There’s a widely believed myth going around that XLT on a Ford truck means “Extra Long Truck.”
Well, it doesn’t. It actually has nothing to do with size.
XLT is a trim level meaning “Extra Luxurious Truck,” with its origins back in the 70s. Since then, it’s moved across to other vehicles, too.
This guide will briefly overview what XLT stands for and how the trucks differ, both now and back then.
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What Does XLT Stand For On Ford Trucks?
XLT stands for Extra Luxurious Truck. In 1970, the top-trim-level Ford F-100 Ranger was designated as the XLT. Today, a second-hand model in good condition might fetch around $30,000 to $50,000.
Depending on the age, era, and model generation, an XLT package brings various upgrades. These can be internal and external and could include a larger engine, comfier seats, or carpeted floors.
In Ford’s modern truck lineup, the XLT trim is an option on most models. This includes the F-150, Maverick, Ranger, and Super-Duty range (F-250, F-350, F-450, etc.).
Nowadays, the Lariat trim level – and many others – are ranked higher than the XLT.
What Is The Difference Between Ford XL and XLT Trucks?
Let’s use the 2022 F-150 – America’s most beloved truck – as a case study.
First of all, the XLT is, of course, more expensive. It’ll cost you about $6,000 extra, not an insignificant amount.
Despite this cost, the main differences between it and the modern XL are visual.
Ford F-150 XL Overview
“XL” doesn’t appear to stand for anything. It’s just two letters specifically chosen to represent the spec below the XLT. The XL is usually the base model.
The XL already comes with all the conveniences the modern driver needs. Reversing cameras, sensors, an intuitive infotainment system, and black vinyl floors are standard.
The engine isn’t bad either: it’s the 3.3-liter Ti-VCT V6 (not the EcoBoost) with a two-wheel-drive drivetrain. You get 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.
Upgrades are available. You can add a towing package or get your F-150 with four-wheel-drive for a fee.
Ford F-150 XLT Overview
The XLT comes with many of the same features, including the same engine, 10-speed transmission, and potential upgrades. The differences are mainly aesthetic and convenience-based.
For example, as standard, you get heated wing mirrors and privacy glass on the XLT. Color-coordinated carpets also come without any fuss – how exciting.
You’ll also find aluminum wheels instead of silver steel on the XL. The XLT Black Appearance Package is also available.
Finally, you can get a 3.0-liter Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V6 on the XLT. The diesel option isn’t available for the XL.
Differences Between Ford XL And XLT Trucks
Aside from the diesel engine and some upgrades, the main differences are in appearance. Since optional upgrades are available on both packages, it comes down to how much visuals matter to you.
Most people would be satisfied with an XL. You could then pay a little extra for one or two optional upgrades, such as carpets or heated wing mirrors. This would create a custom specification somewhere between the XL and the XLT.
If you’d prefer more luxury, look to the higher F-150 trim levels. These include:
- King Ranch
Most people don’t have much practical use for the top-of-the-range Raptor or Limited. However, if neither the XL nor the XLT feels like enough for you, consider the Lariat or the King Ranch.
Remember that, for new trucks, optional upgrades are available. This sometimes makes picking a trim level benign. For example, you can have an XL that costs more and is better equipped than an XLT. Funny.
If you weren’t sure what a Ford XLT truck is, hopefully, this guide has cleared it up.
As a reminder, XLT means Extra Luxurious Truck. It’s nothing to do with the size of the truck bed.
It’s simply a trim level. These days, the XLT is found above the standard XL model and below the Lariat.
Is a Ford XLT truck for you? Perhaps! But perhaps not. Don’t be afraid to shop around and play with Ford’s online “Build” feature. Apart from going to a dealership, this is the best way to learn about what you can get.