The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for more than three decades. It’s capable, practical, has decent fuel efficiency for the class and can also serve as a versatile daily driver and family hauler. The F-150 is available with a myriad of different engines, cab styles, beds and features so you can get the truck that best meets your needs.
The F-150 got revamped for the 2015 model year and refreshed for 2018. There are just a few tweaks for 2019. It’s available in seven trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch (which I test drove last fall), Platinum, Raptor and Limited. Bed lengths come in 5.5-, 6.5- and 8-foot lengths. Not all bed lengths and cabin styles are available in each trim. Three passengers fit in the Regular Cab models. The SuperCab and SuperCrew can fit up to six. Rear-wheel-drive is standard and four-wheel-drive is available. Starting prices range from $28,155 to $70,560.
There are—count- em—six available engines. Standard is a 3.3-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The available engines are the Ecoboost (turbocharged) 2.7-liter V6 that makes 325 horses and 400 pound-feet, an Ecoboost 3.5-liter V6 that produces 375 hp and 470 pound-feet, a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 395 horses and 400 pound-feet, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel that produces 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet, and also a 3.5-liter V6 in the Raptor and Limited trims that generates 450 hp and 510 pound-feet. The base engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. All the other engines get a 10-speed automatic.
My tester has the 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6. It’s quick off the line and there’s plenty of power to merge and pass. The 10-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly. The ride is smooth and comfortable even over rough roads. The F-150 is easy and pleasant to drive, handling like a sedan. I’d often forget that I was behind the wheel of a full-size pick-up.
EPA mileage estimates for my tester are 17 mpg city and 21 mpg highway with a combined rating of 19. I got 19 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The F-150 is a beast when it comes to towing and hauling. When properly equipped, it can tow as much as 13,200 pounds and the maximum payload is 3,270 pounds. To make towing even easier, you can get the optional dynamic Hitch Assist, Trailer Backup Assist and Trailer Sway Control.
The interior is pleasant and roomy. While the cabin isn’t as swanky as some rivals, materials are mostly high quality. Seats are comfortable and supportive on longer drives. My SuperCrew tester has a spacious second row which is roomy enough for three taller adults.
The base F-150 doesn’t come with a long list of standard features since it’s meant to be a work truck. Standard in all F-150 models are a rearview camera, cloth upholstery, radio, manual climate control, automatic high beams and some driver assistance technologies including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection.
Many features are available including push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, vinyl or leather upholstery, heated steering wheel, front bucket seats, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, massaging front seats, twin-panel moonroof, MyKey, SYNC connectivity system, SYNC 3 infotainment system, eight-inch touch screen, navigation, 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot that can connect up to 10 devices.
Available driver assistance technologies include a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and active park assist.
Ford’s SYNC 3 Infotainment system is one of the most user-friendly. The system responds quickly to touch and voice commands, the interface and menus make sense, and the system updates automatically when there’s a Wi-Fi connection. Redundant physical controls let you quickly adjust volume or change radio stations.
Many engines, beds, cabin styles and trims so you can get the F-150 that’s best for you
Excellent towing and hauling capabilities
Handles well; pleasant to drive
Decent fuel economy for the class
Roomy and comfortable cabin
SYNC infotainment system is one of the best
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available
Some rivals offer ritzier interiors
My tester starts at $70,560. Ruby red metallic paint is $395. Tray style floor liner is $160. Trailer tow package is $995. Tailgate step is $375. Toughbed bedliner is $595. Destination fee is $1,495 bringing the grand total to $74,575.
If you’re in the market for a full-size pick-up, the Ford F-150 deserves consideration. It’s as simple as that.