come from a long line of F-150s. One of my earliest vehicular memories is bouncing on the back of a late ’90s red ladder that my grandfather trucked around his cattle ranch in the Sierra Nevada. That truck eventually gave way to a silver 2004 model that I inherited in 2014, then a teal 2015 model that I inherited when Gammy and Dad (as I still call them) sold the ranch a few years later. And I’ve been driving them intensively around the Pacific Northwest ever since.
For me and Papa Hall, who is now in his eighties, trucks are tools. Although he shelled out for extras like an extra-large tank (“so I don’t have to pay for gas in California”), they were for hauling firewood, towing trailers, and driving a series of black and white vehicles. brown labs to go duck hunting. He beat up his F-150s so often that he had a bumper guy named Mort.
The new F-150 Lightning Platinum, a fully electrified truck with a giant touchscreen, heated and cooled seats, and a panoramic sunroof, wouldn’t look familiar to my grandfather. He feels, looks and smells more like a German luxury car than the dog hair and dust of any of our F150s.
And yet, after using it to haul a trailer around town, my two muddy dogs from the park, and a couple hundred pounds of apples for a cider press, I’ve come to see my future. These trucks are not sleek facsimiles of the rough-and-tumble vehicles Dad and I owned and loved. The F-150 Lightning does everything I asked of it, in virtually every case better than the gas models.
Unless you’re a renter without access to a loading port, or a consistent long-hauler who tows a travel trailer frequently, this is probably the most capable vehicle for any situation you’ll face. For those who can cover the initial cost, it is the leather man of cars.
Rays without fat
This is not the first F-150 Lightning. A couple of decades ago, Ford made a super fast gas version of the F-150, still significantly slower than this new electrified version, with the same name. Aside from the fact that the new F-150 Lighting Platinum with tow package I tested goes from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds, the new Lighting and Ye Olde Lightning have nothing in common.
My inspection truck (the $92,000 platinum version) compares pretty directly to a high-end hybrid F-150 Limited with all the trimmings (around $83,000). Like the gas trucks that people know and buy in droves (for those who don’t know, the F-150 has been the best-selling car in the United States since 1981), my crew cab review unit arrived with a huge variety of other amenities that you would expect from any premium truck in 2023.
It has heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control, a huge sunroof, and a 360-degree camera. Like many electric vehicles, it offers one-pedal driving that allows you to never touch the brakes and can do the driving for you on many roads. Ford’s Blue Cruise functionality even goes so far as to let you take your hands off the wheel during major highway segments, as long as you look out the front window. To do this, it has sensors that look at your eyes and make sure you are looking. Yes, it seems crazy to drive without hands, as it seems.
The interiors between the gas and electric trucks are almost identical, but the F-150 Lightning has a huge front trunk where its engine should be. The “frunk” on this thing may fit, Ford claims, three standard golf club sets. Said frunk also includes four 120-volt power outlets and two USB outlets (one USB-C, one USB-A), meaning you can plug in your devices on the go or charge your laptop or tools on the go between work. and work. sites (or fields on a ranch).
The rear of the truck has four more 120-volt outlets, as well as a 220-volt outlet above it. Yes, you can use the Lightning with your large dryer, hot tub, or even charge another electric car, with the ability to tell you when to stop so you have enough range to drive home. This is both epic and amazing. The hybrid truck can also do this in Limited trim, but power generation is capped at 7.2 kWh compared to the Lightning’s 131 kWh. Standard gasoline models can be equipped with 2.0 kWh or 2.4 kWh, depending on equipment and engine.
At Lightning, there’s also the option to let the extended range vans’ massive 131 kWh battery (as opposed to the standard range models’ 98 kWh battery) act as a generator for your home, as long as you purchase a $1,300 Ford wall charger. That charger and extended-range battery sound a lot cheaper when you start calculating the price. whole house generatorsits maintenance and the cost of gas.