2022 Ford F-150 Lightning First Drive Review: The Game Has Changed

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick


Motor: 2x permanent-magnet synchronous motor
Battery Capacity: 131 kWh)
Output: 580 hp, 775 lb-ft)
Transmission: 1AT, AWD
US fuel economy (MPGe): 76/61/68 (SR), 78/63/70 (ER)
CAN fuel economy (Le/100KM): 3.1/3.9/3.4 (SR), 3.0/3.7/3.3 (ER)
Range: 230 mi / 370 km (SR), 320 mi / 515 km (ER)
Starting Price (USD): $41,769 (Pro SR, inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (USD): See text
Starting Price (CAD): $69,995 (XLT SR, inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD): See text

There’s no other way to say it: the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a line in the sand.

This is more than a big deal. This is America’s (and Canada’s) best-selling vehicle, overall, committing to the electric future. If that doesn’t signal which way the winds are blowing, nothing will.

Pickup truck buyers are a notoriously loyal bunch. Only a decade ago, the debut of an EcoBoost F-150 rankled traditionalists. Then a year ago, the hybrid truck moved the game on again. An all-electric pickup needs to satisfy the specific needs of truck folks, without sacrifice. After two days with the Lightning in San Antonio, I’m happy to report it’s more than up to the task.

Get a Quote on a New 2022 Ford F-150

What’s new?

You’ll note that the Lightning looks pretty much like any other F-150. All part of the plan: Ford knew people wanted a truck that looked like, well, a truck. Nothing cyber about it. There are some funky LED daytime running lamps now, and non-Pro models extend include a full-width light bar along the top of the “grille” to connect them. It’s not really a grille anymore, as there’s no engine behind it. Instead, there’s a massive weather-proof storage area. Ford calls it the Mega Power Frunk, which is a suitably ’90s-like name, as the first Lightning originally debuted back in 1993. The frunk is large enough to swallow two golf bags, and rated to 400 lb (181 kg). It also includes four outlets and two USB ports. Basically, it’s better-equipped than most crossover cargo areas.

The Lightning comes with a simplified powertrain range. All models feature two electric motors, one at each axle, for through-the-road all-wheel drive. Buyers instead get the choice of two battery packs: the 98-kWh Standard Range, and the 131-kWh Extended Range. The former is good for 230 miles (370 kilometers) and 452 horsepower, while the larger option stretches to 320 miles (515 km) and 580 hp. The top-trim Platinum chops that down to an even 300 miles (483 km); Pro is the entry level, with XLT and Lariat rounding out the trim walk.

There’s been a lot of clamor about the additional weight of battery packs. Ford’s Gitanjli McRoy, Electrified Powertrain Systems engineering manager, says the fourth-generation battery pack weighs around 1,500 lb in Extended Range form. That translates to a roughly 1,200 lb difference, trim-for-trim, because the Lightning doesn’t require as many ancillaries. To make up for the extra weight, Ford has beefed up the chassis with higher-strength steel and additional cross-members.

The last major change is the switch to a fully independent rear suspension. Ford says this setup makes for a smoother, more composed ride on the road. I’ve got a four-hour drive to suss that out.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning driving impressions and towing

Up first is the top dog, a fully-loaded F-150 Lightning Platinum with a six-figure price tag. All 580 horsepower means this sucker’s quick, much speedier than any other F-150 it will share dealer space with—Ford estimates mid-fours to 62 mph (100 km/h), and I’ve no reason to doubt ’em. Power delivery is smooth and linear, avoiding the jerkiness powerful EVs can experience at low speeds.

The brake pedal is also well-judged, with a natural feel that quickly builds confidence. The one-pedal driving mode work as expected, bringing the Lightning to a complete stop at lights and not letting the truck creep until the drive mode has been engaged.

Quick as it is, the Lightning’s extra poundage can be felt through corners, particularly higher-speed ones. Ford can bend the laws of physics, but not rewrite them. Nonetheless, the low center of gravity affords this F-150 with surprising agility, helping it stay flat and “drive small,” more like a mid- than a full-size.

The independent rear suspension deserves a lot of credit, too. The switch has this big rig driving more like a sedan than ever before. It will soak up a bump with barely a whisper, and track straight and true over even the most corrugated surface.

Day 2 began with trailer towing. With a 5,000-pound trailer hooked up all too easily, the Lightning breezes around the test loop, a far cry from the Platinum’s 8,400-pound (3,810 L) limit. When we switch to a Pro to haul a load of lumber, it’s the same story, the truck easily handling the task at hand and feeling fit for the 2,235 lb (1,014 kg). There’s no transmission whine to contend with, either.

Single-charge ranges are an important topic. Ford quotes an even 300 (483 km) miles for the Platinum, and 230 miles (370 km) for the standard-range Pro. In that Day 1 drive, the estimate turned out slightly optimistic, using a few miles more charge than planned. That script flipped when I towed, however, scoring better real-world figures, with the estimate being around 40-percent lower than the empty-bed range. That’s all possible thanks to a clever on-board scale system.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning technology and features

The on-board scales are just one of the ways Ford has taken the guess-work out of towing. Smart Hitch also measures the trailer tongue load weight. The available Max Trailer Tow Package adds a second chiller to keep the battery at optimal temperature while towing, as well. The Towing Technology Package, included on all the testers at the event, bundles a 360-degree camera, trailer brake controller, onboard scales, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Smart Trailer Tow Connector, and Trailer Reverse Guidance all together.

Even the Pro comes with a 12.0-inch touchscreen, running Sync 4. It’s a solid user interface for the Lightning, pairing easy-to-use menu designs with speedy responses. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, as well. There’s an additional 12.0-inch screen behind the steering wheel, with a bunch of customization, and crisp graphics.

The Pro Power Onboard setup is available on all Lightnings, boasting up to 9.6 kW of juice to power an entire work site if necessary. With the new wall charger (included with all Extended Range models) and Intelligent Backup Power, the Lightning is capable of powering a home for over a week. You can read all about Intelligent Backup Power in our deep dive.

The 2022 F-150 Lightning comes with a whole suite of the usual driver assistance systems as well. Standard equipment includes automated emergency braking, lane assists, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control. Ford’s hands-free Blue Cruise is also part of the package, which activates automatically when in one of the pre-mapped highway areas.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning interior and comfort

Well, it’s an F-150. The Lightning interior should be plenty familiar to thousands of folks, because Ford has carried over the 14th-generation interior wholesale. The one major difference is the availability of the larger touchscreen on higher trims. This screen is the 15.5-inch unit from the Mach-E, and runs the same Sync 4A UI.

Even the vinyl-seated Pro feels nice, thanks to comfortable seating and soft, squishy dashboard and door panel materials. Naturally, the fancy-pants Platinum feels properly luxurious, its two-tone leather seating lifting the cabin ambiance. With just the one cab size available, the Lightning offers up ample room for five adults. XLT and up also include fold-up rear seats, turning the back row into a massive, nearly-flat load area.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pricing and competition

In America, the Lightning will kick off at just $41,769, including $1,795 in destination charges. That nets buyers a Standard Range Lightning Pro. The Extended Range Pro is limited to fleet buyers only, requiring a $9,900 surcharge. An XLT model will run $54,769, but getting the larger battery adds a hefty $19,500 to the pile. It’s a cool $10,000 to upgrade the $69,269 Lariat to extended-range status; the ER-only Platinum is $92,669.

In Canada, the Pro is wholly fleet-focused, making the $69,995 CAD (including destination) XLT the entry point for retail buyers. The larger battery is optional on the XLT and Lariat ($81,995), for the same $13,380 in both trims. As it does in the US, Ford keeps the Platinum ($111,795 CAD) in ER form.

That’s all pricey, but keep in mind the F-150 currently operates in a sub-segment of one. The Rivian’s smaller while the Cybertruck still isn’t real.

Verdict: 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Review

Not only is the electron-munching 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning a good pickup, it removes barriers that could have up to this point stopped people from buying a full-size truck. To wit: Ford says around half of the pre-orders right now are people new to truck ownership.

True, the Lightning still isn’t the answer for those who regularly tow big trailers cross-country. But for most everyone else, the increased practicality via the frunk, better on-road manners, and the security of a rolling generator make the Lightning deeply appealing. The Pro model should be huge on work sites, a mobile power source for tools without sacrificing any load-carrying abilities.

Ford has changed the game here. The biggest problem the Blue Oval faces? Building enough Lightnings to satisfy demand.


How much does the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning cost?

In the US, the standard-range F-150 Lightning Pro kicks off the lineup at $41,769, including destination. The Extended Range battery pack is exclusive to fleet buyers. In Canada, the Pro is wholly fleet-focused, making the $69,995 CAD XLT the entry point for retail buyers.

When can you buy the 2022 F-150 Lightning?

The F-150 Lightning will begin showing up in dealerships this month, though many will have been spoken for via online reservations.

Can the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning power my house?

Yes, when properly equipped. We walk you through how it does it here.

Discuss this review on our Ford Lightning Forum.

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  • Still functions like an F-150 ...
  • ... Just a lot quicker, and quieter
  • So useful at work sites


  • Expensive in higher trims (especially in Canada)
  • Can feel cumbersome at times
  • They won't be able to build them quick enough to meet demand
Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

More by Kyle Patrick

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2 of 4 comments
  • Isend2C Isend2C on May 13, 2022

    I wanna let you know that liters is not the equivalent to pounds, might wanna check that again.

  • DoubleCoppers DoubleCoppers on May 13, 2022

    From the article: "Single-charge ranges are an important topic. Ford quotes an even 300 (483 km) miles for the Platinum, and 230 miles (370 km)." ??? 230 miles what? The Pro model? The actual miles by the Platinum? You said earlier the estimated range, so I assume that's what's meant, but these dead-end statements are annoying.