Drive Notes: 2023 Ford F-150 Tremor

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

I just tested a 2023 Ford F-150 Tremor -- yes, 2023s are still in the press fleets and this isn't unusual, no big deal -- which is supposed to split the difference between the badass off-roader Raptor and the "regular" F-150.

Does it do that? Read on.


As usual, we do this pro/con style.

Pros

  • While I still think Ram offers the best truck interiors on the market, Ford is not far behind. The digital gauges are clean and easy to read with big font, and the large infotainment system is similarly a breeze to read, and a breeze to use.
  • Knobs! Buttons! Big ones! Thank you, Ford, for keeping it simple.
  • The highway ride is surprisingly supple and smooth considering the 33-inch all-terrain tires. Tire noise is relatively suppressed, too.
  • V8s are dying, and that probably has to happen (except, maybe, for sports cars and HD trucks), but man the sound and acceleration will be missed.
  • The inside is spacious. Not a shock, this isn't news, but it's worth remarking on.
  • I still dig the laptop-friendly center-console. Even if the folding shifter seems gimmicky.
  • Ford infotainment has come leaps and bounds in recent years.

Cons

  • Trucks have gotten larger, and that makes urban and suburban life, especially parking, difficult. I literally used the truck as an excuse to skip the gym since I couldn't park it in the tiny, crowded lot. It wouldn't have fit in some spaces, and for other spaces, maneuvering in and out would be a nightmare.
  • The fuel economy numbers were in the mid-teens. I've seen worse in big, powerful trucks, to be fair. On the other hand, I did a fair amount of highway driving so the number should be higher. At least the range is well over 500 miles.
  • Handling, as you'd expect, suffers a little, though not as much as you'd expect.
  • The $75K that Ford asks for this thing is a bit eye-popping. I understand the popularity of pickups drives pricing but it still makes you do a double-take.

I am not sure who this trim is for -- I guess the F-150 owner who does a lot of on-road driving with some light but mildly taxing off-roading (aside from the tires, the Tremor package offers tow hooks and monotube shocks). If it were me, I'd probably select a different trim for on-road driving and splurge on the Raptor if I went off-road a lot. But if you do select the Tremor, it gives you a bit more off-road ability without major on-road sacrfices.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/TTAC.com]

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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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  • Ted Lulis Head gaskets and Toyota putting my kids through college👍️
  • Leonard Ostrander Plants don't unionize. People do, and yes, of course the workers should organize.
  • Jalop1991 Here's something EVangelists don't want to talk about, and why range is important: battery warranties, by industry standard, specify that nothing's wrong with the battery, and they won't replace it, as long as it is able to carry 70% or more of its specified capacity.So you need a lot of day 1 capacity so that down the road, when you're at 70% capacity with a "fully functioning, no problem" car, you're not stuck in used Nissan Leaf territory."Nothing to see here, move along."There's also the question of whether any factory battery warranty survives past the original new car owner. So it's prudent of any second owner to ask that question specifically, and absent any direct written warranty, assume that the second and subsequent owners own any battery problems that may arise.And given that the batteries are a HUGE expense, much more so than an ICE, such exposure is equally huge."Nothing to see here, move along."
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  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.
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