Not just a gimmick, the aluminum sheet metal covering much of the 2019 Ford F-150 exterior enhances fuel economy while increasing this full-size pickup’s payload capacity. Capabilities and performance are as varied as the $40,000 spread between its entry-level and top-of-the-line base prices. It can be a stripped-down basic work truck or a luxury liner qualified to pull up to any red carpet.
A real donnybrook, the large-truck arena pits several capable pickups against one another. It’s hard to go wrong picking any of them, but Ford has been the best-selling truck brand for years for a reason.
What’s New for 2019?
The F-150 returns with a few changes. The high-performance 3.5-liter turbo V6 from Raptor is now also the standard engine for Limited Grade that also gets a cabin refreshening, as well as high-flow dual exhaust. XLT grade gets FordPass Connect standard. Ford offers a few new exterior colors. See the 2019 Ford F-150 models for sale near you
What We Like
Excellent driving dynamics; impressive capabilities; comfort, convenience and safety features
What We Don’t
Real-world fuel economy seldom matches EPA ratings; ride can feel stiff when the truck is unladen; options drive up the price considerably
The new, entry-level 3.3-liter V6 is linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The other engines pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional in all models except the Raptor, where it’s part of the package.
The 3.3-liter V6 makes 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, returning 20 miles per gallon in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving with RWD. Figures for AWD: 18 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined.
The optional 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 puts out 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque (25 lb-ft more than 2017). With RWD, fuel consumption is 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined, or 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined with AWD.
The 5.0-liter V8 is a useful choice for towing (see below). It makes 395 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque (up from 385 hp and 387 lb-ft) while achieving 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined in RWD form, or 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined when driving all four wheels.
The first of the turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engines makes 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. This combination achieves 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined as a rear-driver, or 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/29 mpg combined with AWD.
King of the propulsion hill is the 3.5-liter V6 in the Raptor and Limited, developing a muscular 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. The 2019 F-150 Limited receives EPA fuel economy ratings of 17 city, 22 highway and 19 combined with two-wheel drive or 17 city 21 highway and 19 combined with four-wheel drive. The Raptor, which is heavier and rides on 35-inch all-terrain tires, making it less efficient, returns 15 city, 18 highway and 16 mpg combined. While these figures are determined by testing conducted in accordance with EPA standards, replicating them in real-world driving is easier said than done, and in our own experience, we’ve seen figures two to three mpg lower than the numbers shown here.
Standard Features & Options
Choosing a 2019 Ford F-150 is not straightforward. A multitude of configurations involve the Regular Cab, SuperCab (extended) and SuperCrew (what everyone else calls a crew cab) — bed lengths measure 5.5, 6.5 or 8 feet (the two longer beds come with the two smaller, cabs and the SuperCrew is eligible for the shortest bed). Then there are engines, trim levels and options bundles. Trims are XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Raptor, Platinum and Limited. Available on all grades (standard on Raptor) is 4-wheel drive. It’s $3,645 extra for XL and $3,425 on other trim levels. All prices include factory delivery.
XL models ($29,750) are bare-bones work trucks. Standard equipment includes an AM/FM stereo with a clock (but no CD player or USB port), a 2.3-in screen in the center stack for audio controls, air conditioning, trailer sway control, a capless fuel filler, trailer connection wiring, side curtain airbags, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, pre-collision assist with emergency braking, automatic highbeams, front bench seat, 17-in steel wheels and little else. Not even power windows.
AWD versions of the XL are eligible for the FX4 Off-Road package (an electronic-locking rear axle, an off-road tuned specialist suspension, skid plates and hill-descent control). Other options include a tailgate-assist step, side steps, a power-lock tailgate, power outboard mirrors, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, SYNC 3, drop-in or spray-in bedliners and trailer tow packages with the Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature (basically a self-steering function for reversing up to a trailer).
The XLT ($35,755) adds power windows and locks (including the tailgate), power mirrors, a cargo management system (with four tie-down cleats), fog lights, remote keyless entry, MyKey, cruise control, SYNC 3 infotainment system, FordPass Connect with Wi-Fi hot spot, a USB port, a CD player, 17-in alloy wheels, some exterior chrome work, carpeting and a few more cabin stowage areas.
The Lariat ($43,295) brings leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, power-adjustable pedals with memory, BoxLink, LED box lighting, power-folding outboard mirrors, heated/ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, power rear sliding window, keyless access/push-button start, an 8-in touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, satellite radio, a rearview camera, a 10-way power driver’s seat, LED bed lighting and 18-in alloy wheels.
The western-themed King Ranch ($53,985) comes only with the SuperCrew cab, containing a remote starter, remote tailgate release, heated rear seats, LED headlights/taillights, an 110-volt power point, a heated steering wheel, reverse parking sensors, a navigation system, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system.
The Platinum ($56,515, SuperCrew only) is more conventionally luxurious. It includes wood interior accents, a heated steering wheel, parallel-parking assistance, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, leather seating, rear safety belts that inflate in the event of an accident, power running boards, 20-in alloy wheels and a series of exterior upgrades.
The Raptor ($57,435) is available in SuperCab and SuperCrew forms, either of which comes exclusively with the 5.5-foot bed. It has a specialized suspension with longer travel and increased ride height (compared to a regular AWD F-150), massive 35-inch all-terrain tires, a locking rear differential, various off-road drive modes and steering settings, a Torsen (torque-sensing) front differential, a Terrain Management System, skid plates, running boards, tow hooks, LED grille lights, the most powerful turbo V6 and 17-in alloy wheels.
The Limited ($68,730, SuperCrew only) has 22-in alloy wheels and is loaded with virtually all that’s optional in the lower levels except Raptor’s performance/off-road features. The 2019 F-150 Limited comes with the ‘High Output’ version of the truck’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, high-grade massaging leather seats, and dual rear exhausts.
There’s a lot of equipment available. Major upgrades include a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, massaging seats and a segment-exclusive panoramic sunroof. Some standard equipment in the higher trims may be optioned for the lower levels. For example, XL models can be upgraded with most of the XLT’s features.
Standard safety items include side curtain airbags, anti-lock disc brakes, daytime running lights and traction/stability control. Options range from parking sensors to adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and blind spot monitoring.
In government crash tests, the 2019 Ford F-150 received five out of five stars overall: five for front- and side-impact protection and four stars for rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has also made it a Top Safety Pick after the truck won the top score of Good in five major categories.
Behind the Wheel
Aluminum construction means the F-150 is lighter and therefore feels nimbler than its rivals. The handling/comfort balance is generally good, and the steering is direct. It’s only at higher speeds where the limitations of rear leaf springs are more easily felt. The cabin is well thought out and welcoming overall. Available high-end features like the panoramic sunroof, luxurious leather upholstery, and heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats serve to make the F-150 one of the most useful, value-packed vehicles on sale today. Bottom line, the F-150 is a great all-rounder.
With the basic 3.3-liter V6, maximum towing capacity is 7,700 pounds (that’s up by 100 pounds). Using the 2.7-liter turbo V6 allows 8,500 pounds of towing. The 5.0-liter V8 is capable of 11,600 pounds (up from 500 pounds), and the most powerful 3.5-liter turbo V6 can pull 13,200 pounds. Payload capacity gets as high as 3,270 pounds.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 — The usual rival to the F-150. Favors big V8 engines for higher trims.
2019 Ram 1500 — Refined and capable. Rear coil springs provide a comfortable ride. Options include air suspension and a diesel engine.
2019 Nissan Titan/Titan XD — The XD version straddles the ground between a half-ton truck and a three-quarter-ton truck. A superb machine, highly capable and with an excellent Cummins diesel engine. The regular Titan is also well worth a look.
Among 2019 Ford F-150 grades, Lariat with the turbo 3.5-liter V6 looks tempting because of its broad range of talents and features. Many buyers, however, find an XLT with the SuperCrew cab and 2.7-liter V6 hits a sweet spot. For buyers with a big budget, the Limited offers a genuine luxury car experience in a full-size truck package, making for the best of both worlds. Find a Ford F-150 for sale