Calling the 2019 Ford F150 Platinum a nice pickup is an understatement. Ford works hard to remain at the forefront of the pickup market, and for the most part, succeeds. While other makers may have an edge in one area or another, Ford is the top-selling half-ton pickup for a good reason; they offer a package of class-leading features from work trucks to the top of the line luxury models.
Our test truck this time was the Platinum edition with the new 3-liter Power Stroke V6 engine. Over the past year, we have driven F150’s ranging from the plebian XL work truck to the country club ready Limited Edition; in each case, the pickup performed up to or exceeded our expectations. See some of those reviews here
Ford sells almost as many F150 half-ton trucks as the second and third place makers combined. There is a reason for this. Let’s look at the latest road test adventure sent to me by Ford.
F150 is quiet and comfortable
The 5200 pound, 2019 Ford 150 Platinum sits on a 145-inch wheelbase with a 68-inch track putting enough distance between the bumps to smooth out the ride significantly. Combined with 275/55 all-terrain tires on 20-inch wheels and Ford’s remarkable Multi-Contour seats with active motion, the F150 Platinum rides as well, or better than any pickup on the market today. Excellent soundproofing throughout the cabin, and sound deadening glass help to isolate the passengers from the disturbances of the outside world.
Entertainment is handled with a Bang and Olufsen, 1000 watt, ten-speaker sound system, while the Ford Sync 3 system and a built-in 4G WIFI connection provide infotainment. Standard Sync 3 features include Waze crowd-sourced map routing and Ford Alex integration that allows you to connect to your home or office internet enabled “things.”
Apple Car Play and Android Auto are cornerstones of the Sync system, enabling drivers to access the more familiar world of their smartphone for contacts, navigation, and information. Audio and climate controls are duplicated with knobs or buttons, while the touch screen controls functions such as the active motion seats.
Pick your power
Platinum editions come with one of three powerplants. The standard engine is the 5-liter V8 making 395 horsepower and 400 pounds of torque; the 3.5-liter high-output V6 EcoBoost is the other gas-powered option with 450 horses and 510 pounds of twist. This year Ford also offers the new Power Stroke V6 diesel engine for those needing diesel dependability, fuel economy, or an ego boost.
No matter what engine you select the towing rating of the F150 exceeds 10,000 pounds when properly equipped with the max towing package.The diesel engine performs well. Engine noise is barely discernable except under hard acceleration. There is no turbo lag and no extended crank time. However, the little V6 oil burner is less than half the size of the iconic Power Stroke of Super Duty fame and produces less than half the power, but will still tow a maximum of 11,100 pounds in 2-wheel drive.
Our test truck came equipped with the FX-4, automatic 2-speed 4-wheel drive option that includes hill descent control, electronic locking rear differential, and roll stability control. The FX-4 package drops the finally towing ability number but lets you extend your adventure into uncharted territory.
F150 Platinum uses tech to help drivers stay safe
The F150 Platinum comes with a full array of driver safety aids. Blind spot monitors cover the truck and trailer, while Pro Trailer Assist makes it easy for any driver to successfully back the trailer. Pre-collision alert with Automatic Emergency Braking, cross traffic alert, and parking sensors all combine to help the driver avoid accidents. If all else fails, the SOS post-crash notification system will call for help. Other features like adaptive cruise control, anti-sway control, and bird’s eye view cameras help make life easier for the motorist.
Cabin space is huge, front and rear. The rear flat load surface provides and large and uncomplicated stacking space with the 60/40 split rear seat up. A large pass-through center console, half a dozen cup holders, lockable glove box, and useable door pockets make stashing all your stuff easy.
Entry is made simple with automatic deploying running boards and wide door openings. Once in the cab, the 12-way adjustable Multi-Contour heated and cooled seats, along with a tilt and telescoping steering column and adjustable pedals allow for a comfortable drive position no matter the driver’s size. Of course, it is all remembered and recalled for each individual driver.
There are seven trims levels of the F150, ranging from the XL to the Limited Edition, and the standalone Raptor. Prices swing from the high 20’s for a base XL to almost 70 thousand for an entry level Limited. Our test truck, including the $3000 diesel upgrade and the FX package stickered for a bit over $68,000. The 395 dollar Ruby Red paint option was a worthwhile selection.
The pickup truck wars have incentivized all of the half-ton builders to offer more high-tech, luxury, and power. Ford has remained ahead of the pack so far, but the gap is closing. Ford will soon have to up the game again to remain at the forefront of light-duty trucks.
Build and price your F150 at Ford’s website