KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 9/20/2012
Claiming the title as America's best-selling full-size pickup for 35 years running is nothing to sneeze at, which is why the 2013 Ford F-150 strikes such awe in its owners and trepidation in its rivals. With a string of modern engines, including a turbocharged V6, and the latest in transmission and 4x4 mechanical componentry, the F-150 shows it isn't resting on its laurels. With an eye on the big jobs only a big truck can do, Ford builds an F-150 for just about every customer, satisfying needs from the dirtiest construction worker to the country-club set trailering their prize horses to show. Equally impressive are the F-150's class-leading capabilities, fuel economy and resale figures.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you like variety and choice, the 2013 Ford F-150 offers the most comprehensive lineup in the industry. High-end interiors and cutting-edge infotainment and audio options further distance the F-150 from other trucks.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The F-150 is a big truck. If you just need a truck for light-duty jobs, a smaller mid-size will probably be less expensive and easier to maneuver and park.
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Ford F-150 receives a new grille, available MyFord Touch and a new Limited trim that includes navigation, rain-sensing wipers, HID headlights, red and black leather seating and polished 22-inch rims. The Raptor and SX4 models gain standard Hill Descent Control.
Despite its impressive payload and towing ability, the 2013 Ford F-150 doesn't ride like a stiffly-sprung work truck. In fact, it rides more like a plush Lincoln SUV. Every version of the F-150 we tested was devoid of a rough ride, with no shudder or hopping over rough or unpaved roads and a level of quiet unheard of (no pun intended) in a full-size pickup. Each version also provided ample power, with the least-liked engine being the base V6 and the most appreciated being the new twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6. Thanks to the F-150's electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), we experienced a level of steering feel and control that belied the big Ford's size and heft. Perhaps most impressive was the towing demonstration in which we hauled 20-foot trailers with absolutely zero drama, thanks in large part to the pickup's trailer sway control, rearview camera and integrated trailer-brake controller.
Designed to deal with the awkward and potentially dangerous chore of getting into the pickup truck's bed, the integrated tailgate step on the 2013 Ford F-150 scores big. It deploys easily and even offers a convenient hand-hold.
ROOMY SUPERCREW CAB
The cab in the 2013 F-150 SuperCrew is so roomy it out-measures some full-size sedans. In fact, the rear-seat legroom is absolutely limousine-like, and the mechanically-articulated second-row seat flips up and out of the way, delivering an ample 57.6 cubic feet of space behind the front seats.
Knowing that the hands controlling the F-150 will often be clad in some type of glove, be it work or ski, the design team has created buttons, knobs and switches that are slightly oversized, widely spaced and easy to reach. A thoughtful center console design can swallow two or more laptops or tablets; there are even slotted ridges along the sides for holding hanging files in place. There are two 12-volt outlets, one on the dash and one in the console, and an available 110-volt outlet. As for overall comfort, we think the F-150's contoured front seats are among the most comfortable in the class.
The 2013 Ford F-150 continues with its traditional boxy exterior but adds a healthy dose of oversized ornamentation (think grille, bumpers and mirrors) usually covered in chrome on upper trims. The 2013 F-150 features a strong new front end, powerful shoulders and a tall bed wall creating a nice, deep box. Those tall bed walls, however, can be a bit of a hindrance when trying to access a tool box or gear in the bed's center. Understanding this problem, Ford offers an extendable side step on most models. Other available features include a tailgate stepladder, extendable side mirrors and HID headlights.
Notable Standard Equipment
Every 2013 Ford F-150 full-size truck shares a robust, hydro-formed, boxed-section chassis that offers superior torsional rigidity while actually being lighter than the old-fashioned ladder frames of the past. The level of standard safety equipment is truly outstanding, including AdvanceTrac with RSC traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags with roll-fold technology for enhanced head protection in rollovers and side impacts. Safety is also enhanced by front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, "smart" airbags and seatbelts, a second-row center head restraint and integrated spotter mirrors.
Notable Optional Equipment
For those who really use their pickup truck as a truck, the 2013 Ford F-150 offers some exclusive options that are right on the money. Our two favorites are the integral tailgate step that makes clambering into the box easy and the spring-out box side step that allows easy access to the deep cargo box. When it's kick-back time, Ford's SYNC, SIRIUS Travel Link and a high-powered Sony brand audio system help you while away the time. And when it's time to hit the road, the MyFord Touch will let you control navigation, music and cell phone all through the power of your voice.
Under the Hood
Do you want a gasoline engine or a gasoline engine? The 2013 F-150 offers four of them – two V6s and two V8s – all with reasonable fuel economy, aided significantly by the addition of a 6-speed automatic transmission. A twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is a first for this segment and an engine that promises both strong performance and good fuel economy. Both the 3.7-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 are fitted with fuel-saving twin-independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) technology and, for towing needs, nothing can beat the two-valves-per-cylinder 6.2-liter V8's best-in-class 11,300-pound tow rating.
302 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
278 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg (2WD), 16/21 mpg (4WD), 12/17 mpg (2WD, E85), 11/15 mpg (4WD, E85)
3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6
365 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
420 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg (2WD), 15/21 mpg (4WD)
360 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250
EPA city/high fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (2WD), 14/19 mpg (4WD), 11/15 mpg (2WD, E85), 10/14 mpg (4WD, E85)
411 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
434 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD), 12/16 mpg (4WD), 11/16 mpg (Raptor)
With more than 30 different variants, the 2013 Ford F-150 pickup pricing covers a wide spread. Regular Cab XL models have a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) right around $24,600, while a fully-laden Limited SuperCrew can run well over $50,000. Somewhere in between those two extremes is where most buyers will find themselves. A look at the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com shows the typical transaction price being paid for the 2013 Ford F-150 in your area, so be sure to check it out before you set out to buy. The F-150 is expected to retain a better-than-average residual value, with the SuperCrew models at the top of the chart, followed by the Regular Cab and then the SuperCab. Over a 5-year period, the F-150's projected residual value is expected to be nearly on par with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra, better than the Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan, but slightly below the Toyota Tundra.