The 14th generation Ford F-150 gas and hybrid pickup trucks are getting a small visual and functional facelift. With Ford’s latest salvo in The Tailgate Wars—a half swing gate—making the largest impression. Three years into the average five-year run for America’s perennial best-selling vehicle.
Other noteworthy sub-headline items include the removal of the naturally aspirated V-6 engine found in the F-150’s base model, a planned increase in the production of the PowerBoost hybrid V-6 engine option, new Fox Dual Live Valve shocks for Raptors, larger screens and 5G LTE connectivity for everyone, as well as numerous minor detail improvements.
Access Pro Tailgate
In recent years, all of Ford’s rivals have adopted multi-way tailgates with creative folding choices or alternate tailgate designs.
The Multifunction Tailgate on the Ram 1500 has a split barn-door design, and the MultiPro/MultiFlex Tailgate is an option on GM trucks. Ford has a solution at last, and it goes beyond just keeping up with the segment Joneses.
Okay, so maybe it’s a little bit about keeping up with the Joneses in the category, but Ford claims the new Pro Access tailgate for the F-150 addresses a very particular issue raised by a small number of owners: bed access when towing a trailer with a fixed tongue jack. With one of those attached, try opening the bed of a regular F-150; you’ll probably cause some damage.
Pro Access provides a compact, 37-inch swing-out door with check stops at 37, 70, and 100 degrees of its swing arc to address this issue. The other two provide two additional trailer-free bed access options, while the 37-degree stop should keep the door clear of a tongue jack.
King Ranch and Platinum will come standard with Pro Access, while Lariat and Tremor will have it as an option. The pull-out step option on the one-piece tailgate will still be available, along with power release or power open/close features. The cost has not yet been disclosed.