Consumer Reports Finally Gives an Official Opinion on the Ford F-150 Lightning

Consumer Reports has published an official opinion on the F-150 Lightning—and it's pretty good.
Written by Andrew Kidd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Sep 7, 2022
Consumer Reports has given a preliminary verdict on the all-electric
Ford
F-150 Lightning
The publication's headline gives away their opinion right away: "Smokin' fast 2022
Ford F-150 Lightning
Ushers in a New Era of EV Pickup Trucks." They didn't sing this high of praise from the outset for the EcoSport, that's for sure.

A new era of EV pickup trucks

As
Consumer Reports
notes in its write-up, Ford's second significant entry into the EV market follows the launch of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, an SUV version of the company's Mustang pony car.
Ford didn't just start producing electric vehicles; Ford made its debut in the electric vehicle market in 2011 with a modified version of its compact hatchback, the Focus Electric.
When it comes to daily tasks, CR reported that the
Lightning
doesn't lag behind its gas-powered brethren, the
regular F-150
, while significantly enhancing the truck in other areas. 
It's a more sophisticated and pleasurable truck to drive on a daily basis; it's faster, quieter, rides smoother, and has much more storage.
In an attempt to maintain its grip on the pickup truck market, Ford didn't set out to revolutionize the pickup truck segment.
 Much of the Lightning remains similar to the regular F-150, including the cabin, which will ease the transition for drivers hopping into the electric pickup for the first time.
What did Consumer Reports like about the F-150 Lightning?

Powertrain

CR's reviewers were surprised by the Lightning's quick acceleration off the line as well as its smooth power delivery. It even has some power left over when traveling at speed, which is uncommon among EVs.

A more comfortable ride

The
F-150 Lightning
is the first iteration of the F-150 equipped with independent rear suspension and coil springs, compared with the original's solid rear axle and leaf springs. This translates to a smoother ride than its gas-powered cohorts.
It also has a low center of gravity, which helps make it feel like it's hugging the road a little more. It maintains its body-on-frame design, so you're still going to feel some bumps here and there.

It's quiet

While the regular F-150 had an already quiet cabin compared with other pickups, the electrification of Ford's best-selling vehicle made it even quieter. Replace the growl of a V8 with the near silence of an electric motor, and all you've got left is some road noise and wind.

Normal-feeling brakes

The Lightning's brakes feel pretty decent, almost normal, compared to many electric vehicles and hybrids on the market. CR also notes that its reviewers think the Lightning's brakes were superior to both the Mustang Mach-E and the automaker's hybrid PowerBoost F-150.

Normal controls

As we've mentioned before, the Lightning's cabin should be mostly familiar to many F-150 drivers. Aside from its big 15.5-inch touchscreen, CR notes that most controls in the vehicle won't send drivers digging through the glove box for their owner's manual. 
It still maintains many of the same innovations found in other F-150 models, like a folding gear selector to make a flat work surface as well as far-reclining seats for napping.

A big frunk

One thing the Lightning has that regular gas-powered F-150s and other pickup trucks don't is a big front trunk (or "frunk") to serve as additional cargo storage. 
It also features multiple household power outlets and USB ports. Another feature CR loved about this frunk is that the grille opens with it, meaning the lift-over height is lowered.

No home charging unit needed

Ford has a dongle in the F-150 Lightning that can fit into a heavy-duty 240-volt outlet right out of the box. These outlets are similar to the ones we plug appliances into—meaning you won't have to purchase a home charging station right off the bat.

Missed opportunities

While CR noted that Ford did well not to attempt to reinvent the pickup truck, it could have improved upon some areas. 
For instance, it lacks many of the "cutting-edge" features that Rivian fielded on its R1T, like a retractable power tonneau cover and a "gear tunnel" that cuts through the middle of the vehicle behind the rear passenger seats.

Verdict

Aside from a few gripes about the infotainment screen, sluggish steering, and charge port location, Consumer Reports praised the F-150 Lightning as a quick and capable electric pickup truck. Should you get one? Sure, if you can find one at a reasonable price. 
But wait until Consumer Reports releases its road test of the F-150 Lightning to make sure it's right for you.
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