Ford F-150

2020 Ford F-150

The 2018 F-150 has to be many things to many people. From work truck to cruiser, off-road vehicle to boat hauler, there is an F-150 for virtually every task. As a result, the lineup is diverse. There are four engines available on the F-150, six trims and several body options.

The most basic engine is a 3.3L V6, which produces 295 horsepower, allowing for a tow rating of 7,600 pounds, which bests other competitors when equipped with their basic V6 engines. The next step up is a 2.7L turbocharged V6 that makes 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. A bigger 3.5L turbocharged V6 makes 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, helping the F-150 rate a class-leading towing spec of 12,200 pounds. The top-of-the-line 5.0L V8 makes 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.

Trims include XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited. The basic XL trim is available with three different cab sizes and three different bed lengths in either 2WD or 4WD configurations. Owing to its work-truck pretensions, the XL is relatively light on bells and whistles, with just basic utilities like an AM/FM radio and a 4.2-inch screen in the center stack.

The XLT, while still relatively basic, adds chrome bumpers, Ford's SYNC 3 system, fog lamps, an alarm, air conditioning, automatic headlamps, cruise control, keyless entry, power windows, a powered tailgate and power door locks.

Lariat-trimmed F-150s start to venture into more luxurious territory and are only available with extended or crew cab cabins. Standard equipment on the Lariat includes power folding door mirrors, a rearview camera, 18-inch wheels, ambient interior lighting, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, a power sliding rear window, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-trimmed seats, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, SiriusXM satellite radio and an 8-inch touchscreen.

King Ranch versions come standard with the 5.0L V8 engine, a crew cab cabin and 2-tone exterior paint. Other features on the King Ranch include LED box lighting, LED headlamps, lots of exterior chrome, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals and an auto-dimming feature on the driver's side, a remote starter, heated front and rear seats, wood interior trim and dual zone climate control.

The Platinum version is the urban cousin to the King Ranch trim. Like the King Ranch, it's only available with a crew cab and the V8. It also features a voice-activated navigation system, unique 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, LED side mirror spotlights, power deployable running boards, aluminum interior trim and a leather wrapped and heated steering wheel.

Finally, the Limited trim rides on 22-inch wheels and makes standard a whole range of convenience items that are optional on lesser trims. These include a 360-degree camera with split-view display, remote tailgate release, a twin-panel moonroof and more.

Editors' Review

The Ford F-150 is the best-selling pickup in America for a reason: It just works. Whether on the job or at play, the F-150 has long been the reliable stalwart in this segment, even in the face of tough competition like the Ram 1500. This year marks the introduction of the 14th-gen F-150, bringing with it some innovative features and new technologies that should keep it at the head of its class for years to come.

Important new features

Arguably the biggest news this year is the availability of an onboard generator, something that came in handy earlier this year when a good chunk of Texas was without power. My test truck has a 2-kilowatt generator with two 120-volt, 20-amp outlets, which is perfect for tailgating or running smaller tools on a job site. A 2.4-kW generator is standard on F-150 PowerBoost hybrid models, and a larger 7.2-kW generator is optional, with four 120-volt, 20-amp outlets, and one 240-volt, 30-amp plug. Ford says you could set up a mobile welding shop with this much juice.

More innovative tricks are found inside the F-150. The gear selector can fold flat into the center console, making way for a fold-down surface that provides 15 inches of flat work space. I love the new Max Recline seats, too -- as someone who routinely puts in 12-hour days behind the wheel, being able to lay down at nearly 180 degrees to have a quick snooze is delightful. The reclining seats are super comfortable too, with the cushions rearranging themselves to make a flat surface with no dip between the seat back and bottom cushions.

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The Good ~ Lots of work-friendly features ~ Excellent cabin tech ~ Punchy turbocharged engine

The Bad ~ Occasionally rough ride ~ Poor fuel economy ~ Bland interior design

The Bottom Line The 2021 Ford F-150 continues to be a top pick among full-size trucks.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9
  • Features 10
  • Design 8
  • Media 9.5

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