2024 Ford F-150 Lariat (car review)

Last year, Ford launched its perennially popular F Series truck in Australia, taking the covers off the F-150, in two trim levels. Opening the range is the XLT, with the Lariat the unofficial king of the range down under.

One of the biggest selling vehicles in the US, it takes the humble dual cab ute and upsizes it to American pickup status, much like rivals, the RAM 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado. Considered a base model over there, it’s often used as a daily driver.

Its bigger siblings, like the F-250 are the serious heavy duty haulers. But back to our test vehicle, the long wheelbase Lariat – finished here in Rapid Red (one of 6 colours to choose from). It’s hard to miss, or lose, anywhere.

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Measuring 6184mm in total length, and 2030mm in width, excluding the side mirrors, it’s big. The trademark chrome grille up front is flanked by LED headlamps, which have been re-engineered using Ranger parts to comply with Australian Design Regulations.

Side on, gorgeous 20-inch chrome alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion 275/60 R20 all-terrain rubber contrast perfectly with the deep ruby-like paint. Down the back, proceedings round out with an electric tailgate.

2024 Ford F-150 Lariat
2024 Ford F-150 Lariat

The latter houses a handy fold-out step and handrail. This much appreciated feature made getting to stragglers in a load of firewood much easier given the 6.5-foot depth of the tub. All-in-all, it’s as handsome as a utility vehicle like this could be, and well finished.

The gargantuan scale continues in the interior, where a combination of charcoal and light-grey leather are complemented by dark faux-wood trims. If the huge glasshouse wasn’t enough, a full-roof sunroof adds to the inviting nature of the cabin.

It’s a genuine 5-seater, with front passengers treated to 12-way electrically adjustable chairs that offer heating and ventilation, along with speakers in the headrests. The latter form part of an 18-speaker B&O sound system that’d rival an inner-city nightclub.

The outputs are fittingly large, with plenty of depth and clarity to play your favourite tunes through wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Controls are handled via a 12.0-inch central touchscreen that is both sharp and easy to use.

The driver takes in vehicle vitals through a customisable 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster. Between the two seats is one of the F-150’s party tricks. Once the gear lever is electronically folded into the console, the lid of the centre storage folds into a table.

dash
Inside the 2024 Ford F-150 Lariat

Rear passengers are treated to plenty of leg space, along with seat ventilation, heating and a bevy of charging options. The cabin has wireless charging up front and no less than eight USB ports throughout.

Another trick revealed itself with hidden storage under the rear bench, a neat place to hide valuables out of sight. We were genuinely surprised by the serenity of the cabin once we took a moment to turn down the sound system as well.

Even the 3.5-litre EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 petrol engine was imperceivably smooth during normal driving. In fact, the drivetrain is a highlight. With outputs of 298kW and 678Nm, there’s seemingly boundless power.

This can result in traction loss in a straight line, even in the more mundane Normal drive mode. It’s one of seven, including Sport, Eco, Tow/Haul, Slippery, Deep Snow/Sand and Mud and Ruts.

The driveline takes full advantage of the 10 torque-converted ratios available, and with peak torque achieved at 3100rpm, there is rarely a need for more than a prod on the go-pedal.

front seats
Inside the 2024 Ford F-150 Lariat

Careful driving saw us achieve a commendable (for its size) 13.3-litres/100km against a claimed 12.5-litres/100km. With 136-litres of unleaded on board, a trip between east-coast capital cities can be done without a fuel stop.

The omission of a diesel option (which is more readily accessible in some remote areas of our nation) however, will be question mark for some Australian tourers. On the road, it’s easier to drive than we initially thought, even in inner-city traffic.

An armament of cameras help with vehicle placement, and it does shrink around you once you’ve spent some time behind the wheel. Our only complaint is steering that is slightly devoid of feel, and has too low a ratio.

When combined with its massive wheelbase, that results in a 15.6-metre turning circle, meaning you’ll need to judge where you can and cannot take the F-150 in your nearest city. It’s overall refinement though belies what are essentially agricultural underpinnings.

Built on a body-on-frame chassis that’s capable of towing 4500kg (braked) – a dream for those who tow big caravans – it is let down slightly on payload. A kerb weight of 2555kg and a GVM topping 3265kg results in that number being just 710kg.

rear seats
Inside the 2024 Ford F-150 Lariat

It’s worth noting the level of engineering and development that has gone into its re-manufacturing to right-hand drive too, delivered by RMA. Everything from adaption of the Ranger Raptor steering rack, to a custom firewall mean there’s no cut corners here.

The Lariat is exclusively full time 4WD, and features a transfer case, rear diff-lock and off-road modes. It’s definitely capable in the bush, but we found it simply too large for tighter sections of our test track.

The excellent camera systems around the F-150 were certainly appreciated in these conditions. That said, we feel the big Ford would come into its own mowing down bulk kilometres on unsealed roads with a large caravan in tow.

Occupants are kept safe with six airbags, AEB, BSM, cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, and reverse brake assist.. Given the focus on towing, trailer sway control, dynamic hitch assist, backup assist trailer light check, and inbuilt trailer braking are also included.

It’s a steep cover charge at $140,945 excluding on-roads to own one, but for those dollars you’re gaining access to a tremendous level of comfort on the open road, with the added benefit of taking the toys with you.

2024 Ford F-150 Lariat
2024 Ford F-150 Lariat

You also get a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and a conditional but complimentary 7-year roadside assistance package. To find out more, visit the Ford Australia website, or talk to your local dealership.

Our test vehicle was provided by Ford Australia for review purposes.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
8
Exterior styling
8.5
Interior look and feel
8
Technology and connectivity
8.5
Family friendliness
8
Value for money
7

SUMMARY

Pros - refined and comfortable; excellent sound system; decent fuel consumption for its size.
Cons - size can be a challenge in urban conditions; poor turning circle; some will struggle with price.
Kalen Ziflian
Kalen Ziflian
A lifelong motoring enthusiast, Kalen has a passion for anything with wheels and a motor. His passion lies in collectible Japanese performance vehicles but he’s been known to enjoy off-roading touring and camping across Australia.

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<strong>Pros -</strong> refined and comfortable; excellent sound system; decent fuel consumption for its size.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> size can be a challenge in urban conditions; poor turning circle; some will struggle with price.2024 Ford F-150 Lariat (car review)