Ford F150 XL vs Ford XLT: Trim Levels Comparison

If you purchase the new Ford model F-150, you’ll have to decide between the XL and XLT. In our comprehensive guide, we’ll compare various features to help you decide which one of these trims best suits your needs.

Ford F150 XL vs XLT

In general, a driver that prioritizes convenience and style will find that the Ford XLT is more suited to their taste. It has more features than the XL but also comes with a larger price tag.

What Does XL Mean on Ford F150?

The “XL” on the Ford truck doesn’t stand for anything specific, though many believe it to mean “Extra Large.”

However, it’s just the basic trim level on every model. Outside of upgrades, there aren’t any extra features that don’t already come with the truck.

This is the least expensive option and is an excellent work vehicle. For those on a budget, this truck is powerful yet affordable. It’s a two-wheel drive, but you can. Also, choose a four-wheel drive if you pay a bit more.

What Does XLT Mean on a Ford F150?

“XLT” means “Extra Luxurious Truck,” and it’s the next trim level after the base model. The first occurrence of this term came on the scene was in 1970 with the Ford Ranger truck.

It has been advertised as the top notch package that you want to indulge in as it relates to the Ford Explorer and Bronco.

This upgraded version of the Ford truck also has the same features that you find with the XL, but there are a lot of convenient extras for anyone that wants luxury, style, and performance all at once.

Aside from the luxury factor, the XLT model is also highly efficient and has numerous safety features that give the added comfort of knowing that the truck is more than just looks, but safe as well. 

Ford F150 XL vs XLT Similarities

The XL as well as the XLT have numerous similarities that make them comparable. Here’s where the two trims are the same on a few of the most critical components of a car purchase.


Both of the models have a 3.3L V6 engine beneath the hood. It offers 290 horsepower and nearly 270 lbs of torque.

It’s more than capable of providing the power you expect when you purchase a Ford truck, and the ride is smooth. This engine also has a GDI system that contains dual injectors in each cylinder.

The XLT and the XL also have an automatic transmission (six-speed) with three settings to choose from: sport, haul/tow, and normal.


Both models offer a comfortable interior design, but there are more features in the XLT. If you’re primarily using this car as a work vehicle, then some of the interior gadgets won’t matter as much.

However, it’ll be up to the driver’s discretion if any of the features are too valuable to miss out on.

The XL and XLT both have fade-to-off lighting, a productivity screen that’s a little.over two inches, a black foam steering wheel, and the  internet hotspot that comes with the FordPass Connect.

There’s also a sophisticated climate control air conditioning system that allows the driver to differentiate between various sections of the car.


The XL and the XLT have sleek designs that still give you that rough-and-tumble feel you expect. Here’s where they share similarities regarding the exterior:

They have daytime running lights, an integrated cargo lamp with a center high-mounted stop lamp, and a spare tire carrier on the rear underframe. Also, there are halogen headlights and tailgate handles.

Safety Features

With the Ford XL and XLT, you have a feature that allows you to look at the guide on the screen in your truck, and it’ll show you how to align your hitch to a trailer by utilizing likes that show you the direction your truck will go in when you reverse.

Additionally, there’s a rearview camera. That makes it easier for you to reverse, and you won’t have to check to see if the trailer is still connected to the truck.

Other safety features are the Ford CoPilot 360 technology with multiple services. Using emergency braking, it offers collision protection, which can detect possible incidents and save you before the collision occurs.

There are also controls for high auto beams and automatic headlights. Ford also has an AdvanceTrac system with roll stability control.

It helps you to retain traction no matter the road conditions because it’ll automatically apply the brakes and adjust the engine’s power output to give you optimal stabilization. Lastly, there’s an SOS alert available with the post-crash settings.

Ford F150 XL vs XLT

What Is the difference between a Ford F150 XL and XLT?

While the Ford XLT and F-150 XL are pleasant to drive in their own right, there are a few variables to consider that will help you find the right pickup truck.


In addition to the powerful V6 engine, the F-150 XLT allows drivers to choose the turbo V6 engine. You don’t get this option if you go with the XL.

With the XLT, you’ll get 17-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels; conversely, the XL has 17-inch silver steel wheels. While the XLT has two additional wheel options, the XL actually has four wheel selections to choose from. 


The XL comes with a standard black vinyl floor. The XLT instead sports carpeted floor mats that happen to be color-coordinated. MyKey and cruise control are standard features for both the XL and XLT. The XL comes equipped with an AM/FM stereo, while the XLT has a Sync 3 standard entertainment system.


The XLT has rear and front chrome bumpers, which differ from the XL’s front and black bumpers, which are black.

In keeping with the black theme, the XL has a black two-bar style grille with black nostrils, and the XLT has a chrome grill with two bars with chrome nostrils with black background mesh and black surround. You get a key lock tailgate with the XL, and the XLT offers a power lock tailgate instead.


Since the XLT comes with more gadgets and technological goodies in comparison to the base model, you can anticipate a steeper price tag.

On average, that XLT package will cost you about $5000 to $6000 more than the XL. So when deciding between the XLT and the XL, you have to weigh the importance of the additional features.

Advanced Features

The advanced XLT features are optional with the XL.

For example, the split-screen touchscreen that measures twelve inches, the program that helps you to monitor your blind spot, the system that can pick up on voice commands, and more, automatically come with your XLT truck.

Being able to use the car as a hotspot, the alloy wheels, and front bucket seats with heating and power adjustments are all par for the course with this vehicle.

Safety Features

The F-150 XLT begins to separate itself from the competition in the safety department. The car comes with a rearview camera that’s equipped with a reverse sensing system in addition to brake assist. There’s also cross-traffic alert and post-collision braking, thanks to Co-Pilot 360 2.0.

In addition to the airbag, you will get power door locks with a perimeter anti-theft alarm and a remote keyless entry to boot, thanks to MyKey.

The vehicle features anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring, and six airbags with both the XLT and XL. However, the blind spot monitoring system only comes with the XLT.


The XLT features the FordPass Connect system, allowing up to ten devices to connect to your truck’s in-vehicle hotspot at one time.

While the Sync 3 system is available with that XL, the FordPass Connect system is a feature that only comes with the XLT.

Ford F150 XL vs XLT Pros and Cons Table Summary

Ford F150 XLFord XLT
High towing capacityDoesn’t ride well in snowClass-leading towing and payload capacitiesPowertrain could be more refined
Powerful engineLow mileageImpressive powerPrice point
10-speed auto transmission Spacious and well-dressed cabin 
Smooth steering Straightforward infotainment features 

Which Is Better: Ford F150 XL or XLT?

Known for durability and solid on-road performance, the Ford model F-150 is one of the best trucks in its class. After much deliberation, we conclude that both XL and XLT models have their advantages.

Buy the Ford XL if you need a pickup cab for your essential operation but are on a budget. It has a tremendous value-to-money ratio, and you won’t be dissatisfied with its performance.

Buy the Ford XLT if you have a bit of money to spare and want some luxury with your next vehicle purchase, choose the Ford XLT. It has some additional safety features, and the infotainment system features can entertain an entire family.

So take some time and evaluate your needs, and don’t be afraid to test drive both to get a better feel for which vehicle is best for you.

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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