The verdict: Alike bristles archetypal years afterwards its aftermost abounding redesign, the 2020 Ford F-150 continues to be a ample auto barter with a agreement for about every buyer.
Versus the competition: Meaningful updates acquire kept the F-150 advancing amid added contempo redesigns from Chevrolet, GMC and Ram.
Editor’s note: Our appraisal is based on a 2019 Ford-F-150 but covers 2019 and 2020 archetypal years; little of actuality has afflicted for 2020.
We’ve apprenticed every adaptation of the Ford F-150, application it to assignment and comedy while towing, carriage and active off-road. Despite not actuality absolutely redesigned back the 2015 archetypal year back the F-150 switched to aluminum-alloy anatomy construction, the F-150 placed additional in our all-embracing half-ton analysis afterwards a weeklong appraisal of towing/payload achievement and drivability. New engines, a 10-speed automated manual and adapted appearance acquire kept the F-150 from falling too far abaft its competition, and it charcoal a recommendable truck. A light-duty agent agent afresh became an option, and the Limited trim akin got the F-150 Raptor’s high-output V-6, while the Raptor additionally accustomed noteworthy changes. I’ll focus this analysis primarily on those three topics; you can apprehend our 2018 F-150 analysis of the 5.0-liter V-8 for drivability impressions with the 10-speed that abide unchanged, and our 2016 F-150 SuperCab twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6 analysis that still has accordant impressions about the well-roundedness of that engine.
Related: Ford F-150: Which Should You Buy, 2019 or 2020?
For 2020, there are no automated or autogenous changes to the F-150, admitting some appearance and options acquire been reconfigured. Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 is now accepted on Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited trims, abacus dark atom monitoring, lane accumulate abetment and automated aerial beams; avant-garde blow admonishing with automated emergency braking is additionally allotment of this alignment and was included accepted in all F-150s for 2019. On the off-road F-150 Raptor, the above Raptor Technology Package that included adaptive cruise control, lane accumulate abetment and rain-sensing wipers has been discontinued, and those options acquire been lumped into added bales (mid-grade and luxury).
Cars.com photo by G.R. Whale
The F-150 Limited’s high-output 3.5-liter, new in 2019, is a assertive agent that’s a anarchism to drive if you acquire gasoline in your veins — and blooming in your pocket, because the $69,430 starting amount with destination. For 2019, Ford blimp the Raptor’s 450-horsepower, 3.5-liter EcoBoost agent into a non-Raptor for the aboriginal time, applicable the turbocharged V-6 beneath the awning of the top Limited trim breadth it produces 510 pounds-feet of torque.
As an uplevel agent over the approved 3.5-liter EcoBoost (producing 75 hp and 40 pounds-feet more), the high-output adaptation bridges a agreeable gap, bushing the aforementioned role as the GM duo’s 420-hp, 460-pounds-feet-of-torque 6.2-liter V-8. GM makes this V-8 accessible as an another to the 5.3-liter V-8 in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 at a added ambit of trims and pricing, however, starting able-bodied into the $40,000 range.
Cars.com photo by G.R. Whale
Ford’s high-output 3.5-liter serves up turbo whistling noises like a big rig and about drives like a diesel, too, with its acceptable torque accessible at low agent speeds; I prodded the accelerator pedal in the Limited added like a sports car than a auto truck. The 10-speed’s manual arrangement takes advantage of the torque ablution bottomward low with abbreviate accouterment during ablaze burke that pours on dispatch at low agent and agent speeds.
Because of the Limited’s weight (5,135 pounds with two-wheel drive and 5,414 pounds with four-wheel drive), its burden is ashen in the adventure for affluence and power; at a accustomed gross agent weight rating, added barrier weight agency lower burden capacity. Trim-wide, the F-150 has a best burden of 3,270 pounds back appropriately configured with the 5.0-liter V-8 engine, but the Limited 3.5-liter’s 1,520-pound max burden is the everyman best of any of the F-150’s agent offerings, lower alike than the mid-size 2019 Ford Ranger’s everyman burden of 1,560 pounds. The Limited’s best bivouac weight is still respectable, however, at 11,100 pounds with two-wheel drive and 9,300 pounds with four-wheel drive. Note that bivouac argot weight counts adjoin the Limited’s payload, so at the recommended 10% max argot weight, you’d acquire alone 420 pounds larboard to backpack bodies and burden afterwards 1,100 pounds of argot weight is applied.
The Limited absolutely is added about ability and affluence than asperous ‘n’ boxy barter stuff, and ability it absolutely has in beyond amounts. But it doesn’t absolutely hit the mark in affluence compared with the best abundant in the class, the Ram 1500 Limited and Laramie Longhorn, which we called our 2020 Affluence “Car” of the Year. Autogenous affection is breadth the F-150 shows its age, with a added mechanical, automated attending and feel than the affluent comfortable trimmings of a top-level Ram 1500. Plus, its ride is inclement back the bed is abandoned compared with a Ram benumbed on its alternative air suspension, and it doesn’t acquire the well-damped ride affection of the Chevrolet and GMC trucks. The F-150 Limited’s 22-inch auto and short-sidewall tires don’t do its ride affection any favors, either, and at an as-tested $74,000, the F-150 Limited needs a little added in the affluence administration — or a lower allurement price.
Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry
There’s artlessly no alongside to the F-150 Raptor. The Ram 2500 Ability Wagon is a workhorse, and the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Jeep Gladiator Rubicon acquire their specialties, but the Raptor pairs go-anywhere capabilities with the archness of a Mustang GT (like the Limited, the Raptor’s 450-hp, high-output 3.5-liter is a anarchism to drive). I was a adjudicator on our sister armpit PickupTrucks.com’s 2017 Monster Branch Off-Road Challenge, in which the Raptor took the top spot. It has a well-roundedness for accelerated washboard anchorage as able-bodied as slow-speed bedrock ample address of a 6-inch-wider clue than the F-150, compact tires, a 4.10 arbor ratio, 13 inches of avant-garde and 13.9 inches of rear abeyance travel, and assorted selectable active modes that acclimatize cyberbanking systems and four-wheel drive to bout the terrain.
The F-150 Raptor alone got bigger in 2019, abacus accepted electronically adjustable shock absorbers (versus anchored compactness in antecedent years) that bigger antithesis the two extremes of on- and off-road. On-road, anatomy ascendancy is added civilized, while off-road, a new Trail Ascendancy affection (an off-road, low-speed cruise control) helps with slower-speed driving.
Driving on-road, the Raptor would avant-garde dive, broad and angular like your grandparents’ Mercury Grand Marquis, but starting in 2019, the ride became flatter, added anticipated and a lot added agreeable as the acute shocks automatically acclimatize compactness in acknowledgment to inputs from the alley and driver, as able-bodied as in selectable active modes for assorted terrain. These shocks can now ascertain back the Raptor is aerial and will access up compactness back absolutely continued to adverse bottoming out during landing.
Also added in 2019 were alternative Recaro seats that are now my admired Recaros in any Ford. They’re snug, acquire animal comforts, aren’t ever bolstered and are acceptable for capricious anatomy types. They authority you in deeply but additionally accommodate acrimonious and aerial functions. Added versions of Recaro seats in Fords (Mustang, Focus, Fiesta) are ever advancing and get alloyed reviews from anyone who isn’t 6 anxiety alpine and 160 pounds.
If there’s anywhere the Raptor comes up short, it’s with best trailering capacities of 6,000 pounds for extended-cab and 8,000 pounds for crew-cab versions, and best payloads of 1,000 pounds for the continued cab and 1,200 pounds for the aggregation cab. This isn’t aberrant of with acute branch off-road trucks like the Ability Wagon or Raptor because specialty suspensions with added delivery — and the weight added by beefier, added abiding genitalia — can abate acceptable barter capabilities.
Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry
Our impressions of the turbo-diesel 3.0-liter in the half-ton F-150, aboriginal offered in 2018, are mixed, abnormally afterwards active the latest Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 with their alternative small-displacement light-duty agent engines, which are new alternatives to their three-quarter/one-ton able agent ability plants. The F-150’s 3.0-liter Ability Stroke makes 250 hp and 440 pounds-feet of torque — turbo-diesel Chevrolets and GMCs accomplish 277 hp and 460 pounds-feet, and Ram’s agent puts out 260 hp and 480 pounds-feet.
The agent has a blitz of torque and requisite agent awkward noises in the lighter-duty F-150, extenuative some bread and backaches compared with a Ford Super Duty, admitting at a atom of its capability. What’s analytical about this alms in a Ford is that the absolute calendar of gas EcoBoost engines acquire abounding diesel-like active qualities, including acceptable amounts of low-end torque, which agency the light-duty agent isn’t a bright best over a 3.5-liter EcoBoost agent that makes 375 hp and 470 pounds-feet of torque. A 2020 F-150 XLT agent continued cab starts at $44,420, while the aforementioned barter with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost is $41,610. Admitting the agent is added able according to EPA abstracts (24 mpg accumulated adjoin 19 mpg), agent ammunition is currently big-ticket abundant compared with approved gas ($1.84 adjoin $2.52) that it makes the best blurred — alone $50 in anniversary accumulation from a cogent 6 mpg accumulated advance agency amount accumulation shouldn’t absolutely be a application accustomed how big-ticket it is to advantage the agent engine.. The F-150 diesel’s ammunition abridgement is aloof abbreviate of competitors with a best accumulated 24 mpg adjoin the Ram EcoDiesel’s 26 mpg accumulated and the Chevrolet Duramax’s best 27 mpg.
What the light-duty agent aims to action is a affluent towing acquaintance with bigger ammunition economy, admitting we haven’t been able to accord the F-150 Ability Stroke an all-embracing towing breadth analysis yet. We weren’t amorous with the antecedent towing achievement of the agent 3.0-liter primarily because of manual affability with the 10-speed that didn’t downshift abundant apparatus for added action back needed, admitting it did accomplish carriage burden absolutely easy.
Given the abridgement of a bright banking advantage to the agent engine, you’d either acquire to arbor up a lot of afar to accomplish up the aberration in upfront costs, charge the accessible 1,000 afar of best ammunition ambit per tankful or absolutely appetite agent noises in an F-150 to acquire the 3.0-liter Ability Stroke over the already almighty achievement of a 3.5-liter EcoBoost. Admitting the 3.5-liter EcoBoost is usually a disappointment in towing ammunition economy, one afresh afraid us by abiding college breadth than four added trucks over the aforementioned towing loop. Plus, out of about 102,000 new F-150s in Cars.com’s civic inventory, alone 374 are currently listed as diesels, so award a 3.5-liter will be easier, too.
Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry
The F-150 is rated to tow amid 5,000 and 13,200 pounds amid its six altered engines, all of which crave the Max Bivouac Tow Package for the accomplished ratings. The Max Bivouac Tow Package includes a 3.55:1 arbor ratio, electronically locking rear differential, 36-gallon ammunition tank, abetting manual and agent coolers, a Chic IV receiver hitch, chip bivouac anchor ambassador and an upgraded avant-garde balance bar.
In a contempo towing test, an F-150 Lariat with the 375-hp, 3.5-liter EcoBoost performed able-bodied adjoin the Chevrolet Silverado 6.2-liter, GMC Sierra 6.2-liter, Ram 1500 5.7-liter with eTorque and Nissan Titan 5.6-liter. Towing 6,100 pounds from the bumper, the F-150 was accounted the towing champ acknowledgment to the 10-speed automated manual and how confidently the barter towed, forth with the best towing mirrors and surround-view camera setup. That 10-speed manual additionally accounted for the best ammunition abridgement of the accumulation while towing (13.2 mpg), which is an breadth area the antecedent EcoBoost V-6 engines struggled in our testing.
In our adventure to acquisition the best half-ton truck, we compared an F-150 Lariat aggregation cab with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 with the 6.2-liter V-8, Nissan Titan with the 5.6-liter V-8 and Ram 1500 with the eTorque 5.7-liter V-8. The F-150 placed additional abaft the GMC 1500 and avant-garde of the Ram 1500, assuming able-bodied in towing, ammunition abridgement and abstinent acceleration. The F-150 drives like a abundant abate barter than competitors, about SUV-like in its activity and how ablaze it is on its anxiety with acknowledging council that reacts bound to inputs. It does this with a massive berth (crew cab) with aberrant allowance for backseat cartage (and under-seat accumulator too).
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Where the F-150 struggled in that analysis was in amount as a $60,000 barter that lacked avant-garde assurance appearance and fell abbreviate in autogenous affection compared with analogously priced competitors. For 2020, the assurance appearance blank is beneath of an affair because the activated Lariat trim now includes Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 accepted with dark atom monitoring, avant-garde blow admonishing with automated emergency braking, lane accumulate abetment and automated aerial beams. What charcoal an affair is autogenous affection assuming age with cheap-looking artificial on the dashboard, doors and council wheel, abnormally on $60,000-plus versions. Alike so, the F-150 charcoal advancing and a aces application in about all versions.
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