Cars

2019 Ford F-150 Limited a Rugged but Stylish Ride

DETROIT — Ford’s F-150 Limited is a lot of pickup truck. It is the top-of-the-line model of the best-selling vehicle on the American market for the past 41 years. And it has an almost $75K sticker.

This truck had so much equipment that it was challenging to note it all. But first, let’s cite the basics — after all, it is a pickup truck.

The test vehicle was the Ford F-150 4X4 Supercrew Limited. Under the hood was Ford’s 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost (dual turbocharged) High Output engine. It made 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Ford bills the F-150 with this engine as the most powerful light-duty pickup in America.

It was mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability. The combination had an EPA rating of 17 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg combined. Five days into the test drive and I had averaged 13.1 mpg.

With pickup trucks, it is all about the work. This 2019 F-150 Limited could tote 2,600 pounds and tow 13,000 pounds. It was not just pretty sheet metal. But it was good looking inside and out. Don’t get it twisted. This pickup had an extended-range fuel tank (36-gallon capacity). When I first got in the truck, it had a range of 515 miles.

For 2019, the front of the F-150 stayed pretty much the same. But in the rear, the Limited has a new dual exhaust system with integrated exhaust tips and bumper cutouts, themselves new.

Inside is where they pulled out all the stops to convey luxury. There was a camel two-tone color scheme. The front seats were heated and cooled and they massaged you. The second-row seats were heated. There was genuine wood trim — in this case, swirl ash and aluminum framed bezels.

Because of its body-on-frame construction, it was pretty hard to rid the Ford F-150 of its truck-like ride. But Ford engineers did an admirable job. They used an independent double-wishbone with coil-over shocks and stamped lower control arm in the front suspension with a heavy-duty gas-pressurized shock absorber. In the rear, they used a leaf spring/solid axle suspension with another heavy-duty gas-pressurized shock absorber.

This setup provided a relatively smooth ride. Though cornering was accurate, I could feel the Ford F-150’s girth, but it wasn’t anything severe. The engine provided scary acceleration because of the swiftness but the nose never rose up. I didn’t get the chance to try any extreme braking, but under normal driving conditions, stopping was a sure-footed affair.

Speaking of pedal, this pickup had adjustable pedals. Getting into the F-150 is different. To say it had push-button lock and unlock is really a misnomer. I just held a fingertip in front of the pad that looked like a button and the door unlocked. Once I opened it, the running board folded out and down and I was able to step in with little trouble. I climbed in closed the door and the running board retracted.

The first thing I noticed was the glass roof. Ford calls it a twin-panel moon roof. Nope. It is a panoramic roof. And since this 2019 F-150 was a supercrew cab, that meant there was a lot of glass.

There was a laser-etched plaque on the center console armrest that had the F-150 Limited badge on it and the truck’s 17-digit VIN number. The interior was awash in leather and authentic stitching, even atop the dashboard.

At night, there was ice blue ambient lighting. The F-150 Limited could park itself. And “Limited” was spelled out in chrome block letters across the front of the hood.

There were 12V and 110V plugs in the front and the back as well dual USB jacks in the storage bin in the front and another pair at the base of the center console in the back. The climate controls and the audio controls were in two separate clusters underneath the infotainment touch screen.

The 4X4 pickup had a dial control for 2H, 4A, 4H and 4L. For the uninitiated, that is two-wheel high gear, four-wheel automatic, meaning it will shift between two-wheel and four-wheel drive automatically, depending on road conditions, four-wheel high gear and four-wheel low gear for off-roading.

It had a trailer backup system, LED lights on the sideview mirrors that were power-folding, surround and overhead cameras and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

I climbed into the rear seats and found them comfortable and stylish. There was plenty of head and hip room. Leg space was abundant and the floor was flat. These were 60/40 folding seats and a power sliding back window.

There was a lot more. Ford said:

“Signature design elements include a unique satin-finish grille and tailgate applique, and satin-finish window trim and door handles. It had remote start and tailgate release.”

An integrated trailer brake controller was standard, as was a 360-degree camera with split-view display with dynamic hitch assist to simplify the hitching process. Class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup AssistTM was designed to make maneuvering easier by letting drivers rotate a knob to control its direction, with the truck automatically steering to follow the course selected.

Ford also said: “F-150 Limited’s driver-assist technology works to reduce daily stress. Standard adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality allows drivers to set a cruising speed, and then uses radar and camera technology to monitor traffic ahead to maintain a set distance between vehicles — even following one down to a complete stop.”

Standard pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking helps drivers avoid or mitigate collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians. It also had active park assist to aid in parallel parking, plus a lane-keeping system that provides alerts and assistance with lane drift is standard as well.

The F-150 Limited features SYNC(r) 3 with AppLinkTM, Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM compatibility, and a FordPassTM Connect 4G LTE modem that provides Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices. Audiophiles will appreciate the standard B&O PLAYTM audio system by HARMAN.

I especially liked the voice-activated navigation system. There was satellite radio, voice controls, a heated steering wheel, Bluetooth, LED lighting in the truck’s bed, and 22-inch alloy wheels. And that was not all. For instance, there was an elaborate step for easier access to the bed.

For $74,775, there was not much more to want.

Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com.

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