2016 Ford F-150 Gets Upgrades, Optional Appearance Pack
Trailer Assist, Infotainment Upgrades, Aggressive Styling Show Up on Options List
Keen to maintain its sales lead in the pickup segment, the Ford F-150 will be getting some updates for the 2016 model year. The already-announced Pro Trailer Backup Assist will no doubt attract many pickup buyers, while the third generation of the company’s SYNC infotainment system will feature enhanced voice recognition, faster performance, and an updated graphical interface and capacitive touchscreen. SYNC 3 will replace MyFord Touch. The final functional upgrade to the 2016 F-150 is a newly available gaseous prep option for the 5.0L V-8. This will make it the only light-duty pickup capable of running on compressed natural gas or propane.
The most obvious change to the 2016 F-150 is an optional Special Edition Appearance Package. Available on XLT and Lariat models, the SE Appearance Pack adds brand-new 20-inch wheels and many other accessories onto the existing Sport Appearance Package. Those wheels are anodized aluminum, painted a sinister satin grey and featuring bright-red “SPORT” lettering on one of the six spokes.
Black running boards, smoked headlamps, a dark anodized grille (with red accents on F-150 Lariats), and unique bodyside graphics. Inside, Alcantara seating with red contrast stitching and accents and a red-stitched steering wheel, shift boot, and instrument panel round out the changes. Even in the photo vehicle’s grey paint color, the Special Edition Appearance Package is not subtle.
It appears that Ford may be chasing General Motors, which has released no fewer than eight special trim packages for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra in the last year. From a cynical perspective, it gives the manufacturer a quick and easy way to coax a few more dollars out of the buyer without having to invest too much into new equipment. Viewed more forgivingly, it gives custom-minded buyers a quick and easy way into a more fashionable, unique truck.
Insofar as Ford’s efforts are concerned, we have no doubt that the Special Edition Appearance Package will find plenty of willing buyers. For better or worse, the F-150 looks like an overgrown Hot Wheels car with plenty of garish style and attitude. It’s a nice foil for the upmarket Platinum and King Ranch models. To this author’s eyes, the red accents look a bit juvenile, but that’s definitely part of the fun of owning a sporty truck like this.