2019 Ford F-150 Limited shows why Ford continues to rule among pickups

By Paul Borden

(May 12, 2019) For over four decades, Ford’s F-Series has been America’s top-selling pickup truck, and it doesn’t appear that it will give up that title any time soon. Numbers for the first quarter of 2019 show the F-Series holding a hefty margin over its top two competitors, falling just short of matching the sales numbers for the Ram pickup and Chevrolet Silverado combined.

Ford reported sales of 214,611 F-Series pickups in the first quarter in 2019, a slight increase of 0.2 percent over numbers for the same period in 2018 with the Ram showing a significant, 15.4 percent increase for this past quarter with 120,026 sold and the Silverado showing a decline of 15.7 percent to 114,313.

The three domestic manufacturers hold a comfortable lead over their import competition with No. 4 Toyota selling 54,183 Tacomas in the period from January through March.

The bell-cow in the Ford F-Series is the F-150, which began life when the company introduced Ford “Bonus-Built trucks” to replace the car-based pickups it had previously been manufacturing. The half-ton model became the F-1.

In 1953 when it moved into its second generation, the half-ton pickup got the label F-100,  and it served as the base truck through the 1984, though the F-150 had been launched in 1975.

Just two years later the F-Series became the best-selling pick up on the market and the remake the company gave it in 1987 when it moved into its eighth generation would eventually lead it to become the best-selling vehicle in America, period. It still is that.

No doubt, those who designed the early F-Series models would be dazzled as to what the truck has become in 2019. The new F-150 is stunning in looks, more than capable in performance, and packed with a full-menu of technological features in the higher trim levels.

This review is based on the Limited edition, which is near the top of the food chain and carries a base MSRP of $67,135. A couple of options ran the final price tag for my test vehicle to $71,350 including the $1,495 destination and delivery charge, which is approaching Lincoln Navigator luxury SUV company.

MSRPs start at just over $28,000 for the base XL model with King Ranch, Lariat, Platinum, and Limited going up the scale. (The Raptor is pretty much in a class by itself.)

The Limited gets as standard the Supercrew cab with a 5-foot, 5-inch box and such features as LED quad-beam headlamps, power sliding rear window, remote tailgate release, power deployed running boards, twin-panel moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats (with 43.6 inches of max legroom), adjustable pedals with memory, memory driver’s seat, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 360-degree camera, 8-inch center stack touchscreen, active park assist, push-button start, lane-keeping assist, voice-activated navigation (which could use some updating with changes in some key road configurations in South Florida), and pre-collision assist with automatic braking.

The 3.5-liter, Ecoboost high output V6 engine features auto stop-start technology, but it can be turned off by pushing a button at the top of the center stack. The engine is rated at 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with manual gear selection via a button on the shifter. Mileage figures are 17 miles-per-ballon city, 22 highway, and 19 combined, and towing capacity is 7,000 pounds.

The F-150’s ride is remarkably smooth, quiet, and comfortable, especially considering the vehicle’s size. At 231.9 inches long and 96.8 inches wide including standard mirrors, the F-150 Limited is no shrinking violet. But then, why should it be?

What I liked about the 2019 Ford F150 Limited: The cabin is spacious with lots of legroom in the second row and very comfortable. The ride is not as rough as you might expect of a full-size workhorse like this. The retracting running boards also makes getting into the cabin a snap, and the fold-out step in the tailgate (a $375 option) eases the climb into the rear bed. The 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 provides plenty of punch for a pleasant driving experience. Oh, yes. Infotainment features are user-friendly. Let’s hear for big knobs to operate audio and climate control functions!

What I didn’t like about the 2019 Ford F150 Limited: Some areas of the cabin could use an upgrade, but my main complaint would be about the segment itself. The size of a full-size pickup like the F150 is not conducive to many mall parking lots.

Would I buy the 2019 Ford F150 Limited? For $70K-plus? That’s a pretty high figure for a pickup, but you can get an F150 for under $30K so unless you just like to show off, that may be the spot to start looking. Several other nice trims are available as well.