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Most products don’t become a better value the less you get. Look at toilette paper; the bigger pack you buy, the cheaper each roll gets. However, this is not the case for the new Ford F-150 Lightning. In fact, the further up the trim levels you get, the worse the value gets. How can that be? What’s the play for getting the best value from a Ford F-150 Lightning.

Ford F-150 Lightnings lined up in a garage
Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

What is the best trim for the 2022 Ford Lightning? 

After attending a Ford Lightning event, a MotorTrend reporter found that the nicer models offered less value. This prompted him to suggest that you should spend as little money as possible on the Ford F-150 Lightning. The base model might actually be a better value. However, the preferred trim by MotorTrend is the second-tier XLT model. 

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Trims:

  • Pro: Starting at $39,974
  • XLT: Starting at $52,974
  • Lariat: Starting at $67,474
  • Platinum: Starting at $90,874

After testing all four trims, MotorTrend finally landed on a favorite version of the F-150 Lightning. There is a mighty price chasm between the base model Pro and the Platinum trim, About $50,000 when you really get down to it. However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend all that to get the best value on a Ford F-150 Lightning. 

There is only one option that really matters for the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Sure. The higher trims come with more luxurious features, but there is only one feature you actually need; the extended-range battery pack. 

The upgraded battery bumps the Lightning’s power from 452 hp to a healthy 580 hp while keeping 775 lb-ft of torque. More importantly, the more powerful battery extends the Ford Lightning’s range from 230 miles to 320 miles. So you get a massive power and range increase. The XLT jumped the Pro for best trim because Ford doesn’t offer the $10,000 option to the Pro yet unless you are a fleet customer. 

Now, the super-premium Lariat trim comes with this pricey option as standard. For starters, it costs nearly $30,000 more, and because of its many features and 22-inch wheels, the range is diminished to only 300 miles. This makes the Platinum trim objectively less capable than the cheaper XLT. 

Getting the most powerful Ford F-150 isn’t cheap

A red 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck is driving off-road.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

Although this option will save you money, that isn’t to say that it’s cheap. It is not. MotorTrend explains that the XLT starts at $54,769, plus the $10,000 extended-range battery, plus the required $9,500 XLT 312A option package. Although we are going for a lower trim, this 312A option package comes with plenty of bells and whistles, as well it should, given the cost. This package includes a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, power-opening, and closing tailgate, running boards, sharp lookin’ 20-inch wheels, keyless entry, a 10-way power driver’s seat, and Ford’s CoPilot360 Assist 2.0 active safety features. This all comes to a total of $74,269. 

It’s hard to imagine that this sum could represent the best value on a Ford F-150 Lightning, but the logic checks out. Electric trucks will come to us at a premium price for some time. The market is too hot, and the tech is too new to be cheap. 


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