Ford F150 XLT Vs Lariat – Which Is Right For You?

When considering a new truck, there always seem to be a lot of options among the various trim levels. The amount of information out there can be overwhelming at times. Suppose you have decided on the popular Ford F-150 pickup truck but are curious about the differences in the XLT and the Lariat trim levels. Which one is best suited for you? We researched the Ford F-150 from numerous professional sources so that you will have a definitive answer before making your way to the dealership.

The differences between the Ford F-150 XLT and the Ford F-150 Lariat are many. When selecting the right trim level for you, it's essential to consider that the XLT and the Lariat will offer differences in:

  • Engine power: XLT has a 3.3L Ti-VCT V6; Lariat has a 2.7L Eco Boost V6
  • Towing capacity: XLT can tow 7,600 lbs; Lariat can tow 8,600 lbs
  • Standard bed length: XLT offers two-bed lengths; Lariat only has one
  • Interior features: Lariat has more luxury features
  • Price: Lariat is more expensive
  • Package options: Both models have different options available that the other does not have

Now that we know some of the differences between the F-150 XLT and the Lariat, we'll take a closer look at what these differences mean. You might also be curious if the King Ranch can also be a Lariat or what the XLT means on the F-150. Is the Ford F-150 XL or XLT better? What does the XLT Sport package consist of? For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has discovered.

A Ford F-150 display at a dealership, Ford F150 XLT Vs Lariat: Which Is Right For You?

What is the difference between the XLT and the Lariat?

Earlier in this post, we listed some significant differences between the XLT and the Lariat trim levels for the Ford F-150. Here, we'll break these differences down into much greater detail.

Engine power

A major difference between the Lariat and the XLT lies in the engine. The XLT is manufactured with a 3.3L Ti-VCT V6, which carries a lot of power. On the other hand, the Lariat has an even more robust engine, the 2.7L Eco Boost V6. 

The XLT has 290 horsepower and 265 foot-pounds of torque,  while its Lariat counterpart is capable of delivering 325 horsepower and 400 foot-pounds of torque.  

Towing capacity

The differences in the engines between these two trim levels mean a substantial difference in the towing capacity. The XLT is capable of towing up to 7,600 pounds, while the stronger Lariat can tow up to 8,600 pounds.

Standard bed length

The XLT has two bed length options. It comes standard with a 6.5-foot bed but can be upgraded to an 8-foot bed. The Lariat, on the other hand, only has the 8-foot bed equipped.

Interior Features

The Lariat comes equipped with better interior features, like a handy push-button start. This isn't even an option for the XLT.

In addition, while each trim level comes standard with cruise control and cross-traffic alerts, the interior of the Lariat has a more luxurious feel to it. The seats of the Lariat are wrapped in leather, as is the steering wheel. The Lariat also has dual-zone climate control. Overall, the Lariat offers a more comfortable ride and a better interior appearance. 


The MSRP of the XLT starts at $34,760. The Lariat has an MSRP that begins at $42,750. Any add-ons or packages will increase the base price of either of these trim levels.

Package options

The XLT offers the following package options for upgrades, per the Ford website:

  • 2.7L V6 EcoBoost Payload Package 
  • Class IV Trailer Hitch 
  • FX4 Off-Road Package (4x4 Only) 
  • Heavy-Duty Payload Package  
  • Max Trailer Tow Package 
  • Snow Plow Prep (4x4 Only)  
  • Tow Technology Package  
  • Trailer Tow Package  
  • XLT Chrome Appearance Package 
  • XLT Sport Appearance Package  
  • Ford Co-Pilot360  Assist 2.0 

Meanwhile, the Lariat has the following package options available, per the Ford website:

  • FX4 Off-Road Package (4x4 Only)  
  • LARIAT Chrome Appearance Package  
  • LARIAT Sport Appearance Package  
  • Max Trailer Tow Package 
  • Snow Plow Prep (4x4 Only)  
  • Tow Technology Package 
  • Trailer Tow Package 
  • Ford Co-Pilot360  Assist 2.0 

Can a King Ranch also be a Lariat?

The King Ranch and the Lariat are different trim levels of the Ford F-150. While similar in many ways, the aesthetics of the King Ranch set the two apart from one another. The King Ranch is made with a cowboy-style appearance, rich leather interior, and a unique interior and exterior trim.

The King Ranch is a trim level above the Lariat. Many of the optional features for the Lariat will come standard with the King Ranch. 

What does XLT mean on a Ford F-150?

The XLT is an abbreviation of the words "extra luxurious truck." This goes back to Ford Ranger trim levels from the 1970s when the XLT designation was first used.

Getting an XLT trim level from Ford is always an upgrade from the base model. It usually means a more powerful engine option and enhanced exterior aesthetics, and more standard interior features. Ahead in this post, we'll compare the Ford F-150 XL to the Ford F-150 XLT. 

Ford F-350 display at a dealership

Is Ford XL or XLT better?

When comparing the Ford F-150 XL to the Ford F-150 XLT, you will notice some standard features that are different between the two. The XL is the base trim level, so that it will come with a bit less than its XLT counterpart. 

The XLT gives the consumer the option of having a 3.0L power stroke engine, while the XL does not have this available. Under the hood of the XL is the 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 engine. The XL has matching floor mats, as the XLT has ones that are color-coordinated. The XL has cruise control as an upgrade, while the XLT comes with this feature as standard. 

On the exterior, there is a noticeable difference in the appearance between the XL and the XLT. The XL has a black front and rear bumpers, a black two-bar grille style, and a key/lock tailgate. Meanwhile, the XLT comes with chrome front and rear-end bumpers, a chrome two-bar grille with black wrap-around, and a power lock tailgate.

The XL MSRP is also lower, at $29.290. The XLT MSRP starts at $35,400.

What is XLT Sport package?

For the XLT trim level, Ford offers a Sport Appearance Package. This package gives the XLT a unique and sporty look. According to Ford, equipping your XLT with this package will give it the following upgrades:

  • 18-inch spoke aluminum wheels
  • Angular step bars, painted in accent colors
  • Body-color bumpers
  • Chrome exhaust tip
  • Dark-colored, two-bar-style grille
  • "SPORT" box decal
  • Unique interior finish
  • Unique sport cloth upholstery seats

How many trim levels does the F150 have?

For the model year 2021, the Ford F-150 has a total of eight different trim levels to choose from. Each level has its advantages and unique features. The trim levels available are:

  • Ford F-150 XL
  • Ford F-150 XLT
  • Ford F-150 Lariat
  • Ford F-150 King Ranch
  • Ford F-150 Platinum
  • Ford F-150 Limited
  • Ford F-150 Tremor
  • Ford F-150 Raptor

Pickup truck Ford F-150 in the city street

What is Ford's highest trim level?

The highest trim level that Ford offers for the F-150 is the Limited trim level. The Limited is certainly the highest-priced, beginning at over $73,000 MRP. What makes it unique across all trim levels?

The F-150 Limited is built with a 3.5L V6 Ecoboost engine. Equipped with the tow package, and you'll be able to tow 14,000 pounds. This towing maximum is the best in this pickup truck's class. This engine also works with a ProPower On-Board 7.2W generator so that you can carry your source of external power. 

On the interior, you can expect to have many key features, including:

  • 360-Degree Camera Package 
  • Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking
  • 12-Inch Digital Productivity Screen 
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
  • Lane-Keeping System
  • Reverse Sensing System Open image overlay for Reverse Sensing System
  • Universal Garage Door Opener
  • Visors with Driver- and Passenger-Side Illuminated, Covered Mirrors
  • Wireless Charging Pad
  • Seats - Front are Heated and Ventilated
  • Heated Steering Wheel

Ford F150 display at a dealership

In Closing

If you found this post on the Ford F-150 pickup truck to be helpful, we believe you'll find the following posts on this popular vehicle to be informative:

11 Best Ford F-150 Mud Flaps That Will Keep You Covered on Rainy Days

What's the Average Gas Mileage for a Ford F-150 Truck?

What Is The Platinum Ultimate Package For Ford Trucks?

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