In 2018 the Ford Motor Company celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Rouge, the plant where they build the F-150 pickup truck. The F-150 itself dates back to 1947, and it's not unusual to see older models still going to work every day. For 2019 Ford has a few new features to show and a lot of options to consider for the Limited trim package. With work in mind, powertrain options are a big part of the lineup including a turbodiesel offering. Those who have seen a similar vehicle on the road in Central America called the Ford Lobo, that's the F-150's Mexican cousin. There's also the Ford Raptor, a wild version of the F-150 which brings power to off-road challenges.
What's new with the turbodiesel engine?
The new Powerstroke turbodiesel has been available since late in the 2018 F-150 model year. It's a 3.0-liter V-6 producing 250 hp and rated 440 lb-ft of torque. It doesn't offer particularly outstanding results in towing and fuel economy compared to gas models, but it does cost a few thousand extra. This may be more a matter of advances on the gas engines overshadowing the diesel.
What is the range of gas powertrain options for the F-150? What kinds of pulling power do they provide?
Typically, buyers get the F-150 with a 2.7-liter turbo V-6 for 325 horsepower, 400 lb-ft, and a 10-speed automatic. This configuration tows 8,500 pounds or carries 2,500 pounds in the back. There's also a new 3.3-liter V-6 with 290 hp which couples with a 6-speed automatic, good for getting to the work site and similar tasks. The powerful 5.0 V-8 connects with the 10-speed automatic and provides 395 hp, but there's a twin-turbo V-6 with 3.5-liter displacement and 375 hp, 470 lb-ft until you put it in the Limited and F-150 Raptor, when it gets tuning to raise it to 450 hp, 510 lb-ft. It uses the 10-speed automatic programmed appropriately and can tow up to 12,000 pounds.
What kinds of trim and comfort updates are there?
The Ford F-150 comes ranges from rugged bench seating for work crews and ranges to fairly luxurious appointments such as those in the King Ranch edition. One practical reason is that a sparse interior can be much easier to maintain when the truck is doing farm or construction service. The interior on the Limited trim package includes seats with heat, ventilation and massage, ash wood trim and aluminum-wrapped bezels. While the XL keeps things simple, Lariat and above have the option to add gauges, a touchscreen console, and LCDs plus wood and leather accents. Buyers can also customize the higher-level trim packages with 22-inch wheels and plenty of chrome on the outside.
What kinds of active safety features does the 2019 F-150 have?
To get many active safety features, buyers will have to select upper-level trim packages. Beginning at the Lariat trim, active emergency braking is available along with forward-collision warnings, blind-spot monitors, active lane control and active cruise control plus inflatable rear seat belts.
What audio systems are available? At what level does high-end audio become available?
Available audio options include Bang & Olufsen and a Premium Sony audio package with the Ford 8.0-inch touchscreen-based Sync3 system. At the higher end, electronics include a surround-view camera system for easier maneuvering in tight spaces.
What transmissions and overall drivetrain options are there?
This is the mainstay of the F-150 line: the ability to configure endless combinations of power and gears. There are V-6 gas and diesel engines, twin-turbo versions and a V-8, with a hybrid in the works for the near future. One interesting possibility in 2019 is adding the 450-hp Raptor version of the twin-turbo V-6 to the Limited. These can be completed with 10-speed automatic transmissions which are versatile enough to work with the full range of power plants, using smart shifting to jump through the range as needed to meet the pulling and driving needs of the work at hand.
What is the Ford Raptor?
The Ford Raptorstarts with the 450-hp twin-turbo V-6, adding ground clearance and six drive modes, plus knobby tires which are good for off-road and desert use. It's expensive but ready to put its power to work just about anywhere.