3 Reasons the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Could Be the Truck to Buy and 3 Reasons to Pass
The Ford F-Series is one of America’s favorite truck lines and has existed since 1948. So, there’s been a lot of excitement around the release of the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning, a fully-electric version of this capable, full-size truck in its sophomore year. With an electric conversion, the F-150 Lightning offers speed, silence, and a smooth ride.
Many traditional F-150 buyers have reportedly ordered the new Lightning model. So, is this the best time to buy it? Here are three reasons why the new EV might be the truck to buy and three reasons why it might be best to pass on it for now.
The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning
For truck enthusiasts who want an electrified Ford F-150 that looks like the regular combustion engine version, the F-150 Lightning is for you. The engine is powerful, the cabin is sensible, and plenty of cargo space is in the frunk. As long as you don’t need it for long-distance hauling jobs, the Lightning is what you’re looking for.
All Lightning models are powered by two electric motors running on two battery packs. If you go with the bigger Extended-Range battery, you’ll get 580 horses from the powertrain and have an estimated driving range of 320 miles per charge. If you’re pulling a heavy trailer, the battery drains pretty fast. However, you’re covered if you don’t tow or only need to pull something for a short distance.
The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning seats five and will offer four trims. According to TrueCar, the most popular trim is the LARIAT SuperCrew 5.5 Box 4WD. It comes equipped with all-wheel drive and electric energy that produces 76 city MPGe and 61 highway MPGe. The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning starts at $57,869.
Pros of the F-150 Lightning
According to Ford, the F-150 Lightning can go from 0 to 60 mph in just four seconds, making it faster than the Mustang GT. You don’t expect a full-size pickup to move that fast. Even with the base model and the Standard-Range battery, you get an impressive 452 horsepower. It also puts out 775 lb-ft of torque regardless of which powertrain you select.
The acceleration is a huge incentive, especially since the truck can be equipped with the same tech and safety features as the standard F-150. The drive feels the same as the gas-powered version, too: refined. Plus, the battery pack can send power to electric devices, your home, and more.
The F-150 Lightning can keep up with the standard F-150 regarding towing with one caveat. If you must haul something heavy, it will significantly shorten the driving range. Lightning can pull 7,700 lbs. It is only available with a crew cab short bed configuration and has a payload capacity of 1,952 lbs.
Lastly, the F-150 Lightning offers generous storage space in its large front trunk or frunk, where you’d typically find the engine. There, you can store up to 400 lbs of additional cargo.
Cons of the F-150 Lightning
One drawback to the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is the price. The base model’s sticker price went up $12,000. The price hikes in the top trims aren’t as extreme, but they are notable. The fully-loaded Platinum model costs $6,000 more in 2023, while the XLT went up $6,500. In the middle is the Lariat trim, which jumped $7,000 in price. A representative for Ford told Car and Driver that the price increases were caused by increasing material costs, continuing supply chain issues, and “other market factors.”
Elsewhere, despite its pickup truck status, there are all-terrain issues. You can drive the F-150 Lightning off-road, but if you’re serious about adventures on rough terrain, it can’t keep up with the Raptors.
Lastly, while the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning can tow, it quickly depletes the battery. If you often tow over considerable distances, you’ll have to make frequent stops to charge the battery. TrueCar says it takes 19 hours to charge the extended-range battery from 15% to 100% using a common Level 2 charger at home.