9 Important 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning First Drive Takeaways
It’s time to start a week with the new Ford F-150 Lightning, and it’s a lot to take in. This full-size truck is unlike any other option and sets the standard for upcoming full-size electric trucks. Check out how the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning makes its first impression.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning: What you need to know
My week with the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has officially begun. I’ll be taking the Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat all around the state to test its range, towing capabilities, comfort, and more. This is the extended-range model with an EPA-estimated 320 miles of range.
The Lariat model starts at $69,269, and adding the extended-range battery costs $10,000, according to Electrek. This trim adds ventilated seats, a wireless charging pad, leather upholstery, cargo bed lighting, a 15-inch infotainment screen, and a power sliding rear window.
1. The F-150 Lightning range holds true
When I got the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, it had 200 miles of range. I first took it out to a horse pasture for some photos and had 196 miles left. The charge held steady and didn’t drop while idling for about 20 minutes.
Then it was time to take it up the mountain, from Rock Hill, SC, to Asheville, NC. I had 186 miles of range to make a 99-mile trip. It was about a two-hour drive, and the charge held steady, even while climbing steep mountain curves at an average speed.
When the trip was completed, I had 46 miles of charge left. So, that’s plenty of range for running errands before I need to plug it in. In fact, I confidently took my dog to the vet in it this morning without adding any charge. He loved it.
2. The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is fast
You need to watch your speed with the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. The extended-range battery pack provides 580 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 4.0 seconds. It’s the fast truck I’ve ever driven.
The instant acceleration helps this massive truck fly off the line, and the power delivery is smooth. It can be easy to accidentally go faster than the speed limit because of the truck’s quiet nature.
Plus, the acceleration isn’t jumpy, and the brakes are firm. Sometimes the brakes in hybrid models or electric vehicles can be a little squishy and underpowered.
3. The Lightning is quiet
At first, it was hard to get used to the silent nature of the Ford F-150 Lightning. The engine is silent, and the interior is pretty quiet too. Wind and road noise are kept at bay, but you can hear the engines from other vehicles around you.
But by the end of my trip, I found the quiet interior to be pretty peaceful and relaxing. The Bose audio system delivers premium sound that can be used to mask the silent truck if needed. It’s pretty immersive.
4. The Lightning is comfortable
I like the seats in the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning more than the seats in the F-150 Hybrid. They are massive, well-padded, and supportive for long drives. However, the ventilation could be a bit stronger.
Also, the F-150 Lightning has a pretty smooth ride over most surfaces. It felt smooth over dirt and gravel roads. Only sections of old, beat-up pavement caused the chassis to shake and rattle.
While feeling a bit floating at times, the electric beast provides a typical trucky feel, which is good for big truck fans like me.
5. The BlueCruise system is interesting
I tested the hands-free BlueCruise system, and it kept a nice distance from other vehicles but didn’t change lanes as easily as the General Motors’ Super Cruise system. It’s still a little scary to have your hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals, though.
I’ll admit that I was too nervous to let the BlueCruise system handle red lights. But it was convenient on long stretches of the interstate and makes sure you pay attention by requiring you to touch the steering wheel every few minutes.
The Super Cruise system requires you to look at the road and locks you out after it warns you three times to pay attention. The BlueCruis system didn’t seem as sensitive, but I only failed to keep my hands on the wheel long enough once.
6. The running boards are slippery
The running boards didn’t mesh with my grippy skateboarding shoes well. I totally slipped off the running board while trying to hop in the driver’s seat once, but managed to land on my feet. I also slid and needed to grab the handles a few times.
I have a small foot, I’m a men’s size five, and the running boards seem small for my freakishly tiny feet. Spectators have already commented about how they seem too narrow. Also, the truck was judged for not having power deployable running boards.
7. The bed isn’t short person friendly
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has a pretty tall ground clearance of 8.9-inches. But the sides of the bed are tall too. It comes up to my face, and I’m only 5’1″. It’s hard to see over the edges of the bed.
Other trucks, like the GMC Sierra, have steps built into the bumper, making the bed easy to access. Plus, the 2022 Toyota Tundra I tested has a power deploying step.
The F-150 does have a built-in step, but I have to open the tailgate and press a few buttons to pull it out. The step sits pretty high off the ground.
Other trucks provide faster and easier access for vertically challenged folks that don’t require opening the tailgate.
But the tailgate does open and close with buttons on the key fob, and that’s something the GMC Sierra 1500 lacks.
8. I’m into the frunk
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning has a front trunk for frunk that will soon carry my junk. It provides 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space, has a drain plug at the bottom so it can be used as a cooler, and is weatherproof.
It can hold up to 400 lbs, and spectators are surprised at how massive it is in person. I can’t wait to throw my groceries in there and use it to hold ice and beverages. You can use the key fob or buttons in the cab to open and close it.
9. The tech is great so far
I’ve always mostly been a fan of Ford’s tech. Only the Ford Explorer’s setup has let me down. The infotainment screens and digital gauge cluster are intuitive and easy to use. The 15.1-inch infotainment system isn’t an exception to this trend.
It has attractive graphics, and everything works quickly. The F-150 Lightning doesn’t have many physical controls, but the menus have an intuitive layout, and you can adjust the settings in a matter of seconds.
I have more to do with it, though. I need to test the towing tech, play the games, try out the different driving modes, use the Power Pro Onboard generator, and more.
Stay tuned for my full review after spending an entire week with this electric beast. So far, the performance, range, and tech have made an excellent first impression. But access to the cab and bed could be improved.