GFORCENERD

The 2024 Ford F-150 Is Just A Bit Better

For the 47th straight year, the Ford F-150 outsold every other truck in America. (It was also the best-selling hybrid truck and the best-selling electric truck of 2023). While the last update of the F-150 in 2021 was a major overhaul, the 2024 refresh is minor, focused mostly on delivering value to customers.

The F-150 still retains all of the 14th-generation truck’s strengths: a straightforward cabin, excellent engine choices (including a more powerful base motor), and the highest towing capacity in its class. It also adds a few niceties for lower-trim buyers such as a standard 12.0-inch touchscreen and added access to Ford BlueCruise.

2024 Ford F-150 First Drive

Quick Specs2024 Ford F-150
DrivetrainTwin-Turbo 2.7-Liter V-6 (Base) / 5.0-Liter V-8
Output325 Horsepower / 400 Pound-Feet (Base); 430 Horsepower / 570 Pound-Feet
Transmission10-Speed Automatic
Base Price / As-Tested$38,765 / $65,035
On-Sale DateNow

The biggest news for F-150 shoppers is that more trims now include more standard features. Gone is the 3.3-liter naturally-aspirated V-6 base engine. In its place, base-model trucks (which start at $38,765) use the 2.7-liter Ecoboost V-6. The new motor produces 400 pound-feet of torque (145 pound-feet more than the outgoing engine) and 325 horsepower. Buyers of higher trims can still opt for the 5.0-liter V-8, as well as a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and the EcoBoost mild-hybrid V-6. With that V-6, towing capacity remains best-in-class at 13,500 pounds max, as does payload at 2,445 pounds.

Inside the truck, there’s a new 12.0-inch touchscreen running Ford’s smooth Sync 4 software as standard equipment. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard. It’s paired with a 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster that is easy to read at a glance. The central screen loads quickly and is similarly easy to read, and the center console hosts redundant physical buttons for virtually every feature inside the F-150. This makes it extremely easy to use when the truck is in motion—even off-road—and the cabin feels more rugged than its more screen-forward competition thanks to those physical controls. The F-150 has one of the most intuitive cabins not just on the truck market, but among all new cars.

2024 Ford F-150 First Drive 2024 Ford F-150 First Drive 2024 Ford F-150 First Drive

For those seeking hands-off driving, more buyers can opt for hands-free Level 2 BlueCruise assistance, as it is now available as an option on the mid-trim XLT (and up). BlueCruise has been updated to version 1.2 for the 2024 F-150, which adds hands-free lane changes and intelligent speed management programming that automatically slows down for drops in the speed limit or upcoming curves. It also adds human-like behavior to its programming, adding extra buffer space when passing a semi-truck, to help with passenger comfort.

I had a chance to use the newly updated system on I-10 through Palm Springs in a mid-trim XLT model ($65,035 as-tested). I engaged the system and removed my hands for 15 straight miles without issue, and it drove predictably enough that I simply cranked the music, sat back, and watched.

Unfortunately, BlueCruise 1.2 still doesn’t offer hands-free driving while towing (unlike GM’s Super Cruise) and its overall hands-free available roads—130,000 miles in North America—lags well behind GM’s 750,000 miles. It’s also expensive, with only 90 free days of service, after which it costs $75 a month or $800 per year; Super Cruise is $25 per month or $250 per year, and it comes with three free years of activation after purchase.

2024 Ford F-150 First Drive

Pros: Best Towing And Payload, Great Ergonomics, New Pro Access Tailgate Very Useful

The F-150 rides and drives like a body-on-frame pickup—with some suspension aftershocks that reverberate over large bumps—but overall, it’s well-mannered. It was easy to find a comfortable driving position, and the cabin feels well-built, with no rattles or unpleasant touchpoints. The hybrid drivetrain is excellently integrated with smooth, predictable brakes, and all of the available engines I tested pull hard at full throttle. The sole weak point is the 10-speed automatic transmission, which sometimes feels indecisive. When giving the go pedal pressure to make a quick pass, it takes too long for the transmission to drop a gear (or four). Still, I would have no qualms about taking long road trips in this truck.

For convenience outside of the cab, ‘24 F-150s now have an optional two-way “Pro Access Tailgate” that functions as both a center-access door and a traditional tailgate. The hinges on the right side and has three detents, the smallest (37 degrees) of which is designed to allow for use even while a trailer is connected. Of the many different tailgate novelties currently on the market, it’s one of the most useful ones I’ve come across, and its usefulness is unrivaled for buyers who plan to tow frequently.

2024 Ford F-150 First Drive 2024 Ford F-150 First Drive

The off-road crowd also gets an updated Tremor with a base price of $66,145 , and it gets the 5.0-liter V-8 with the option for a 3.5-liter hybrid Ecoboost V-6 in its place. The Tremor gains updated styling via a new, Tremor-exclusive gold-embellished grille and a front bumper with mounting points for aftermarket accessories. Off-road capability remains the same via a 1.0-inch lift and 33-inch all-terrain tires.

I had the chance to use the Tremor’s off-road chops on a long, winding segment of high desert trail outside of Palm Springs, and I found the F-150’s excellent visibility (aided by well-shaped A-pillars) and seating position made crawling over rocks a cinch. Extremely high-resolution and high-quality surround-view cameras helped if my eyes couldn’t do the job alone.

Less helpful was Ford’s Trail Control, which is the Tremor’s form of off-road cruise control. It was alright at going up hills, although it would surge on throttle disconcertingly if it crested a hill too fast. Going downhill, it offers one-pedal driving, which applies brakes and instructs the driver to add throttle as needed. This also had a remarkably steep learning curve and felt relatively jerky. Mechanically, the truck could easily handle the obstacles; The tech just wasn’t as polished as some competitors’ (or simply using both of your feet).

2024 Ford F-150 First Drive

Cons: BlueCruise Is Expensive, Indecisive Transmission, Middling Off-Road Assists

More helpful was my Tremor hybrid’s Pro Power Onboard, which supplied 7.2 kilowatts of power via five outlets (four 120V, one 240V) in the bed. The 7.2 kW output system is exclusive to the hybrid, and it’s fantastic. I aired up my Tremor’s tires with a small compressor plugged into the bed, but the Pro Power system is powerful enough to run a shop-quality welder if needed. A full tank of gas can run the system at max power for 32 straight hours.

The 2024 Ford F-150 has not reinvented itself, but it doesn’t need to. It remains a rock-solid truck with unrivaled hauling ability. The newest features largely appeal to those doing real work with their trucks, and the additional power and convenience for base buyers only sweetens the deal. If you mostly cruise in your half-ton, there are plusher options. But if your pickup is for labor, the F-150 is the clear choice.

Competitors

Chevrolet Silverado Nissan Titan Ram 1500

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2024 Ford F-150
EngineTwin-Turbocharged 2.7-Liter V-6 (Base) / 5.0-Liter V-8
Output325 Horsepower / 400 Pound-Feet (Base); 430 Horsepower / 570 Pound-Feet
Transmission10-Speed Automatic
Drive TypeRear-Wheel Drive / Four-Wheel Drive
Efficiency16-22 City / 23-24 Highway /19-23 Combined
Seating Capacity5
Towing13,500 Pounds (Max)
Payload2,445 Pounds (Max)
Cargo Volume77.4 Cubic Feet (Max)
Base Price$38,765
As-Tested Price$65,035
On SaleNow

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