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2013 Ford F-150 Limited

Mon, 28 Jan 2013 The Ford F-150 received yet another new model for the 2013 model year, the Limited trim, bringing the ways you can order this country's most popular vehicle to a grand total of 10. There really is an F-150 to suit any need now, and the Limited variant slots in at the very top of the range, above the already pampering Platinum model.

While normally I would admit that I'm the least-appropriate person to test a pickup, the fact that this particular trim places a much higher premium on luxury than anything with a bed and Blue Oval badge before it means that I don't need the workman chops of a skilled tradesman to judge how well this truck meets its true aim.

Driving Notes

  • With a base price of $52,895, the F-150 Limited is the most expensive half-ton Ford truck you can buy. Our tester came with the few options that don't come standard, including White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat paint ($495), a pickup bed extender ($250), tailgate step ($375) and spray-in bed liner ($475), bringing the final tally with a $995 delivery charge to $55,045.
  • The polished aluminum wheels on the Limited model are 22 inches in diameter, a full two inches larger than what's fitted to the Platinum model. They sure are pretty, though appear appropriate for on-road use only, lest you want to scratch and nick their polished finish. Other filigree on the truck includes the single-tip chrome exhaust, 'LIMITED' lettering along the box sides, the bold three-bar grille and body-colored everything.
  • Curiously, while you can have the less expensive Platinum model with your choice of three engines and two bed lengths, the Limited is only available with the twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine and 5.5-foot box. Both trims, however, are limited to the four-door SuperCrew cab style only. It's not clear why Ford went with the EcoBoost engine only in the Limited, but with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the engine is up to the task and relatively efficient.
  • Speaking of which, remember a few years ago when the F-150 required a special SFE model to reach 21 miles per gallon on the highway? The F-150 Limited can technically achieve the same feat, despite all of its luxury trappings and lack of aero aids. The EPA estimates 17 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, and I managed to reach and sustain that number, though not on the highway. It was on a long stretch of 35-mph road with few lights and stop signs. On the highway traveling between 60-70 mph, the F-150 and its EcoBoost V6 still returned a respectable 16-17 mpg.
  • The headlights on the Limited model are segment-first HID lamps. They are incredibly powerful and cut a very wide swatch with sharply delineated edges. From the driver's seat, it's as if the truck has two poles sticking out either side of the front end with a bunch of lights hanging from them pointing forward. That said, the F-150 Limited rides high and I know those powerful low beams were at times bouncing off the rear and sideview mirrors of the cars I was following.
  • This truck is surprisingly easy to drive. Even though I feel it would be silly for someone like me, who only has the occasional need for a truck, to buy and use an F-150 Limited as a daily driver, I easily could. It's like a truck, a minivan and a luxury sedan rolled into one – eminently capable, comfortable and cool.
  • Its ride is composed and relatively smooth, though can be skittish over rough pavement. That said, this truck emits nary a squeak, noise or rattle no matter how hard the suspension and frame are being hit.
  • The level of luxury here is very high, with running boards that automatically deploy when the doors open, a red and black leather interior that both looks and feels rich, aluminum trim, ambient lighting and the very full suite of Ford infotainment electronics that includes Sync, MyFord Touch, an eight-inch main screen and 4.2-inch info screen between the gauges.
  • At the end of my week with the pickup, I came around to the conclusion that buying an F-150 Limited makes as much sense as luxury car or sports car. All three appeal to what one wants more than what one needs. Do I need a $55k luxury pickup? No. But now I want one.

Vital Stats

Twin-Turbo 3.5L V6
365 HP / 420 LB-FT
6-Speed Auto
Four-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
5,687 LBS
11,000 LBS (est.)
5.5-FT bed
17 City / 21 HWY
$55,045 (as tested)

Research the 2013 Ford F-150 »

By John Neff

See also: Ford Focus EV's slow sales trigger massive incentives, Blue Oval's new Cargo cab-over rig is largest "One Ford" initiative yet, Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid nab five-star ratings from NHTSA.