Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A woman loading luggage into the frunk of a silver 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning.

Should You Consider Buying a 2024 F-150 Lightning?

We know a lot of people are on the lookout for a new truck right now. Despite downturns in recent years due to supply shortages, Americans still bought over 2.7 million trucks in 2022 and nearly 2.9 million in 2023. That’s a huge hunger for powerful towing, off-road capabilities, ground clearance, and other features of a rugged truck.

The 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning is one of the newest trucks vying for the attention of truck enthusiasts. Introduced late in the 2022 model year, Ford is now in year three of its first all-electric truck. At a glance, it looks almost identical to a gas-powered F-150—the only obvious visual difference is the lightbar styling on the LED headlights.

But is it a truck worth buying? There’s a lot of competition in the truck market, and even Ford loyalists want to know what separates the F-150 Lightning from other EV trucks—and from gas and diesel trucks, for that matter. We put this light-duty pickup through its paces to see what makes the 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning worth buying.

Some Serious Giddyup

Although you aren’t burning gasoline or diesel, the way you gauge engine output is the same. Suffice it to say anyone who thinks you need fossil fuels to make big power hasn’t met the 2024 F-150 Lightning. The standard-range Lightning battery pack revs up at 452 hp and a mind-bending 775 lb-ft of torque. That dwarfs the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in the gas-powered F-150, which provides 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.

With the extended-range battery, the output jumps to 580 hp, with torque remaining the same. You get more power and torque than anything other than super trucks like the F-150 Raptor R and Ram TRX. Thanks in part to those torque numbers, the 2024 F-150 Lighting can go from 0-60 mph in as little as four seconds and will tow up to 10,000 lbs. Whether you want to go fast or haul equipment, the Lightning is ready to strike—especially with an independent rear suspension that greatly improves on-road and off-road handling.

The interior of a 2024 Ford F-150 Lighting with blue ambient lighting.

Charge Up Anywhere

One sticking point for EV skeptics has been how far you can go and how easy it is to recharge the battery. How does the Lighting stack up? The standard battery in the 2024 Ford F-150 Lighting has an EPA-estimated range of 240 miles, with the extended-range battery topping out at 320 miles in the XLT and Lariat trims. We recommend getting the extended battery for convenience.

Admittedly, this range still trails behind some other EV pickups. The 2024 Chevy Silverado EV can go 450 miles thanks to its 53% larger battery. However, the F-150 is considerably less expensive and a little bit more efficient, meaning your annual electrical costs will be lower. Ford also designed the battery to be a backup generator in homes and garages.

Most importantly, when you do need a charge, a compatible station will be close by. Ford has announced that in early 2024, an adapter and software upgrade will be issued that will make the F-150 Lightning compatible with Tesla Superchargers. This means access to over 15,000 Tesla stations across North America as part of the 106,000-plus public chargers in the BlueOval Charge Network. F-150 Lightning owners who are on the road won’t have to worry about finding a place to charge up.

All the Comforts You Could Want

If the power and torque are the biggest F-150 Lighting selling points for truck diehards, the cargo space and interior are a close second. Simply put, this machine has everything half-ton truck owners could ask for. It’s currently offered with a SuperCab configuration, which means five seats for the family. The headroom, legroom, and shoulder room are identical to the gas-powered F-150, with the front and rear legroom outshining every other comparable truck.

Behind the rear seats, a 5.5-foot truck bed holds 52.8 cu.ft. of cargo, which fits all your tools and toys. That’s not all, either—without the engine in front, Ford has turned this section into a front trunk, or “frunk,” with another 14.1 cu.ft. of space. It adds up to 66.9 cu.ft. of total storage and a maximum payload of 2,235 lbs. The other electric pickups we’ve mentioned don’t even crack 2,000 lbs of total payload.

The F-150 Lighting goes sailing into the future when it comes to infotainment technology, too. Depending on the trim, the truck has a 12-inch landscape or a 15.5-inch portrait touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You also get multiple USB ports, built-in navigation, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Need more tech goodies? Optional upgrades include a wireless charging pad, a 360-degree camera, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Like all Ford trucks, you get the latest and greatest safety features in every F-150 Lighting. Pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist are standard features of Ford Co-Pilot360. You can also add BlueCruise hands-free driving with adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and lane-change assist.

Have we mentioned the outlets? There are a whopping 11 electrical outlets scattered across the truck for using tools and equipment. The frunk contains several of those plugs along with a drain to prevent water build-up. It’s a true home away from home!

A pair of bicyclists and a silver 2024 Ford F-150 Lighting off-roading on a mountain.

A Great Deal in EV Trucks

Plenty of people have felt the pinch when it comes to buying a vehicle. As recently as September 2023, the consumer price index for new vehicles was at an all-time high. But unlike models like the GMC Hummer EV and Tesla Cybertruck, the F-150 isn’t out of reach for the average buyer. In fact, the starting price of $54,995 for the 2024 F-150 Lightning Pro makes it the best deal among EV trucks.

By comparison, the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV has a starting MSRP of $79,800, and the 2024 Rivian R1T begins at $73,000. If you’re looking to get your first EV pickup truck, there is some amazing value to be had here, especially with the $7,500 federal tax credit and possible local incentives. Also, some of the higher costs compared to a gas or diesel truck should be offset in the long run—a 2020 Consumer Reports study found an EV can cost up to $10,000 less to operate over its lifetime than a gas-powered counterpart.

A Best-in-Class Steed

By now, it should be obvious that paying less for your EV doesn’t mean cheaping out. But in case you need confirmation, look to some of the biggest automotive organizations in America. The 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning received the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award for Best Electric Truck and the Vincentric Best Certified Pre-Owned Value Award, costing almost 14% less to maintain than other full-size half-ton pickups—including gas and diesel trucks.

This comes on the heels of the 2023 Lightning winning the MotorTrend Truck of the Year Award. Again, it beat out all trucks, not just EVs; MotorTrend declared it the “best-riding, best-handling, and best-driving F-150 yet.” The 2023 model also received a Best of the Best Award from Edmunds. In a short time, the F-150 Lightning has made an impact on people who know trucks.

The Truck You Deserve

With its massive power and torque, multi-compartment storage, advanced infotainment, and tremendous nationwide charging network, the 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning would be a good buy, even if it wasn’t more affordable than the competition. It outclasses its competition in many categories—and when you’re behind the wheel, it will feel like the reliable F-150 that has been America’s best-selling truck for 46 years straight. If you want yours to feel even more special, check out the limited-edition F-150 Lightning Platinum Black with 22-inch wheels and a matte vinyl wrap that makes you feel like the master of the road ahead.