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2013 Ford F150 FX4 EcoBoost Review: New technology makes America's bestselling truck even better

The Ford F150 is America’s bestselling truck and while there weren’t many changes for the 2013 model year F150, pretty much every change made for 2013 was featured on my F150 FX4 EcoBoost test vehicle – making for a very clear illustration of why this is America’s bestselling truck and how Ford keeps holds onto that title with new high tech features.


The most significant changes to the 2013 Ford F150 lineup are a new grille design, optional projection HID headlights and the inclusion of the MyFord Touch infotainment system – all of which were featured on my 2013 F150 FX4 SuperCab test truck. In fact, my 2013 FX4 test truck was fitted with pretty much every option shy of the sliding glass moon roof thanks to the inclusion of the 402A equipment group, the FX Appearance Package, navigation and the max trailer tow package. Add in the optional 3.5L EcoBoost twin turbocharged V6 and you have yourself one high tech, luxuriously appointed half ton F Series pickup that is ready to hit the trails with confidence, tow a big heavy trailer or offer the best combination of power and fuel economy in the class – all with a sporty appearance that (in my opinion) makes this particular F150 one of the best looking stock trucks on the market today.

The Exterior
The 2013 Ford F150 SuperCab FX4 is an offroad sport truck that packs an aggressive dark design that isnt quite as eye catching as the SVT Raptor but as standard trucks go – the modern FX4 package is one of my favorites. My test truck was also equipped with the FX Appearance package which adds more body colored and black features that truly hammers home the sport truck look. Seriously, I absolutely love the look of the 2013 FX4 with the optional appearance package and the 402A equipment group. This is a truck that stands out in any crowd with a sinister look that has a very aftermarket feel…a truck that looks like it has been customized.

2013 F150 FX4 front

Across the front end, the 2013 F150 FX4 wears the bold new Super Duty style two bar grille painted gloss black flanked by HID projection headlights with the F150 logo (part of the 402A upgrade package) set in blacked out housings. The center portion of the front fascia and the entire “chin” area under the front fascia is finished in satin black with black filler areas around the low mounted fog lights. The front end of the FX4 package is finished off with a large hood decal that continues the darkened trim theme very nicely.

Along the sides, the 2013 F150 FX4 wears black side step bars, black 20 inch aluminum wheels, unique blacked out F150 fender badging, and a dark body side graphic that starts under the exterior mirrors and extends to the rear of the bedside. These components are all part of the FX4 appearance package and while the front end looks great – the side view of this truck plays a huge part in the custom blacked out look of the total package with help from the body colored fender trim, door handles and bumpers. The side view of the FX4 also shows the telescoping exterior mirrors that were borrowed from the Super Duty lineup.

Out back, the black and dark red theme of the new F150 FX4 is continued with black taillight filler, unique black trimmed F150 badging, a fully painted tailgate and a body colored rear bumper with a black cap. The rear end view also shows off the 3” chrome exhaust tip that is part of the FX4 appearance package. The back end also contains the super clear factory towing setup that is part of the max trailer tow package including a hitch tucked under the rear bumper joined by both a 4 and 7 pin trailer connection. The back end also has an integrated tail gate step that some automakers (GM) have mocked but this is really a great feature for people who get in and out of their bed a bunch. I don’t have any issues climbing up into the bed of a truck but at the end of a long day of work, having an easier time getting in and out of the bed makes the tailgate step a welcome addition.

2013 F150 FX4 rear

At the expense of being repetitive, I love the look of the 2013 Ford F150 FX4 with 402A and the FX Appearance Package. When you add in the fact that my test vehicle was finished in the same dark metallic red as two of my personal vehicles – this was truly my ideal Ford pickup in terms of exterior design. The high tech look of the blacked out projection headlights combined with the Super Duty-esque grille are subtle but they serve to help the 2013 model year F150s stand out from the prior years. As for the rest of the truck, while there haven’t been any huge changes from 2012 – this is one of the bestselling vehicles in the US and as they say…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Next to the Raptor, I think that the truck shown in the images here is the best looking stock truck on today’s market and the folks at Ford who designed this look should be very proud of themselves.

The Interior
As was the case with the exterior, the interior of this 2013 Ford F150 FX4 SuperCab has a heaping helping of impressive upgrades as part of either the 402A equipment group or the FX Appearance Package. When the door first opens, you cannot help but notice the gorgeous leather seats that are finished in both smooth and sueded black leather with bright red piping wrapping the front and rear seats. This black and red theme is continued into the steering wheel that also houses controls for the hands free phone system, the stereo, the cruise control and the driver information center in the gauge cluster. The FX4 Appearance Package also adds unique black finishes on the center console, a uniquely badged gauge cluster and sport front seats while the 402A equipment group adds both heating and cooling options to said front seats.

2013 F150 FX4 seats

New for the 2013 F150 FX4 is the MyFord Touch infotainment system that is paired with a premium Sony sound system. This infotainment package has received questionable reviews from those who struggle with this type of technology but I regard MyFord as being one of the best systems on the market today. This system integrates the sound system, the navigation program, the climate control and the hands free phone system into one easy to use touch screen but as a unique feature to the 2013 F150 – this MyFord Touch system also includes a full complement of buttons and knobs. While I find that the touch screen, the steering wheel mounted controls and the voice control feature are more than enough to control literally every interior feature – the touch screen doesn’t work very well with gloves on and there are plenty of occasions when truck drivers find themselves jumping in the truck with gloves.

Luckily, the 2013 F150 has knobs and buttons for the stereo and HVAC controls so if you are using this truck to do some work – you don’t need to take off your gloves to turn on the AC or the radio. While skeptics of the MyFord Touch system might be questioning the system based on some other reviews, I challenge anyone who is the least bit comfortable with modern computer technology to spend just ten minutes playing with MyFord Touch and I bet that you won’t have any trouble navigating the many features. The center console area around the big touch screen also has an integrated trailer brake controller and a knob to control the 4WD system.

2013 F150 FX4 dash

In terms of space, this is where my review of the 2013 F150 FX4 SuperCab takes a less than positive note. I am not a fan of the “half door” pickup. As you can see in the image below showing both driver’s side doors open, the leg space for the rear passengers is very tight with both front seats set to comfortably set a 6 foot tall driver and front passenger. I also do not like the fact that the driver or front passenger has to open their door to let someone get in and out of the back seat. This is not a criticism of just the F150 but rather, all trucks that offer this type of cab configuration. Some people love this setup but I do not. In the long run, I would quickly opt for the SuperCrew but if you don’t ever have people in your back seat and you want just a little more cab space to store belongings – the SuperCab might be ideal for you. If you are hauling passengers in the back seat who are bigger than small kids, I would recommend the SuperCrew. However, even though the leg space is a little tight for rear riders, the front seat has tons of space in every dimension with a ton of adjustability for both the seats and the pedals so whether you are 5 feet tall or 7 feet tall – you will be comfortable driving the F150 SuperCab.

2013 F150 FX4 SuperCab side interior shot

While I don’t love the size of the SuperCab, the interior of the 2013 Ford F150 FX4 with the 402A Group and the FX Appearance Package is a spread fit for a sports car. The unique FX4 interior trim looks awesome and the inclusion of the MyFord Touch infotainment system makes using all of the interior gadgets quick and easy.

The Drive
My 2013 Ford F150 FX4 was fitted with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6, a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 3.73 rear gear package. This is a drivetrain that I have tested on multiple occasions before and I am a huge fan of the EcoBoost option. While Ford has faced some criticism over this twin turbocharged mill, I find the combination of power, performance and efficiency to be ideal for someone who wants a truck that can do some work without draining your back account at the gas pump.

2013 F150 FX4 side

As configured, my truck promises an average fuel economy figure of 17mpg with 15 around town and 21 on the open road. In the past, I have been able to meet or exceed those EPA expectations but this time around, I did almost no highway driving and that had a negative impact on the fuel economy. Over the course of 500 miles driving almost entirely in a small town setting, I only averaged around 15.4mpg but that even includes a short time with a 2,000lb horse trailer hooked up. By the way, Ive said it before and I will say it again – the EcoBoost engine pulls as well and as effortlessly as any half ton V8 truck on the market today. While I wasn’t pulling anywhere near the big numbers that Ford advertises as the towing capacity, this FX4 pulled my 2 horse trailer like it wasn’t back there and the integrated trailer brake system works beautifully. I have spoken with truck shoppers who have shied away from a “twin turbo V6” in favor of a V8 but if you are considering a new F150 – make sure to drive the EcoBoost before discounting it due to the number of cylinders as this is a great engine that will do anything that a V8 can.

The FX4 is designed to be an off road package and that comes with a suspension setup that is designed to offer better capabilities in rough terrain so you will notice that the ride is a bit more rigid on paved roads but it is not excessively rough. If you spend lots of time driving a Lincoln MKS, the F150 FX4 might seem rough on paved roads but as a truck owner, I really like how this F150 rides. Also, thanks to the quick thrust of the EcoBoost engine and the optional 3.73 gears – this truck will get up and go in a hurry along with willingly doing some big, smokey burnouts. Or so I’ve been told.

2013 F150 FX4 in the mud

I am too concerned about damaging test vehicles to actually take trucks off roading (even when they are billed as off road packages) but my area has an endless number of unpaved roads that can hand a beating to many vehicles including half ton trucks. The FX4 handles the sloppy roads and the deep, rough ruts without any problem with the suspension travel doing a great job of absorbing the worst that Michigan’s “natural beauty roads” can dish out. Best of all, unlike some factory off road packages that afford you the ability to go pretty much anywhere at the expensive a brutal ride on paved roads – this is a truck that offers a great ride on all surfaces.

The 2013 Ford F150 FX4 EcoBoost is an incredible truck and in doesn’t take hundreds of miles of driving to figure out why this is one of the bestselling vehicles in America. The EcoBoost engine offers better than 20mpg while still having enough power to tow and haul as much as any half ton truck in America. The FX4 package offers better off roading abilities than other factory 4WD trucks but it does so without forcing you to compromise ride quality.

The Final Word
While it is only my opinion that the 2013 Ford F150 FX4 is one of the best looking trucks, there is no question that the exterior and interior amenities make this one of the most high tech trucks on the market today while the EcoBoost makes the F150 one of the most capable trucks on sale today. The leather interior spread with heated/cooled power sport seats provide a ton of comfort while the MyFord Touch infotainment system makes for easy access to all of the gadgets packed into the cab of this sharp looking truck.

Ford has used the slogan “Drive One” and in the case of the 2013 F150 FX4 with the EcoBoost engine option – a short test drive will almost surely allow this truck to sell itself. While the $50,230 price of my test truck might be a bit rich for some, keep in mind that the truck shown here has almost $12,000 worth of options. Even though removing those options cut down on the cool factor inside and out – the option-free F150 FX4 is still an amazing truck for driving on road and off – whether the truck is empty, loaded or hitched to a trailer.

This story is updated on May 11, 2018.