2022 Ford Lightning Platinum Review – Style At a Price

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Fast Facts

2022 Ford Lightning Platinum Fast Facts

Dual electric motors, front and rear mounted (580 horsepower, 775 lb-ft of torque)
Single-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive
Energy Use/Economy (U.S.)
78 city / 63 highway / 70 combined (EPA Rating, MPGe)
Energy Use/Economy (Canada)
3.2 city / 3.9 highway / 3.5 combined. (NRCan Rating, Le/100km)
Base Price
$90,874 (U.S) / $121,000 (Canada)
Price As Tested
$93,509 (U.S.) / $123,955 (Canada)
Prices include $1,695 destination charge in the United States and $2,495 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Ford has spent a lot of time touting the electrification of its venerable F-150. But what was it like to actually live with the thing for a week?

I found out a while back – and I came away impressed with the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. There are, however, caveats. Such as the high price for a loaded Lightning, and the fact that doing some “truck stuff” can have significant negative effects on range.

I didn’t get a chance to do much “truck stuff” – I didn’t tow or haul a large load in the bed. What I did do was get groceries, drive around town, and hop on the freeway. That latter activity allowed me to test out the BlueCruise hands-free driving system.

The Lightning uses a dual-motor setup with an electric motor at each axle, and the extended-range battery on my tester had a 131-kWh lithium-ion battery. That gives you 580 system horsepower and 775 lb-ft of system torque.

Predictably, that led to a fairly quick truck – but we’re not talking about the hot-rod Lightning of yore. That’s in part because there are nearly 7,000 pounds of weight to move around. Still, the Lightning moved away from a stop with impressive alacrity. Highway passing and merging won’t be too challenging.

It also makes for a very silent truck.

The more time I spent with the Lightning, the more I came to grips with the obvious – this trim is a luxury ride. It had better be, for over 90 large.

Aside from its size, shape, and the bed out back, the Lightning started feeling like a really tall luxury sedan after a while. It rode smoothly, with only the occasional hint of “truckiness”, it was mostly free from outside noise of all times, and while some of the materials weren’t quite upscale, there was still enough of a premium feel to (mostly) justify the hefty price tag.

It even handled as if it was a bit lighter than it is, though it’s still no sport truck. It will handle the cut-and-thrust of city driving just fine, but I doubt it would be much fun on a curvy road.

One benefit of ditching internal combustion is that you free up the front area to be a “frunk” – and this becomes appreciated when hauling groceries or luggage. In an ICE truck, you’d have to place those things in the back seat or in the bed, where they’d risk getting dirty or stolen. Instead, you have covered storage and can leave the back seat free. The Lightning won’t be the only EV truck performing this feat, so Ford doesn’t get special credit, but it’s a cool side benefit to electrification nonetheless.

Other nods to this truck’s EV nature include various settings accessed via menus in Ford’s Sync infotainment system, which uses a 15-inch vertical screen. You can do things such as turn off the one-pedal driving system, which worked fine in normal driving but made low-speed reversing maneuvers clunky and awkward.

I gave Blue Cruise a shot on the freeway and found that it worked well and gave me plenty of warning when I needed to take over again, though on at least one occasion it wandered a bit too close to a semi in the neighboring lane.

It’s fairly easy to engage when you’re on the right road – and it’s also a good way to freak out passengers that don’t know what the system is or what it does. The look on your passenger’s face, when they see the steering wheel moving itself while your hands hover over it, is quite something. That said, this is not a true fully autonomous system – such a thing does not exist – and you need to be paying attention and ready to take over at a moment’s notice. It’s really a driver-assist system – you can give your hands a little bit of a break – and the system is limited.

I never had a need to use the truck’s onboard power system, but it’s nice to know it’s available. I did plug in the other way, and I found charging to be well, slow. That was predictable using the standard outlets in my building – the computer measured charging time in days not hours – but even using a nearby Level II I found that the truck needed a couple of hours to get a decent amount of juice.

Ford shows an 8-hour 15 to 100 percent charging time on an 80A Level II, and that seems about right.

The Blue Oval was claiming up to 300 miles of range, later 320, for the extended-range battery, and I was seeing about 260 max. I tested the truck during warmer weather, so running the A/C likely sapped range. So, too, did urban driving, I suspect.

What does 93 grand of truck get you, in addition to the EV bits? Available features included LED lighting for the bed, LED headlamps, power “frunk”, power tailgate, a twin-panel moonroof, heated seats in both rows, power tilt/telescope steering, interior work surface, B&O audio, 360-degree camera, Blue Cruise, trailer tow package, evasive steering assist, smart adaptive cruise control, Sync 4 infotainment, 22-inch wheels, and an electronic locking rear differential.

Overall, I liked the Lightning, though I was a bit disappointed in range and charge times, and I suspect using the truck for “truck stuff” is going to sap the range – indeed, you can find those sorts of tests elsewhere and from what I’ve seen/read, that seems to be the case. I also find the price hard to stomach, even knowing that there are lower trims that are a bit more reasonable, especially if you can live with the standard-range battery’s claimed 230-mile range.

That said, the Lightning Platinum served well as an urban cowboy luxury ride. The power frunk and tailgate are neat party tricks, and Blue Cruise is fun to play with, but the truck’s true strength comes from the upscale cabin, city-friendly ride, and swift acceleration.

You get what you pay for.

What's New for 2022?

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning was a new addition to the F-150 lineup for the 2022 model year and is the first all-electric F-150.

Who Should Buy the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum?

The rich urban trucker who wants a luxury truck that can be plugged in -- and has some useful party tricks.

[Images © 2023 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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5 of 98 comments
  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Apr 22, 2023

    Curious. My reply to Art is gone. But his insulting reply to my reply is visible. Stay classy dude. Must be nice to be rich or in a position where your income is increasing by 30 to 50 percent each year making you immune to horrible government. So to those whose income is not keeping pace you say "let them eat cake" You will be happy to note that sleepy joe just announced plans for force power plants to reduce plant food emissions drastically. This will of course accelerate the increase in power cost and reduction in power production. But hey, Art's got his so tuff oogies to future generations.

    • See 2 previous
    • 95_SC 95_SC on Apr 24, 2023

      If you are a tax break away from poverty, you chose poorly. Get good. And if you believe the government is that evil and corrupt yet all you do about it is gripe online, you are chicken$#!+. It isn't complicated.

  • Carsofchaos Carsofchaos on Apr 25, 2023

    I can think of a lot better vehicles to buy with $95k.

  • Wjtinfwb Funny. When EV's were bursting onto the scene; Tesla's, Volt's, Leaf's pure EV was all the rage and Hybrids were derided because they still used a gas engine to make them, ahem; usable. Even Volt's were later derided when it was revealed that the Volt's gas engine was actually connected to the wheels, not just a generator. Now, Hybrids are warmly welcomed into the Electric fraternity by virtue of being "electrified". If a change in definition is what it takes, I'm all for it. Hybrid's make so much sense in most American's usage patterns and if needed you can drive one cross-country essentially non-stop. Glad to see Hybrid's getting the love.
  • 3-On-The-Tree We also had a 1973 IH Scout that we rebuilt the engine in and it had dual glass packs, real loud. I miss those days.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Jeff thanks. Back in 1990 we had a 1964 Dodge D100 with a slant six with a 3 on the tree. I taught myself how to drive a standard in that truck. It was my one of many journeys into Mopar land. Had a 1973 Plymouth duster with a slant six and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom with 318 V8. Great cars and easy to work on.
  • Akear What is GM good at?You led Mary............................................What a disgrace!
  • Randy in rocklin I have a 87 bot new with 200k miles and 3 head gasket jobs and bot another 87 turbo 5 speed with 70k miles and new head gaskets. They cost around 4k to do these days.