I just a long line of F-150s. One of my earliest vehicle memories is bouncing on the back of a late ’90s red running board that my grandfather trucked around his cattle ranch in the Sierra Nevada. That truck eventually gave way to a silver 2004 model that was passed down to me in 2014, and then a blue-green 2015 model that I inherited when Gammy and Papa (as I always call them) sold the ranch a few years later. And I’ve been riding them hard in the Pacific Northwest ever since.
For me and Papa Hall, now in his 80s, trucks are tools. Despite shelling out for extras like an extra-large tank (“so you don’t have to pay for gas in California”), they were intended for hauling firewood, towing trailers, and driving a series of black and white cars. brown labs to go duck hunting. He blew up his F-150s so often that he had a dedicated 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 be familiar to my grandfather. It looks, feels and smells more like a German luxury car than the dog hair and dust of our F150s.
And yet, after using it to haul a trailer across town, my two muddy dogs after the park, and a few hundred pounds of apples in a cider press, I came to see my future. These trucks are not fancy facsimiles of the tough vehicles that Dad and I owned and loved. The F-150 Lightning does everything I asked of it, in almost every case better than gas models.
Unless you’re a renter without access to a charging outlet or a constant long-hauler who often tows a caravan, this is probably the best-performing vehicle for any situation you’ll face. For those who can afford the upfront cost, this is the Leatherworker of cars.
This isn’t the first F-150 Lightning. About twenty years ago, Ford made a ultra fast gas version of the F-150, still significantly slower than this new electrified version of the same name. Besides the fact that the new F-150 Lighting Platinum with towing package I tested goes 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds, the new Lighting and the Ye Olde Lightning have nothing in common.
My review truck (the Platinum version at $92,000) compares pretty directly to a top-of-the-line hybrid F-150 Limited with all the trimmings (approximately $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 along with a huge range of other bells and whistles that you’d expect from any premium truck in 2023.
It has heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control, a massive sunroof, and a 360-degree camera. Like many electric vehicles, it offers one-pedal driving that lets you never touch the brakes, and it can steer for you on many roads. Ford’s Blue Cruise feature goes so far as to let you take your hands off the wheel during segments on major highways, as long as you’re looking out the front window. It does this by having sensors that watch your eyes and make sure you’re looking. Yes, driving hands-free is as crazy as it sounds.
The interiors of the gas and electric trucks are nearly identical, but the F-150 Lightning has a massive front trunk where its engine should be. The ‘frunk’ of this thing can accommodate, Ford claims, three standard golf club sets. This 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 while you travel, or charge your laptop or tools between two tasks. sites (or fields on a ranch).
The rear of the truck has four more 120-volt power outlets, as well as a 220-volt outlet above. Yes, you can use the Lightning with your full-size dryer, your spa or even charge another electric car, with the ability to tell it when to stop so you have enough range to get home. It’s both epic and awesome. The hybrid truck can also do this in the Limited trim, but power output caps at 7.2 kWh of power, compared to 131 kWh for the Lightning. Standard gasoline models can be equipped with 2.0 kWh or 2.4 kWh, depending on the version and engine.
On the Lightning, there’s also an option to allow the extended-range trucks’ massive 131 kWh battery (as opposed to the standard-range models’ 98 kWh battery) to act as a generator for your home, provided that you buy a $1,300 wall charger from Ford. This charger and extended battery life seem a lot cheaper when you start evaluating the price whole house generatorstheir maintenance and the cost of gas.