2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pros
– The power is addictive, and the big battery offers good range.
– The Lightning is among the most refined full-size trucks ever built.
– The fact that it’s an electric F-150 is brilliant.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Cons
– The sole crew cab and small bed combination limit its truck capabilities.
– Though decent on paper, the small battery seems like a bad idea for nearly all Lightning applications.
– Charging speeds are average at best.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is no longer news, it’s a fact. And although Rivian beat the Blue Oval off the assembly line with the R1T, it as near as makes no difference. The Ford F-150 is master and ruler of its domain and segment and now that there’s an electric version, and that it arrived before Ram and GM’s efforts is huge.
Simply put, the new Ford F-150 Lightning is a 2022-2023 masterclass in giving the people what they want. One thing the people want is an F-150, or a truck that is nearly identical to a regular run-of-the-mill F-150, but that is just different enough to be noticed.
F-150 customers want an F-150
Ford designers were brilliant in keeping the Lightning’s overall style identical of the donor F-150 with some signature LED lighting and unique wheels. Some may think that this is a mistake but I’m of the opinion that the possibly conservative F-150 owner will probably be more comfortable with a traditionally styled pickup. We have to remember that Ford’s F-150 is something of a religion in numerous parts of North America.
The same applies to the cabin where it’s also basically lifted from the “regular” F-150. Once more, as far as I’m concerned, it was the right move. I often say that Ford interiors are lackluster except for the F-150’s as it’s essentially a brand and make unto itself.
Huge and luxurious cabin
As standard, the Lightning is fitted with a 12-inch digital instrument panel and an equal-sized touchscreen display. Optionally, a 15.5-inch screen, lifted from the Mustang Mach-E, brings even more shiny real estate. This level of technology, as opposed to a pilar-to-pilar-sized display for example, is also likely more in line with typical F-150 customers. Let’s not fool ourselves – Ford knows exactly what it’s doing when it comes to this truck as they have everything to lose. But they won’t.
The large and luxurious Super Crew cab, the only style available, is wonderfully assembled and surprisingly comfortable. The tested Lariat included heated and cooled front leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a B&O audio system, and plenty more to give occupants the impression that they are aboard a premium vehicle. Another ultra-cool feature is the standard 9.6kW Pro Power Onboard which will power or recharge almost any accessory.
The cabin wins thanks to the frunk
I put the cabin to serious use as the family and I went on a road trip to the cottage and loaded it up with people and gear. What we also did was take advantage of the funky frunk.
Though it is the Ford F-150 Lightning’s #1 parlour trick, it also happens to be a blessing. With up to 400 litres of accessible volume, luggage, a backpack, and a few lose outdoor winter activity items all fit, freeing up the second-row floor. The power-operated hood is massive and includes the grille. I discovered an issue with this configuration while charging where, when plugged in, I could not access the front boot. The length of the cord meant I was too close to the charger’s protective posts for me to open it – something to consider when stopping for a boost.
Typically, I would secure a few pieces in the standard 5.5-foot bed, but winter conditions pose a challenge. On that subject, I would strongly recommend Ford and owners install a tonneau cover. I shoveled an estimated 250lbs of snow and ice out of the bed the day I picked the Lightning – when it comes to range, every pound counts.
Range was made possible by the optional 131-kWh battery pack configured with the tested F-150 Lightning. Thanks to it, the electric Ford truck offers an estimated 515km of range, compared to the 98kWh battery which is limited to 380km. As you can tell from the image gallery, the road trip took place in very wintery driving conditions.
With a full charge completed overnight with my Level 2 home charger (14 hours according to Ford), we set off with an indicated 501km but roughly 120km in, range had dropped to just over of 200km. A 40-minute charge on a 100kW brought back to an 80% charge though not without incident. After charging for only 15 minutes, an error message indicating that the nozzle was overheating which cut the process.
The trip back also required a charge, once more on a 100kW charger. On both occasions, the Ford Lightning charging peaked at 77kW (max 155) and this time, after 50 minutes, we left with a 72% state of charge from 28%. To note, we were lucky to get to the station when we did as two out of five chargers (350kW and 160kW) were offline leaving the sole 100kW and two 50kW chargers…
Also affecting range are the Lightning’s lack of aerodynamics which, when combined with speed, drains kilometres off the clock. The difference between setting the cruise at 92km/h compared to 112km/h has an inordinate impact on range.
Power, so much power
The big battery feeds the dual motors enough juice to produce a whopping 580hp and 775 lb.-ft. of torque. Despite weighing an easy 8,000lbs, the Ford F-150 Lightning catapults itself towards the horizon with alarming force. The power is obviously not for racing, though you could, it’s there to offset the weight and provide users with some capabilities.
As such, the Lightning can haul up to 2,000lbs and when properly equipped, tow 10,000lbs. Given my experience with the electric F-150, not towing mind you, these figures are easily believable. In fact, 20,000lbs does not seem unrealistic given the power but the real issue is how range is affected. I hope to experience it one day.
As far as the driving experience is concerned, the Lightning is the plushest, smoothest, and quietest full-size truck. The fully-independent coil-spring suspension manages all forms of surfaces with uncanny ease all the while providing reassuring stability when barrelling down the highway. The truck’s mass however cannot be camouflaged but then again, I can’t imagine anyone rallying an F-150 Lightning, though that would make for very entertaining footage.
I want one. If I had had the money, a 2022 model year truck, as tested was the way to go. From 2022 to 2023, average prices per model have increased by at least $10,000 without any big changes other than, from what I can tell, the inclusion of the Ford Charge Station when opting for the now $16,000 extended range battery (such generosity).
With all due respect to the new Ford F-150 Lightning, for the moment, it is the perfect full-size truck for people who don’t really need a real work hard/play hard big pickup.