Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A silver 2023 Ford F-150 is shown towing a boat.

A Guide to the Most Comfortable Ford F-150 Trims

Ford trucks are an absolute staple in the automotive industry, going undefeated in power and capability. A particular standout among Ford trucks is the classic Ford F-150, which offers the absolute best on all fronts. Whether it’s outdoor adventuring, tackling tough jobs, or just going about daily life, the Ford F-150 can do everything asked of it. This icon turns heads wherever it goes, synonymous with unparalleled versatility and capability in a way unique to Ford, making it the best choice for drivers who need ferocity on four wheels.

The F-150 can certainly carve its own course on and off the open road, but when you’re trying to narrow down which truck is right for you, you need more than raw under-the-hood power. As any Ford F-150 dealer can tell you, there are several essential aspects to consider when choosing the right truck for you, and not all of them have to do with performance alone. Comfort and convenience are of equal importance, especially when buying a vehicle that will be used day in and day out.

The Ford F-150 doesn’t shirk here either, so whether you’re taking care of business or driving the kids to the ball field, you can rest assured that your F-150 will be a confine of comfort and convenience. The F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America for close to half a century now, and when you put its trims up to scrutiny, you’ll understand why.

A silver 2023 Ford F-150 Platinum is shown parked near a log cabin after visiting a Ford F-150 dealer.

Ford F-150 XL

This is the base version of the F-150, although it doesn’t quite feel like a basic trim. Sure, there’s your standard black urethane steering wheel and black vinyl flooring, a cloth 40/20/40 bench seat, and single-zone manual climate control. Still, there are options to upgrade the bench seat to bucket seats, vinyl, or sport cloth, and you can make the driver’s seat eight-way power-adjustable. You can also upgrade the climate control to be dual-zone and automatic.

The standard infotainment interface on the F-150 is an 8.0-inch capacitive touchscreen—a generous size for a base model, making it far easier and safer to manipulate with only glances. Should you wish to control your media playback, navigation, phone calls, etcetera, without taking your eyes off the road, the SYNC 4 assistant comes standard on even the base F-150, allowing you to dictate the terms of your drive with voice commands.

Below the touchscreen and climate controls is a 12V outlet—for plugging in a phone or laptop charger—and the trunk bed can be outfitted with the available Pro Power Onboard, a 2.4kW or 7.2kW outlet that turns your F-150 into a mobile generator, should you wish to use your unfurled tailgate as a workbench. You can have a workspace inside the cabin, as well, with the optional Interior Work Surface, which folds out of the center console (with bucket seats) or pivots out (with bench seating) for laying out your paperwork or situating a laptop, when doing work on the go. The perfect aid for those distant worksites is the standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Ford F-150 XLT

While the base XL has keyless entry, the XLT takes that further with an optional remote tailgate release and automatic lift and lower, all powered by your key fob. The same standard and optional features of the XL carry over to the XLT, except that black vinyl flooring becomes an option in favor of colored carpet. The intermittent windshield wipers can be upgraded with rain-sensing abilities for automatic activation, and the seats can be upgraded with heating.

The driver’s side may be ten-way power-adjustable, and the passenger seat multi-way adjustable, and you can replace the keyed ignition for a push-button proximity start. The 4.0-inch productivity screen near the instrument cluster can be upgraded to an 8.0-inch, and the standard 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen can become a gluttonous 12.0-inch. SYNC 4 now has Enhanced Voice Recognition with cloud-based connectivity and over-the-air software updates, which means it won’t get outmoded as the years press on.

Audiophiles will love to upgrade their sound system with Bang & Olufsen, and the XLT comes with optional SiriusXM capabilities as well as a three-year trial of built-in navigation. The XLT also splits the glove box into two compartments, and the side door panels feature bin storage.

A blue 2023 Ford F-150 Sport is shown parked on a construction site.

Ford F-150 Lariat

The Lariat takes much of the optional aspects of the XLT and makes them standard, such as the remote tailgate release, the push-button proximity start, and the 12.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. The productivity screen shoots up to 12.0 inches, as well, and dual-zone climate control is standard, as is SiriusXM capability. The Bang & Olufsen sound system and Interior Work Surface remain popular options, as do the partitioned storage and the rain-sensing wipers. New optional features include a universal garage door opener and a wireless charging dock for smartphones.

The interior gets a serious upgrade on the Lariat, with your steering wheel becoming leather-wrapped and optionally heated. The bench or bucket seats are also leather-trimmed, as well as heated and ventilated as standard. Both driver and passenger seats are power-adjustable, with the driver’s being ten-way and having memory settings so that it will reset its station based on the key fob that starts it. Likewise, the steering wheel has memory seatings, but this comes only as an upgrade. Power-adjustable pedals (an option on the XLT) are standard on the Lariat and, too, come with memory settings.

Ford F-150 King Ranch

The King Ranch doubles down on the Lariat’s luxury interior by adding genuine wood accents to complement the copious leather. The steering wheel’s heated and memory capabilities become standard, as do the rain-sensing wipers, the universal garage door opener, and the wireless charging dock. The Bang & Olufsen sound system is now the standard audio experience, and the long-optional built-in navigation (three-year trial) comes included.

Most notably, the bucket seats have become standard, doing away with the 40/20/40 bench seating that came with every trim level preceding the King Ranch. These wide, heated, ventilated seats are the thrones for this vessel’s eponymous king.

A red 2023 Ford F-150 is shown off-roading.

Ford F-150 Platinum

The Platinum trim continues the trend of making standard the best features of the previous levels, and the leather interior is dyed an alluring black. This pairs well with the two bucket seats, now a warm caramel color with contoured wings and gunmetal accents. The best feature of the Platinum trim, however, is that these seats include Ford’s Active Motion massage technology, whose seven air chambers in the seat back and bottom keep you cushioned while automated massagers knead your legs, back, and lumber in a gentle rolling pattern to help reduce stationary fatigue.

Ford F-150 Et Al.

The Limited trim recolors the interior in Light Slate and Admiral Blue, but the majority of its 20% price hike is owed to performance enhancements. In terms of comfort, the King Ranch remains more spacious and lush, making it the preferred pick for those who crave luxury. The Tremor trim is comparable to the XLT, although with a few better standard features; this trim is designed more around off-road demands and durability. In this respect, the Raptor trim is like the Tremor, except it’s more comparable to the Lariat in terms of comfort, and its off-road capabilities are maxed to the best of Ford’s engineering capabilities.

If it’s comfort you seek in your F-150, you want the King Ranch trim. It seats up to five, gets a fuel economy of 17 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway, and has a starting MSRP of $63,005. Should you merely want to experience what it’s like to sit in one, drop by your nearest Ford dealer, as they’re sure to have one front-and-center in their showroom.