2019 Ford F-150 Limited — High-performance luxury with a pickup bed

By Jim Prueter

(May 27, 2019) The current generation Ford F-150 dates back to 2015, when America’s best-selling vehicle switched to an all-aluminum body, resulting in significant weight savings. Tinkering with success was a huge gamble for Ford, which faced immediate backlash with the stigma that F-150s were now going to be made out of aluminum beer cans.

Ford quickly responded with marketing that repeatedly referenced the F-150’s construction with “high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy” and the resulting weight loss of 700 pounds from the cab and truck bed.

If that wasn’t enough controversial change, Ford also announced a move to make a V-6 engine standard, with new EcoBoost twin-turbocharged technology good for 325-horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque. Ford kept the 5.0-liter V-8 option, but there was little doubt that the six-cylinder engine was the committed future for the Ford F-150.

Fast-forward, and we now know these moves by Ford were nothing short of brilliant with F-150 sales leaving other pickup trucks in its dust. Last year, Ford sold more than 909,000 F-150s; Silverado is its nearest competitor with sales just over 585,000.

Last year, in addition to a mid-cycle exterior styling refresh of the F-150 model, Ford also upped its performance with improved towing and hauling capabilities, redesigned grilles, headlamps and taillamps, and wheels, and made changes to the tailgate appliqué across its extensive lineup of trim levels.

The biggest changes were mechanical. A diesel engine was offered for the first time. There was also a new 3.3-liter V-6, engineers made modifications to the EcoBoost 2.7-liter V-6, and the previously mentioned 5.0-liter V-8 added more power and torque than the previous engines.

For the 2019 model, the 3.3-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic remains the standard powerplant. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, 5.0-liter V-8, 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V-6, and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 are all paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

There are almost endless configurations for the F-150, when you consider all the available engines, options and trim levels, which include XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Raptor. At the very top of the F-150 offerings is the revised-for-2019 Limited, provided by the Ford Motor Company and tested here.

It is offered only as an incredible SuperCrew cab configuration powered by an impressive high-output 3.5-Liter EcoBoost rated at 450-horsepower and 510-lb.-ft of torque, managed by a 10-speed automatic that was previously only available on the F-150 Raptor trim level. That’s more power than any light-duty half-ton pickup on the road.

Inside, the cab has been upgraded and incorporates a new Camelback two-tone tan and black color with heated, ventilated and massaging leather front seats, real ash wood trim, and aluminum-wrapped air bezels and interior trim. The headliner is trimmed with a Miko suede that surrounds its panoramic sunroof, plus there’s a stitched, leather-topped instrument panel and door panels. Each new F-150 Limited is topped off with a laser-etched plaque on the center console with its trim level and serial number.

The Limited is loaded with upgraded and new technology, including stop-and-go functionality that can be manually turned off, if so desired. It defaults to the “on” position when the Limited is restarted. There’s standard pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, active park assist to aid in parallel parking, plus a lane-keeping system.

Ford’s own user-friendly SYNC with AppleLimk, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all included. A FordPass Connect 4GLTE modem provides Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices. Audiophiles will appreciate an eight-inch touchscreen, navigation, and a B&O PLAY audio system by HARMAN-KARDON.

We found our Limited especially easy to drive and handle despite its massive size. The ride is smooth even over twisty or rough roads. The ample 450-horsepower comes on instantly, making interstate on-ramps or passing spontaneous. In testing, we got from zero to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds, certainly the fastest pickup we’ve ever tested and especially impressive given its 5594-pound curb weight.

Thankfully, however, the Limited didn’t forget its workhorse truck capability. The combination of horsepower, massive torque, and 10-speed automatic transmission easily delivers enough power for the Limited to pull heavy trailers or a loaded cargo bed without labor pains or straining. It out performs any other competitor pickup in the class.

Another driveline perk in our Limited was the electronic 4WD transfer case that, in addition to the expected 2H, 4H and 4L, also boasted an all-wheel drive "4A" selection.

Still, there were a few things that didn’t impress, like the eight-inch infotainment screen that looked like a smartphone when compared to the Ram’s 12-inch display. We also thought the interior, while premium, doesn’t match what we’ve experienced with the RAM Laramie Longhorn or RAM Limited, nor was it as quiet on the road. In fact, we thought the Limited’s interior looked and felt no more upscale than Ford’s own King Ranch, Platinum or Raptor trim levels.

With a starting price of $68,630 including destination charges, all this goodness doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it is the most expensive F-150 you can buy at more than twice the starting price of the base F-150. But if you’re looking for a luxuriously fast, capable and gorgeous pickup with living room size for five, this is the one to buy.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $68,630
Price as Tested: $70,755
What Makes it go: 450-hp high-output 3.5-Liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 managed by a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel Economy: 17-mpg city – 22-mpg highway – 19-mpg- combined
Seating: 5

Crash Test Ratings: “Good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Where Built: Dearborn, Michigan

Competes With:
Chevrolet High Country
GMC Sierra Denali
RAM Limited

Fab Features:
Fast and powerful
Sybaritic luxury interior
Loaded with easy-to-use technology