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The Ford F-150 Lightning Is Edmunds Top Rated Best of the Best for 2023

A winner from a small category that has a huge impact

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning: Edmunds Top Rated Best of the Best
  • The Ford F-150 Lightning is the Edmunds Top Rated Electric Truck for 2023.
  • More than that, it's also the Edmunds Top Rated Best of the Best winner for this year.
  • That means it didn't just beat the Rivian R1T but beat out the rest of our winners for the top step on the podium.

The Ford F-150 Lightning is the Edmunds Best of the Best winner for 2023. The Lightning, which also took Edmunds Top Rated Electric Truck honors, impressed us the most out of our 2023 winners. It's a fantastic blueprint for how to reinvent something as entrenched in American lore as the pickup truck and presents little in the way of compromise. The F-150 Lightning is a massively deserving winner, and while we know the category for electric pickups is a small one, with the Ford's only real competition coming from the Rivian R1T (for the moment), electric pickup trucks will soon be everywhere — Ford has already trademarked the Ranger Lightning and Maverick Lightning names.

A big reason EV pickups won't remain niche for long is the F-150 Lightning, and that's why it claimed the Edmunds Top Rated Electric Truck and Edmunds Top Rated Best of the Best awards for 2023. So, why'd we pick the Lightning and why is it so important? Carry on, dear reader.

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The Ford F-150 Lightning carries more than its max haul rating in expectation, and that's because it has the chance to change the way everyone sees electric cars. The Lightning isn't flashy and projects no pretenses about the future. Next to Teslas and cars like the Porsche Taycan or Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Lightning looks borderline mundane, and that's no bad thing. It blends the aspirations of the automotive industry and the direction cars are headed with a style that is both eminently recognizable and wholly American, and that's a combination that truck guys and gals alike can genuinely get behind.

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning dashboard

Another reason it's so appealing? The Lightning's main focus isn't flashy features. Instead it's focused solely on serving as a functional, usable, well-built truck that happens to be electric. Because the Lightning is based heavily on the regular F-150, its usable and comfortable interior space carries right on over. It also benefits from features like Ford's suite of driver aids and Pro Power Onboard, which essentially turns the Lightning into a battery big enough to power major appliances. The Ford's huge trunk that takes the place of a conventional internal combustion engine is another smartly executed feature.

Then there are the ways it works as a truck and the way it drives. Its bed is the right length, and the Lightning has a maximum payload rating of 2,000 pounds, just 200 pounds shy of a gas-powered F-150's max haul rating. Its major downside is, of course, towing. In our experience, towing with the Lightning is difficult, and it severely limits the truck's range. The appeal of towing for truck owners isn't something Ford underestimated; it's simply a limitation of the Lightning right now. As time moves on, we bet the Lightning (and its competition) will only get better at towing and hauling.

If you aren't towing or hauling, the Lightning is a nicer F-150 to drive and spend time in. It's far quieter inside than any of the gas-powered F-150s thanks to its whisper-quiet electric powertrain. The gnashing of gears and the roar of an engine have been supplanted with an air of calm.

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning bed

It is an excellent place to spend time and it's fantastically quick when you put your foot down too. Scooting from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds flat makes it one of the quickest trucks on the market (though a quad-motor Rivian would still take the win in a drag race). That said, you'd still leave most performance cars for dead at a set of lights, and in your pickup truck of all things. Talk about appeal.

In the end, the F-150 Lightning is a near perfect blend of exciting potential and comforting familiarity. The result is something that's approachable, likable and affordable. With a starting price of $58,514 (as of this writing), the Lightning is far less expensive than its competition, and though there have been recent price hikes, it's still an immense value. After you consider all of that, there's only one place the Lightning can be, and that's at the top step of our podium. Congratulations, Ford: You've built an honest-to-goodness winner in the Lightning.

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning ext

Edmunds says

Now all Ford has to do is make as many as it can sell. Click here to read more about why the Ford F-150 Lightning is the Edmunds Top Rated Best of the Best winner and see the rest of our Top Rated winners.