Best of the Best: Ford’s Top-Tier Trucks That Defy the Imagination

A light blue 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is shown towing equipment on a trailer to a construction site.

The terms “Ford” and “pickup truck” are so closely linked to one another that it almost seems impossible to think of one and not the other whenever either subject comes up in conversation. There’s a reason for that: Ford has been delivering the very best trucks to the masses for well over a century, and like a bottle of vintage wine, they seem to get better and better with each passing year. All you have to do is ask any Ford owner, and they’ll tell you about the prestige, performance, and capability that Ford means to them. And here at Future Ford of Sacramento, we can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen a customer drive off our lot, knowing that they’ve chosen the best brand of trucks in the entire industry. Today, we examine the best that Ford has to offer, so the next time you’re thinking of shopping with us as your new or used truck dealer, you’ll better understand what true greatness is.

Ford F-150 Lightning

We’re kicking off this list with a bang…or, in this case, a jolt. The EV revolution has proven that electricity is just as capable as fossil fuels at providing drivers with the potency and performance that they look for in their vehicles. And while a few decades ago, the choices for an all-electric vehicle were limited to subcompact sedans that were more adept at eliminating fuel costs than raw power, the modern era has seen a massive surge (see what we did there?) in ability. And when it came to fusing the all-electric powertrain to the pickup truck, it was Ford who brought something revolutionary to the market, which is something they’ve been doing for the past several decades.

Debuting for the 2022 model year and successfully beating RAM and Chevy to the punch in terms of providing an all-electric vehicle, the F-150 Ford Lightning is a masterclass in modern engineering. A combination of two electric motors and AWD allows the all-electric powerhouse to generate an astounding 775 lb-ft of torque, which is more than some pricey diesel-fueled engines from the competitors in its class. Depending on which battery you decide to go with, the horsepower ranges from 462 to 580, which also dwarfs the competition by a considerable margin.

The capability of the Lightning isn’t limited to its powertrain. A maximum towing capacity of 10,000 lbs means it’s just as efficient as its petrol-fueled counterparts at being a reliable workhorse that gets the job done. When properly equipped with the right battery pack, drivers can expect to travel 320 miles on a full charge, allowing them to bypass the pump and take advantage of everything that a Ford truck has to offer. There are also plenty of standard features to be excited about, such as lane departure and keeping assistance and automated emergency braking. For those who want to maximize their experience behind the wheel, adaptive cruise control and Ford’s hands-free driving mode are both available.

A green 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor is shown on a dirt patch kicking up dust.

Ford Ranger Raptor

If there’s one thing you can always count on with Ford, it’s rising to any challenge that it is confronted with. The year was 1983. While the pickup truck had always been synonymous with the domestic brands, more and more exports were beginning to arrive stateside. These vehicles were smaller and more agile, and Ford crafted an answer to this gauntlet being thrown down at them in the form of the Ford Ranger. In the four decades that have passed since then, the Ranger has consistently challenged expectations and defied the laws of physics with its abilities.

And in an age where off-roading has become more popular, and rivals such as GMC and RAM are attempting to seize the crown in this class, the Raptor edition of the Ford Ranger has once again arrived to challenge its competitors and push capabilities to the absolute limit. As with most trucks that are geared towards those with dreams of high performance, it all starts with the engine. The Raptor edition of the Ranger is equipped with a twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6. With 405 hp and the ability to generate 430 lb-ft of torque, there’s very little more that anyone could ask for.

Of course, there’s more than just an engine that’s needed for off-road domination, which is why a ten-speed automatic transmission and over ten inches of ground clearance make this the most potent Ranger to ever hit the (off) road. The addition of skid plates and internal bypass shocks provide protection and a smooth ride, even when the terrain is unforgiving. 33-inch all-terrain tires are also included, making obstacles and roadblocks nothing more than an afterthought. Despite its propensity for action, the interior is still set up like the other Ford Rangers that you find on the road. This familiarity is deceptive, as this is unlike any Ford Ranger that you’ve ever seen before.

A black 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor is shown parked on an open desert area surrounded by fog after leaving a used truck dealer.

Ford F-150 Raptor

Of all three elite trucks that we’re taking a close look at today, the F-150 Raptor, much like the original F-150 that has become the most popular pickup in the United States, has been in production the longest. Much like the Raptor edition of the Ford Ranger, this F-150 is specifically built for the serious off-roader and has many of the same attributes, such as skid plates, shocks, and an elevated ground clearance that allows it to avoid the obstacles that can sometimes get in your way when you’re embarking on the path less traveled. In fact, the main difference that’s impossible to ignore here is the powertrain that rests under the hood like a sleeping giant.

Much like the Ranger, the off-road-ready F-150 comes with a twin-turbocharged V6, though this one is slightly larger at 3.5L instead of 3.0 and belts out 430 hp. Yet impressive as that is, it pales in comparison to the engine that graces the Raptor R. Ford went back to its glory days and chose the engine that also graces the iconic Shelby GT500. The supercharged 5.2L V8 with 700 hp and the ability to generate 640 lb-ft of torque is now available to go off-roading, though we recommend that this engine be handled by those with a firm grasp of high performance. And for those who take their safety seriously, you need not worry. The Ford F-150 Raptor has plenty of standard items such as forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and lane departure warning as standard.

It’s Not Easy Being Elite…Except at Future Ford of Sacramento

The definition of elite is to be the absolute best and in a class all by one’s self. And after looking at these three unique trucks from Ford, we can certainly see why this word can be used in conjunction with all three of them. Whether it’s supreme off-road capability to pushing the limits of the EV farther than they’ve ever been before, it’s no wonder why Ford is the brand that takes engineering to new heights. And here at Future Ford of Sacramento, taking the buying process to new levels of customer satisfaction is what we strive for. Whether you’re in the market for a new or used Ford truck, you’re guaranteed the very best quality, both in terms of our inventory and the service we offer. Come see us today and experience this first-hand.


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