Thanks to its clean lines I think the current generation of Ford’s popular pickup looks better than the in-your-face Chevy Silverado and somewhat snub-nosed Ram 1500. This example wears a conservative but still fetching Carbonized Gray Metallic paint job. The Platinum trim impresses with ample standard equipment, though it still offers plenty of extras if you’ve got cash burning a hole in your pocket. This example features four-wheel drive, the up-level equipment group and a 5.5-foot bed protected for years to come by Ford’s modestly priced ($595) optional spray-in liner.
Under the hood, Platinum models come standard with a lovely 5.0-liter V8, though two flavors of 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 are offered, one with a hybrid system and another without. This truck is fitted with the top-shelf PowerBoost gasoline-electric drivetrain, which is $2,500 extra. This system delivers 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque, all of which gets routed through a 10-speed automatic transmission that was co-developed with General Motors. Ford’s version of this gearbox seems to shift quicker, but in my experience The General’s is smoother and usually better sorted.
That twin-turbocharged V6 is refined and quiet, fading into the background even under heavy throttle. Thanks to forced induction, this engine delivers plenty of off-the-line shove, though the hybrid system, which includes a 47-hp electric motor and a 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, significantly amplifies the low-end grunt. This F-150 accelerates with almost comical ease; just dip into the accelerator and the truck leaps ahead, carrying you forward on an immense wave of torque. I haven’t had a chance to do any trailering with this pickup, but it would probably be an amazing tow rig.
A major benefit of this electrified powertrain is that it enables the F-150 to function as a generator. PowerBoost models come standard with 2.4 kilowatts of available juice and dual 120-volt (20-amp) bed-mounted outlets. But for just $750 more you can get 7.2 kilowatts’ worth of power in the F-150, enough to run circular saws, drills, air compressors and more, basically an entire construction site. In addition to any interior plugs, that electricity is easily accessible through four 120-volt (20-amp) outlets and one NEMA 240-volt (30 amp) socket mounted right in the cargo box.
The F-150’s gasoline-electric drivetrain delivers superb, possibly segment-leading performance, but traditionally hybrids are all about fuel economy. I mean, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Prius? As for the PowerBoost, it stickers at a mean 24 mpg straight across the board. Unfortunately, in real-world use this truck’s fuel economy estimates are more optimistic than someone that just signed up for a multi-level marketing scheme. Driven for around 700 miles on a trip to Northern Michigan, this Platinum-trim example returned about 18.4 mpg, a difference of about 5.6 mpg, which is huge. Sure, sticking to around-town driving or country two-lane roads would probably get you much closer to 24 than cruising at 80 mph, but this lackluster performance is still a bit surprising.
Despite its certifiably full-sized dimensions, the F-150 feels a little smaller than some of its competitors. The steering is sharp enough for this big, ol’ pickup to seem somewhat nimble, an incredibly rigid structure and decent outward visibility don’t hurt, either. My Platinum-trim steed’s ride is good for something with a live axle and leaf springs, undoubtedly helped by the optional $695 adjustable dampers. But when loaded with cargo and passengers, the rear tends to feel floaty over undulating road surfaces. When it comes to ride quality, the Ram 1500 has an advantage, though this Ford might be better than a similarly equipped half-ton Silverado.
One area where the F-150 is miles ahead of its Chevy counterpart is interior quality. The Platinum model is chock full of soft materials, there’s beautiful stitching, real wood accents and attractively textured hard plastics. The pleasingly simple dashboard layout is not only eye-catching, it makes the climate and audio controls easier to see and operate. This example features Carmello leather seating surfaces that feel great and look even better, their warm tan color brightening what would otherwise be a pretty dark cabin. It’s a toss-up if this F-150’s interior is better than the highly regarded Ram 1500’s, but you can’t go wrong with either truck.
The front seats in this Ford are all-day comfortable, plus they’re heated, ventilated and will even give you a massage, something that helps keep fatigue at bay on long drives. Pay an additional $340 and you can really relax with the Max Recline buckets. They lie nearly flat, making them perfect for catching a few Z’s during your lunch break. Rear-seat passengers have little to be jealous of because this crew-cab truck offers miles of legroom and is plenty cushy. For added versatility, the 60/40 split lower cushion lifts, revealing a collapsible storage bin. You can stash small items in there so they don’t roll around, or with the pull of a couple levers fold the tote completely flat, so you can slide larger cargo right into the cab across its nearly flat floor.
As for tech, hoo-boy, there’s probably enough in this truck to run a space program. The star of the show is a sharp and colorful 12-inch touchscreen, which is home to a super-intuitive and highly responsive Sync 4 infotainment system. This is one of the best multimedia arrays on the market today. There’s also an easy-to-customize digital instrument cluster, though it’s nowhere near as visually impressive.
Advanced driver assistance features are numerous and effective. Features like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist and automatic high beams are all present and accounted for. This particular F-150 also features a crystal-clear 360-degree camera system, Active Park Assist 2.0 and adaptive cruise control with lane centering. Unquestionably, the most interesting driver aid fitted here is BlueCruise, Ford’s new hands-free highway helper that works on pre-approved sections of divided highway. This system works well, though we have a separate review and video all about it, so make sure to check those out.
Upping the luxury factor, this truck is also fitted with power-folding running boards, so it’s easier to climb inside, plus the tailgate raises and lowers itself at the push of a button, ’cause why not? One particularly innovative feature is called Onboard Scales. This allows the truck to keep track of how much weight it’s carrying. Payload information gets displayed on the infotainment screen, in the FordPass smartphone app or even by the taillamps, which light up sequentially as more weight is added. Pretty clever stuff.
One step back from Limited, the ritziest trim Ford offers, this Platinum-grade F-150 is still exceedingly nice and comes loaded with standard equipment. Naturally, all that excellence means this rig costs a young fortune, around $78,525. That princely price includes about $12,015 in options and $1,695 to cover the mandatory delivery fee.
As it sits, this 2022 Ford F-150 Platinum is anything but cheap, but if you can pick yourself up off the floor after fainting from sticker shock, it’s still an excellent truck, arguably the best full-sizer available today. With a potent powertrain, luxury-car interior more tech than the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES, it’s easy to see why the F-150 is so gosh darn good.