Green Car reports the Best Cars to Buy 2023 finalists | Daily News Byte

Green Car reports the Best Cars to Buy 2023 finalists

 | Daily News Byte

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With the F-150 Lightning, Ford has revolutionized the pickup truck—by creating a fully electric version of its best-selling vehicle.

While doing that, and seemingly changing as little as possible about everything that makes the F-150 desirable, it created a more desirable vehicle. So while it’s not the first fully electric pickup, it easily earned a spot as one of the five finalists for Green Car Reports Best Car To Buy 2023.

The Ford F-150 Lightning looks like a gasoline F-150 in all but the front and rear styling cues (and corresponding lighting), but it turns out a whole lot about the electric truck is different underneath. It gets a new frame—slightly wider to fit the battery pack suspended between it, with a thicker cross member. Steering and braking have been reengineered for the Lightning, which also gets an independent rear suspension with coil-over springs.

What results is a truck that rides and handles better than the gasoline F-150 in most conditions, and with unparalleled quietness and refinement. Plus, on washboard gravel, off-road trails, or snow-slicked roads, the almost instantaneous traction systems that work with electric motors show their power and let you pull the boat ramp that that—or over that wet log—without messing up the wheels. ‘ stomping. Pop the hood, and you get something a gasoline truck doesn’t: a wide frunk that offers electrical plugs and can hold up to 400 pounds. How ’bout some frunkgating?

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

All versions of the F-150 Lightning are built with front and rear permanent magnet motors that provide all-wheel drive, with a crew-cab layout and the same bed length. There are two technical specs: Versions with the 98-kwh standard range battery pack produce 452 hp and 775 lb-ft, while those with the 131-kwh extended range pack produce 580 hp and 775 lb-ft . The EPA driving range for the Lightning is 240 miles and 320 miles, respectively.

Unloaded pickups with torquey engines are always ridiculous, and the Lightning is no exception. The Lightning leaps forward, with just enough tire screech to let you know it’s using every bit of available traction. Ford quotes a 0-60 mph acceleration time of under four seconds and, sitting up high, with body squats and dives just enough, it’s as fun-park a ride inside as it should be. from the outside—more true to the lightning bolt label than the gasoline truck that bears the name.

It offers more payload capability than many of its gasoline counterparts. And at up to 10,000 pounds, it will take out most of the gasoline-truck lineup. Just don’t plan on pulling that trailer too far.

Ford F-150 Lightning at Electrify America

Ford F-150 Lightning at Electrify America

The F-150 Lightning doesn’t charge fast if you think about it in road-trip terms. Ford says it will charge up to 150 kw, or from 15-80% in less than 45 minutes, but those are both best-case scenarios from what we’ve seen of typical US Electrify America hardware.

If you happen to have 100 amps free for its own circuit, install the 80-amp Charge Station Pro and charging times for a full charge drop to about 8 hours at 240 volts—or about 30 miles per hour. That unit forms the basis on which the Lightning truly becomes an EV trendsetter: Add the $3,895 Home Integration System, and with Ford’s app the Lightning can become its own power ecosystem—helping juggle solar, or acting as a portable generator (reduce hum) and diesel smell) when power goes out.

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

The most important negative aspects about the Lightning so far are its unavailability and repeated price increases. Ford hasn’t been accepting reservations for several years; just nine months since first delivery, the standard range base 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro starts at $57,869 (including an increased $1,895 destination fee)—up nearly 40% from the original $41,669, including destination, for the 2022 model year.

Part of this stems from an earlier, spectacular underestimation of Lightning demand. It managed to bump Lightning production from the original 20,000 annually to 150,000.

Does the F-150 Lightning still feel revolutionary after such a price hike? Come back on Jan 4. when we reveal our Best Cars to Buy 2023.

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