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Test Drive: 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning XLT Extended Range Review

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning XLT Towing
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning XLT Towing / Credit: Ford

F-150 Lightning Is Revolutionary, Rapid, and Out of Reach

  • Trim Tested: F-150 Lightning XLT Extended Range
  • Price as Tested: $75,589 (including destination charge)
  • What We Like: Strong acceleration; huge front trunk
  • What We Don’t: High price; unpolished interior

Few vehicles we have test-driven are as buzzed-about as the Ford F-150 Lightning. Around the Carfax office and around town, people were eager to hear how it drove. We can report that it’s impressive, both because of its position in automotive history and because of what it can do.

However, we can’t talk about the F-150 Lightning without talking about how expensive it is. Our test vehicle was the XLT trim, which is one level above the basic, job-site-oriented Pro. The 2022 XLT cost $53,000. Ours had the extended-range battery, which adds 90 more miles of range (320 total) but costs a staggering $20,000 more, bringing our total as-tested price to $75,589. And that’s for the 2022 model.

For 2023, perhaps in response to the extravagant markups a few dealers have been applying, Ford raised the base price of an Extended Range 2023 XLT to $81,000. Keep in mind that the XLT is the second-least-expensive version of the F-150 Lightning – the top-of-the-line F-150 Lightning Platinum starts at $97,000.

So, the F-150 Lightning XLT Extended Range is pricey – arguably too pricey. But what do you get for that money? I drove one for a week, and these are my impressions.

How It Drives

The F-150 Extended Range delivers 580 horsepower from 2 motors, one on each axle. That’s more horsepower than an F-150 Raptor, delivered instantly to all four wheels.

We had to brace ourselves for takeoff in the F-150 Lightning. That amazing acceleration strained neck muscles we didn’t know we had. On a steep hill, the F-150 Lightning would spin all four tires if we weren’t careful with the throttle.

The F-150 Lightning is much heavier than the conventional F-150, so it doesn’t handle as well. But then, no full-size pickup truck is agile. The Extended Range version is even heavier than the standard Lightning because of its larger battery, so it handles slightly worse. It also has a lower payload capacity. However, the extra power of the larger battery gives it 2,300 additional pounds of towing capacity, for a total of 10,000. Just don’t expect to get the full 320 miles of range when towing.

Interior Comfort & Quality

The F-150 Lightning has almost the same interior as the gas F-150, with the good and bad that brings.

The good includes the interior door handles, which are broad paddles great for gloved hands. The XLT and higher models have a large, flat working surface that unfolds from the center armrest.

The Lightning only comes in the 4-door SuperCrew cab configuration, and the seats are huge in front and in back. It rides more quietly and smoothly than the gas F-150.

The bad aspects of the F-150 interior remain in the Lightning, namely the hard, sharp-edged plastic trim and the rough fabric on the seats. Paying $76,000 for a vehicle and not getting leather, or even pleather, is a tough pill to swallow. The Ram 1500 continues to be the truck to beat in this area.

Technology & Usability

The XLT doesn’t have the massive 15-inch vertical touchscreen prominently featured in Ford’s ads, but its 12-inch screen isn’t exactly tiny. And Ford’s Sync 4 software has bright menus with clear, crisp graphics. It’s been laggy in the past but wasn’t in the Lightning.

2022 F-150 Lightning Pro
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning / Credit: Ford
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning XLT Frunk
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning XLT Frunk / Credit: Ford

Instead of an engine under the hood, there is a massive storage area. This front trunk, or frunk, can hold up to 400 pounds of cargo. It opens electronically and has a wide array of power outlets.

In fact, the number of power outlets inside and outside of the Lightning is astonishing. The Lightning could probably charge the iPhones of every person in our office while driving 5 people to lunch. It can even power your house during a blackout.

For the money it costs, we wish the XLT had more of the high-end features that the Lariat and Platinum models do, such as the 15-inch touchscreen and heated steering wheel. And there are a lot of small black plastic buttons to decipher on the F-150 Lightning’s dashboard. Still, the Lightning is a technological marvel that deserves the attention it’s getting. We just hope the price falls back to Earth so more people can enjoy it.

Read our full 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning review for more specs and information about the entire F-150 Lightning lineup. Carfax vehicle reviews let shoppers compare a vehicle’s specs against its competitors. However, some aspects of a vehicle – performance, comfort, usability – can only be evaluated through actual driving. That’s why we evaluate as many vehicles as we can, so you’ll know what to expect.

If you have questions about this story, please contact us at Editors@carfax.com