2023 Ford F-150 Rattler
(Photo/Ford)

2023 Ford F-150 Rattler Is an Off-Road Pickup for Budget Buyers

The 2023 Rattler is an off-road Ford F-150 that you might not be afraid to take off road. Just be careful not to step on it.

Ford has found another scary animal name to stick on the side of a truck. But instead of the usual high-dollar package at the top end of the lineup, this one is based on something more affordable.

It’s called the F-150 Rattler, and because it’s based on the XL-trim pickup, you won’t need to shed as much skin to afford one.

The 2023 Ford F-150 Rattler starts by adding the FX4 Off-Road package to an XL truck. Starting with that $39,200 truck (for 2022), the package comes with features that add capability when you’re off the beaten path for less than the big-buck Raptor or Tremor.

Comes With FX4 Plus More

2023 Ford F-150 Rattler
(Photo/Ford)

You’ll get an electronic locking rear differential to help when the going gets tough. Off-road shocks are part of the package to add more stability when you’re pounding over rocks and ruts. Hill descent control makes driving down steep and slippery surfaces a whole lot easier.

Lastly, the FX4 comes with skid plates that help protect the fuel tank, transfer case, and front differential under the truck if you hit those rocks a little bit too hard.

Where the FX4 sticker would normally live on the bedsides, Rattler stickers replace those boring graphics. What’s a special-edition truck if it isn’t showing off? Nothing, that’s what.

Ford F-150 Rattler-specific 18-inch wheels are painted with a dark finish. Already a nice upgrade from the stock 17-inch silver steelies, they wear all-terrain tires from Toyo in the photos. Ford didn’t say which model tire, which is a surprise, but they should handle most trails with ease.

F-150 Rattler badging on the fenders finishes off the look outside. Ford has added some rattlesnake graphics, because what’s a name without a graphic to go with it?

Because a rattlesnake without a rattle is just a snake, Ford has added a dual exhaust to this pickup. The automaker promises “a bold sound,” so it should rumble when you step on the gas from the comfort of the cabin.

Here’s Hoping the Interior’s Not a Rattler

2023 Ford F-150 Rattler
(Photo/Ford)

Ford didn’t put snakeskin seats in the F-150 Rattler, even if it should have. That doesn’t mean Ford didn’t do anything inside, though. The F-150 Rattler gets Onyx-colored seats with burnished bronze accents for what is meant to be a “desert-inspired” look for the cabin.

Seat stitching that matches the instrument panel trim is another cool touch. It makes the design more cohesive than a simple contrast stitch and should make the F-150 Rattler feel more like a complete package than just some mildly coordinated stickers and tape.

Company photos of the truck show off wood trim on the passenger-side dashboard, plus bronze trim around the center console. The combination makes for a pickup that might be based on the low-spec model but absolutely does not look like you cheaped out at the dealer.

Ford will offer the F-150 Rattler in SuperCab and SuperCrew, its name for extended and crew cab trucks. Sorry, regular cab buyers — even if you’re probably used to feeling left out by now.

The company didn’t break down which engines will be sold with the Rattler package, but looking at Ford’s options list, we can make a good guess.

The FX4 package isn’t offered with the 290-horsepower 3.3L V6, so don’t expect the Rattler to be. Instead, you’ll need to spend at least $1,192 for the 325-horsepower 2.7L EcoBoost V6 or a little bit more for the 400-horsepower 5.0L V8 or 3.5L EcoBoost engine options.

How much? Ford hasn’t said, and it hasn’t priced any other version of the 2023 F-150. So expect it to cost more than the $1,005 the FX4 package adds to an XL, plus that engine upgrade. Call it around $45,000 with destination, and we think you’ll be in the ballpark.

Otherwise, wait and see because the 2023 Ford F-150 Rattler goes on sale this fall.

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Evan Williams
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Evan has been drooling over cars since the time he learned to walk. Since then he's worked on controlling the drooling and expanded his interests to include hiking, cycling, and kayaking. He went to school for engineering but transitioned into a more satisfying career and has been writing automotive and outdoors news for nearly a decade