The 2023 Ford F-150 offers a dizzying number of options suited for any driver. We look at powertrains, towing capacity, and more here.
Navigating the bewildering array of ways to configure a 2023 Ford F-150 helps clarify how this truck has been the sales leader for nearly 50 years, a history we look back on here. There is literally something for everyone including a price tag that ranges from $35,000 for base XL work trucks to, ahem, $110,000 for the wild Raptor R, the latter of which was added this year to compete directly with the Ram TRX desert racer. Other news for 2023 includes the addition of a Rattler off-road package intended as a budget Tremor and a two-tone Heritage Edition package, based on the XLT, that celebrates 75 years of continuous F-150 production.
2023 Ford F-150 Heritage Edition – ford.com | Shop 2023 Ford F-150 on Carsforsale.com
Efficient hybrid powertrain
Still has a regular cab
Big price spikes this year
The good stuff is expensive
Time to ditch the leaf springs
The Alpha pickup truck
Nobody will be wanting for choice when it comes to the 2023 Ford F-150 powertrain lineup. The seven options are a 290-hp 3.3L V6, 325-hp twin-turbo 2.7L V6, 400-hp 5.0L V8, 400-hp twin-turbo 3.5L V6 (that makes 90 more lb-ft of twist than the 5.0), 430-hp hybrid, 450-hp high-output variant of the twin-turbo 3.5L V6, AND the ludicrous 700-hp supercharged 5.2L V8 exclusively found within the all-new Raptor R. Every engine pairs with a version of Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission to power the rear wheels.
Four-wheel-drive is available across the lineup for extra cost but is standard on higher-end models like the Tremor and Limited. Sitting on independent front suspension and a solid axle out back with leaf springs, most of the F-150 lineup will ride like traditional pickup trucks always have – rigid.
Adaptive dampers and steering are available further up the trim ladder to smooth ride quality and of course, you can opt for one of the Raptor models if you seek a more softly sprung character. However, that does come with a huge price tag, massive (read: expensive) all-terrain rubber, and a suspension tune designed to run the Baja 1000 on your way home from work, which isn’t for everyone.
The base 2023 Ford F-150 can tow 5,000 pounds, but opt for the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with the Max Towing package, and that figure balloons to 14,000 pounds. If it’s payload you’re after, 5.0-powered F-150s can handle 3,315 pounds. Trailer Sway Control is lineup standard, but useful features like Pro Trailer Backup Assist – which works via dashboard dial – and Onboard Scales – that keep you safely loaded – generally require a package or pricey trim level.
The 2023 F-150’s base 3.3L V6 is rated for 19/26 mpg in city/highway in RWD form. Following that format, the 2.7L EcoBoost comes in at 20/26 mpg, the 5.0 V8 achieves 17/25 mpg, the standard 3.5L EcoBoost is rated for 18/24 mpg with the high-output variant estimated to achieve just 15/18 mpg. Hybrid power is the most efficient at 25/25 mpg, the Raptor R is of course the worst at just 10/15, and adding 4WD brings these figures down by 1-2 mpg in each category.
Ford continues to offer a regular cab configuration on their latest F-150 meaning you can set your truck up with three, five, or six seats. The latter two setups require a SuperCab or SuperCrew with the Crew offering the most cavernous cabin and the benefit of four full-size doors.
The current Ram 1500, which we compare to the F-150 here, edges out the Ford in back row legroom for crew cab models with 45 inches to the F-150’s 44. Nonetheless, it is a huge space that features a flat load floor and the ability to flip up the rear seat cushions for even more room.
Interior materials range from vinyl seats on the most basic F-150 XL to quilted Admiral Blue leather with genuine wood and brushed aluminum bits on the fanciest Limited. You can enjoy heated seats all around with the option for ventilation and massaging up front. Conveniences like a shifter that folds flat and a front center console that converts into a work surface make the F-150 an ideal job site companion.
Every 2023 Ford F-150 comes with Wi-Fi hotspot capability, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. All of that is controlled via an 8-inch touchscreen on base models with a 12-inch version included on Lariat trims and above. These higher-end F-150s also have a fully digital gauge cluster, voice-controlled infotainment, and beefed-up 8-speaker stereo from Bang & Olufsen.
For the audiophiles, Bang & Olufsen also supplies an “Unleashed” setup with 18 speakers sprinkled about the cabin, including in the headliner and front headrests. Those looking at off-road-centric models like the Tremor and Raptor will find a set of six upfitter switches in the overhead console ready to wire up lightbars, air compressors, and the like.
Co-Pilot360, Ford’s suite of driver-assistance tech brings forward collision mitigation and automatic high beams to all 2023 F-150s. A lane-keeping system, blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert are included on the XLT and above. Active Park Assist 2.0 can manage throttle, braking, shifting, and steering when it comes to parking maneuvers, but adds cost. And Ford’s hyped BlueCruise, which allows drivers to kick back and let the truck drive itself on certain roadways, is included on the King Ranch model and above.
This entry-level F-150 rides on steel wheels and comes with power windows, cloth seats, and a vinyl floor. An 8-inch touchscreen manages SYNC 4 along with Apple and Android smartphone mirroring.
Alloy 17-inch wheels and heated exterior mirrors move the XLT upmarket a bit, as does the carpeted cabin and longer list of advanced safety systems, including lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The relatively huge bump in price for a Lariat is justified by the 2.7L EcoBoost motor, full LED exterior lighting, and leather upholstery. This model also features a 12-inch digital gauge cluster and 12-inch infotainment interface.
The Tremor is a serious off-roader with gear like an electronically-locking rear differential, upgraded front suspension components, 33-inch tires, and an array of skid plates.
King Ranch models come with the 5.0L V8, four-wheel drive, and exclusive Mesa leather upholstery. Navigation and wireless charging are added to the list of tech, while adaptive cruise control bolsters the driver aids.
Fancy features like power-deployable running boards, 20-inch rims, genuine wood cabin trim, and massaging front buckets help the Platinum earn its name.
“Regular” Raptors sport a 450-horse twin-turbo V6, huge tires, and long-travel suspension. Should you need more, may we recommend the Raptor R? For an extra THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, it boasts a 700-horse V8, upgraded cabin, and other neat stuff we cover here.
Pushing 90 grand, the F-150 Limited comes with the potent hybrid powertrain, 7.2 kW cargo bed generator, panoramic moonroof, Blue Cruise, and a whole lot more. Don’t miss out new car incentives rundown before choosing this top-spec pickup.
2023 Ford F-150 – ford.com | Shop 2023 Ford F-150 on Carsforsale.com
These days, the full-size pickup truck buyer really can’t go wrong when cross-shopping Ford, GM, Ram, and Toyota. All offer impressive rides, but the 2023 Ford F-150 certainly presents a compelling reason to consider the Blue Oval. In fact, it offers so many reasons – three cab configurations, three bed lengths, seven motors, eight trim lines, and a staggering array of tech, features, and amenities – that there is definitely a truck to fit your needs. While the Lariat offers a long list of the latest bells and whistles, it also starts just shy of $60,000. I’d look at the far less expensive XLT and add packages as necessary.