What can you add to a truck that has been America’s best-selling pick-up for 41 consecutive years, and the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. for t
What can you add to a truck that has been America’s best-selling pick-up for 41 consecutive years, and the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. for the past 36 years? While remaining in its 15th generation, Ford has power upgraded the F-150 with a diesel engine option on Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trim models, and the top trim, the F-150 Limited gets a serious power upgrade with the high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine previously only available on F-150 Raptor. Limited also gets a new high-flow dual-exhaust system and redesigned interior. Cosmetically, F-150’s Navy Pier interior color scheme changes to Camel Back two-tone, and the XLT Sport Appearance Package gets new five-inch angular step bars. Also, FordPass™ Connect is now standard for F-150 XLT, while the CD player has been deleted.
Other tweaks for 2019 include interior freshening on XLT Sport, XLT Special Edition, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited trims that include color and material changes for seats, instrument panel and console trim. An all-new B&O PLAY™ Premium Audio System by HARMAN is available; and SYNC® Connect is optional on XLT and Lariat, and standard on King Ranch, Platinum and Limited. Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection are available, and a Technology Package is now available with 2.7-liter EcoBoost. New exterior colors for the lineup include Agate Black, Abyss Gray, and Silver Spruce.
Manufactured at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, the 2019 Ford F-150 is constructed with a high strength steel frame, aluminum cabin and bed. The body on frame truck comes in three cab schemes: Regular Cab, SuperCab, or SuperCrew®.
With sculpted creases and angles that modify the truck’s boxiness, F-150’s exterior is enhanced by configurable daytime running lamps, power sideview mirrors on XL and above trims, a quick-release tailgate with lock, new grilles available, as well as new, bumpers, lighting, tailgate, appliqués and wheels. My 4x4 test Ford F-150 XLT with a SuperCrew® cab and a bed of 6.5 feet and measured 243.7 inches long, 77.3 inches high for the 4x4, and 79.9 inches wide on a 156.8-inch wheelbase. Ground clearance is 9.3 inches.
For muscle, the F-150 provides plenty of power through six engine choices: a 2.7-liter twin turbo EcoBoost V-6 that delivers 325 hp and 400 lbs-ft of torque; the 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbo that presents 250hp and 440 lbs-ft; the 3.3-liter Ti-VCT FFV engine that is good for 290 horses and 265 lbs-ft; the 3.5-liter V-6 turbo EcoBoost engine with twin independent variable camshaft timing that produces 375hp/470 lbs-ft; the High Output twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine that increases power numbers to 450 hp and 510 lbs-ft of torque, and the 5.0-liter Ti-VCT VB FFV engine that growls out 395 hp and 400 lbs-ft. That’s the engine I wanted, but my test drive was outfitted with the 3.5… next time.
My test XLT was powered by the 375-hp 3.5-liter turbo engine, which was both powerful and responsive. On the track, a zero-to-60mpg dash was completed in 6.8 seconds, during a 15.3-second quarter-mile (hand-timed). On the highway, Ford F-150 is a stable long-distance cruiser that can control heavy payloads while leveling uneven roads. F-150’s rack-and-pinion, electric power-assisted steering is assertive and predictable, and the coil-on-shock, long-spindle double-wishbone independent front suspension with a stamped-steel lower control arm, works in concert with a leaf spring/solid axle rear with heavy-duty pressurized shock absorbers to impart a solid truck ride. Four-wheel vented power anti-lock ABS disc brakes deliver alert stopping ability.
Mixing in some cruises, in-town errands and some soft off-road pot-holing, I averaged 16.6mpg.
With six interior configurations, my test ride’s SuperCrew cabin was packed with amenities and was comfortable, with 40.8 inches of front headroom and 40.4 inches for those in the cab. Front legroom was a generous 43.9 inches with second-row passengers getting 43.6 inches. Shoulder room was a spacious 66.7 inches in row one and 65.9 in the rear seats.
The 2019 Ford F-150 comes with a truckload of standard safety items including first-row side-impact airbags, front/side/canopy airbags, electronic stability control, roll stability control, trailer sway control, an SOS post-crash alert system and a passive anti-theft system and antilock brakes. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the 2019 Ford F-150 as the only truck to earn the top-tier good rating in every category, and the best performing truck among 11 pickups evaluated in passenger-side small overlap front crash testing
For 2019, Ford F-150 is offered in seven basic trims with modfications for engines, three bed lengths and three cab sizes. The base XL starts at $28,155; the XLT which I tested, started at $34,160 (gaining cosmetics and the Power Equipment Group) ; the upscale Lariat bases at $41,700; the lavish King Ranch® model starts at $52,390; the aggressively powerful and stylish Raptor starts at $52,855; the uptweaked Platinum trim starts at $54,920 and the top-tier Limited starts at $67,135.
My test XLT, which adds SYNC®, the Power Equipment Group and Chrome Front and Rear Bumper to the XL, based with a Regular Cab and 6.5-foot box; the 3.3-liter engine, 6-speed automatic transmission and 4x2 drive, but my test drive upscaled a bit. A SuperCrew Cab added $6565 and the 6.5-foot box; and as I am a 4x4 truck guy, that option was added for $4445; and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine added $600.
Agate Black paint was a standard color, and the interior was augmented with the 301A option which added an 8-way Power Driver's Seat, Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel, Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror and Power-Adjustable Pedals for an additional $2150 (then discounted by $1000)..
Black platform running boards added $250; a spray-in bedliner added $595; box side steps added $325; a twin-panel power moonroof and power sliding privacy glass rear window with defroster added $1845; the remote start system added $195; reverse sensing system added $275 and required a $95 Class IV trailer hitch; the voice-activated navigation system was $795 and Destination charges were $1595. That put the sticker-as-tested at $52,890, but regional incentives of $750 knocked the price down to $52.140, so check with your local dealer.
You can see the 2019 Ford F-150 and more than 3200 Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Euro Ford vehicles – some vehicles more than 100 years old, some brand new and thousands in between – by visiting the largest all-Ford-themed weekend in the world, this year’s Carlisle Ford Nationals at the Carlisle, PA Fairgrounds, May 31 through June 2. From trucks to muscle cars, you can see them all. And there will be special 50-year-anniversary displays of the 1969s from Mustangs, to the 1969 Shelby GT350 and GT500 to the Mach 1 to the Cougar Eliminator to the Maverick. And there will even be a walk-around of the all-new 2019 Roush Stage 3 Mustang and Classic Mustang ride-alongs with Gateway Classic Mustang's professional drivers behind the wheel. And you can join in or watch the Ford Parade and Street Party in downtown Carlisle with some 400 vehicles on parade Saturday night, June 1.
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Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.