October 2, 2022

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2022 Ford F-150 Lightning in Its Affordable Forms

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning in Its Affordable Forms

The new electric version of Ford’s F-150 pickup recently started production, and we’ve just driven the Lightning. Now that it’s real, we decided to indulge the hypothetical and play around with the F-150 Lightning configurator to see which version of the truck we’d pick if it was our own money. It’s no surprise that we tended to gravitate to less expensive versions of the Lightning, as the value-oriented pricing of the Pro and XLT models makes more sense to us than the idea of spending $90,000-plus on the fully loaded Platinum trim.

Greg Fink’s $44,259 Lightning Pro

2022 ford f150 lightning hwsi

Ford

2022 ford f150 lightning hwsi

Ford

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning proves that less is sometimes more, as the entry-level Pro offers more value than its higher-end and better-equipped XLT, Lariat, and Platinum kin. Though it’s limited to the smaller battery pack, the all-wheel-drive Pro still packs a plentiful 230 miles of manufacturer-targeted driving range. The two electric motors afford the truck north of 400 horsepower and close to 800 pound-feet of torque. That’s plenty for all but the most insecure individuals. The price for all of this? $41,769—$13,000 less than the next cheapest F-150 Lightning trim, the XLT.

With all that available torque, it seems almost irresponsible of me not to equip my plain-jane Oxford White Lightning with the $825 Max Trailer Tow package, which includes additional cooling features to—hopefully—prevent the motors and battery pack from overheating under load. Opting for this package means my Lightning Pro’s standard 2.4-kW generator gets swapped for a more powerful 9.6-kW setup. Add in $595 worth of spray-in bedliner and I’m looking at an electric pickup truck with a sticker price $44,259. That’s $559 less than a bare-bones four-wheel-drive F-150 XL crew cab with spray-in bedliner and the base 290-hp 3.3-liter V-6. Less really is more. —Greg Fink

Drew Dorian’s $75,094 Lightning XLT

2022 ford f150 lightning hwsi

Ford

2022 ford f150 lightning hwsi

Ford

If it were my money, I’d stick with the XLT trim and put all of my splurge money toward the larger battery pack. Adding it requires opting for the $9500 312A equipment group, for a total of $19,500 over the standard-range XLT, but it kicks the Lightning’s range up from 230 miles per charge to 320. For now, the Lightning is still eligible for the $7500 electric vehicle tax credit, so that offsets the cost of the upgrade somewhat. The XLT model is fairly basic but the extended-range model comes with plenty of convenience features such as a 360-degree exterior camera system, running boards, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and Ford’s Co-Pilot360 driver-assistance bundle. I’m not usually a fan of gray vehicles, but on the XLT version of the Lightning the Carbonized Gray Metallic paint somehow works. I think it’s because the truck’s grille and 20-inch wheels are the same color and it sort of creates a grayscale effect that I find rather interesting. The only option I’d add is the Max Trailer Tow package for $825 which unlocks the Lightning’s maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. As equipped, my F-150 Lightning rings in at a $75,094, which is a few thousand less than the starting price of the Rivian R1T. –Drew Dorian

K.C. Colwell’s $46,209 Lightning Pro

2022 ford f150 lightning hwsi

Ford

2022 ford f150 lightning hwsi

Ford

I like luxury items and I’m not afraid to spend money on the things I like. But value is a key component, which is why my Lightning spec is a Pro and has only three options necessary to do the work I need a truck to do: the Tow Technology ($1950) and Max Trailer Tow ($825) packages and a factory spray-in bed liner ($595). Wait, what? The Max Trailer Tow package, which bumps the tow rating from 5000 pounds to 7700 with the standard-range battery, forces the Pro Power Onboard option. I don’t really need that, but I suppose I might want to go to a tailgate. Maybe. Anyway, that’s $1070 of my $7500 tax credit I am never gonna see. I’m going with Oxford White because my ’91 Explorer was the same color. I don’t need the big battery because my duty cycle is just weekend-warrior stuff. I take my boat to a launch and return. I go to Lowe’s. Maybe a fishing trip in Northern Michigan. Never very far. I probably wouldn’t even pay to wire it up to my house because I already have a level 2 connection in my garage and a generator. And considering that my truck costs $46,209, I’ll have money left over to cover the vinyl seats with something soft with a 12-volt heating element. I’d even find a stitched leather cover for the plastic steering wheel. –K.C. Colwell

Ezra Dyer’s $75,839 Lightning XLT

2022 ford f150 lightning hwsi

Ford

2022 ford f150 lightning hwsi

Ford

My Lightning is the ideal Lightning, bereft of frippery but fitted with the most powerful motors, an homage to its tail-happy namesake. I started with an Atlas Blue $74,269 XLT with the extended range battery—not because I care about having 320 miles of range, necessarily, but because the upgraded battery brings 580 horsepower, versus 452 horsepower with the standard battery. And while it’s a big price jump over the standard-range XLT, the extended-range truck comes with Equipment Group 312A, which is otherwise a $9500 option and includes key features like the 9.6-kW generator (and OK, I’ll take the heated seats and steering wheel too). So your net spend over the base XLT is $10,000, but that also includes the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro, which both charges your truck faster than a standard Level 2 charger and is a prerequisite for the Lightning’s other neat trick—serving as backup power for your house. And that’s another circumstance in which you’d want the higher-capacity battery.

So what else do I need? I’m going with the $825 max trailer tow package, which brings upgraded cooling for the battery and motors. I’ll want the spray-in bedliner for $595, and let’s throw on all-terrain tires for another $150. And that’s it. That will adequately meet my pickup-truck needs, inasmuch as my pickup-truck needs involve 580 horsepower, 775 lb-ft of torque and the ability to transform on demand into a local power utility. After the $7500 Federal tax credit (which probably won’t be around for long once Ford starts moving these things), I’m back under $70,000. Expensive, yeah. But also not a bad deal. –Ezra Dyer


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