Ford Adds Features, Power, Technology to Wildly Popular Pickup
By Derek Price
With a number of upgrades for 2019, Ford’s F-150 is likely to continue its long reign as the world’s top-selling pickup truck.
Even in the face of fresh competition — new generations of the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado both bowed last fall — the F-150 still feels innovative thanks to its aluminum-alloy body, thoroughly modern powertrains and great use of technology.
One example: FordPass Connect is now a standard feature on the XLT trim level, starting with the 2019 model year.
FordPass Connect includes a 4G WiFi modem that uses cellular data while on the road. It lets you connect up to 10 devices to the Internet — often with faster speeds and more reliability in rural areas, in my experience — along with some other high-tech benefits.
You can use your smartphone to remotely start, lock and unlock the vehicle, for example. You can locate your parked truck, check the vehicle’s status, and even schedule specific times to remotely start the engine.
If you want to automatically start your truck at, say, 6:30 a.m. tomorrow to make sure the cabin is toasty for your morning commute, FordPass Connect lets you do it.
While the base XL trim starts at $28,155, the more full-featured XLT starts at $34,160 with a regular cab. The SuperCab with a back seat adds $2,910 to that price, while the spacious, SUV-like SuperCrew adds $6,565.
Chrome bumpers and a bold, bright grille give the XLT a more upscale look than the base models.
While the standard engine is a 3.3-liter V6, Ford offers one of the widest and most innovative engine lineups in the truck world. Ford has been a trailblazer in the use of smaller turbocharged engines to create V8-like power while still getting impressive fuel economy for everyday driving.
On the XLT, optional engines include the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, or the tried-and-true, 5.0-liter V8.
All these engines include auto start-stop technology designed to save fuel. Originally popularized on hybrid cars, this system shuts off the engine every time the truck rolls to a complete stop, something that contributes to its impressive gas mileage ratings.
An available 10-speed automatic also helps with fuel economy while delivering fast, smooth, car-like shifts.
For drivers who like the economy, power and durability of a diesel engine, the F-150’s new 3.0-liter Power Stroke earns a best-in-class 30 mpg highway rating from the federal government.
Ford also continues to raise the bar on its luxury and high-performance models. The Raptor, with its immense power and otherworldly suspension travel, remains the world’s most intense off-road pickup available from a factory.
The Raptor’s high-output engine is also now available on the Limited trim for buyers who want the most luxurious, advanced and powerful F-150 ever built. Pricing on this top model starts at $67,135.
No matter which version you choose, you can get an F-150 outfitted just how you like it. Its flexibility and seemingly endless possibilities for cabin and bed configuration, performance and style make it one of the most highly customizable vehicles in the world — a big key to its enduring popularity.