If you’re looking for a pickup truck, either new or used, you’re sure to see the Ford F-150 for sale. It’s been not just the most popular truck in the United States but the most popular vehicle overall for years now. While some of that can be chalked up to buyers’ habits and name recognition, it doesn’t explain all of it. Other pickups like the Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500 are constantly innovating and improving, vying for best-in-class status with various capabilities and features, from towing and hauling capacities down to touchscreen size.
In this competitive marketplace, you can’t just coast on your reputation to stay on top: your product has to live up to the hype. If you look at the F-150, as well as its new sibling, the all-electric F-150 Lightning, you’ll see that it’s full of innovations, big and small, that make it stand out. Some are small touches that make life a little easier for the driver, while others are major changes that allow people to use the truck in whole new ways. Let’s take a look at some of the various unique and hidden features of America’s favorite truck.
#1 – Mobile Workbench
Most of the features we’re going to get into are high-tech, but we want to start with something fairly simple. Ford knows that drivers don’t just use their truck’s bed to haul cargo: many also use it as a mobile workbench at construction sites. That is why the F-150’s tailgate is specifically designed to function well as a work surface. The surface itself is flat but grained to provide some traction and avoid slips, and various tools are built into the bed, including rulers, a cup holder, a mobile device holder, and a bottle opener.
#2 – Pro Power Onboard
Perhaps the most impressive feature built into the F-150’s bed is Pro Power Onboard. This essentially turns the truck into a mobile generator, allowing you to plug electric devices into outlets in the truck’s bed. This can come in handy for construction projects, camping equipment, and tailgate parties, making it a versatile new feature that offers a range of possibilities. A 2.0kW version is available with most available engines, and a more powerful 2.4kW version comes standard with the F-150’s PowerBoost hybrid powertrain; both of these offer dual 120V outlets. However, F-150 hybrid buyers can also upgrade to a more powerful 7.2kW system with four 120V outlets and a 240V outlet.
#3 – Intelligent Backup Power
The all-electric F-150 Lightning has its own 9.6kW version of Pro Power Onboard with ten 120V outlets and a 240V outlet to handle the toughest of power tools. The Lightning also takes the concept of using your truck to provide you with electric power to the next level with Intelligent Backup Power. If you have the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro installed in your home, then you have the option to let the power flow in either direction. Normally, you’ll just use it to charge your truck. But if you have a blackout, you can send power the other way and use your F-150 Lighting to power your home for up to 10 days, using the cabin’s touchscreen to keep track of your remaining power and ration it as needed.
#4 – Front Trunk
Since the F-150 Lightning doesn’t use a traditional engine, its design frees up some space under the hood. Ford decided to give the EV a sealed trunk up front for extra storage. This allows drivers to use the bed for bulky cargo and for anything that can weather the elements but use the front trunk for more sensitive equipment or valuables that are better kept locked up and out of sight in a sealed trunk.
#5 – Zone Lighting
Whether you need to work into the night or want to illuminate your campsite, the F-150’s Zone Lighting can come in handy. This feature can illuminate a full 360 degrees around your trunk, giving you visibility all around. Alternatively, each zone can be controlled independently. You can set the lighting to your liking using either the touchscreen in the truck or the FordPass app on your smartphone.
#6 – Real-Time Range Estimates
Ford knows that the F-150 Lightning will likely be the first EV purchased by many long-time pickup truck drivers. For those who are considering making the switch, range can be a big concern. If you have years of experience with a gas engine, it can feel precarious switching to a whole new system. You don’t want to get stuck with a dead battery, especially if you tend to drive out to more rural work sites where it’s not easy to find a nearby charging station––or even outlet––to plug into.
Many different factors can affect an electric vehicle’s range. That is why the F-150 Lightning’s Intelligent Range gives you a real-time estimate of how many miles you have left before you need to charge up, taking several different exterior factors into account, like temperature, traffic reports, grade, and road conditions. Of course, the system can also consider things like towing and payload, which can affect range as well. When you’re running low on power, you can use the FordPass app to find the nearest compatible charging station.
#7 – Interior Features for Working & Resting
Some available interior upgrades make the cabin an even better space for both working and resting. The gear shifter can fold completely flat, allowing you to create a large interior work surface between the front seats, which is big enough to accommodate a laptop. Since the F-150 has offered 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity for years, it’s easy to connect to the Internet and get some work done on the go.
After a long day of hard work, getting some rest can also be important. If you need to catch a few winks on a break or rest up after your shift so you can be alert enough to drive home safely, you can opt for an F-150 with max recline front seats that fold nearly flat. If you want some tunes to lull you to sleep, you can get a model with speakers built into the headrests for enveloping audio.
#8 – SYNC 4 Technology
Ford’s SYNC 4 Technology is standard on the F-150 and F-150 Lightning. This tech suite includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, making it easy to use smartphone apps through the truck’s interface without any cables. Voice-Activated control lets the driver use these apps hands-free while keeping their eyes on the road. Available Alexa Built-In even throws a voice-controlled digital assistant into the mix. SYNC 4 also features Ford Power-Up over-the-air software updates, so the F-150’s interface will continue to improve as changes are made to the various programs that make up its software, from the natural voice command system to the built-in navigation.
More Than a Simple Pickup
Clearly, there’s more to the F-150 than meets the eye. Inside and out, plenty of hidden features and thoughtful details make this truck more than just a simple pickup. While there are plenty of features that are designed to improve the driving experience, Ford has put just as much thought into how its customers use their trucks after they put them in park. That kind of thinking is part of what makes the F-150 a bestseller, and we can’t wait to see what Ford comes up with next.