2019 Ford F-150 XLT Lariat. Metro News Service photo

2019 F-150 shows why it’s America’s top-selling vehicle

Family-approved, versatile pickup truck

Before we get too far into this review, let’s have a little transparency first. For the last year, I’ve been writing my second book on the history of the Ford F-Series pickup. So when I got the 2019 version of America’s best-selling vehicle to drive, I was excited. I can now tell you everything you need to know about this pickup truck – past, present or future. But for now, since my book isn’t out until February of next year, let’s talk about the present.

The 2019 F-150 is everything you would want or need from a pickup truck. But beyond that, today’s pickup truck is even good as a daily driver. My tester was equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine. It has amazing fuel economy (for a full-size truck) to the tune of 20 mpg/city and 25 mpg/highway. I took this truck on a camping trip during our week together.

The F-150 SuperCrew with the 5.5-foot bed was quite comfortable making its way through the countryside. Look past the horsepower rating of 250 horsepower and pay close attention to the torque output of 440 lbs.-ft. That’s impressive for such a “small” engine. It shows that size doesn’t always matter when it comes to today’s pickup trucks.

My tester was quick off the line and felt much more powerful than the 250 horses it cranked out. But it also felt confident on the twists and turns. It drove smaller than it was, and I appreciated that. The 10-speed automatic transmission was just incredible. The shifts were quick and seamless. There was no turbo lag; it offered an outstanding transmission. My tester had a 7,050-pound gross vehicle weight rating. It also came equipped with Ford’s trailer tow package.

Every year it seems trucks get more and more attractive. My tester was quite handsome. The Race Red exterior paint color, with matching color on the grille, was quite the head turner at the campground. The Lariat Sport Appearance really added visual appeal to an already good-looking truck. The FX4 off-road package gave it a rugged appearance complete with 20-inch six-spoke painted aluminum wheels and skid plates. My tester represented what today’s modern truck can be: capable, rugged and commuter-friendly.

The interior was nice, although I’ve seen more luxurious trucks on the road. Being that this was the FX4 Lariat, it was meant to be a little more rugged and a little less high-end. But, still there were leather-trimmed seats that were both heated and cooled (in the front). The back seat had vast leg room. On our way to the campsite, I had two teenagers and two dogs, along with a lot of camping equipment. Nobody wanted or needed more space.

The rear seats lift up to allow for extra storage. What a clever and resourceful use of otherwise dead space. The new Ford Sync 3 infotainment system is vastly improved. The integration with my iPhone was flawless. Texts were read to me and I could respond via voice to text, and play songs straight from my phone. The navigation system was outstanding, too!

Road noise was minimal and it was a smooth ride, for a truck. It was more comfortable than most pickups, but not quite as comfortable as a similarly sized SUV. Perhaps if my tester wasn’t FX4 trim it might’ve been an even smoother ride. All-in-all it did not disappoint on our long weekend away. Both dogs and teenagers had no complaints.

Base price for my tester was $47,985. But my tester had more than $20,000 in options and took the final sticker price to $68,505. That also sums up today’s trucks as the price tags continue to go up and up. Yet, the consumer continues to buy.

I did not even use a half a tank of fuel in our 300-mile round trip to the woods. I drove the truck heavy-footed, and thanks to the stop-start technology, the few stop-and-go moments I encountered, we were able to conserve fuel. In the end, I averaged just over 22 mpg.

As such, now that I’m a truck author, and I suppose a Ford truck historian, I can say this 2019 Ford F-150 did everything you could want a truck to do. It was author approved, but more importantly, it was family trip approved.

2019 FORD F-150 LARIAT 4X4

  • Price/As-tested price………………………………………… $47,895/$68,505
  • Mileage…………………………………… 20 mpg/city; 25 mpg/hwy
  • Engine……………………………………… 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel
  • Horsepower…………………………… 250 hp/440 lbs.-ft.
  • Transmission…………………………… 10-speed automatic
  • Drive wheels……………. 4-wheel drive
  • Final assembly point……………. Dearborn, Michigan

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