Luxury Working Class
2013 Ford F-Series focus on luxury and electronic upgrades; F-150s get increase in towing capacity and two new models
By Bruce W. Smith
Ford doesn’t make it easy to buy pickups these days.
Ten years ago you just walked into the dealership, decided between three cab choices, three bed lengths, two bed styles, a couple engine and transmission options, and one of five different trim levels.
When the 2013s hit the dealers’ lots, there’ll be 10 different models from which to choose, with the base model XL ($23,665) a favorite for budget-minded fleet buyers to the new Limited ($49,180) that would be right at home parked in the company president’s space.
In between there’s the STX ($25,935), XLT ($28,685), FX2 ($35,185) Lariat ($35,835), FX4 ($38,765), SVT Raptor ($43,340), King Ranch ($43,515) and Platinum ($46,100).
Then, on some models, one has to decide which of four engine options, axle ratios and multiple option packages would make the best combination for work and pleasure uses.
It’s all good, too; there’s an F-150 combination suited for just about anyone’s lifestyle and work needs.
The same holds true for the 2013 Super Duties with the new Platinum edition added to the top of the heavy-duty Ford’s trim levels.
Seemingly satisfied they can out-pull and out-run the competitor’s comparable models, Ford engineers and designers turned their attention to furthering driver comfort, productivity and connectivity on the higher-end 2013 models.
Much of that focus has been on MyFord Touch, an all-encompassing software/hardware package that incorporates luxury-car-like features into the center stack.
Everything from navigation and adjusting the climate controls to finding the cheapest fuel prices and local weather is just a voice-command away with MyFord Touch.
The system, anchored by a bright 8-inch screen, is fast and intuitive.
Then there’s the top-of-the-rock F-150: the Limited. It combines just about every upscale feature Ford offers into one package.
It runs a 22-inch tire/wheel package, and comes standard with the twin-turbo, 3.5L EcoBoost leather, MyFord Touch, power running boards, high-end Sony sound system, power moonroof, “LIMITED” lettering on the bedsides, and a long, long list of standard features that are options on the lower trim levels.
About the only feature the Limited doesn’t come with is a butler, although MyFord Touch is almost as good as having one.
“The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a Built Ford Tough pickup truck,” said Ford Group Vice President for Product Development, Raj Nair.
“The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend – more and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.”
The F-150’s efficiency and safety are also improved. For example, on the FX and upper trim levels, new HID-projector beam headlights are said to almost double the efficiency of standard lights.
And when the “Max Tow” option package is ordered – required to use the F-150s 11,300-pound towing capacity – the truck comes with the same towing mirrors found on the Super Duties, 3.73 axles and upgraded cooling system.
(A point of note: The use of a weight-distributing hitch is required on all F-150s for trailered loads weighing more than 5,000 pounds.)
Speaking of power and efficiency, the 365hp EcoBoost V-6 and six-speed automatic are now an option on all the models, including the base XL SuperCrew.
It’s an excellent upgrade choice because this V-6 delivers horsepower on par with a small V-8 to tow when needed, while delivering better-than-average mpg when running empty.
The fuel economy numbers for the SuperCrew FX2 I drove were 16 city/22 hwy, while the Lariat 4×4 SuperCrew and Limited 4×4 models were 15/21.
From my limited seat time in the 2013 Ford pickups there’s no doubt they are much more refined and efficient trucks than what was offered even four years ago, and there’s really no comparison in comfort and efficiency to pickups 10 years or older.
It’s safe to say if the Blue Ovals in your fleet are getting a little long in the tooth, 2013 is a good year to think seriously about trading in – and up.