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A red 2022 Ford F-150 XLT is shown at a job site during a snowstorm.

Focusing on Fundamentals: The 2022 Ford F-150 XL

Clever advertisements would have us think that a certain vehicle will give us everything it’s advertising right out of the package, only to realize that some of those groundbreaking or high-tech features only come on the most expensive trim level. But, you don’t need to purchase the absolute most expensive trim in order to have a great vehicle. Cheaper does not always mean worse, especially when you are working with a trusted brand. Take the 2022 Ford F-150 XL, for example. The XL is the base-level trim of the F-150, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is an F-150—one of the most sought-after trucks in automotive history!

The F-150 XL provides a fantastic trucking experience, and is a great way for drivers on a tighter budget to utilize the power of an F-150, while still paying less than the highest trim level on the Ford Ranger. Admittedly, you may not get every single gadget and gizmo that the commercials show, but the F-150 XL is a great trim because it provides the foundation for all of the higher-level F-150 trims. Let’s take a look at why this is so.

Focusing on the Fundamentals

Vehicles have gotten really high-tech in the past decade. This is certainly an exciting development that has ushered in a new era of innovation in automotive production. However, just because cars have gone high-tech does not mean that you have to own every single available technology.

Now, don’t take that to mean that the F-150 doesn’t provide excellent technology; it certainly does, and we’ll get there in just a moment. But, if you’re looking at a pickup truck for its work capability, then what you really need is a truck that focuses on the fundamentals first and foremost. It is this fundamental performance capability that is written into the very architecture of the F-150, and the XL provides the firm foundation in which all the other F-150 trims take root.

Nothing is more fundamental to a vehicle than its engine, and the 2022 F-150 XL is equipped with the 3.3-L Ti-VCT V6 engine. That’s a bit of a mouthful, so I’ll translate it for you. “Ti-VCT” stands for Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing. That’s still a mouthful, so I’ll translate further. This Ti-VCT system ensures the best-possible power output by opening and closing its valves with the absolute perfect timing.

So, what does this mean on a more practical level? It means drivers of the F-150 XL will enjoy up to 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Now, those aren’t the highest figures the F-150 can reach, but for a base-level trim, you’ll be looking at a very capable amount of power—enough to get many tough jobs done.

Now, that’s just what comes standard in the vehicle. You could go as high as the 3.5-L PowerBoost Full Hybrid V6 engine. Hybrid engines pay off—not only in terms of fuel efficiency, but also performance. The numbers don’t lie; the F-150 XL can perform at 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque with this hybrid engine. Those are numbers that you won’t find on any other direct-injection full-size truck—and that’s just a base-level trim! So, while the XL focuses on the fundamentals, it goes beyond them.

The F-150 XL does not focus only on the fundamentals; this base-level trim could throw an engine under the hood, pop a steering wheel in front of the driver’s seat, and call it a day. But, Ford wants to give you more than that in its foundation trim. This is why the F-150 XL comes standard (yes, standard!) with six selectable driving modes, allowing you to customize your drive to the conditions at hand as you see fit. Between Normal, ECO, Sport, Tow/Haul, Slippery, and Trail modes, you’ll be able to traverse all kinds of terrain, and do so very effectively. These driving modes are a prime example of what makes the F-150 a great truck overall, and why the XL, specifically, is a fantastic base-level trim: its versatility.

The dashboard and steering wheel of a 2022 F-150 XL is shown.


One of the great things about trucks, especially in this day and age, is their range of features. The F-150 is renowned for its versatility, which begins with the XL trim. Reminder that the base-level trim does not mean a “low-level trim”; rather, it represents the starting place for every other feature and upgrade. Therefore, the F-150 XL includes excellent features for work, recreation, towing/hauling, off-roading, and traditional on-roading. Start with a versatile pickup and then upgrade from there to customize your experience, should you so choose.

The F-150 is excellent, specifically, in the areas of towing and off-roading. With the Max Trailer Tow Package, you can make the most of the F-150 XL’s towing capability, which has a maximum capacity of 14,000 lbs with the 3.5-L EcoBoost V6 engine (I’m telling you, those boosted V6 engines pay off). This package also equips your F-150 XL with some specified hardware to make sure that your truck can tow optimally. Closely related to the Max Trailer Tow Package is the Tow Technology package, which provides a Smart Trailer Tow Connector and innovative camera technology. Maintain total awareness of your surroundings when hitching your trailer, towing your trailer, and unhitching your trailer; the Tow Technology package will have you covered through the whole trailering process.

If you’re interested in off-roading, the F-150 is a great truck to go with, and the XL has you covered for any off-roading adventures. The FX4 Off-Road Package, which is available only on 4X4 trucks, provides electronic-locking rear axles—improving handling on the trails. You’ll also be well-equipped for temperamental terrain with Hill Descent control, ensuring that your descents are controlled (but still thrilling, of course). WIth off-road-turned front shock absorbers, rear monotube shocks, and skid plates, your truck will have the hardware it needs to mess around—without having to worry too much about damage. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to drive with care while off-roading, but it means that your F-150 XL will be designed to endure the natural rough-and-tumble of off-roading. Most excitingly, this off-road package comes with Rock Crawl mode, so your F-150 XL can become a true climber when you’re trudging through dynamic terrain.

So, don’t worry. This base-level trim goes well beyond the…base level. You’ll just be able to pay less to have the same thrills. Purchasing the XL may mean letting go of some of the more refined design features or premium technology features, but you’ll have an extremely high-performing versatile truck that is well-designed with great technology!

The cab of a white 2022 Ford F-150 XL is shown.

Focusing on the Foundation

Base-level trims are absolutely necessary for all vehicles. Without the foundation of the base-level trim, vehicles would have nowhere to go. The 2022 Ford F-150 XL shows how truly excellent a good base-level trim can be, and the XL goes so far beyond the traditional, basic, work truck features. This XL will give drivers access to the best performance capabilities on the market, amazing towing capability, and some of the most thrilling off-roading experiences you’ll find in any truck anywhere. So, don’t feel pressured into buying the highest-level trim if you’re trying to save some money; going higher will certainly give you access to an extra gadget or two, but going with the XL will give you the ride of a lifetime—for a little less dough.