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MotorTrend announced today that the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning has been named the 2023 MotorTrend Truck of the Year. As the best-riding, best-handling, and best-driving F-150 yet, the Lightning is the first EV pickup to appeal directly to the existing truck market.
It does so with a trove of new engineering accomplishments wrapped in a practical, recognizable package truck owners have come to trust. While some vehicles change the world by being radically different, others, like the Ford F-150 Lightning, change it by being different where it counts and familiar where it helps. The Lightning so successfully bridges the gulf between the powertrain of the future and the pickup truck of today that we’ve named it our 2023 MotorTrend Truck of the Year.
“The F-150 Lightning’s instantaneous torque and standout ride and handling make it without a doubt the best truck Ford has ever made. If that feels like a bold statement, consider that amongst our judges, the Lightning won Truck of the Year by unanimous decision–the first EV truck to convince all judges across the board,” said MotorTrend Group Head of Editorial, Ed Loh. “The Ford F-150 Lightning is no less than a milestone achievement in the history of American mobility.”
The Ford F-150 was judged the 2023 Truck of the Year by excelling in each of MotorTrend’s six key criteria: safety, efficiency, value, advancement in design, engineering excellence, and performance of intended function.
Among the highlights are its incredible value among EV trucks, including the fact every Lightning comes with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain. Eight 120-volt outlets are included to power a job site, and the standard four-door Supercrew cab style maximizes space for hauling coworkers, gear, or both. Elsewhere inside, the truck features a standard 12-inch infotainment screen with built-in navigation and route-planning software to keep the Lightning charged on longer trips, as well as Ford’s CoPilot 360 2.0 safety features. The truck also has a full center console and front bucket seats on all models, and the huge frunk under the hood provides tons of additional lockable storage away from prying eyes.
The EV pickup truck segment is a small pool, but even in that context, the Lightning stands out. Though its EPA efficiency ratings are nearly identical to the Rivian R1T’s, they don’t tell the full story. The Lightning is a physically larger vehicle but goes farther than an R1T while using a smaller battery pack.
When it comes to EV pickups, there’s just no beating the Lightning on price at around $52,000. Even following price hikes, it remains the least-expensive EV truck on the market by nearly $20,000. What’s more, buyers don’t give up essential tools on lower-priced models.
The F-150 Lightning offers a host of features few to no gas- or diesel-powered trucks can match, such as the ability to power homes for multiple days and multiple power ports for charging devices or running high-draw electrical tools and appliances. Be it for the campsite, the jobsite, or the homestead, the Lightning offers a world of new possibilities for truck owners, all while saving them money at the pump and likely at the repair shop, too. It’s a bargain many are going to find exceedingly easy to live with.
Our unofficial criteria for awarding any EV is that it cannot only be a good EV or a good vehicle; it must be both. For a tool like a truck, this is even more important. The Ford F-150 Lightning is both, and it’s just the type of truck we need to make the coming EV revolution work for most everyone. With pickup trucks being the best-selling vehicles in America by a wide margin, converting them to EVs will have an outsized impact on everything from local air quality to gas prices to global warming. The Lightning is the first and only EV for truck people, and the first and only EV to win the Golden Calipers unanimously. For these reasons and more, MotorTrend is proud to name the Ford F-150 Lightning our 2023 Truck of the Year.
For more in-depth analysis on why MotorTrend named the Ford F-150 Lightning its 2023 Truck of the Year, please visit the Truck of the Year award article.