2019 Ford F-150 Test Drive Review: The Champion For A Reason
- 1 2019 Ford F-150 Test Drive Review: The Champion For A Reason
- 1.1 F-150 Exterior
- 1.2 Dimensions
- 1.3 Exterior Colors
- 1.4 F-150 Performance
- 1.5 Engine and Transmission
- 1.6 Handling and Driving Impressions
- 1.7 F-150 Gas Mileage
- 1.8 F-150 Interior
- 1.9 Seating and Interior Space
- 1.10 Interior Colors and Materials
- 1.11 F-150 Trunk and Cargo Space
- 1.12 Features
- 1.13 Infotainment
- 1.14 F-150 Problems and Reliability
- 1.15 F-150 Safety
- 1.16 Key Safety Features
- 1.17 Verdict: Is the 2019 Ford F-150 a good Truck?
- 1.18 What’s the Price of the 2019 Ford F-150?
2019 Ford F-150 Test Drive Review: The Champion For A Reason
There’s not much to say about the Ford F-150 that the mention of a few key facts cannot convey. That includes the F-150’s status as not only the best-selling truck in America for decades but the best selling vehicle in all of the United States for 40 years, the 4,147,200 possible combinations in which it can be had, and the way it can make crucial changes to its ingredients without bucking customers from the brand. Whatever it is about the F-150, whether its Ford’s mastery of a mass-produced body-on-frame vehicle that it’s harnessed since the Model T or its reputation as simply one of the best trucks around, it’s been a smash-hit pretty much since the F-Series variant was unveiled in 1975.
With a considerable range of exterior options on offer, you’ll be able to tailor your F-150 to suit your exact wants and needs, for a price of course. The base trim XL is only available with black front and rear bumpers while the XLT and Lariat get chrome trimmings. The King Ranch, Platinum and Limited get color-coded bumpers. The XL through to the Lariat make do with Halogen headlamps, with Quad Beam LED headlamps and LED taillamps featuring on the King Ranch and above. Standard across the range is a cargo lamp with center high-mounted stop lamp as well as daytime running lamps. The XLT and Lariat have halogen fog lamps as standard and the King Ranch and higher models gain LED units. The F-150 rolls on a wide selection of wheels, starting with the XL’s 17-inch silver steen units, and growing in size from 18 to 22-inches. The F-150’s Grille, sidesteps, bed, exterior lighting, and running boards can all be customized via trim level specifications and optional extras. Three cab styles are available, including regular, SuperCab (extended), and SuperCrew (crew cab), while three bed lengths are available in varying combinations with the cab styles.
The F-150 in its most compact, regular cab format measures 209.3-inches in length, riding on a 122.4-inch wheelbase and has a height of 75.5-inches. With the standard window mirrors in their normal position, the F-150 is 96.8-inches wide. The longest F-150 is the 8.0-ft, styleside bed equipped Supercab that measures 250.5-inches, it also has the longest wheelbase at 163.7- inches. The tallest F-150 stands 78.5-inches from the ground. The F-150 in regular cab format has the best off-road dimensions, with approach/departure/breakover angles of 24.8/34.6/22.1 degrees, and also has the best ground clearance at 8.7-inches. Curb weight will vary greatly according to body style, bed length, engine choice, and additional options. The lightest F-150 measures the scales at 4,069 lbs, and the heaviest model weighs a hefty 5,320 lbs.
The 2019 Ford F-150 is available in 14 different colors, of which certain hues are trim specific. The XLT Sport will get three new color options for 2019 as part of the Appearance Package; Agate Black, Abyss Gray, and Silver Spruce, while colors available across the range include Oxford White, Ingot Silver, Velocity Blue, MagmaRed, and Blue Jeans. Stone Gray requires the chrome package on the King Ranch, while Race Red requires the chrome package on the Lariat and Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat will cost you extra.
Performance from the F150 will vary greatly thanks to a range of six engines, now including a new turbo diesel unit on certain trims. All powertrain options will run through Ford’s ten-speed auto, except for the XL base model that is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 running through a six-speed auto. The top performer for the 2019 lineup is without a doubt the 450hp, 510 lb-ft 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 which now comes as standard on the F-150 Limited, and is an engine option on the entire F-150 range. That same engine makes the Supercab 4×2 capable of towing 13,200 lbs, while it’s also able to get the F-150 up to speed quickly, as it’s the same engine as found in the Baja-blasting F-150 Raptor, reviewed separately. The F-150 performs well with any engine choice, depending on the task at hand.
Engine and Transmission
Ford’s range of engines starts off with the XL’s 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 that produces 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic gearbox, but the electronic ten-speed transmission with Tow/Haul, Snow/Wet, EcoSelect, and Sport Modes is available as an optional extra. Also available is the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 (325 hp, 400 lb-ft), the 3.5L V6 EcoBoost – in either 375 hp, 470 lb-ft or 450 hp, 510 lb-ft states of tune, and the 5.0L V8 Engine outputting 395 hp and 400 lb-ft. For 2019 Ford has introduced its first Powerstroke turbo diesel V6 for the F-150 range. The diesel produces 250 hp and 440 lb-ft. All models come with optional 4×4, as well as an axle upgrade and Electronic-Locking Rear Differential. Hill Descent Control and a Trailer Brake Controller are optional on certain models.
One thing Ford has taken notice of recently is that consumers are willing to shell out more money for more luxurious trucks. It’s why the 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 packing 450 hp, 510 lb-ft, a tune that was previously only available on the Baja-racing F-150 Raptor, made it to our F-150 Limited-trimmed test truck. It’s here that Ford’s powertrain mastery becomes apparent. That’s because, despite its two turbochargers, the engine pulls off the magic trick of having zero lag. A quick-acting 10-speed automatic and those glorious horsepower and torque figures meant that our F-150 Limited got off the line and hit 60 mph from a standstill in an astonishing 5.1 seconds. And the power is only part of the appeal. The rest of the package is filled out by Ford’s fantastical powertrain tuning that makes it easy to milk passing power and towing performance or comfort out of the drivetrain with ease.
Handling and Driving Impressions
And because Ford offers the F-150 in such a large variety of configurations, the aluminum-bodied truck handles differently depending on how it’s optioned. The 3.0-liter Duramax Diesel, for example, exhibits exemplary truck handling behavior, remaining as stable as a body-on-frame vehicle should and being highly controllable, ensuring that confidence on the freeways is high. The F-150 Limited, on the other hand, feels like a long-wheelbase sedan on the road rather than a truck. With large wheels and a suspension system that’s both comfortable yet not so pliable that it encourages vast amounts of body roll, the drive is more dynamic and connected in the corners. The Limited’s center of gravity feels lower, too, but the aforementioned wheels and the buttoned-down suspension also transmit more bumps and road imperfections into the cabin. The steering also feels lighter, helping the Limited better make its way around parking lots and tighter city roads, but not being too loose as to make keeping the rig steady on the freeway a chore.
The F-150 Limited, essentially, comes off as a pickup that’s geared towards luxury buyers who want a capable truck but will spend most if not all of their time on surface streets. But being an F-150, capability can be added one way or another.
F-150 Gas Mileage
The big choice of combinations will affect gas mileage estimates and depends on engine, drivetrain, body style and trim specification. The 3.0L Power Stroke V6 is the most fuel-efficient engine in the range, and depending on the trim level, will deliver city/highway/combined estimates of 20/25/22 mpg for the 4×4 and 22/30/25 mpg for the more efficient 4×2 drivetrain. The High Output 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in 4×4 guise is the thirstiest and returns 15/18/16 mpg. Regular Cab and SuperCab models have a 23-gallon gas tank as standard, and the Supercrew comes with a 26-gallon tank. An optional long-range tank increases capacity to 36-gallons across the range.
Thanks to how much fun the F-150 Limited’s power is, its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 only managed a 15.3 mpg average after 155 miles of driving, falling short of its EPA ratings. To its credit, the stop-start system worked wonderfully.
The interior of the 2019 Ford F-150 imitates its exterior; square lines and a sense of simplicity greet the eye, and the F-150 doesn’t try to hide the fact that it’s still a truck that is built to work. The layout of the interior feels chunky and functional, from the humble XL base model right through to the Platinum and Limited models. The way Ford has managed to keep the interior looking so similar across the range, yet improve upon it with each higher trim level is impressive. The F-150, however, fails to top the class in terms of outright interior quality and luxury. From the XL’s black vinyl floor covering to the Limited’s Bucket Seats with Unique Multi-Contour Leather, the F-150 manages to strike a good balance between outright utility and premium luxury.
Seating and Interior Space
Ford continues to impress with the F-150’s roomy interior, which comes only second to the new Silverado’s while ranking ahead of the Ram’s. Lots of natural light thanks to large windows and an overhead panoramic sunroof helps make the Limited’s interior feel large, and the adjustable motorized pedals and tilting/telescoping steering wheel make finding a sweet spot easy, but comfort is furthered along by 43.9 inches of legroom up front and 43.6 inches of rear-seat legroom. Headroom is also vast, with 40.8 inches up front and 40.4 inches at the rear ensuring that even when all five seats are filled, the F-150 is still a truck you want to be inside.
Interior Colors and Materials
The one disappointing area of the F-150 Limited, however, is the fit, finish, and quality of its interior materials, which is not good considering that the Limited is the truck that’s supposed to reign supreme in this area. While the leather surfaces, real wood and metal accents, and stitching all make the F-150 Limited look upscale, sitting inside the cabin will reveal that the feel is a little short of the look thanks to how some of the trim pieces feel brittle and tacky rather than premium. It’s apparent that these pieces were added after the truck was designed in order to keep the F-150 competitive rather than planned for, so it ends up feeling like a rebadging job that’s not quite worth the money Ford charges for it. And the squeaking plastic center console, of course, didn’t help the truck’s case.
F-150 Trunk and Cargo Space
Three load bed lengths are available for the F-150, the shortest length being 5.5-ft. The load bed then grows to either 6.5 or eight feet, depending on body style. The inside length (at floor level) measures at 67.1-inches for the 5.5-foot bed, 78.9 for the 6.5 and 97.6-inches for the eight-footer. The width between the wheel wells is a standard 50.6-inches across the range, as is the inside height, which is 21.4. The all-important cargo box volumes are ; 52.8/ 62.3/ 77.4 cubic feet for the 5.5ft, 6.5ft, and 8ft respectively.
Maximum payload is rated at 3,270 lbs in the 4×2 5.0L Ti-VCT V8, and the 4×4 equipped 2.7L EcoBoost V6 will carry the least (1,520 lbs). Maximum towing capacity is 13,200 lbs. That number is achieved by the 2×4 Supercab mated to a High Output 3.5L EcoBoost V6. The lowest rated payload is 5,000 lbs when paired with the 4×4 3.3L Ti-VCT V6.
The F-150 further improves on its cargo utility by adding features such as storable loading ramps and moveable tie-downs, while inside, under-seat storage and a range of in-cabin storage options add versatility.
F-150 Infotainment and Features
The 2019 Ford F-150 gets a truckload of features depending on the trim level. Features such as Daytime Running Lamps and air conditioning come as standard across the range, Dual-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control coming as standard on the Lariat and higher models. Similarly, Automatic High Beams and cruise control become standard fare in the Lariat and up. The top of the range Limited gets Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start and the highest spec infotainment system, as well as a Tire Pressure Monitoring System and a Rear View Camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist. The F-150 features some impressive drive assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistant, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and trailer sway control among others.
While the 8-inch touchscreen may be small compared to the Ram’s 12-inch unit (though equal to the Silverado’s), Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system continues to rank among the best. The software is quick to respond to presses and feels intuitive and simple, though some options are buried within menus and take time as well as attention to alter. Its inbuilt navigation system is much easier to use than most, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present in case drivers want to use their map app of choice. And thanks to our Limited’s Bang and Olufsen sound system, music and podcasts came through crisply whether played through CarPlay or Bluetooth audio. The system is seamless enough that our only complaints center around how the Ram’s 12-inch unit has set a new benchmark to pass. A larger screen and updated user interface would help Ford do just that.
F-150 Problems and Reliability
Ford has issued one recall for the current F-150, due to a failing block heater connector that may cause a fire – the recall began May 31, 2019. J.D Power has awarded the Ford brand a score of nine out of ten for its 2018 quality index. Ford backs their F-150 pickups with a Bumper to Bumper warranty of three years/ 36,000 miles, and a powertrain warranty of five years or 60,000 miles.
The 2019 Ford F-150 performed well in IIHS road safety testing, scoring best available scores of Good in most categories, and even achieving a Superior rating for front crash prevention, but scored poorly for the headlights results. The NHTSA gave the F-150 a safety rating of five stars overall.
Key Safety Features
Just because it’s big doesn’t mean Ford can skip on important safety features. In fact, they’ve gone the extra mile to make sure that the 2019 F-150 is the safest range of trucks they’ve designed. You’ll find some clever safety tech in the 2019 F-150…
Ford’s blind spot information system helps ease your lane-changes, especially when you’re towing something sizeable, while lane-keep assist, reverse park sensors, and trailer back up assist are also all included. A rearview camera is standard on all, but higher trims like the Platinum receive a 360-degree camera, as well as adaptive cruise control and available hill descent control. Pre-collision safety is taken care of via Ford’s Co-Pilot360 technology. It scans the road ahead, and when a potential collision is detected, you’ll get a visual warning as well as an audible alert. If a collision is imminent, the system will brake for you. Six airbags are standard throughout, including dual front, front side, and side curtain airbags.
Verdict: Is the 2019 Ford F-150 a good Truck?
The Ford F-150 is not just a good car (or truck), it’s a fantastic one. Though Chevrolet, GMC, and Ram all have newer entrants in the segment, the F-150 remains far ahead of its General Motors counterparts despite the 13th generation’s somewhat apparent age. Dynamically and visually, it outperforms the Silverado while also feeling more upscale. The Ram gives the F-150 serious competition, especially in the handling department, and it’s more upscale Limited model is the luxury truck to seek out over the Limited F-150. But the F-150 Limited is still the superior luxury truck when compared with the GMC Sierra Denali and the 3.0-liter diesel F-150 we drove is by far one of the most satisfying drives we’ve had behind the wheel of a rig.
What’s the Price of the 2019 Ford F-150?
The 2019 Ford F-150 offers a vehicle at every competitive price point, starting with the base XL which retails for an MSRP of $28,155 in Regular Cab spec. Regular Cab prices are the lowest across the entire range: the XLT starts at $34,160 and climbs to $41,700 for the higher spec Lariat. The King Ranch is the first model to reach the $50k mark and is priced at $52,390. The Platinum is slightly dearer at $54,920 and the range-topping Limited F-150 will cost you $67,135. Expect to pay around $3,000 extra to move the XL and XLT up to a SuperCab, and another $3,000 for SuperCrew status.
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