What Does XLT Mean on a Ford Truck?

If you’re a truck fanatic, the chances you have not heard of the Ford XLT are practically zero! Many Ford truck models come with the XLT designation, but what does this XLT mean, anyway?

The XLT is a trim level designed for Ford trucks and stands for “Extra Luxurious Truck.” However, in the Ford truck lineup, the XLT trim package comes second to the base trim XL. The name XLT first appeared in 1970, when the Ford Ranger’s top trim package was called the XLT.

Read on to learn more about what the XLT means and what the main features are.

XLT Meaning on a Ford Truck

what does xlt mean on a ford truck
Ford Ranger XLT

Ford Ranger’s Top-of-the-line Package in 1970

The word XLT was first used on the Ford Ranger in 1970 as the top-of-the-line package, and it has since been used in other Ford models such as the Ford truck series, Bronco, and Explorer. 

Ford Ranger’s XLT Trim Package Inclusion

The Ford Ranger was a two-wheel compact pickup truck back then, and its XLT trim package included the following:

  • Chrome bumpers,
  • Hubcaps,
  • Side mirrors,
  • Center console,
  • Bucket seats, and
  • Carpeting.

Other Truck Trim Packages

Other truck trim packages, such as the Lariat and FX4, have also entered the market later.

FX4 Trim Package

Off-road enthusiasts will appreciate the FX4 trim package, which features the following:

  • Skid plates,
  • Rancho shocks, and
  • A locking rear differential.

Lariat Luxury Package

The Lariat luxury package features the following:

  • Leather seats,
  • A motorized sunroof, and
  • Dual temperature control.

These features make it the most luxurious Ford truck.

Platinum Grade Level

The Platinum, Limited, and King Ranch trim levels are similar to the Lariat, with just a few differences.

The Platinum grade level, for example, comes with a rearview camera, navigation system, and heated and cooled seats.

Limited Trim Level

The Ford F-150 Limited trim level is the most luxurious trim package available. You get a massage driver’s seat, a panoramic sunroof, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Kung Ranch Trim Level

As to the King Ranch, it was only available in a 4-door Crew Cab body style and had a brown leather interior.

More About XLT Package

Comes with a 3.0 Liter Powerstroke V6 Diesel Engine

The XLT package comes with a 3.0 Liter Powerstroke V6 Diesel Engine and 17-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels. The package also includes additional wheels and carpeted floor mats.

Includes Cruise Control and MyKey

It includes cruise control and MyKey, a safety feature that allows you to set a top speed, maximum radio volume, and required seatbelt use. You also get Sync 3, a voice-activated entertainment system.

Chrome-plated Front and Rear Bumpers

The XLT’s front and rear bumpers are chrome-plated and come with a power-assisted tailgate. It also comes standard with power-glass side-view mirrors and front halogen fog lamps.

Offers Manual Lumbar Settings

It also offers manual lumbar settings for the driver and front passenger for enhanced seat control.

Ford Truck with XLT Package

XLT package is available on the following:

  • F150,
  • F250,
  • F350,
  • F-450,
  • Ford Rangers,
  • Ford Explorers, and
  • Ford Expeditions.

Straightforward XLT Ranger’s Trim Options

The XLT Ranger’s trim options are straightforward, whereas the Expedition and the Explorer come with luxurious features such as keyless entry, among other things.

The Expedition comes with 18-inch aluminum wheels, and you also get 20-inch aluminum wheels as an added option.

F150 XLT Cost

Buying an XLT version of an F150 will cost you around $6,000.

Naturally, you should be aware of your trim levels, as you may be tempted to select an XLT Sport Appearance Package or an XLT Special Edition Appearance Package. 

Both provide extra budget-friendly solutions.

XLT Features on Different Ford Models

what does xlt mean on a ford f150
F-450 XLT

The XLT trim option is available for many Ford models, including:

  • Expedition,
  • Explorer,
  • F-350,
  • Ranger,
  • F-450, and
  • F-250 are among them.

The specific characteristics of XLT levels may differ from one model to another.

Let’s look go over them one by one:

1. Ford F Models

The XLT trim levels are available on all F-450, F-250, F-350, and F-150 models. Here are some of the features you will find on these models:

  • Carpeted floor mats with matching colors
  • Controlled cruise
  • Power accessory
  • Covered side mirrors for the driver and passenger
  • Manual lumbar control for the front seats
  • Chrome front and rear bumpers 
  • Fog lamps in the front halogen
  • Black background mesh and a two-bar grille with chrome nostrils
  • Side view mirrors with power glass
  • Tailgate with power lock

2. Ford Ranger Trucks

The Ford Ranger is available in three trim levels:

  • Lariat,
  • XL, and
  • XLT.

The following are some of the features you will find in the Ford Ranger XLT trim level:

  • 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot with SYNC infotainment interface
  • Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 system
  • 4.2-inch car information screen and six-speaker audio system
  • Forward and reverse sensing system

These features are also included in the Ford Ranger Lariat

3. Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer comes in various trim levels, including:

  • XLT,
  • Limited,
  • ST, and
  • Platinum. 

The XLT trim level has the following features:

  • Keyless entrance keypad by SecuriCode
  • Electronic temperature control in three zones
  • Headlamps with automatic LED low beams
  • FordPass Connect (Wi-Fi hotspot with 4G LTE)
  • Leather seats
  • Bang & Olufsen’s B&O sound system
  • Paddle shifters and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel

4. Ford Expedition 

The Ford Expedition is available in two trim levels: basic and XLT. These are the features you will find in the Ford Expedition XLT:

  • Machined aluminum 18-inch wheels
  • 20-inch premium aluminum wheels as an added option
  • Color-matched lower bumper fascias
  • Color-coordinated grille
  • Security approach lamps with black heated mirrors
  • Deployable metallic running boards
  • Leather seats as an added option
  • Automatic temperature control in two zones
  • Seats with adjustable power pedals
  • Reverse sensing
  • Leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with color coordination
  • Garage door opener
  • Voice instructions for the SYNC system
  • Power liftgate
  • Wipers that detect rain

How Does XLT Measure Up to Its Competitors?

GMC and Chevrolet Are Ford’s Direct Competitors

Ford’s direct competitors are GMC and Chevrolet. It is fair to say that the GMC Sierra SLE is the one competitor that would stand in line with the Ford XLT.

Chevy LT Touring

As to Chevrolet, the Chevy LT Touring is the trim level that competes with the XLT.

Overall, Ford does a better job than the two. GMC and Chevy have a more traditional appearance with classic lines and external features. The Ford XLT has a good base engine, while the GMC Sierra SLE is known for its towing capability and power.

GMC Sierra SLE

As far as equipment and amenities are concerned, the GMC Sierra SLE has a couple more than the Ford XLT. For example, a lower trim level will provide you with many more functions at a higher cost.

Ford XLT Offers More Advanced Safety Equipment

The Ford XLT stands out in that it offers more advanced safety equipment on cheaper models. At the same time, the GMC requires an additional cost.

The same can be said about the Chevy LT Touring providing more equipment and amenities on cheaper models than the Ford XLT, but you don’t get Ford’s advanced safety features.

Nearly Identical in Features with a Few Small Changes

You will also notice that they are nearly identical in terms of features, with only a few small changes. For example, the Chevy LT comes with standard leather seats, whereas the Ford XLT comes with cloth seats.

It all boils down to what matters most to you. The Ford XLT is your best bet if safety and practicality are your top priorities.

If you fancy additional comfort features and are willing to pay a little more, you should look at any of Ford’s higher trims or competitors.

The XLT is a terrific buy because it strikes a decent mix between price and extra features.

Again, what does XLT mean on a Ford truck? XLT on a Ford Truck is trim level; specifically, it means “Extra Luxurious Truck.” This package comes after the Ford truck’s base trim, XL. Ford started using this term in 1970 to refer to the Ford Ranger’s top trim package.

XLT vs. Other Ford Trim Packages

what does xlt stand for on a truck
F-150 Lariat

Ford offers a variety of trim levels depending on the truck you choose. Only the XL, XLT, and Lariat trims are available on the Maverick and Ranger.

The Platinum, King Ranch, Raptor, and Limited trims are available on the Ford F-150 and Super Duty F-250:

1. XL

The most basic trim is the XL. It is known as the “work truck” in Ford’s truck lineup. It is designed to be an entry-level trim focused on cost rather than a comprehensive list of comforts and features.

The XL retains several basic features, such as front collision warning and smartphone connection.

2. Lariat

The Lariat gives a greater range of engines and powertrain options to the F-150 and F-250.

It also includes the following:

  • 12-inch touchscreen,
  • Leather-trimmed seats, and
  • Power-adjustable seats, among other upgrades.

Advanced safety features such as blind-spot detection and forward-collision warning are also available.

3. King Ranch

The cabin at the King Ranch is unique, with an ancient leather finish. It includes genuine wood interior accents and heated rear seats.

It comes with 20-inch wheels and trailer towing equipment. Upgrades would include intersection assist and wireless phone charging.

4. Platinum

Ford starts to get serious about features and a luxurious cabin with the Platinum. This model offers heated and cooled seats and adaptive cruise control.

The Platinum model has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, voice recognition, and navigation. It has chrome accents and a body-color front and rear bumper on the outside. 

5. Limited

The Limited model includes a premium Bang & Olufson audio system, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and a twin-panel power moonroof.

It also has safety features such as adaptive steering and automatic high-beam headlamps. It also makes it easier to haul a load with “Pro Trailer Backup Assist” and adjustable suspension.


The Raptor is a sports model explicitly designed for off-road excursions. Its drive modes include:

  • Normal,
  • Eco,
  • Sport,
  • Slippery,
  • Tow/Haul,
  • Deep Snow/Sand,
  • Off-Road,
  • Mud/Rut,
  • Baja, and
  • Rock Crawl.

You also get additional ground clearance and improved suspension. 

These are just a few features and luxuries available on each Ford model level. Each trim, beginning with the XL, builds on the one before.

The best one for you will depend on what features you are looking for and what your budget is.

All in all, many people take the XLT to be an excellent value because it comes with a few more features at a lesser price.

XL vs. XLT: Similarities and Differences

Now that you know what XLT stands for in Ford let’s compare it to the base XL model to see how they differ. It will also help you choose the Ford truck that best suits your needs.

We will be comparing the Ford F-150 XL to the Ford F-150 XLT. We went with the F-150 because it is one of the most well-known pickup trucks in the world:


1. Performance

The Ford XL and XLT models are powered by a 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. 

You get a paired engine with a six-speed automatic transmission and three drive modes:

  • Regular,
  • Tow/haul, and
  • Sport.

2. Interior

The XL and XLT are capable of interior comfort and convenience. The following are some of the inside features:

  • 2.3-inch screen for productivity
  • Fading lighting in and out
  • Urethane steering wheel in black
  • Manual single-zone air conditioning
  • FordPass ConnectTM (Wi-Fi hotspot for FordPass users)

3. Exterior

Both models are elegant and rugged. They come with the following exterior features:

  • Running lights
  • Cargo light with a high-mounted stop bulb in the center
  • Headlamps with halogen bulbs
  • Black door and tailgate handles that complement the black bezel
  • Spare tire carrier in the rear underframe


Let’s look now at some of the differences between XL and XLT:

1. Performance

As we said earlier, the Ford XL and XLT share the same standard gasoline engine, but the XLT has an optional mill. 

The 3.0L Power StrokeR Turbo-Diesel V6 engine is available for the XLT but not for the XL.

The XL comes with 17-inch silver steel wheels, while the XLT comes with 17-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels.

The other difference is the number of additional wheel options for the two models: you get four for the XL and six for the XLT.

2. Interior

The XLT comes with more features because it is a higher-level trim. Here are some of the differences between the two models:

  • The XL has a black vinyl floor covering, whereas the XLT features color-coordinated carpeted floor mats.
  • Cruise control and MyKey come standard with the XLT, but you must pay extra for these features on the XL model.
  • The XLT’s entertainment system is SYNC 3, while the XL has an AM/FM radio.

3. Exterior

Here are some of the key differences between the Ford XL and XLT:

  • The front and rear bumpers of the base XL are black, while the XLT has chrome bumpers.
  • The XLT has a two-bar design grille with a black surround, chrome nostrils, and black background mesh, while the XL has a black two-bar design grille with black nostrils.
  • The XL also comes with a key lock tailgate, whereas the XLT features a power lock tailgate.


Is the XLT Package a Good Choice?

The XLT package strikes a fair balance between luxury and affordability. Additionally, you get chrome bumpers, side mirrors, and hubcaps.

It is also a great option if you want a practical and functional truck without paying higher prices associated with the Lariat, Limited, and Platinum trim packages. 

If you only want a truck to use off-road, the FX4 or Raptor packages are the way to go. However, remember that they will still cost you a lot more.

Is the Ford XLT Equipped with Heated Seats?

Yes, heated seats are available on Ford XLTs with the 302A package. The 302A XLT package is the most expensive and includes equipment such as a 12-inch touchscreen, SYNC 4, and more.

If you do not buy the 302A package, you can still add heated seats as an aftermarket option. Heated seats for Ford trucks are available from various manufacturers, so do your homework to see which set is the finest for you.

What Is the Most Popular Ford Truck?

The Ford F-150 is the most popular truck in the company. For nearly 40 years, it has been America’s best-selling truck. The Ford F-150 is available in many different trim packages. You also get to choose between several other engine options.

The Ford F-150 is your best bet if you are looking for a dependable vehicle that can tackle any duty. It is also a perfect choice if you are looking for a premium vehicle with all those bells and whistles.

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Conclusion – What Does the XLT Stand for on a Ford Truck

We hope you now understand what XLT stands for. It is just a trim level available on Ford’s many pickup trucks and SUVs. It was first used in 1970 as a top trim level on the Ford Ranger, and it included chrome bumpers, hubcaps, and side mirrors.

The XLT usually sits just below the entry-level XL in the range and offers additional features that make it more appealing to buyers. But, be prepared to pay a premium for the extra features.

Moreover, the Ford XLT package strikes a solid blend between reliability and luxury. Ford will always have you covered no matter what you are looking for.