The F-150 has been Ford’s top-selling model and company cash cow for decades. Matching its modern aluminum-body construction is a slew of advanced engines and high-tech driver assists. The handsome hauler can be outfitted for every job and every personality, with three cab and bed styles and numerous appearance packages. Its premier powertrain is a lively twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 producing 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, it’s capable of towing a best-in-class 13,200 pounds. From top to bottom, the iconic F-150 is the most complete and compelling full-size pickup to be found. Period.
What’s New for 2018?
On the surface, the 2018 F-150 is refreshed with new grille designs, bumpers, exterior lighting, tailgates, and wheels. Under the hood is where the most significant updates are. Every F-150 powertrain has auto stop/start technology. This includes an all-new base 3.3-liter V-6 (replacing the old 3.5-liter version), a second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, and a heavily revised 5.0-liter V-8 with increased horsepower and torque. A diesel engine will join the party in spring 2018. Apart from the 3.3-liter V-6, every engine now pairs with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission. Several models have revised interiors with new colors, materials, and options. The infotainment system adds optional 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity and a high-end Bang & Olufsen audio system. Among the additional active safety assists are adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection.
What Was New for 2017?
The 2017 F-150 lineup had mostly minor changes. The biggest addition was an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission that was previously only available with the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6. An available STX appearance package was new, too. The paint-color palette added Lightning Blue, Avalanche, and White Gold as well.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
While we’ve gushed over the rowdy Raptor off-road specialist and its predisposition for pure, dumb fun, the practical purchaser will prefer the regular F-150. The well-rounded Ford can be outfitted for every occasion, from a bare-bones workhorse (starting at $28,675) to a luxury limo costing as much as $65,000 for the top-tier Limited trim. We think the mid-level Lariat SuperCrew with the six-and-a-half-foot cargo bed represents the best combination of versatility and value. The 325-hp twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 is the standard engine, but upgrading to the more powerful 375-hp twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 only costs an extra $1600. That engine is responsive and quick, and it pumps out 470 lb-ft of torque. Adding all-wheel drive isn’t necessary for everyone, but the $3375 option is a must for harsh Michigan winters. Every Lariat has standout standard features such as:
• Leather-trimmed front bench with 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
• 8.0-inch Sync 3 touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
• Proximity-key entry with push-button start
• Dual-zone automatic climate control
• Heated and cooled front seats
We’d also opt for the Max Trailer Tow package ($1295), which adds coolers for engine oil and transmission fluid, an electronic locking rear axle (3.55 axle ratio), a 36-gallon fuel tank, a trailer backup assist, and more. This setup unlocks the F-150’s class-leading maximum tow capacity of 13,200 pounds. In total, our all-wheel-drive Lariat SuperCrew costs $50,910.