• Best-in-class 13,200-lb towing capacity
  • Best-in-class 3,270-lb payload capacity
  • Up to 450 horsepower, 510 lb-ft of torque
  • Pricing starts at $36,190 for SuperCrew (crew cab) | Price yours

 

Staying Ahead of Tough Competition

In the full-size truck segment, the Ford F-150 has been the sales leader, both the best-selling truck and best-selling overall vehicle in America, for quite some time. Credit a combination of capability, a wide range of trim levels and, in recent times, a high emphasis on technology and a wide array of engine choices.

Between the number of cab types you can get (three), engine choices (six, if you include the high-output version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine), bed lengths (three), and trim levels (seven, ranging from utilitarian work truck to ultra-lux and cowboy chic, plus the awesome Raptor), it’s easy to find the right configuration for your needs.

But there are three all-new full-size trucks for 2019 from Chevrolet, GMC and Ram, all of which are aiming squarely at the F-150. How does the F-150 manage to maintain its sales dominance?

Daily Driving

We have driven the F-150 with all the available powertrain choices, and there isn’t a weak one in the bunch. In fact, there are two excellent choices in the middle of the range.

For those who prefer the traditional sound and feel of a V8, the F-150’s 5.0-liter is a no-brainer, and it offers a towing capacity of up to 11,600 pounds – and that’s with the SuperCrew (crew cab). But don’t overlook the 2.7-liter EcoBoost. It offers the same amount of torque as the 5.0-liter, can still tow up to 8,500 pounds, and gets the best fuel economy of all the available gas engines.

Our most recent F-150 test vehicle was with the 5.0-liter engine under the hood, dishing out 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. And while this is now the only V8 still in the lineup, it is by no means a relic, with direct injection, independent variable cam timing, and a robust 10-speed automatic transmission. Power is linear and smooth from a stop, with well-timed transmission shifts.

The interior of the King Ranch we sampled was draped in tasteful 2-tone leather – dark brown and rust to us, Kingsville and Java to Ford. The King Ranch brand can be seen on the seats, center console and floor mats, and the overall look exudes the feel that may appeal to the well-heeled owner of a large spread.

The F-150’s seats are comfortable, and both rows are roomy. There are plenty of storage areas in front and back. When it comes to offering a crew cab with a flat floor in the second row, the Ford F-150 led the way, and some of the competition has caught up.

If there is a weakness in the F-150’s cabin, it’s that the center stack needs a redesign. The navigation screen is small, and the graphics are starting to show signs of age. Small buttons for fan controls are at the very bottom, and climate control buttons are crammed together.

However, it’s very easy to reach the 4-wheel drive selector and the trailer brake controller, as well as the knobs for volume, tuning and temperature. There are also handy available features, such as adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

At Work

The F-150 offers best-in-class towing and payload, and it should come as no surprise that this pickup truck excels at both. With 1,200 pounds of horse chow in the bed, acceleration and braking were excellent. When we drove down grades, the transmission did a terrific job of holding gears, and made smart use of engine braking to keep the Ford at a steady speed.

When it comes to cargo access, Ford was at the leading edge, with an innovative step that slides out of the tailgate. It even comes with a handrail.

There are also plenty of features that we appreciated while towing, such as the large side mirrors and a blind-spot monitoring system that alerts you to anything that may be on either side of the trailer, which is hugely helpful when changing lanes. Pro Trailer Backup Assist can make it easier to line your truck up to a trailer. As was the case with our payload test, acceleration and braking while towing were excellent.

Bottom Line

Of the three pickups we tested, the 2019 Ford F-150 is the one that’s best suited to serving work duty, but won’t leave you feeling shorted when it comes to luxury.

It offers an impressive range of engines, including a naturally aspirated V6 and V8, two turbocharged V6 engines, and a turbodiesel. From a buyer’s perspective, the F-150 also boasts impressive 5-Year Cost-to-Own values, the lowest of the three trucks we tested. And with prices that range from about $30,000 to beyond $70,000, the F-150 has a price, an engine and a trim level to serve every need.

See why the Ford F-150 is the KBB Pickup Truck Best Buy of 2019

In terms of resale value, the Ford F-150 lands among the top 10 in the KBB Best Resale Value Awards

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