I don't haul stuff, I don’t tow anything and I rarely, if ever, venture off the beaten path. Bu that doesn’t stop me from wanting a pickup truck. Maybe it’s because I’m an American, and trucks are part of our DNA, or maybe I just like the idea of being a “truck guy.” Either way, after spending a week with this 2019 Ford F-150 XLT, my desire to own it has grown significantly. If it weren't that I'd have to come up with over $50k and get a divorce, I wouldn't have given this baby back.

2019 Ford F-150 XLT Exterior

Oh, man, do I love this paint. It’s called Abyss Gray, and I’ve got to say that Ford nailed this color. As for the truck, think of the XLT as Ford’s middle-of-the-road F-150. It starts at a reasonable $39,420, but as with anything, adding options makes the price go up (our tester stickered at $54,850.00). For that price, you get painted bumpers and wheel moldings, a charcoal grille, recessed fog lamps, blacked out running boards, and zero in the way of chrome trim (sans the exhaust tip). It also comes with stylish 18-inch alloys wearing 275/65-series tires, a spray-in bed liner, power bed window, and a twin panel moonroof, all of which make for a very nice package.

This particular F-150 came to us as a SuperCrew and sporting the 5.5-foot bed. At first, it seemed quite large, but I assure you that it drives much smaller than its dimensions would dictate. Ford has also done a great job of designing the bed. Ours was equipped with Box Link, which is a system that allows one to configure a variety of Ford accessories in a seamless fashion. There is also a very handy LED lighting system as well as an integrated tailgate step that helps to make the loading of cargo a snap.

2019 Ford F-150 XLT Interior

There’s no dual-zone climate control, no leather seats or full LCD dash, nor are there a host of superfluous add-on’s that you don’t need in this cabin. Instead, the XLT goes back to basics with a cloth interior, an analog dash, and switchgear that are not only intuitive but welcome. This is how the interior of a pickup truck should be – useful, and functional. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of great stuff here, because there absolutely is. Ford’s SYNC 3 system with an eight-inch screen was introduced a few years ago and is the gateway into your vehicles interior functions. With a responsive touchscreen, clean graphics, great voice recognition software and an intuitive interface, the SYNC 3 system make navigating features like audio, navigation, mobile device setup, climate controls and much more, a snap.

The seats themselves are also ultra comfortable both front and rear. And as this is a SuperCrew, rear seating legroom is not only limousine-like but put the seats up and you have a storage compartment that rivals most small SUVs. The gauge cluster is also well laid out and provides the driver with information on everything from the 4x4 system, to a digital hill-assist reading and off-road settings, to facts about the trailer that may or may not be behind you. There are also power ports for USB, 12v standard and even an inverter that can handle up to a 400w max output. The cab is also quiet at speed, there’s ample room for 5 full-size adults and with the dual-panel moonroof, the cabin always has a light and airy feel to it.

2019 Ford F-150 XLT Performance

If you thought that full-size pickup trucks need V8s under the hood, think again. We’re currently living in a day and age where small displacement turbocharged engines not only run more efficiently but also burn less fuel than their V8 counterparts. Case-in-point, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 that sits between the frame rails pumps out 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque through a crisp shifting ten-speed automatic transmission. Not only is it quiet, but under normal driving conditions, it will deliver EPA rated fuel economy numbers of 19 mpg city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg during combined driving. Stomp the pedal and the big F-150 jumps out of the hole with 60 mph being reached in around 6.5 seconds – very good for a ½-ton truck!

This particular F-150 sports the FX4 Off-Road decal on the rear. What that means is the addition of off-road-tuned shocks, a 3.55 electronic-locking rear axle, hill descent control and skid plates for the fuel tank, transfer case, and front differential. Driving the F-150 is a pleasurable experience as it offers a smooth ride, confidence-inspiring handling and braking characteristics along with a quiet cabin. It also comes with five different drive modes (Normal, Tow/Haul, Snow/Wet, Eco and Sport).

However as a truck, it also has to be useful, thus, in this configuration (SuperCrew, 5.5-foot bed, 2.7L Ecoboost, 4x4) it can haul a payload of up to 1,620 pounds and tow up to 8,100 pounds. For those that do tow/haul, the F-150 does come with an integrated trailer-tow package that includes a four-pin/seven-pin wiring harness, a 36-gallon fuel tank, auxiliary transmission cooler, oil cooler, Pro-Trailer backup assist technology, an integrated brake controller, larger front stabilizer bar and an upgraded rear bumper.

2019 Ford F-150 XLT Safety

With electronic stability control (ESC) and roll stability control (RSC), full ABS with traction control, side impact beams, airbags throughout the cabin, blind spot monitoring, a 360 degree camera along with a host of other safety features, Ford has gone through great lengths to make sure the F-150 is one of the safest full-size trucks on the market today.

To learn about the safety features on the 2019 Ford F-150 XLT, visit Ford.com.

2019 Ford F-150 XLT Overall

With great power and driving manners, a comfortable and well-appointed interior, and a price that’s right where it should be, this 2019 XLT is the sweet spot in the F-150 lineup. With everything you need and nothing you don’t, the XLT packs in good value for the money and is worth checking out if you’re in the market for a good old American half-ton truck.

Drop by your local AutoNation Ford dealer today to check one out!*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.**Vehicle MSRP of $54,850 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.
Categories: Test Drive Reviews