A close look at the F-150’s options list

The Ford F-150 has been the best selling pickup for nearly 40 years and has more recently become the best selling vehicle – regardless of model type – in the United States. To say the F-150 is an important and well-loved vehicle would be a dramatic understatement. That’s why we’re looking deep into the F-150’s configuration and options combinations. We aim to inform consumes on what Ford offers with the F-150.

The current F-150 was dramatically reinvented for the 2015 model year an is vastly different from any other pickup on the market. That’s because its body is constructed of lightweight aluminum and it rides on a highly engineered, fully boxed steel frame. It has a pair highly technical, forced-induction engines and it is the first mass-production vehicle to offer a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Of course, the F-150 has some strong competition, namely from General Motors and Ram. GM offers its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins, while Ram has its 1500-series truck. There are others out there, too, including Nissan’s new-for-2017 Titan and Toyota’s aging Tundra. Still, it’s Ford that continues to sell more trucks to more people across the North American continent.

Continue reading for the Buyer’s Guide.

Cab & Bed Configurations

The F-150 comes in three cab configurations, or sizes, and three bed lengths. Many combinations of the six are possible, but not all. The cabs sizes are Regular, SuperCab, commonly called an extended cab, and the SuperCrew, sometimes called a crew cab. The SuperCab and SuperCrew names are specific to Ford.

Regular Cab

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The regular cab in the conventional, two-door, three-person truck cab. It is the most traditional and inexpensive, yet offers the least amount of passenger room. There is a small amount of room between the seats and the rear bulkhead for smaller items.

SuperCab

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The SuperCab has room for six, but rear passengers have compromised legroom relative to the larger SuperCrew. The SuperCab is often chosen by those regularly hauling gear verses people. Thanks to an upward-folding rear bench seat, the SuperCab offers plenty of storage space behind the front seats. Wide-swinging, rear-hinged doors allow for easy access to the rear area, but do require the front door to be opened. The SuperCab comes standard with a full bench seat in front, but front bucket seats with a center console is available and offers more storage space in turn for a five-person seating maximum.

SuperCrew

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The largest and currently most popular cab size is the SuperCrew. It offers four full-size doors for easy access to both rows. The second row has an outstanding amount of legroom and is perfectly big enough for grown adults or rear-facing child safety seats. When not needed, the rear bench seat bottom folds upward, clearing floor space for large items. The F-150 boasts the flattest load floor of its competitors, allowing for items like flat-screen TVs, dog crates, or boxes to be stored as if they were sitting on the ground. And like the SuperCab, the SuperCrew’s front seats come standard as a bench, but the optional bucket seats and center console are available. Higher trim levels see the bucket seats and console come standard.

The vast majority of F-150s come in SuperCrew form these days. Many consumers use trucks as a family vehicle, so the added space is certain appreciated. LATCH points in the rear seat allow for easy hook-ups for car seats and the huge legroom space gives room for the front seats with recline back without hitting the large, rear-facing seats. Not many sedans or even crossovers can boast this feature.

Bed Sizes

Ford offers three bed lengths for the F-150. They include a 5.5-foot box, a 6.5-foot box, and an 8.0-foot box. All three share the same width and depth. Not every bed length is available with every cab size. Ford only offers a set number of frame lengths, so its cab and bed combinations must fit within the constraints. We’ve created this chart for easy reference.

Regular Cab Specs

Pickup box style 5.5-ft. Styleside 6.5-ft. Styleside 8.0-ft. Styleside 5.5-ft. Raptor
Wheelbase (Inches) - 122.4 (4x2)/122.4 (4x4) 141.1 (4x2)/141.1 (4x4) -
Overall length (Inches) - 209.3 (4x2)/209.3 (4x4) 227.9 (4x2)/227.9 (4x4) -
Cab height (Inches) - 75.5 (4x2)/76.9 (4x4) 75.1 (4x2)/76.9 (4x4) -
Width (Inches) - 79.9 (4x2)/79.9 (4x4) 79.9 (4x2)/79.9 (4x4) -

Super Cab Specs

Pickup box style 5.5-ft. Styleside 6.5-ft. Styleside 8.0-ft. Styleside 5.5-ft. Raptor
Wheelbase (Inches) - 145.0 (4x2)/145.0 (4x4) 163.7 (4x2)/163.7 (4x4) 134.2 (4x4)
Overall length (Inches) - 231.9 (4x2)/231.9 (4x4) 250.5 (4x2)/250.5 (4x4) 220.0 (4x4)
Cab height (Inches) - 75.5 (4x2)/77.2 (4x4) 75.5 (4x2)/77.0 (4x4) 78.5 (4x4)
Width (Inches) - 79.9 (4x2)/79.9 (4x4) 79.9 (4x2)/79.9 (4x4) 86.3

Super Crew Cab Specs

Pickup box style 5.5-ft. Styleside 6.5-ft. Styleside 8.0-ft. Styleside 5.5-ft. Raptor
Wheelbase (Inches) 145.0 (4x2)/145.0 (4x4) 156.8 (4x2)/156.8 (4x4) - 146.0 (4x4)
Overall length (Inches) 231.9 (4x2)/231.9 (4x4) 243.7 (4x2)/243.7 (4x4) - 231.9 (4x4)
Cab height (Inches) 75.6 (4x2)/77.2 (4x4) 75.7 (4x2)/77.3 (4x4) - 78.5 (4x4)
Width (Inches) 79.9 (4x2)/79.9 (4x4) 79.9 (4x2)/79.9 (4x4) 79.9 (4x2)/79.9 (4x4) 86.3

Since most families are looking to maximize interior space without having a truck that’s incredibly long, most SuperCrew F-150s are equipped with the 5.5-foot bed. The 6.5-foot bed is optional, but stretches the wheelbase by a foot. The 8.0-foot bed is not available with the Super Crew.

Drivetrain

Ford offers more engine, transmission, drive type, and rear-end gearing options than any other automaker. Customers can customize their F-150 nearly down to the smallest detail for a specific job.

Engines

  • 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V-6
In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The 3.5-liter V-6 is the F-150’s base engine. It is naturally aspirated and features twin independent variable valve timing, or as Ford calls it, cam timing (Ti-VCT). The engine uses an aluminum block and cylinder heads to keep weight down. Sequential multi-port fuel injection isn’t the latest technology, but it gets the job done. The V-6 makes 282 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 253 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm.

  • 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6
In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 debuted with the 2015 model year and offers impressive power with impressive fuel efficiency. Like its big brother, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, the 2.7-liter uses twin turbochargers to generate boost while direct fuel injection ensures a precise flow of fuel. The engine block is formed from Compacted Graphite Iron, much like Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel, while its cylinder heads are aluminum. The engine is rated at 325 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 375 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm.

  • 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V-8
In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The 5.0-liter is old-school cool and is very similar to the Five-O found in the Mustang GT. Here it generates 385 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 387 pound-feet of torque at 3,850 rpm. Its all-aluminum construction helps reduce weight. Like the base V-6, the 5.0-liter uses Ti-VCT to control valve timing and uses sequential multi-port fuel injection.

  • 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6
In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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Ford has invested countless money into developing and marketing its EcoBoost lineup of engines and it all started with the 3.5-liter V-6 back in 2011. For the 2017 model year, Ford has introduced its second generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost. Thanks to its deep refresh and new twin turbochargers, it now makes an impressive 375 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 470 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. It uses direct fuel injection and has an all-aluminum construction.

  • 3.5-liter High-Output EcoBoost V-6
In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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All-new for the 2017 model year and only available in the F-150 Raptor, the high-output version of the 3.5-liter V-6 uses both direct and port fuel injection, has stronger internal components, engine-specific turbochargers with an electronic wastegate, and a redesigned valvetrain and variable-displacement oil pump. It still uses an all-aluminum construction. The result is an outstanding 450 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 510 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm.

I’ve sampled all but the base 3.5-liter V-6 and can attest that each engine lives up to its billing. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost is the most surprising of the bunch. Its compact size gives no indication of how powerful and peppy this twin-turbocharged engine is. It’s perfectly suited for daily driving and family duty. What’s more, it gets decent fuel economy when paired with rear-wheel drive. The EPA estimates consumers will average 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. That’s impressive.

The 5.0-liter V-8 offers the most truck-like feel thanks to its throaty exhaust. Though the 3.5-liter EcoBoost generates more power and torque and is required to reach the F-150’s maximum towing capacity, this is the recommended engine for constant, heavy-duty work. Work trucks that are expected to tow heavy loads all the time would be well served by the V-8.

Of course, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost is an attention-grabber when the pedal hits the floor. The twin-turbocharged V-6 moves the F-150 with surprising authority – far more than expected. What’s more, its fuel economy isn’t far off from the 2.7-liter EcoBoost’s. The EPA rates it at 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined when paired with rear-wheel drive and highway gears.

Still, my choice for an everyday engine to power my family’s daily driver would be the 2.7-liter EcoBoost. It’s the best of all worlds here.

Transmissions

  • Six-speed Automatic The six-speed automatic is the standard transmission in the F-150. It comes to every engine except the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and its high-output variant. The gearbox features Tow/Haul Mode, Sport Mode, and driver-activated manual shifting mode. Don’t think there’s nothing wrong with this transmission in light of Ford’s new 10-speed automatic – it just doesn’t have four overdrive gears (yes, four!) for improved efficiency at highway speeds.
  • 10-Speed Automatic Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission is stealing headlines for the 2017 model year. It first debuted with the 2017 F-150 Raptor, but it was soon announced the standard-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost would get the10-speed as well. The gearbox features the same Tow/Haul, Sport, and driver-activated manual shifting modes as the six-speed, but improves drivability thanks to close-ratio gears, a high-speed, one-way clutch that allows for nonsequential shifting (skipping gears when needed), a high-efficiency filter system designed to extend transmission fluid life, and adaptive learning of driving styles that tailors shifting to meet driver habits. Even with the four extra gears, the 10-speed is only 25 mm longer than the six-speed. This new gearbox will eventually be mated to all engine choices when Ford gives the F-150 is mid-cycle refresh for the 2018 model year.

Drive Type

  • 4x2 The F-150 comes standard in a 4x2, or rear-wheel drive, configuration. This means only the back tires receive power from the engine. Advantages to this driveline are improved fuel economy and lower buy-in costs compared to 4x4, or four-wheel drive configuration. The disadvantage is traction. When it comes to snow, mud, sand, or even wet grass, a two-wheel drive truck will generally get suck before an four-wheel drive truck since it only has half the wheels spinning.
  • 4x4 Every cab, bed, engine and trim level combination of the F-150 can be had with 4x4, or four-wheel drive. This driveline configuration allows all four wheels to receive power from the engine. When driving in normal conditions, the driver should keep the truck in 4x2 mode, where only the rear tires are receiving traction. This helps cut down on fuel consumption and reduces tire wear. When traction becomes an issue, the driver can select 4x4 mode. This engages the transfer case, which sends power to the front axle. When engaged, all four wheels are receiving power. The F-150’s transfer case is electronically controlled via a dash-mounted dial. A manual shifter is not available, even in the base XL trim grade.

Rear Differential Gearing

The gear ratio inside the rear differential might not seem like much, but changes can greatly impact the truck’s towing and hauling capabilities, its fuel economy, the truck’s peppiness around town, and its low-rev driving at highway speeds. Each engine is paired with specific ratio choices that best maximize the engine’s power and the transmission’s gearing.

Numerically lower gears are actually known as a high ratio gear and are sometimes called highway gears or tall gears. For example, the 3.15 ratio available with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost would be great for fuel economy at highway speeds. Conversely, numerically higher gears are known as a low ratio, or shorter gears. The 3.73 ratio is good at multiplying torque for low-speed power. The downside to the low-ratio, short gear is that it requires more engine revs to maintain highway speeds than the taller gears. This results in slightly lower fuel economy for the 3.73 over the 3.15 ratio.

What this means for customers is this: Pick a tall ratio (lower number) if you plan on driving a lot without a load. Pick a short ratio (higher number) if you plan on towing, hauling, or off-roading quite often.

Ford also offers an electronically locking rear differential. This allows the driver to engage the rear locker at low speeds for added traction via a dash-mounted knob. When engaged, the two rear tires spin at the same speed, regardless if one tire has traction. This should only be used when driving in a straight line at low speeds and when traction is an issue.

3.5-liter Ti-VCT V-6

  • 3.55 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio
  • 3.55 Non-Limited Slip Axle Ratio
  • 3.73 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio
  • 3.73 Non-Limited Slip Axle Ratio

2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6

  • 3.15 Non-Limited Slip Axle Ratio
  • 3.31 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio
  • 3.55 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio*
  • 3.55 Non-Limited Slip Axle Ratio*
  • 3.73 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio

5.0-liter V-8

  • 3.31 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio
  • 3.31 Non-Limited Slip Axle Ratio
  • 3.55 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio
  • 3.73 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio*

3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6

  • 3.15 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio
  • 3.15 Non-Limited Slip Axle Ratio
  • 3.31 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio*
  • 3.31 Non-Limited Slip Axle Ratio*
  • 3.55 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio

3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 High Output (Raptor Only)

  • 4.10 Electronic Locking Axle Ratio

(*Available with 4x4 only)

Picking the right drive type and differential gearing can make or break your appreciation for the F-150. Those wanting to pull a heavy trailer will loath the 3.15 gearing while those with the 3.73 gears will hate how often the have to fill up. It’s all about getting what’s best for your needs. Seriously evaluate what you’ll use your F-150 for. If you’re not going off-road often, pulling a boat out of a swampy launch site, or live somewhere that doesn’t get snow, the 4x2 drive type will be just fine. Four-wheel drive can even be supplemented by getting the locking rear differential. You’ll be amazed at how much a locked rear end can help when traction becomes a problem.

Trim Levels

The F-150 is available with seven trim levels. They range from the basic XL to the luxury car-like Limited. Not every trim level is available with every cab, bed, or engine combination. Still, the F-150 offers more combinations possibilities than any other vehicle sold in North America, and likely the world.

XL

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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This is the working-grade trim level. It’s the one you’ll find on the job site hauling construction materials around. It grille is black plastic, its bumpers are painted black, and it rolls on steel wheels. It comes standard with the 3.5-liter V-6, an AM/FM stereo with a clock and a 4.2-inch screen. Rubber floors and vinyl seats comprise the interior. Upgrades include cloth seats, carpet, an exterior chrome package, a Sport appearance package, and any of the engine and drivetrain choices except the high-output EcoBoost. That’s only available for the Raptor.

XLT

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The XLT is the everyman’s truck. It’s not basic, but it doesn’t have leather seats and a huge infotainment system either. It comes standard with SNYC, the Power Equipment Group, and chrome on the bumpers and grille. Alloy wheels also replace the steelies for a more upscale look. The XLT is available with every engine option, but the base 3.5-liter V-6 comes standard. And like the XL, the XLT has a slew of upgradable features that turn it into a more feature-laden truck that’s still somewhat kind to your bank account.

Lariat

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The Lariat builds off the XLT by adding the SYNC 3 infotainment system, keyless enter and go, a rearview camera, LED box lighting, a sliding rear window with defrost and dark tint, the eight-inch productivity screen in the gauge cluster, and leather seats. Wood-grain trim and chrome further dress up the cabin. The Lariat comes standard with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, but the 5.0-liter V-8 and the 3.5-liter V-6 are available. Interestingly enough, the Lariat used to be the F-150’s most luxurious trim level.

King Ranch

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The King Ranch is named after a cattle ranch in Texas, so it appropriately comes decked in a Western motif. Its exterior gets a chrome grille, two-tone paint scheme, trim-specific alloy wheels, HID headlights, and large King Ranch badges. Inside, the truck has dark, saddle-like leather seats with deep copper stitching. The dash and door panels are also covered in the same leather. If you’re a successful cattleman or equestrian, (or just like the thought of riding horses and playing John Wayne) the King Ranch is the right choice for you. The King Ranch comes standard with the 5.0-liter V-8 and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost is optional.

Raptor

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The F-150 Raptor is a unique beast. It’s not so much a trim package as it is a performance variant. The off-road-ready Raptor comes powered by the high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost mated to the 10-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is standard, of course, as are the Fox Racing shock absorbers and beefed-up suspension. A Raptor-specific frame is reinforced beyond the standard F-150’s frame. The exterior gets a complete makeover, including a unique grille, bumpers, wider fenders, and steel side steps. Meaty BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires give the Raptor excellent grip in nearly every circumstance and the Raptor’s Terrain Management system gives the driver six drive modes to choose from, including Normal, Sport, Weather, Mud/Sand, Rock Crawl, and Baja.

Platinum

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The Platinum starts the F-150’s true luxury trim levels. Outside it features a trim-specific chrome grille and alloy wheels, power-folding side steps, HID headlights, chrome mirror caps and door handles. Inside it comes standard with open-pore wood trim, GPS navigation, a 110-volt plug on the dash, and single-tone leather seats with the Platinum logo embossed on the seatbacks. Like the King Ranch, the Platinum comes standard with the 5.0-liter V-8 while the 3.5-liter EcoBoost is optional.

Limited

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The Limited is the highest trim available on the F-150. It comes standard with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, the twin-panel moonroof, a trim-specific grille and wheels, power-folding side steps, chrome door handles, and a Limited badge in chrome letters across the hood. The interior of the F-150 Limited could rival any luxury sedan thanks to soft, two-tone leather seats, real wood accents, a leather-covered dash, and laundry list of standard technology.

Appearance Packages

Customers choosing a lower and mid-grade trim levels like the XL, XLT, Lariat, and King Ranch can choose an appearance package that helps dress up the truck to look flashier or sportier.

XL Chrome Appearance Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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Available only on the XL trim level, this add-on brings 17-inch silver painted aluminum wheels, body-colored front fascia, chrome bumpers, and fog lights all for $775. This package might be worth the money considering it turns the F-150 XL from a work truck into a something you’d be proud to park in your driveway.

XL Sport Appearance Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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For those with XL-trimmed trucks, the Sport Appearance Package brings a monochromatic look to the exterior. It includes 17-inch silver painted aluminum wheels, body-colored front fascia, body-colored bumpers, a “Sport” decal on near the taillights, and fog lights. The price is $775. That seems like quite the bargain when seeing what a so-equipped truck looks like. The Sport Appearance Package turns a boring truck into something with flash and style. The $775 price tag is easily justifiable.

XLT Chrome Appearance Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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This package brings an upscale look to the XLT trim level. It includes 18-inch chrome-like wheels, a chrome-billet style grille with a chrome surround and black a black mesh insert, and chrome on the door handles, tailgate handle, exhaust tip, and side step bars. 4x2 models get 265/60-series all-season tires with black sidewalls, while 4x4 models get 275/65-series all-season/all-terrain tires with outlined white letters on the sidewalls. The XLT Chrome Appearance Package costs $1,695. That is on the expensive side, but the 18-inch wheels are rather good-looking. The same can be said for the five-slat chrome grille.

Lariat Chrome Appearance Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The Lariat’s version of the Chrome Appearance Package adds many of the same features as the XLT’s Chrome Appearance Package. It includes 18-inch chrome-like wheels, with the same tire options as the XLT, chrome angular step bars, chrome door and tailgate handles with body-color bezels, chrome front tow hooks (4x4 only), a chrome single-tip exhaust, chrome mirrors caps, and a chrome three-bar style grille with Chrome surround and Chrome mesh insert. It simply gives the Lariat trim a bit more class and might be worth the extra money to someone wishing they could afford a Platinum or Limited trim.

Lariat Sport Appearance Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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This trim package gives the F-150 Lariat a monochromatic look that uses the body paint color on the bumpers and mirror caps, while the grille gets a matte-black finish. It includes 18-inch, six-spoke machined-aluminum wheels with grey-painted pockets; the same tire choices as the XLT Chrome Appearance Package, black step bars, a “Sport” box decal near the taillights, a chrome exhaust tip, and a unique interior finish that includes standard bucket seats with the full center console. The package costs $1,995. Honestly, I’m not a fan of this package on the Lariat. The Sport Appearance Package makes the Lariat look like a XL with the same Sport package. I’d certainly same by cash and skip this option.

King Ranch Chrome Appearance Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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For those cowboys who like chrome, this appearance package brings chrome tow hooks, chrome mirror caps, and 20-inch chrome wheels. The wheels are wrapped in 275/55-series rubber, with 4x2 trucks coming with all-season tires, while 4x4 truck get all-terrain tires. This package costs $1,995. This package turns the King Ranch into a classier ride. It still has all the western feel, but the larger wheels and added chrome give it an uptown look.

King Ranch Monochromatic Paint Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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This appearance package is for King Ranch buyers who don’t like the two-tone paint scheme. It deletes that option, making the truck a single color. This package is only available on top of the King Ranch Chrome Appearance Package, but comes at no additional charge.

Raptor Exterior Graphics Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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Available for the Raptor only, this package brings the large “RAPTOR” lettering across the cargo box, It costs $1,075. That’s expensive for a pair of stickers, but might be worth the price for someone who’s extremely proud they own the best off-road pickup on the market.

Raptor Hood Graphics Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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This appearance option adds twin, matte black stripes along the Raptor’s hood. It’s priced at $900 and makes me think of the black under-eye paint used by athletes.

Exterior Options

Aside from the appearance packages, the F-150 offers tons of exterior add-ons. These range from cosmetic to functional and many span the entire range of trim levels.

Bed Divider

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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This Ford-branded bed divider lives up to its name by allowing the user to divide the cargo bed into two sections, with nearly no limit on where the divider can be placed within the length of the bed. The Bed Divider retails for $295 and can make life much easier living with a truck. Used near the tailgate, it can make a perfect spot for hauling smaller items. What’s more, it can probably be used as a backrest when sitting on the tailgate.

Drop-In Bedliner

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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This plastic bed liner protects the metal floor and walls of the cargo bed. It retails for $350. But don’t buy this – spend the $145 more to get the spray-on bedliner. Read my explanation below.

Spray-In Bedliner

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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Like the drop-in liner, the spray-in bedliner protects the metal floor and walls of the cargo box from damage. The spray-in bedliner’s advantage is that its non-skid surface keeps items from sliding around, it doesn’t generate static electricity like a plastic liner, and doesn’t trap moisture underneath. Those are extremely good reasons to spend the extra cash for the spray-on liner. It retails for $495

Box Link

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The Box Link system is Ford’s proprietary cargo management system. Wall-mounted cleats accept accessories like tie-down hooks, storage bins, and even loading ramps for ATVs. The system costs $80, but the accessories are sold separately. The “handy factor” is strong with here, and should be well worth the money for those using the F-150’s bed to its fullest potential.

Stowable Loading Ramps

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Complementing the Box Link system, these loading ramps telescope in length to allow for easy loading of ATVs, lawn mowers, or motorcycles into the bed of the F-150. A proprietary latching system keeps the ramps secured to the Tailgate to they don’t slip off unintentionally. They pair of ramps costs $595 and you’ll need the Box Link system to store them. These ramps are perhaps one of the greatest cargo-bed innovations in years. They eliminate the hassle of storing wooden ramps that are too long for the bed and improve safety exponentially. You’ll never have to worry about the ramps falling off the tailgate as you’re driving or walking up. And at the end of the day, $600 is far less expensive than medical bills and repairs to your ATV or riding lawn mower.

Box Side Steps

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These retractable steps are mounted directly ahead of the rear tires and make it easier to get items from the cargo bed without climbing completely inside. The foot-operated steps retail for $325. These are almost an essential for short people like me.

Extended Range Fuel Tank

This 36-gallon fuel tank is available on SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations and allows for longer distances between fill-ups. You’ll loath filling it from empty, but the extra capacity means more miles between fill-ups and less time spent at gas stations. This would be a great option for someone planning on long-distance driving through desolate areas of the country or someone who tows a large trailer and doesn’t want to find a compatible gas station every few hundred miles. The cost is $395.

LED Side-Mirror Spotlights

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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Optional on lower trims but standard on upper models, the side spotlights give the F-150 the ability to illuminate a worksite or campsite with bright light from the mirror-mounted LEDs. The system only works when the truck is stopped, however. These go for $175 when not included in a trim package. The lights work amazingly well at illuminating the area around the truck. Paired with the headlights and cargo light by the center high-mount stop light, the F-150 can light up an entire worksite on the darkest of nights.

Tailgate Step

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The Tailgate Step has been a huge game-changer for Ford. This step system retracts out of the tailgate and makes getting into and out of the F-150’s bed a much easier and safer task. An incorporated handle folds out with the step to help steady your step. The step is easily deployed and is handier than you’d think. It’s also easier to use than the bumper steps found on General Motors trucks, but those score points for not needing to be unfolded before use. Even young people will find the step useful at saving dignity over climbing into the truck bed. The step system retails for $375.

Hard Tonneau Cover

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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For those needing to secure cargo in the bed, this lockable tonneau cover does the job. It’s watertight and folds in three sections. Combined with the standard locking tailgate, this tonneau cover makes the bed a secure and dry place to store things. Folks who regularly haul valuable tools or equipment will love the added security and protection from the elements. For families using the truck like a SUV, it gives a place for luggage on a road trip without resorting to plastic trash bags when it rains. It can be purchased for $995 and installed at the dealership.

Soft Tonneau Cover

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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For those not wanting the hard cover, Ford offers a soft tonneau cover for $525. It is not lockable, however, and can be torn when poked with something sharp. It’s advantage is being able to be rolled up, freeing up the bed for regular use.

Trailer Tow Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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This package brings a slew of mechanical upgrades that make towing heavy loads a bit easier. It includes the two-inch receiver hitch, both four- and seven-pin wiring connectors, an auxiliary transmission cooler, Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist (save for XL and Raptor trims), a tailgate-mounted LED that shines on the hitch, an upgraded front stabilizer bar, and Ford’s Smart Trailer Tow Connector system. This package costs $895 and is a must-have for someone who tows on a regular basis. I just wish the package could be had without the Pro Trailer Backup Assist. For pro-level trailer towers who know how to back a trailer, the feature isn’t necessary and just adds cost.

Interior Options

Depending on the trim level, the F-150 can be upgraded with more feature-rich equipment.

110-Volt/400-watt Outlet

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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This is a standard household power outlet that allows for changing devices like cell phones, power tool batteries, and laptops. Its $200 price tag seems highly worth it since it’s so easily accessible and the functionality of it makes for a better ownership experience. Upper trim levels have the outlet coming as standard.

All-Weather Floor Mats

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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These rubber mats replace the carpeted mats normally found inside the F-150. They mount to the plastic retainer studs in the carpet so they don’t move around. A full set costs $95. Their major downfall is their size. They are too small and offer less protection of most aftermarket, form-fitted floor mats.

Front Bucket Seats with Center Console

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The Lariat and lower trim levels come standard with a front bench seat. Customers can order the front bucket seats with the large center console for only $295. It might remove a seat, but it adds a ton of functionality and storage space. This is money well spent if you’re not constantly hauling six people or want your significant other to sit right beside you.

Technology Package

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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F-150’s with the Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trim levels can be optioned with the Technology package. This adds $990 to the price, but includes a 360-degree camera system with Dynamic Hitch Assist and the Lane-Keeping System. This option comes standard on the Limited trim level. The camera system alone is nearly worth the price. It makes maneuvering the F-150 a simpler and stress-free affair. Plus, the price is probably less than your insurance deductible when you cram your bumper into a pole.

Active Park Assist

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trucks can almost park themselves if they have the $440 Active Park Assist feature. It steers the truck while the driver controls the pedals when entering a parallel parking spot. It might seem frivolous to some, but the F-150 can be a bear to park.

Adaptive Cruise Control & Collision Warning with Brake Support

As the name implies, this system includes adaptive cruise control, that when set, will keep the F-150 at a set speed and a set distance behind the vehicle in front. Collision warning helps prevent accidents by monitoring the road ahead and applying brakes should the driver fail to react in time. The system costs $1,250, which would pay for itself by keeping insurance deductibles and rate hikes from coming out of your pockets – not to mention medical bills.

Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert

The BLIS system monitors vehicles in the truck’s blind spot and alerts the driver via an illuminated symbol on the outside mirrors. Cross Traffic Alert works by warning the driver should a vehicle approach from the side when backing out of a parking spot or driveway. Both BLIS and Cross Traffic Alert are features that make living with a large vehicle so much easier. And Cross Traffic Alert is extremely handy and I can personally attest to the times it’s literally saved my backside.

Pricing

The F-150’s cab, drivetrain, trim levels, and options are about as varied as any vehicle on the road today. The same can be said about the price. The F-150 can retail for as little as $26,540 or as much as $69,000. There is no getting around the fact that trucks (and all new vehicles) are getting exorbitantly expensive. Even the base F-150 XL can cost upwards of $40,000 with a few options added on. A decade ago, that would have bought loaded out King Ranch.

I recently had a conversation with a Ram Trucks rep at a media event and he said that the number of high-end trim levels people buy are increasing, showing that people aren’t scared of the large price tags. More likely the case is the industry’s adoption of extremely long financing terms and the resulting decrease of monthly payments. Anyway, there are the trim levels.

XL

The XL starts at $26,540 in its most basic, regular cab form. It can also cost as much as $45,000 when decked out in SuperCrew form with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, 4x4, and all the option boxes checked.

XLT

The XLT starts at $31,905 in the regular cab, V-6 configuration with no options chosen. Amazingly, the XLT can be optioned to above $50,000 with the SuperCrew, 3.5-liter EcoBoost, 4x4, and Sport Appearance Package selected.

Lariat

The Lariat trim is not available in the regular cab configuration, so the SuperCab and 2.7-liter EcoBoost with the 4x2 is the least expensive version and costs $40,65. Check all the boxes, and the SuperCrew Lariat can cost upwards of $60,000.

Raptor

Those enthusiasts wanting a Raptor will find the base price hovering around $48,325 for a SuperCab version. Its mechanicals aren’t configurable, so cab size and options are the only choices. Checking every box on a SuperCrew Raptor will incur a wallet-draining price just over $72,000.

King Ranch

The King Ranch and all other trim levels are only available in the SuperCrew configuration. With the “base” 5.0-liter V-8 and 4x2 configuration selected, this John Wayne pickup costs $50,280. Choose all the expensive options and the price hovers around $63,000 – not too far above the Lariat’s loaded-out price.

Platinum

The Platinum starts the F-150’s “premium” trim levels and is by no means cheap. It carries a “base” price of $52,835 and comes only in SuperCrew form with the 5.0-liter V-8. Opting for things like the Technology Package and other add-ons brings the price to nearly $65,000.

Limited

The Limited is expensive – there’s no mistaking that one. Buying a ‘base” model is more of a joke than an act of budgeting constraints. Its starting price is $63,025 and comes with most everything included. Not included is the trailering package and a few of the exterior accessories. Check those option boxes, and the F-150 Limited will soar to $69,000. That’s a pretty penny for a half-ton pickup truck.

Conclusion

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide
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The Ford F-150 is about as versatile a vehicle as you can find in modern times. It will do everything from work a job site near the Arctic Circle to parade a family to and from the country club with their luxury boat in tow. The truck’s functionality, capability, and price all depend on the configuration, drivetrain options, and trim level. Customers have an insanely wide selection to choose from.

Hopefully this buyer’s guide will help you choose wisely – allowing you to pick the right configuration for your needs. If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below.

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