2022 Ford Lightning Platinum Review – Style At a Price
2022 Ford Lightning Platinum Fast Facts
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 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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