The impressive Ford F-150 Lightning just put another feather in its cap. It has been selected as the MotorTrend Truck of the Year for 2023. And while last year another EV pickup truck won the award, the Rivian RT1. The F-150 Lightning is the first electric truck to win by a unanimous vote among the judges. “It’s really brilliant for the team that Lightning is the first EV truck to win by unanimous vote,” said Darren Palmer, vice president, electric vehicle programs. “This truck is full of firsts, and this one is really special to add to Lightning’s historic launch.” This honor comes fresh off the heels of being crowned America’s best-selling electric truck in November. Year to date Ford is now the number two EV brand in the U.S. It seems like it is only a matter of time until Ford claims the top spot.
“The F-150 Lightning and its nearly instant torque with ride and handling make it without a doubt the best truck Ford has ever made. If that feels like a bold statement, consider that amongst our judges, the F-150 Lightning won Truck of the Year by unanimous decision–the first EV truck to convince all judges across the board,” said Ed Loh, MotorTrend group head of editorial. “The Ford F-150 Lightning is no less than a milestone achievement in the history of American mobility.” That is high praise indeed for the first EV truck that Ford has ever made. The company now just needs to produce them fast enough to meet consumer demand.
So, what put the F-150 Lightning on top? Well, everything. The MotorTrend judges gave kudos to the truck for its design, efficiency, engineering excellence, performance, safety, and value. When you have a truck that leads the way in all of these categories, chances are you are going to drive away with the prize. We know that not everyone is a fan of the all-electric pickup truck and that it might not be the best option in all scenarios. However, for a first effort the F-150 Lightning is a game changer. The latest piece of hardware to be added to the Lightning trophy case is just another indicator of that.
Truck of the Year Past Winners
Being named MotorTrend Truck of the Year is great. And we are sure the marketing folks over at Ford are doing cartwheels with excitement. But beyond the marketing buzz is this award really worth winning? Do actual truck buyers care? If we look at past winners, do they hold up today as being worthy of the award? Going back to 2012 a Ford truck won three other times. The most recent win came in 2018 for the F-150. A RAM pickup truck won five times during that same period. That includes three straight wins in 2019, 2020 and 2021. A Chevy took home the prize twice. Yet the one constant is that the Ford F-Series remained the best-selling truck in America.
Are buyers swayed by this award? Is anyone reading this previously on the fence about the F-150 Lightning but now looking to buy one because of the MotorTrend Truck of the Year award? That seems unlikely. The award is nice to have for sure. And past winners have all been decent choices, even if they were not all Ford trucks. But overall, this seems like a win for the marketing folks, but real truck buyers have likely already made up their mind about the Lightning.