Regular readers know me as a committed Tesla fan, currently owning both a 2015 Model S and a 2017 Model X. But I was drawn to make a reservation for the F-150 Lightning as soon as it was announced, and last week a real estate client and I took delivery as co-buyers of a carbonite gray Lightning Lariat model.
My reservation number was still several months out, but the sales manager was able to secure this vehicle from an inventory vehicle shipped to him by Ford. We didn’t get to choose any finishes, including color or an extended range battery, but we liked it enough that we bought it.
Initially, the Lightning was promoted with a base price under $40,000, which understandably attracted hundreds of thousands of reservations. But that was a mirage, much like the $35,000 base price for the Tesla Model 3 when it was introduced.
Today, the base price for the Lightning is $51,974, and our Lariat model came with a $74,474 price tag, plus a $5,000 dealer mark-up, which we had to accept. The base model doesn’t have two driver assistance features I’m used to on my Teslas and which I can’t live without — adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping.
So, how do I like our Lightning Lariat? After putting a couple hundred miles on it, I can say that I love it. What surprised me most of all was that the ride at highway speed and on rough pavement was better and quieter than in either of my Teslas.
I love that the Lightning offers a “one-pedal” driving mode, in which you not only have strong regenerative braking, but it brings you to a complete stop, greatly reducing the need to use the brake pedal.
I appreciate the great Apple Play integration for my iPhone. Tesla’s iPhone integration is terrible – unimproved despite my complaints since my first Tesla purchase in 2014.
At first, I didn’t like the lane-keeping feature because, unlike with Tesla, you can’t change lane by using the turn signal. But I came to love it because it’s always on, such that when I do change lanes, it locks onto the new lane without asking.
Although I would have little use for it, I like that the Lightning has numerous USB and 120V outlets in the front trunk, the cargo bed and inside the cab, plus a 240V outlet in the cargo bed. One feature I’d make great use of is the large work surface that is created when you retract the shift lever and unfold the console cushion. (Photos from Ford.com)
My client loves the Lightning, too, so I am letting him buy me out and take sole ownership.