2020 Ford F-150 Review
  • Car Review

2020 Ford F-150 Review

By Autolist Staff | July 15, 2020

Pros:

  • Turbocharged engines provide lots of power with respectable fuel economy.
  • Plenty of choice among trim levels.
  • The Raptor boasts credible off-road skills.
  • Wide availability of safety features.

Cons:

  • Ride quality isn't as good as some rivals.
  • Base engine isn't powerful.
  • Options, even on mid-level trims, quickly lift the truck's price.
  • Competitors offer better infotainment systems.

Vehicle Type:

A full-size pickup available in a number of cab sizes, engines, and bed lengths.

Price Range:

$30,440-$69,430 before options.

Powertrain:

  • 290-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel-drive.
  • A 325-horsepower, turbocharged 2.7-liter V6.
  • A 375-horsepower turbocharged 3.5-liter V6.
  • A 395-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8.
  • A 450-horsepower, turbocharged 3.5-liter V6.
  • A 250-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6.
  • All come with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • Four-wheel-drive is optional.

More Photos

See more 2020 Ford F-150 photos here.


Overview:

2020-ford-f150-rear-image

The Ford F-150 is a full-size pickup truck that's a mainstay of the American landscape. It's long been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. and by far the best-selling pickup truck. And it's part of Ford's F-Series line of trucks that dates back to the 1940s.

Ahead of a redesign for 2021, the 2020 F-150 adds standard driver assistance features on the top four trim levels under the Ford Co-Pilot360 label, including things such as blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking. Top-tier Limited models also add adaptive cruise control and built-in navigation. All models receive some new exterior paint choices.

The F-150 competes with the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Ram 1500, as well as the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra among full-size pickup trucks. While the Nissan and Toyota are limited to V8 engines, the American rivals offer numerous powertrain options, including turbodiesel V6 engines, like the Ford F-150.

Overall Score: 8/10


Safety Features: 8/10

2020-ford-f150-dashboard-image

Most F-150 models now come standard with the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assistance technology features. That includes automatic emergency braking with forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams. It's also available on XL and XLT models.

Platinum and Limited models can be equipped with adaptive cruise control, as well. While its rivals offer similar technology, the Ford makes it more accessible and standard on more variants. It's also not lumped into expensive option packages with a lot of other unrelated features.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2020 F-150 "Good" in all categories except for headlights, which prevented it from being a Top Safety Pick (though the agency didn't name any pickup trucks Top Safety Picks for 2020). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated four-door 2020 F-150 SuperCrew models five stars overall, its highest rating. However, Regular Cab and Super Cab models earned four stars overall.


Value: 7/10

2020-ford-f150-seats-image

Base XL models are sparsely equipped and mostly aimed at fleets or as work trucks. XLT and higher models come with an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as power windows and locks, but going for a four-door SuperCrew model pushes the price over $40,000 before options. In fact, it's easy to spend a lot of money on options, such as the turbodiesel V6 that costs as much as $5,000 depending on the trim level.

The top-tier F-150 Limited starts at an eye-watering $70,000 but includes pretty much every option Ford will throw at its truck. It gets the powerful turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 as standard, along with a panoramic moonroof, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and active park assist. That's competitive with high-end versions of the Ram, Sierra, and Silverado, though.


Tech Features: 7/10

2020-ford-f150-infotainment-image

All but the base XL get Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and a wi-fi hotspot. Most models offer built-in navigation, at least as an option.

Ford's Sync 3 isn't the best system in the class, with some confusing menus. And the F-150's touchscreen is comparatively small against the Ram's available 12-inch portrait-style touchscreen. Ultimately, though, it gets the job done.

The FordPass Connect system is also available on most models, and it monitors basic functions such as fuel levels, locks, and remote start. It can also be used to pay for parking or gas.

The F-150 tries to keep up the competition with features such as a power-sliding rear window and a remote release for the tailgate on uplevel models. Some models also offer power running boards that retract when the doors are closed. These features aren't unheard of among luxury pickup trucks, but they are still welcome on the most expensive versions of the F-150.


Practicality: 8/10

2020-ford-f150-trunk-image

Depending on the model, the F-150 can be had in three different cab styles and three different bed lengths.

The Regular Cab typically has a front bench seat split 40/20/40 and minimal storage space behind the seats.

The Super Cab has small half-doors that allow access to a cramped rear seat.

Most buyers will be best served by the four-door SuperCrew, which offers real back seat space that's competitive with other four-door rivals.

2020-ford-f150-seats2-image

Towing capacity ranges from 7,600 pounds with the base 3.3-liter V6 to 12,200 pounds on models with the turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 and the maximum towing package preparation. Again, these figures are basically tied with the F-150's major competitors.


Styling & Design: 7/10

2020-ford-f150-exterior-image

Each F-150 trim level has a different grille and trim treatment, so there's a wide range of styling differentiation for customers to choose from.

Nevertheless, the 2020 F-150 is a handsome truck that has aged well throughout this generation. The all-new generation that replaces it is an evolution in terms of design, rather than a wholesale reboot, so buyers of this 2020 model year don't have to worry about their truck looking outdated.


Driving Experience: 7/10

2020-ford-f150-profile-image

The base 3.3-liter V6 isn't quick, but all other F-150 engines have plenty of performance. The turbocharged 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 is likely satisfactory for most conditions, with abundant power off the line. All but that base V6 model get a 10-speed automatic, which is fairly responsive, but no more so than the eight-speed automatic in a Ram 1500.

The high-output turbo 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 found on the Raptor, and Limited models has a vast surplus of power for such a large vehicle, thanks to enormous low-end torque and virtually no turbo lag.

While the F-150 is just as bulky in tight spaces as every other full-size pickup rival, the ride is stiffer and bouncier than the Chevrolet, GMC, and especially the Ram.

Opting for models with FX4 off-road suspension, especially the Raptor, makes the ride on pavement even less settled. It can't compete with the air suspension-equipped Ram 1500 for car-like ride qualities, which is something to consider when spending more than $60,000 on the high-end models.


Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

F-150s with the base 3.3-liter V6 and two-wheel-drive are rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 22 combined. Those figures fall by 1 to 2 mpg when equipped with four-wheel-drive. Popular four-wheel-drive models with the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 are rated at 18 mpg city, 23 highway, and 20 combined. Models equipped with the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 are rated as high as 21 mpg city and 29 highway.

These numbers are competitive for the class. The efficiency of the turbocharged 2.7 and 3.5-liter V6 models, however, pushes the F-150 slightly ahead of the V8s from rivals that offer equivalent performance, however. The turbodiesel model is also highly competitive with rival diesel models from Chevrolet and Ram, even if the Ram slightly edges it on highway economy.


What's it Going to Cost Me?

The F-150 XL starts from $30,440 MSRP, including the $1,695 destination charge. The XL is available in Regular Cab, Super Cab, and SuperCrew models and in three bed lengths.

Standard equipment includes the 3.3-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, with two-wheel-drive. Four-wheel-drive is an option. Basic standard features also include a rearview camera with trailer hitch assist, 40/20/40 split front bench seat, 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, and an AM/FM radio with a 4.2-inch display.

The 101A Mid group includes power windows, locks, and mirrors, cruise control, and a trip computer screen in the instrument panel. The FX4 Off-Road package includes an electronic locking rear differential, hill descent control, upgraded shock absorbers, front and rear skid plates. The turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 and the 5.0-liter V8 are also available, as are various exterior trim packages. An XL Appearance Package also adds alloy wheels and upgraded exterior trim.

The XLT starts from $36,455 MSRP and is also available in three cab styles and three bed lengths. It adds to the XL the Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim, power windows, locks, and mirrors, auto on/off headlamps, and cruise control. It offers the two upgraded engines, while the SuperCrew model can be equipped with the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6.

Options include the FX4 Off-Road package, as well as the 301A Mid package that includes features such as a power driver's seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and satellite radio. Built-in navigation is also available.

The Lariat starts from $44,445 MSRP. It's available as a Super Cab or a SuperCrew, and in three different bed lengths. On top of the XLT's equipment, the Lariat gets the 2.7-liter V6, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats on SuperCrew models, power-folding exterior mirrors, steering wheel audio controls, 18-inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power sliding rear window, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, 5.0-liter V8, and turbodiesel engine are also available, as is four-wheel-drive.

The 501A Mid package includes blind-spot monitoring, remote start and remote tailgate release, rear parking sensors, and a household-style 110-volt power outlet. The 502A package adds chrome trim and a Bang & Olufsen audio system. The Technology Package adds a 360-degree camera and active park assist. Adaptive cruise control is also available, as are a number of exterior trim packages.

The King Ranch starts from $54,685 MSRP and comes only as a SuperCrew with a choice of two bed lengths. It adds the 5.0-liter V8 engine, Bang & Olufsen audio system, two-tone exterior paint, LED headlamps, LED bed lighting, and heated exterior mirrors.

The Luxury Package includes a tailgate step with an assisted tailgate drop, power running boards, 20-inch alloy wheels, and inflatable rear seatbelts. The Technology and FX4 packages are also available, as are the 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 and 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. A panoramic moonroof is also available.

The F-150 Raptor starts from $55,150 MSRP. It's available as a Super Cab or SuperCrew, but only with the shorter bed. It gets the high-output version of the turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine which produces 450 horsepower, standard four-wheel drive, off-road suspension and tires with 17-inch alloy wheels, a distinctive front end, revised instrument panel design, and its own set of interior trim pieces.

The 801A Mid package adds heated and powered front seats, leather upholstery, power-adjustable pedals, and a power sliding rear window. The 802A Luxury package adds memory settings for the driver's seat, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, a 360-degree camera, and an upgraded front axle.

The Platinum starts from $57,215 MSRP. It comes only as a SuperCrew with a choice of two bed lengths. Over the King Ranch, the Platinum adds the Bang & Olufsen audio system, navigation, polished 20-inch alloy wheels, built-in navigation, more chrome exterior trim, and real wood interior trim.

The Luxury Package includes the contents of the Technology Package, as well as adaptive cruise control with pedestrian detection, and a tailgate step. The FX4 Off-Road package is also offered, as are the 3.5-liter turbo V6 and 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6.

The top-tier F-150 Limited trim starts from $69,430 MSRP. It comes only as a SuperCrew with the shorter bed. It adds 22-inch wheels, more metal exterior trim, the high-output 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, a panoramic moonroof, 360-degree camera, and a remote tailgate release. Apart from two different towing packages, there are no options for the Limited.

XLT models offer most of the equipment pickup buyers tend to go for, and it also offers the widest variety of cab styles and bed lengths, as well as engine options. But tick too many option boxes and a well-equipped XLT costs more than a Lariat, which comes with leather upholstery and the turbocharged engine as standard, so it's worth considering the higher trim level.

Most people will be satisfied with the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6, which is more efficient and less costly to option than the 3.5-liter or the 5.0-liter V8.

The turbodiesel V6, while extremely fuel-efficient, is an expensive extra. Given the widely varying cost of diesel fuel, it's only worth it for buyers who do a lot of highway miles and hauling and towing, and even then, it may not save money in the end.


More Photos

See more 2020 Ford F-150 photos here.