DRUMHELLER, AB — Ford has the answer to the $64,000 question – the 2013 F-150 Limited. With a price tag of $64,699 it is destined for a very limited audience – only 1-to-2 % of F-150 buyers.
The new-for-2013 trim level atop the F-150 hierarchy, defines the term “fully loaded,” continuing the trend toward even more elaborate pickups from Ford.
In 1999 it introduced the limited edition Harley-Davidson model, then the King Ranch in 2001 followed by Platinum edition in 2009. The 2013 Limited represents the highest level of luxury and technology ever offered in a Ford truck.
Lest you think this extravagance is solely because of demand in the U.S., the Limited is available only with twin-turbo V-6 power in there, while buyers in Canada’s prairie provinces wanted even more. So we get a Canadian-only 6.2-litre V-8 option.
Thus equipped, along with the only available options (bed and wheel well liners and a bed extender) we’re looking at a price close to $70,000! I guess those folks won’t be put off at the $160 plus cost of filling the 136-litre fuel tank!
Far be it for me to question Ford’s marketing strategy. The F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America for 36 consecutive years and the top-selling vehicle of any type in Canada for 47 straight years.
It sold more than 100,000 pickups in Canada last year and is on pace to handily beat that number in 2013. Folks like Ford pickups and Ford knows how to produce what they like.
And Ford did not get to maintain that pace by ignoring the competition. It knows that there is a brand-new Ram arriving at Dodge dealers this spring, GM has a new Silverado/Sierra duo coming this summer and Toyota has a new Tundra due this fall – all before Ford can bring the next generation F-150 to market in 2014 as a 2015 model.
Accordingly the 2013 F-Series has been spiced up with a new face echoing the heavy-duty F-Series models and the new Limited trim level.
The F-150 Limited is available as a SuperCrew four-door cab configuration with a 5.5-foot box and automatic all-wheel-drive system. A chromed grille, high intensity discharge (HID) headlights and giant 22-inch polished aluminum wheels are all standard.
Only three colors are offered – red, black and white. My tester was coated in Ruby Red Metallic Clearcoat – a $300 option!
The interior was red as well, with “Brick Red” perforated leather covering the seats, front and rear. The front seats were both heated and cooled while rear occupants can only toast their buns.
The back of each front seat contains a prominent “Limited “ logo. While it appears to be plastic, it is actually a ‘cloisonne’ badge formed from metal and glass.
The top of the console wears another badge, this a serialized Limited plate showing the VIN number.
The instrument panel is new with a combination of bright aluminum and piano black trim. The Limited model gets a unique cluster with a programmable center readout.
There are four big, clear, redundant knobs to control the HVAC and audio system – with gloves on. Otherwise the control is via a large (20-cm) touch screen or voice activation.
Ambient lighting can be personalized through one of five colours. Also standard are a power sliding rear window, large power glass sunroof, rear-view camera, navigation system, power adjustable pedals, power deployable running boards and heated power extendable mirrors.
Getting into and out of this tall truck is made easier by the running boards, which drop to a lower level than those on other F-150s. Visibility is excellent thanks to plenty of glass and the tall seating position.
On the road
Driving this sybaritic palace on wheels is effortless once you accept the sheer bulk of the beast. Its EcoBoost V-6 engine is pleasant enough and has sufficient power to tow more than 5000 kg (11,000 lb), but the big bent-eight seems somehow more appropriate to a pickup wearing a price tag of this magnitude.
So equipped it is the definition of the big ,strong, silent type. The ride is pillowy soft over all but the worst surfaces and head toss and lateral rear axle movement when you encounter a bump in a turn, are the only reminders that this is a pickup designed to work but dressed up.
Think of it as a heavyweight fighter in a tuxedo that just emerged from a finishing school.