After introducing you to the , we're here to show you the next competitor in our upcoming 2018 Best Half-Ton Truck Challenge, the 2018 Ford F-150 Lariat. Unlike the competitors from GM and Ram, the Ford hasn't undergone a recent major redesign, although it was .
You may also note that unlike some other Challenge competitors, this F-150 is not the top trim level available for purchase. We specified that manufacturers send us their best, according to their definition of best, and the popular 4×4 SuperCrew Lariat trim is what Ford sent.
Our test F-150 had a Ruby Red Metallic exterior paint job to complement a Camel leather interior (that's camel color, not material, to be clear) and had a 145-inch wheelbase. Power came from the optional twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 ($1,600), mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with 3.55:1 axle gears and had a base price of $46,970.
Optional equipment on the F-150 included Ford's Equipment Group 502A ($7,335), which added a ton of features like , leather front bucket seats, a Bang & Olufsen sound system and LED head- and taillights.
The F-150 also came equipped with the Max Trailer Tow Package ($1,295), which added Ford's , extra cooling and a 36-gallon fuel tank. Interestingly, towing mirrors are not part of the towing package and must be ordered separately ($250). Ours had them.
The last major option on our test truck was the Technology Package ($1,395), which gave the F-150 a 360-degree-view camera, Ford's Dynamic Hitch Assist feature (intended to make hooking up a trailer easier and a one-person operation) and lane-keeping assist. The only feature we wish the F-150 had included was the tailgate step for easier access (offered as a $375 option). It also had a spray-in bedliner ($495).
All told, a truck that started at $46,970 (before destination fees) and added more than $12,000 in optional equipment, had an total MSRP of $61,030 (including the $1,295 destination charge), which made the Ford F-150 one of the least expensive competitors in our Challenge. Wednesday's preview: the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT.
Cars.com photos by Christian Lantry