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Ford F-150 2024 review

The Ford F-150 will be available to Australians by the end of 2023.

Daily driver score

4.1/5

Tradies score

4.5/5

Then there were three. First came the Ram 1500, then the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and now the third member of the American trinity of pickups is arriving in Australia - the Ford F-150.

We're only weeks away from right-hand drive F-150s hitting Australian showrooms and owners' driveways, but CarsGuide.com.au was one of a select group of Australian media given a preview drive of the big truck in the USA recently.

We sampled the F-150 XLT with the 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine that we'll soon have here. This is what we discovered.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

Ford Australia has already released the details on what we can expect from the locally available versions of the F-150. There will be two models, the XLT (which we drove in the USA) and the higher-grade Lariat, and both will be available in standard or long-wheelbase.

The XLT begins the range at $106,950 (plus on-road costs), with the long-wheelbase priced from $107,905. The Lariat SWB will start at $139,945 and the Lariat LWB from $140,900.

Ford Australia has already released the details on what we can expect from the locally available versions of the F-150. Ford Australia has already released the details on what we can expect from the locally available versions of the F-150.

Standard features for the XLT will include 20-inch machined alloy wheels, chrome bumpers front and rear, a work-surface tailgate and a spray-in bedliner, as well as an 8.0-inch digital instrument panel, 8.0-inch multimedia screen with Ford's SYNC4 interface, power adjustable seats and dual-zone climate control.

Stepping up to the Lariat adds extra chrome trim, including mirror caps and door handles, as well as a twin-panel moonroof, power tailgate, heated and vented leather accented seats, a larger 12.0-inch infotainment screen and similar instrument cluster and a surround-view parking camera.

Design - Is there anything interesting about its design?

The F-150 is the Ford ute, the one by which all others (namely the Ranger) are evolved from. Now into its 14th generation (which launched in 2020) the F-150 has become an iconic model for the Blue Oval brand, alongside the likes of the Mustang and Bronco. In fact, it's arguably more important than any other Ford model because it's the best selling vehicle for the brand in the US.

Over the course of the previous 13 generations Ford has refined what works and what doesn’t to give people what they want. Over the course of the previous 13 generations Ford has refined what works and what doesn’t to give people what they want.

Over the course of the previous 13 generations Ford has refined what works and what doesn't to give people what they want. And it seems what people want is a big, imposing pickup, with a large grille, broad fenders and a long, monolithic body. The ‘C-clamp' headlight design is now an F-150 signature, and has been adapted to the Ranger and Maverick to give those models a connection to their bigger, more popular older sibling.

While our test car was an XLT as we'll receive in Australia, it was fitted with an optional ‘Sport appearance' package that reduced the amount of chrome and added body coloured bumpers, doors and tailgate handles as well as 18-inch machined alloy wheels and some graphics.

Even in the USA, where big pickups are common, the F-150 is a big vehicle in every sense of the word. Even in the USA, where big pickups are common, the F-150 is a big vehicle in every sense of the word.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

One of the major appeals of the F-150 (and its Ram and Chevrolet rivals) is the space offered up in the cabin. If a Ranger has the space of a mid-size sedan inside, the F-150 is the equivalent of a limousine - or at least it feels that way.

Which is not a surprise when you look at the dimensions. The XLT SWB is 5884mm long, 2030mm wide and 1995mm tall with a 3694mm wheelbase. The LWB variants stretch beyond six-metres in length, measuring 6184mm with a 3994mm wheelbase.

Out the back, the SWB F-150 models have a sizable tray that measures 1704mm long, 1285mm wide and 54mm deep, while the LWB option extends that length to 2004mm. Out the back, the SWB F-150 models have a sizable tray that measures 1704mm long, 1285mm wide and 54mm deep, while the LWB option extends that length to 2004mm.

The sheer size of the F-150 SuperCrew allows for a much roomier and more practical cabin than a Ranger can offer. The width allows for two spacious front seats with a wide centre console between them, which incorporates two cup holders, a pair of small storage recesses and a lidded console box that can fold out to become a work space between the seats.

The rear seats are equally generous and clever. The breadth of the F-150 means there's genuinely space for three adults to sit across the rear, with the length of the cabin meaning there's ample knee room too. There are plenty of small item storage spots and multiple cup holders, but also a clever lockable under seat storage space for items you want to keep out of sight.

Out the back, the SWB F-150 models have a sizable tray that measures 1704mm long, 1285mm wide and 54mm deep, while the LWB option extends that length to 2004mm.

One of the major appeals of the F-150 (and its Ram and Chevrolet rivals) is the space offered up in the cabin. One of the major appeals of the F-150 (and its Ram and Chevrolet rivals) is the space offered up in the cabin.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission?

Ford Australia has opted to skip the V8 engine and instead offer the F-150 locally with the 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engine. While there will be those who miss the sound of a V8, they won't miss any performance.

That's because the EcoBoost is more potent than the 5.0-litre V8 alternative, offering 298kW and 678Nm compared to 298kW and 555Nm from the bigger engine.

The EcoBoost engine is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and a shift-on-the-fly 4x4 system.

The EcoBoost engine makes light work of its size, pulling the F-150 along with ease and some genuine kick. The EcoBoost engine makes light work of its size, pulling the F-150 along with ease and some genuine kick.

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range?

The other advantage for the EcoBoost engine over the V8 is fuel efficiency. The EcoBoost is rated at 11.7L/100km, more than half-a-litre better than the V8 at 12.3L/100km.

In the US the F-150 is available with multiple fuel tank size options, but Ford Australia has opted for the largest size as standard for our models - a 136-litre tank. While it won't be cheap to fill, that means the F-150 will have a theoretical driving range of more than 1100km.

Driving – What's it like to drive?

In a word - imposing. Even in the USA, where big pickups are common, the F-150 is a big vehicle in every sense of the word. Physically you need to climb up into it, once you're behind the wheel you look out across a vast bonnet and down to the road below.

And yet, despite this, it doesn't feel big or unwieldy to actually drive. The EcoBoost engine makes light work of its size, pulling the F-150 along with ease and some genuine kick. It pulls off the mark with some convincing shove and will keep motoring hard all the way past the legal speed limit in Australia.

Physically you need to climb up into it, once you’re behind the wheel you look out across a vast bonnet and down to the road below. Physically you need to climb up into it, once you’re behind the wheel you look out across a vast bonnet and down to the road below.

The 10-speed automatic actually feels well-matched to the EcoBoost engine, quietly going about its work of keeping the engine ticking over at the lowest possible revs to save fuel while also being ready to jump down and offer a surge of power.

Obviously when the pickups are converted to right-hand drive there may be some changes to some of the driving characteristics, most notably the steering, but in the US this left-hand drive model impressed with its well-weighted and responsive steering feel.

It pulls off the mark with some convincing shove and will keep motoring hard all the way past the legal speed limit in Australia. It pulls off the mark with some convincing shove and will keep motoring hard all the way past the legal speed limit in Australia.

The ride was good on US roads, on par for what you can expect from a ute. Which is to say, without any load in the tray the back it can bounce around, but get some weight in there and it settles nicely.

Ford Australia hasn't confirmed payloads for the local models but has said it will have a 4500kg towing capacity, which is on par with the Ram 1500 and Silverado 1500 and 1000kg better than what the Ranger can manage.

Obviously when the pickups are converted to right-hand drive there may be some changes to some of the driving characteristics. Obviously when the pickups are converted to right-hand drive there may be some changes to some of the driving characteristics.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

Ford Australia has confirmed the key safety features, with both the XLT and Lariat equipped with pre-collision assist with auto emergency braking (AEB), rear cross-traffic alert and lane-keep assist with driver alert. On top of that the Lariat receives adaptive cruise control, lane centring, speed sign recognition and intersection assist.

All F-150 are equipped with front driver and passenger, front side and knee as well as curtain airbags.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

The F-150 will be converted to right-hand drive by RMA Automotive in direct partnership with Ford Australia, so it will be covered by the usual five year, unlimited kilometre warranty.

Servicing details, including intervals and pricing, are yet to be confirmed by Ford Australia, but it will be handled by your local dealer just like any other Blue Oval model.

It's not long now until the F-150 reaches local hands - in fact, at the time of publishing the first right-hand drive examples were rolling down the local production line - but this US preview has given us a fresh perspective on what to expect.

The biggest question about the F-150 is how it will translate to Australian conditions. The infrastructure in the USA, from the roads to car parks and even fast food drive-thrus, are designed to accommodate six-metre long (and larger) pickup trucks, but Australia isn't quite the same. Buying one here will mean learning to understand exactly where you can and can't go due to the size of the F-150, but based on the sales of the Ram and Chevrolet, it seems like plenty of people are willing to accept that compromise.

And it's easy to understand why. From a practicality point-of-view, the F-150 offers more space in the tray and more towing capacity than a Ranger can manage. While from a lifestyle perspective, the F-150 offers the space and curb appeal that a Ranger, even a Raptor, can no longer manage on our ute-filled streets.

$106,950

Based on new car retail price

Daily driver score

4.1/5

Tradies score

4.5/5
Price Guide

$106,950

Based on new car retail price

This price is subject to change closer to release data
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