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Ford F-150 in Australia: Five things you should know

Olek Novak

The full size Ford F-150 pick-up truck is about to hit Australian shores; here are five things to know about the American icon

The anticipated debut of the Ford F-150 on Australian shores is almost here, with first deliveries due in November

We’ve just been on our first full drive of the American icon on Australian soil – you can check out our detailed video review or written review – but in the mean-time, here are the top five things to know about the latest entrant into Australia’s crowded ute market.

1. The F-150 is remanufactured in Australia

After being manufactured in left-hand-drive in the US, the F-150s are shipped to our shores before they are converted to right-hand-drive and sold in Australian showrooms.

Left-hand-drive Ford F-150s undergo a comprehensive remanufacturing process in Australia

But this isn’t a simple switch from left-to-right, with vehicles being fully re-engineered on a dedicated production line in Victoria.

The conversion is taken care of by a foreign engineering firm RMA Automotive which works closely with Ford Australia’s local development team, with over 500 new or modified parts required for the conversion.

The re-engineering work is exhaustive and this is the first time Ford has approved a remanufacturing process like this anywhere in the world, with the brand signing off on all of the pickups to ensure they are up to standard and ready to be granted Ford’s standard five-year, unlimited-kilometer warranty. 

RMA Automotive is responsible for the re-manufacturing of the F-150 in Australia, working closely with Ford Australia

It’s worth noting that the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado are also converted locally by the Walkinshaw Group, with 300 units of Toyota’s incoming Tundra model also confirmed for re-manufacturing before they are given to selected customers to undergo real-world testing.

2. How much does the F-150 cost and is it good value in Australia?

The F-150 will come to Australia in two grades from launch including the entry level XLT and the top-spec Lariat. Both grades will be available in long- and short-wheel-base versions.

In terms of confirmed pricing for the F-150, the XLT comes in at $106,950, with the top-spec Lariat coming in at $139,950, both before on-road costs. 

The F-150 will be available in two grades in Australia – the entry level XLT (pictured) and the top-spec Lariat

You will need to spend an extra $995 for the extra 300mm of tub space in the long-wheel-base in either grade – the SWB includes a 1676mm ute tub while the LWB has a larger 1981mm tub.

However, don’t let ‘short-wheel-base’ fool you – even in this spec, the F-150 measures in at 5.9-meters in length. The long-wheel-base is 6.2-metres long, with the extra 300mm in the tub, making it almost a full meter longer than the Ford Ranger. 

All F-150s employ a full-time four-wheel-drive system and each are powered by Ford’s 3.5-litre twin-turbo-petrol V6 EcoBoost engine making for 298kW and a massive 678Nm of torque, coupled with a 10 speed automatic transmission and claiming an average fuel economy of 12.5L/100km.

The long-wheel-base F-150 measures in at a substantial 6.2-metres in length

Key features for the XLT include:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Electronic locking rear differential
  • Halogen headlights
  • LED rear lights
  • Chrome front bumper
  • Tailgate with flexible step and work surface
  • Spray-in bedliner
  • Power tailgate lock
  • Cloth trim seats
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen display 
  • Digital radio
  • Satellite navigation
  • Apple Carplay and Android Auto
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Traction control
  • Trail sway control
  • Trailer hitch light 
The top-spec F-150 Lariat will cost $139,950 in Australia before on-road costs for the short-wheel-base version

Key features the Lariat adds:

  • 20-inch chrome alloy wheels with all-terrain tyres
  • Exterior chrome features 
  • LED headlights
  • Automatic high beams
  • Console mounted stowable e-Shifter
  • Power twin panel moonroof 
  • Leather accented seat material
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Heated and vented cooled front seats
  • Heated rear seats (outboard seats only) 
  • 12-inch configurable display for the instrument cluster 
  • 12-inch infotainment screen
  • 18-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system

Key safety features and driver assistance (XLT and Lariat):

  • Six airbags
  • Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert
  • Pre-collision assist with autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
  • Dynamic Stability Control
  • Lane departure warning and driver alert system
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear-view camera
The Lariat comes to Australia packed with features, including many that aren’t available in the US

Key safety features and driver assistance (Lariat only):

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Front parking sensors
  • Speed sign recognition
  • 360-degree camera

In terms of value for money, Chasing Cars’ contributor Iain Curry said in his review: “this is a massive re-engineering project that must have cost an absolute fortune for Ford Australia to do. That translates to an incredible feeling cabin that does look and feel factory good, and the drive as well – very impressive”.

The sizeable dimensions of the F-150 are equally evident on the inside

While the direct cost conversion from buying an F-150 in America versus Australia does see our market paying more, it’s also worth noting that we do score some extra features on our local models that are optional or unavailable overseas, not to mention that Australian vehicles are packed to the brim, with minimal optional extras.

3. Ford F-150: maximum towing capacity and payload

The F-150 comes equipped with a 4500kg-rated tow bar with a 70mm ball and integrated trailer brake controller. 

Chasing Cars was told that the American set up for towing did not meet Australian requirements so it has been fully remanufactured as part of the comprehensive Australian re-engineering process to meet the stricter Australian standards.

Additionally, both XLT and Lariat grades come equipped with ‘Pro Trailer Back-up Assist’ – essentially allowing you to use a toggle in conjunction with the rear view camera to direct the trailer where it needs to reverse – the driver controls the throttle and brakes, while the steering is taken care of based on your toggle inputs.

The F-150 has an impressive 4500kg braked towing capacity

Payload capacity for the F-150 depends on grade:

  • XLT SWB: 769kg 
  • XLT LWB: 794kg
  • Lariat SWB: 685kg
  • Lariat LWB: 710kgg

As for the F-150’s kerb weight:

  • XLT SWB: 2451kg
  • XLT LWB: 2471kg
  • Lariat SWB: 2535kg
  • Lariat LWB: 2555kg

4. What are the F-150’s key rivals?

The F-150 currently has two – and will soon have three – key rivals in Australia. This includes the RAM 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado, which are both currently on sale in Australia.

They will soon be joined by the Toyota Tundra, which currently has a Hybrid undergoing real-world evaluation ahead of full scale production approval. 

The Toyota Tundra will soon join the growing list of large pickup trucks available in Australia

While the Toyota is powered by a hybrid-assisted 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 (236kW/790Nm), the RAM 1500 (291kW/556Nm) and Chevrolet Silverado (313kW/624Nm) are both powered by petrol eight-cylinder engines, but the F-150’s torque figure beats both V8s. 

While the F-150 has a V8 option in the US, this won’t be available locally.  

5. Ford F-150 wait times in Australia

MY2023 F-150s will begin arriving this November.

Ford Ranger Wildtrak X 2023 rear 3/4 water close
The F-150 will be the bigger brother to Ford’s high-selling Ranger ute

Unsurprisingly, Ford has previously stated it wants the F-150 to “knock it out of the park”, but didn’t share expected sales volumes. However, the RMA Automotive facility where the pickup is remanufactured for RHD has the capacity to produce around 5000 annually.

With pickup sales booming in Australia – and the F-150 having clocked more than four decades as America’s most sold vehicle – it won’t be surprising to see high-demand for the pickup truck in local showrooms.

The Toyota Hilux is currently the best selling vehicle on Australian roads, closely followed by the Ford Ranger in a hotly contested segment, with Ranger wait times currently struggling to keep up with demand