Review: 2023 Ford F-150 Lariat (LWB) banner

Review: 2023 Ford F-150 Lariat (LWB)

Posted in Vehicle Reviews

Review: 2023 Ford F-150 Lariat (LWB)

The current generation Ford F-150 represents the first of the American pick-up trucks to hit the Australian market through local dealerships under the same brand as the global manufacturer.

Outside of the right-hand drive remanufacturing process, this reflects a complete chain of development under a single brand lending itself to greater oversight and ultimate quality assurance.

The result of this process is evident in the final F-150 product delivered to customers and an aspect that was quite apparent to us as we spent the weekend with the top-of-the-range, long-wheelbase (LWB) Lariat model of this long-standing American machine.

Large and In Charge

A stock, short-wheelbase (SWB) F-150 can seem reasonably sized from some angles, however, the same cannot be said for the LWB model. It is - by every definition - a large truck. 

The LWB model sits at 6184mm from bumper to bumper, which is an extra foot longer than the SWB model (5884mm). No doubt, there are a few issues that arise with a vehicle of this size, all of which are generally associated with high-density urban travel such as insufficient parking spaces and narrow streets. However, anyone seriously looking at an F-150 as their next vehicle is already hyper-aware of these concerns.

On the flip side, the benefits of a vehicle this size are endless.

The 6.5-foot tray bed will carry oodles more cargo than your regular ute while, on the interior, you'll struggle to fill the numerous storage compartments on offer. The amount of space available for second-row occupants is frankly astonishing. In contrast to the norm, the often consolidated second-row middle seat is a full-width space in the F-150, allowing three large adults to share the second row without any trouble (or two warring children with a decent buffer). 

In the Driver's Seat

Initially, the thought of driving a vehicle of this size can seem intimidating, but as soon as you get behind the wheel, this feeling disappears. Not only does the interior feel just like a regularly sized car, but the complete customisation you have over your driving position gives you all the more confidence.

For example, the Lariat features a 12-way power adjustment driver's seat, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and even power-adjustable pedals. 

Comfort Oasis

The front seats are broad and supportive with large side bolsters offering significant comfort and security. Both front seats in the Lariat feature heating and vented cooling, however, comfort isn't just a front-row luxury. Occupants of the second row are also indulged with heated outboard seats plus the convenience of a flat floor allowing for smooth entry and exit - an aspect that's quite handy for the middle-seat occupant. 

Central communication and entertainment in the F-150 are controlled via the same smooth and intuitive SYNC®4 infotainment system found in the Ranger and Everest range. In the Lariat, this is through a massive 12-inch touchscreen, yet, it's accommodated so seamlessly into the F-150's large dash that it's easy to forget that you've got a whole foot of screen in front of you. While wireless Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ are standard across the range, the Lariat turns this into our favourite combination with a wireless charging station.

We can't speak about the interior without mentioning the B&O Unleashed 18-speaker sound system by Bang & Olufsen - the first of its kind in the pick-up truck segment. The audio company describes it as experiencing new dimensions in sound, largely thanks to the next-level inclusion of speakers into the headrests of each front seat.

If you've seen any media on the F-150 already, you'd be aware of the stowable gear shifter and centre console work surface - what hasn't often been detailed, however, is the immense storage compartment in the centre console underneath. This is in addition to the vast compartment located under the second-row seats - which is, in fact, partitionable and lockable in the Lariat trim.

Performance Prowess

The F-150 range is fitted with Ford's 3.5-litre, twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost petrol engine that delivers a whopping 298kW of power and 678Nm of torque. Delivery of this power is satisfyingly smooth through the F-150's 10-speed automatic transmission and the acceleration is pleasantly surprising for a vehicle of this size.

You wouldn't pick it, but all variants of the F-150 outdo the performance-oriented Ranger Raptor in terms of power-to-weight ratio, which is primarily thanks to the F-150's lighter aluminium body-on-frame chassis compared to the robust off-road build of the Raptor.

Average fuel consumption will get you about 1088km on a single fuel tank of 136 litres giving you a combined average fuel economy of 12.5 litres per 100 kilometres. 

Tailgate Treasures

The rear cargo bed has some of the best practically minded features we've seen on a ute in recent times.

In addition to your typical inner tie-downs, the F-150 comes standard with Ford's BoxLink™ system that can mount various accessories for different tray setups while the premium locking cleats that are included offer extra security over your payload.

Ford has built several handy elements into the tailgate that make the F-150 somewhat of a mobile workshop. These include a nifty set of rulers plus a couple of clamp pockets to secure materials for sawing or the like.

Our favourite tailgate feature, though, would have to be the built-in step and handgrip to help you climb up into the tray for greater access to your payload.

Once more, the Lariat adds an extra touch of luxury with a power tailgate that can also be controlled remotely. In terms of payload, the Lariat LWB that we experienced is rated for 710kg, however, the range tops out at 794kg for the XLT LWB.

Towing Ready

The primary feature of the F-150 - the reason for its existence in Australia - is its outstanding towing capability. Americans have perfected the art of the towing rig and the matchmaking between US manufacturers and the Australian market has finally achieved success.

Towing with the Ford F-150 is an absolute piece of cake.

Firstly, the 4,500kg rated braked towing capacity is a whole tonne more than the class leaders of Australia's regular ute range. For regular caravanners and boaters, this eases the headache around calculating GVMs and GCMs as you'll most likely enjoy a much greater weight buffer before reaching maximum load.

On top of this, the immense towing capacity gives the F-150 an innate ability to perform at near optimum levels meaning you'll hardly feel your load in tow. The aforementioned art of towing is supremely evident in the advanced towing technology offered across the range to assist in this effort.

On top of features that we've seen in the Ranger like Trailer Light Check and Tow/Haul Mode, the F-150 features the awesome feature that Ford calls Pro Trailer Back-up Assist. Without going into too much detail, Pro Trailer Assist allows you to safely and accurately reverse your trailer into any space without a spotter needing to communicate every inch of your maneuver. The array of cameras gives you a complete view of your vehicle and trailer in its surroundings while you focus on controlling the placement of your trailer with the knob located on the dashboard next to your steering wheel. If you struggle to align your steering with the direction of your trailer, this technology is a godsend. Your hands get to stay completely off the steering wheel while the Pro Trailer Assist does the mental calculations to put your wheels in the exact position needed to move your trailer where you want it.


The F-150 range starts with the short-wheelbase XLT which is available from Motorama Ford for $118,909 drive away. Upgrading to the LWB version is a drop in the water in contrast, only adding an extra $1,050 to the driveaway price.

The Lariat is a decent jump up to $153,724 drive away for the SWB although the additional features certainly make up for this increase. Like the XLT, the jump to the LWB version of the Lariat (the one we reviewed) is just an additional $1,050.

All colours other than Oxford White are an additional $700, plus there's a decent range of genuine accessories primarily based around adapting your tray space.

The F-150 is backed by Ford's 5-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and includes capped price servicing for the first four years or 60,000 kilometres - whichever comes first.


Overall, we were impressed with just how comfortable the F-150 was in both the interior and the overall ride. The decades of research and development that have built the F-150 over multiple generations is supremely apparent and it's not hard to see why it's America's favourite pick-up truck.

The ride and comfort are exceptional and not what you'd expect from what is essentially an oversized ute, while the performance is immensely refined and doesn't lag under the weight of the vehicle.

Comfort, entertainment, safety and convenience of the occupants are at the optimum level and are reflected in the high-quality interior finishes. 

The F-150 also excels in the areas for which it has been developed - namely, payload and towing.

Ford has already perfected the driving experience of the F-150 and has now put their focus into developing the areas of the truck an owner may spend their time while the vehicle is stationary. The concept of the mobile workspace has evolved from this focus with thoughtful consideration for what owners want and it's safe to say, Ford has succeeded in providing the ultimate vehicle for the tradie or solo contractor.

If you're looking to move into America's favourite pick-up truck or book a test drive to experience the F-150 first-hand, get in touch with the team at Motorama Ford today.

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