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Buying a new full-size truck can be a challenging task. It’s one of the busiest vehicle segments, with many factors to consider. The most popular model is the 2023 Ford F-150. As America’s favorite truck, there’s much to like about it. However, some trim levels are much better than others. In particular, it’s best to avoid the 2023 Ford F-150 base model for a few reasons.

The 2023 Ford F-150 base model is basic

2023 ford f-150, avoid the base model.
2023 Ford F-150 | Ford

Although it is much more affordable than the rest of the lineup, the 2023 Ford F-150 XL base model is too basic. Buyers who are interested in a pickup truck with a cargo bed that can drive are all that should buy this model. It has 17-inch steel wheels, single-zone air conditioning, vinyl flooring, manual mirrors, manual windows, lane departure warning, and forward collision mitigation. For technology, the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

Other than those basic amenities, the F-150 XL offers nothing more. That’s why the base model is best avoided. Many buyers will want more for their money, which is what you get with the XLT trim. For a higher price, XLT buyers get a more modern full-size truck. Power locks, power windows, a power-locking tailgate, carpeted flooring, and foglights are just some of the basic upgrades available with at least the XLT trim level.

Higher F-150 trims are safer

A 2023 Ford F-150 XLT shows off as a full-size truck with an optional appearance package.
2023 Ford F-150 XLT | Ford

Next, the most essential part of buying a vehicle is safety. Preventing a crash is as important as being safe when one does occur. For the 2023 Ford F-150, the base model XL lacks in some ways. It has lane departure warning and forward collision mitigation—however, the XLT trim gains blind-spot monitor, automatic rear braking, and lane-keeping assistance. Additionally, the King Ranch option adds even more safety features, like adaptive cruise control and evasive steering assistance.

Additionally, Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 is standard for the XLT trim and higher. XL base model buyers need to pay extra money to get it with their full-size trucks. It costs $655 and adds pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, BLIS with cross-traffic alert, a lane-keeping system, a rearview camera, automatic high beams, a reverse sensing system, reverse brake assist, and post-collision braking.

Only the F-150 XL Regular Cab is affordable

Lastly, the 2023 Ford F-150 XL is very affordable compared to other models. According to Car and Driver, it starts at $35,580, much less than a $43,685 XLT trim. However, only the Regular Cab version is affordable. According to Ford, the XL Regular Cab is $33,695 (before fees), the Super Cab is $38,305, and the SuperCrew Cab is $40,640. That means buyers who require a rear seat of any size should opt for a higher trim. Once you’ve passed the Regular Cab, the XL model is nearly as costly as an XLT.

As a result, it makes more sense just to buy an F-150 XLT Super or SuperCrew Cab. With these models, you’ll pay slightly more but get a far more modern pickup with plenty of space inside.

Avoid the 2023 Ford F-150 base model

In conclusion, there are several reasons to avoid the 2023 Ford F-150 base model. It’s far too basic and missing the modern features most vehicles offer, higher trims have more driver assistance and safety features, and anything but the Regular Cab is nearly as expensive as an XLT model. For those reasons, we think it’s best to avoid the 2023 Ford F-150 base model altogether.


Experts Agree on the Best 2023 Ford F-150 Trim