In a year of big changes for the pickup truck market, the Ford F-150 has kept cruising along. Sales have increased 3% in what has been mostly an off year for the auto industry, and even a slow September couldn’t ding the overall numbers of America’s top-selling vehicle.
As it gets later in the year, inventory of the fully redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will arrive in dealerships. With a new Ram already on the market, that will continue adding pressure to the flagship Blue Oval vehicle.
Though Ford does not have a major overhaul coming to the F-150 for 2019, the upgrades to the Limited and Raptor models are worth noting. Here’s what you’ll find different for the new model year.
1. Appearance and tech changes
As truck makers keep pushing customization options, Ford is upgrading the XLT Sport Appearance Package with 5-inch angular step bars. F-150 buyers who considered the Navy Pier interior color design will find it replaced with Camel Back two-tone for 2019.
Meanwhile, in the F-150 XLT, the CD player will make its way to the tech graveyard. FordPass Connect, offering help with parking and everything else while you drive, will become a new standard feature in this model.
2. The Limited’s new Raptor engine
Ford updated its V8 engines for the 2018 F-150, but in this model year its biggest powertrain change will be an engine upgrade. Specifically, the F-150 Limited is getting the Raptor’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
That shift to the high-output Raptor engine will vault the Limited to 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It will be the only engine available in this trim and increase output by 75 horses and 40 pound-feet of torque.
A high-flow dual exhaust system will also go into Limited models for 2019. The interior will take a step up as well.
3. Limited interior upgrades
While substantially increasing the power quotient, Ford did not neglect the Limited’s indulgent interior. You’ll find a leather-wrapped instrument panel and door panels along with a suede headliner inside.
Meanwhile, the heated and ventilated seats get Active Motion massaging tech for long drives. Every Limited model will have its serial number etched onto a plaque on the armrest.
All these upgrades come at a steep (nearly $6,000) price bump over an ’18 model. The 2019 Limited starts at $67,135.
4. 2019 Raptor
If stately luxury with Raptor power is not enough, you can go for the genuine trail-shredding article. For 2019, the Raptor added Fox 3.0 Internal Bypass shocks and new Recaro sport seats to improve handling and general ride comfort.
Another big upgrade comes in the new Trail Control, which operates like cruise control for untamed earth. This system automatically intuits the power and braking levels needed by each wheel before directing the above their separate ways.
As we saw in the Limited model, these upgrades do not come free. Raptor gets a little over $2,000 as a price bump for 2019. The new MSRP is $52,855 before destination charges.
5. Base F-150 starts at $28,155
For the base 2019 F-150 (XL), pricing starts at $28,155, which is only a few hundred more than the listed price for the 2018 model on Ford’s website. However, looking back to the announcement of ’18 model pricing, the ’19 edition costs about $800 more than its predecessor.
Shoppers who compare the base F-150 (2.7-liter V6, 325 horsepower) to the new Silverado (4.3-liter V6, 283 horsepower) will find Ford’s truck priced about the same as the new Chevy ($29,795 including destination).
On the other hand, the 2019 Ram 1500 (3.5-liter V6, 305 horsepower) comes in at several thousand more ($33,490 including destination), but you can chalk up most of the increase to the fact there’s no regular-cab Ram.