warranty
Check with the seller
10 year
10 year
Check with seller
2 years (check with seller)
Type of filter
Dry Extendable
Cotton
Cotton
Cotton
Cotton
Best all-rounder (Dry)
Preview
S&B Filters 75-5081D Cold Air Intake for 2015-2017 Ford F-150 2.7L & 3.5L Ecoboost (Dry Extendable Filter)
Name
S&B Filters 75-5081D Cold Air Intake for 2015-2017 Ford F-150 2.7L & 3.5L Ecoboost (Dry Extendable Filter)
Our Rating
Prime
-
Compatibility
F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 (2015 - 2017)
Warranty
Check with the seller
Type of filter
Dry Extendable
Details
Want more power
Preview
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2015-2016 Ford F150 Turbo Ecoboost, 3.5L V6,63-2592
Name
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2015-2016 Ford F150 Turbo Ecoboost, 3.5L V6,63-2592
Our Rating
Prime
Compatibility
F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 (2015, 2016)
Warranty
10 year
Type of filter
Cotton
Details
Wide compatibility
Preview
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2011-2018 Ford (Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO) Turbo Ecoboost 3.5L V6, 69-3531TS
Name
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2011-2018 Ford (Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO) Turbo Ecoboost 3.5L V6, 69-3531TS
Our Rating
Prime
Compatibility
Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO
Warranty
10 year
Type of filter
Cotton
Details
Easy on the pocket
Preview
Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Desgined to Increase Horsepower and Torque: 2015-2020 FORD/LINCOLN (F150, F150 Raptor, Expedition, Navigator) SPE-9034
Name
Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Desgined to Increase Horsepower and Torque: 2015-2020 FORD/LINCOLN (F150, F150 Raptor, Expedition, Navigator) SPE-9034
Our Rating
Prime
Compatibility
F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 (2015 - 2019)
Warranty
Check with seller
Type of filter
Cotton
Details
Another all-rounder (Oiled)
Preview
aFe Power 54-32112-B Magnum Force Ford F-150 EcoBoost Performance Intake System (Oiled, 5-Layer Filter)
Name
aFe Power 54-32112-B Magnum Force Ford F-150 EcoBoost Performance Intake System (Oiled, 5-Layer Filter)
Our Rating
Prime
Compatibility
F-150 EcoBoost 3.5 (2012 - 2014)
Warranty
2 years (check with seller)
Type of filter
Cotton
Details

REVIEWS YOU CAN TRUST 

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Best all-rounder (Dry): S&B Filters Cold Air Intake – the best air filter for 3.5 EcoBoost

S&B Filters 75-5081 Cold Air Intake for 2015-2017 Ford F-150 2.7L & 3.5L Ecoboost (Oiled Cleanable, 8-ply Cotton Filter)
49 Reviews
S&B Filters 75-5081 Cold Air Intake for 2015-2017 Ford F-150 2.7L & 3.5L Ecoboost (Oiled Cleanable, 8-ply Cotton Filter)
  • 43.10% More Airflow & 99.27% Efficiency Rating. Tested To The Internationally Accepted ISO 5011 Standard
  • Designed To Avoid Check Engine Lights
  • Premium Silicone Parts Last Longer And Look Better
  • S&B utilizes robotics to precisely apply the correct amount of oil to your filter before it ships. Oil Amount: 80 Grams on Filter Element. Replacement Filter: KF-1058 & Filter Wrap: WF-1058
  • Street Legal in All US States, CARB Exempt ID: D-590-16

With a cold air intake like the S&B featured here, both your truck’s airflow and efficiency rating will increase. That means a visible improvement in power and response. The S&B Filters Cold Air Intake for 3.5 EcoBoost offers an airflow increase of 36.99 percent and an efficiency rating of 99.69 percent. The model featured comes with a dry extendable filter, which performs better in dusty conditions. That’s because you can clean it using pressurized air — something not possible with cotton filters.

CARB exempt

The kit comes with a large intake and a transparent lid to inspect the filter’s condition. The large airbox houses the filter. There’s also the option of going for the cotton cleanable filter, which improves the airflow even further (link to that is mentioned below). The kit is compatible with the 2015 – 2017 Ford F-150 and F-150 Raptor trucks with the 3.5 EcoBoost. It’s also CARB-exempt, so if you’re looking at using it in California, you won’t run into legal troubles.

What do we think of it?

In addition to what we’ve discussed earlier, the filter is made in a way to avoid check engine lights. The installation is said to be easy, taking up to 60 minutes for a complete installation. Check with the seller about the warranty because the Amazon listing lacks that information. As for the product itself, users have mentioned that the turbo spools quicker and the truck feels more responsive.

Pros

Pros
  • Improved response
  • CARB exempt

Cons

Cons
  • Not much difference from stock in terms of sound

Want more power: K&N Performance Air Intake System

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2015-2016 Ford F150 Turbo Ecoboost, 3.5L V6,63-2592
73 Reviews
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2015-2016 Ford F150 Turbo Ecoboost, 3.5L V6,63-2592
  • ULTIMATE LONGEVITY: 10-Year/Million Mile Limited Warranty protects for the life of your vehicle.
  • GUARANTEED INCREASE IN HORSEPOWER: Dyno-tested with up to 50% more airflow than restrictive factory box air filter and intake tube
  • BETTER TOWING: Improves acceleration and uphill performance when towing by improving throttle response.
  • IMPROVED ENGINE SOUND: Hear the power under the hood.
  • WORLD CLASS PROTECTION: Pushing the limits of engine protection by protecting your engine from harmful contaminants

A performance air intake is made to improve airflow and therefore helps the engine produce more power. The K&N Performance Air Intake system for 3.5 EcoBoost comes with a claimed gain of up to 23 hp. The unit replaces the factory air filter and intake tube, and it can serve up to 100,000 miles of highway use before requiring a cleaning/service.

Not CARB exempt

Backed by a 10-year/million-mile warranty, the K&N air filter for 3.5 EcoBoost comes with a polyethylene intake tube and a custom heat shield. It uses an oiled cotton filter, and won’t void the vehicle warranty. On the negative side, it’s not available for sale or use in California. The installation is said to take about 90 minutes and can be done using basic tools. It’s compatible with the Ford F-150 trucks with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine made with the model years 2015 and 2016.

What do we think of it?

With about a 50 percent increase in airflow, the filter offers better performance and more vocal engine note. Users are generally satisfied with the product because offers a noticeable difference in punch from the engine. Some have mentioned that the engine noise becomes more obvious after some time. It’s not intrusive, though, and makes the truck sound even better. It’s been largely appreciated for the fit and ease of installation. Check with the seller about the compatibility with your truck (give the exact model) and whether its use can cause error codes as a handful of users have pointed out.

Pros

Pros
  • Added punch
  • Long warranty

Cons

Cons
  • Not CARB exempt

Wide compatibility: K&N Performance Air Intake (Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO)

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2011-2018 Ford (Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO) Turbo Ecoboost 3.5L V6, 69-3531TS
58 Reviews
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: 2011-2018 Ford (Flex, Explorer, Taurus SHO) Turbo Ecoboost 3.5L V6, 69-3531TS
  • ULTIMATE LONGEVITY: 10-Year/Million Mile Limited Warranty protects for the life of your vehicle.
  • GUARANTEED INCREASE IN HORSEPOWER: Dyno-tested with up to 50% more airflow than restrictive factory box air filter and intake tube
  • BETTER TOWING: Improves acceleration and uphill performance when towing by improving throttle response.
  • IMPROVED ENGINE SOUND: Hear the power under the hood.
  • WORLD CLASS PROTECTION: Pushing the limits of engine protection by protecting your engine from harmful contaminants

The 3.5 EcoBoost (twin-turbo V6 gas engine) has found a home in a variety of vehicles (trucks, SUVs, and even supercars). This K&N kit is for the Ford Flex, Explorer, and Taurus SHO with the said engine. It’s CARB exempt, comes with a cotton filter (cleanable), and a mandrel-bent aluminum intake tube. Like most K&N filters, it’s backed by a 10-year/million-mile warranty. The filter requires cleaning after up to 100,000 miles of highway use, which is also a big positive. And it can be installed in about 1.5 hours.

CARB exempt on most

As mentioned above, the compatibility includes the 3.5 EcoBoost engined Ford Flex, Explorer, and Taurus SHO. These vehicles need to be made with the model years 2011 – 2018 (Taurus SHO), 2013 – 2019 (Ford Explorer), and Ford Flex (2014 – 2019). The kit is said to add about 12.12 hp, but there’s a small caveat, its CARB status is not valid for use on all vehicles. The 2017 – 2019 Ford Explorer isn’t CARB exempt, according to the K&N data. But we’d suggest you check about that and the compatibility by dropping the seller a message.

What do we think of it?

The K&N Cold Air intake kit does a lot of things well. It adds power, sounds better, and since it’s CARB exempt (for most cases), it can be legally used in all US states as well. The installation is easy and it looks good when installed as well.

Pros

Pros
  • Long warranty
  • Power gains
  • CARB exempt

Cons

Cons
  • CARB exempt not for all models

Easy on the pocket: Spectre Air Intake

Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Desgined to Increase Horsepower and Torque: 2015-2020 FORD/LINCOLN (F150, F150 Raptor, Expedition, Navigator) SPE-9034
35 Reviews
Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Desgined to Increase Horsepower and Torque: 2015-2020 FORD/LINCOLN (F150, F150 Raptor, Expedition, Navigator) SPE-9034
  • DESIGNED TO INCREASE HORSEPOWER AND TORQUE: Dyno-tested with up to 50% more airflow than restrictive factory box air filter and intake tube
  • BETTER TOWING: Improves acceleration and uphill performance when towing by improving throttle response.
  • IMPROVED ENGINE SOUND: Hear the power under the hood.
  • WORLD CLASS PROTECTION: Pushing the limits of engine protection by protecting your engine from harmful contaminants and debris
  • EASY MAINTENANCE: No filter cleaning required for up to 100,000 miles

If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly option to replace the factory air intake/air filter, the Spectre Air intake for 3.5 EcoBoost seems like a solid choice. It’s said to offer improved performance, comes with an aluminum intake, powder-coated heat shield, and a red Spectre air filter.

Cotton filter

Compatible with the 2015 – 2019 Ford F-150 trucks equipped with 3.5 EcoBoost, the filter kit includes the necessary hardware for a factory-like fitment. The filter itself is washable and reusable (cotton). The 2-piece heat shield keeps the heat out whereas the stainless steel clamps hold the filter in place.

What do we think of it?

There is a substantial cost advantage with the filter, but before going forward, you should check with the seller about compatibility and warranty (no info available on the latter). Users have appreciated that the filter works well. Spectre mentions to disconnect and reconnect the battery after installing the filter so that the ECU can recalibrate and doesn’t throw error codes at you. Some users have pointed out that quality can improve.

Pros

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Sounds better than stock

Cons

Cons
  • Quality can improve

Another all-rounder (Oiled): aFe Power Magnum Force Cold Air Intake

aFe Power 54-32112-B Magnum Force Ford F-150 EcoBoost Performance Intake System (Oiled, 5-Layer Filter)
18 Reviews
aFe Power 54-32112-B Magnum Force Ford F-150 EcoBoost Performance Intake System (Oiled, 5-Layer Filter)
  • Outflows the factory intake by up to 70%
  • 5-Layer progressively finer oiled, washable cotton gauze media allows maximum airflow for maximum power
  • Powder-Coated one piece heat shield utilizes stock mounting locations
  • Plastic cad designed, dyno-tuned, roto-molded intake tube

aFe produces quality intakes, and the Magnum Force Cold Air intake is no exception. It’s made for 2012 – 2014 Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost, comes with an oiled washable filter (cotton) and requires no drilling/cutting on factory components for installation. The filter is accompanied by a high-quality plastic intake tube, a top-mounted heat shield, and the necessary hardware.

Improved performance

The CARB-exempt intake improves the airflow and therefore the overall performance of the EcoBoost engine. Note that while aFe maintains that the filter is CARB-exempt, the Amazon listing says otherwise, so it’s a good idea to check with them to be sure. Another thing that you should confirm with the seller is the product warranty. aFe says air intakes have a warranty of two years, but since the listing has no information, you should confirm with the seller.

What do we think of it?

Users have appreciated the cold air intake’s overall quality and fit. The installation is easy, and there’s some perceivable gain in power as well. As mentioned above, check with the seller about CARB status for your truck and the warranty.

Pros

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • CARB exempt

Cons

Cons
  • Limited info

What is the best air filter for 3.5 EcoBoost?

Getting an air filter or an air intake for 3.5 EcoBoost Ford vehicles isn’t going to be a daunting task. The selection of products here can help you choose the best air filter for 3.5 EcoBoost. 

If you’re looking for an increase in power, the K&N intakes are a good place to start. There are two versions mentioned here: one is for the F-150 whereas the other is compatible with other Ford products like the Explorer, Flex, and Taurus SHO. The S&B cold air intake filter is good quality and is verified to be CARB exempt. Similarly, aFe also mentions that its filter is CARB-exempt and is user-friendly as well: installation is said to be very easy. And lastly, if you’re looking at not spending a lot of money on a new air filter/intake, the Spectre Performance air intake kit is a good choice.