Difference between ford xl and xlt 2018

2018 Ford F-150 XL VS XLT

Ford had introduced their Pickups in the USA market back in 1942. The pickups back then had car-based designs. In 1948 Ford launched the full-length pickups by ditching their previous design.

From 1948, the first (1st) generation of Ford pickups took off that was named the F-series and to date remains the same. The current XL and XLT packages are all included in the F-series and, more precisely, the 2018 F-150. However, the XL and XLT would not be available for another few decades. 

In the mid-1960s, the F-series went through a substantial redesign, and the name Ranger was added replacing the previous base model called Edsel. This marked the birth of XLT as Ford’s approach on more stylish pickup trucks rather than the previous functionality oriented models. 

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The seventh (7th) generation of Ford pickups reigned from 1980 to 1986. There was a noticeable change made to the existing Ford Pickups. The “Blue Oval” logo was introduced to the center grille, and also the Ranger and custom models were made unavailable. Thus the XL, XLT, XLS models were born.

Finally comes our topic of discussion, the 2018 model XL and XLT. The 2014 to 2018 timeline is the Eleventh (11th) generation. The XL model/package became the standard model with numerous variations. The Eleventh (11th) generation models had some major changes in the models. These changes later made them as standard or baseline models in comparison to their predecessors. A fully boxed in the frame was the main update that is still being used. Other major changes include rear shock absorbers to mount outside of the frame, a 3-valve version of the 5.4 Liter V8 engine instead of a 2-valve version.

What does XL mean on a ford truck?

In general terms, the abbreviation of XL refers to the size of a particular item or object. For the Ford XL, the common term does not apply. The Ford XL refers to a specific type of model. The Ford XL package can be considered as the baseline for the F-150 series pickups with bare minimal options in comparison to the later models such as XLT, STL. The XLT, SLT models come with certain features with their respective packages, while the XL package can be considered a standard package for the Ford pickups.

What does XLT mean on a ford truck?

In terms of Ford pickup trucks, the XLT does not refer to anything. XLT is not an abbreviation but rather just a tagline to highlight the package name. The XLT package does offer more luxury than its baseline XL package. Since the circumstances lined up, people often refer to the XLT name as an abbreviation for Extra Luxury Truck. Ford has denied the theory and has said that XLT does not refer to any acronym. Perhaps it is just the model name given by ford to identify its uniqueness.

Difference Between Ford XL and XLT 2018

Interior Options

The interior of a car has a great deal of importance when a potential customer is deciding on which model they should buy. The 2018 Ford F-150 XLT can be optimized with a special Mid 301A package that will open up a variety of feature compatibility. The key features that vary from XL to XLT are mentioned below.

  • The XLT includes color-coordinated Floor covering, full carpeted floor mats, while the XL utilizes basic black vinyl floor covering.
  • A steering wheel-mounted Cruise Control system has been installed in the 2018 XLT, which is not available in the XL package.
  • A delayed power accessory is available in the XLT pickups, which is not compatible with the XL models.
  • The baseline XL models only have the passenger side visor. The XLT package, on the other hand, has side mirrors that cover both the driver and passengers. Heated mirrors and auto-dimming rearview mirrors are also exclusive for the XLT package.
  • The front passenger and driver manual Lumbar support is available in XLT package along with an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat.
  • For the seats, front, high series cloth 40/20/40 split-bench is available in XLT that has 20% center under-seat & storage, w/center armrest, cup holder, and storage. There is also another storage available under the second-row seats. The seats of XLT can be configured for power front seats and heated seats.
  • Remote Keyless Entry & Perimeter antitheft alarm is available in the XLT as a standard option.
  • The XLT model Door trim comes with a soft armrest, grab handle, upper & lower map pockets & reflector.
  • The XLT comes with a rear privacy glass that separates the driver’s cab from the rear seats for better privacy, which was never an option for the Ford XL.
  • There is a secondary air conditioning vent located in the rear seats for the passengers. 
  • The XL only has a basic FM/AM radio as its standard feature while the XLT ups the game with a CD player with four speakers & Ford’s SYNC infotainment system. The baseline XL package can be integrated with the CD player system but only as an additional option. This will obviously increase the price of the XL package. The potential buyers of the XL package heavily emphasis on the cost to benefit functionality. That alone makes this augmentation near about redundant.
  • Neither XL nor XLT comes with Navigation assistance, but XLT’s SYNC infotainment system is compatible with android and ios operating system. You can sync your phone with the car and enjoy all of the features. There is an LCD touch screen on the dashboard for ease of excess as well. 
  • The power equipment option enables the control over driver window, door locks & windows with backlight switches & accessory delay.

Exterior Options

For the Exteriors, here are stylistic differences on the XL and XLT models, so it’s up to the buyer to determine which F-150 pickup truck will give them the flare that they are searching for. The key exterior differences between XL and XLT packages are briefly explained below.

  • The front and rear bumpers of XL package are standard blacks. The XLT package offers full chrome rear and front bumpers.
  • New halogen “Fog Lamps” are installed in the XLT package.
  • The front grille of the XL pickup has a standard black two-bar grille with a black nostril. The XLT has a chrome two-bar grille with a black surround mesh and chrome nostril.
  • The side-view mirrors of XLT are power glass that can be operated from the control panels inside the cab. The standard XL package offers a manual glass side view mirrors. The side glasses in the XLT can be heated as an additional option. 
  • The tailgate of all XLT pickups has a power lock while the XL offers the traditional key lock tailgate.
  • The Sun visors in XLT are color-coordinated vinyl, while the XL does not have the option. XLT has a single driver with a covered mirror, the single passenger with a covered mirror.
  • Trailer Brake Controller is available for better handling in XLT that does not come with the XL package. Also, there is a cargo management system with tie-down cleats that is not available in the XL.


The above discussion summarizes that the XL package is oriented for functionality, keeping in mind of its targeted customers and their budget. The XLT can be considered a more updated version of the XL package, where style and luxury are the main focus. The Ford pickups have been the bestselling pickups in the USA and Canada since the late 1970s.

Naturally, there will be the rise of luxury features among its customers, and XLT does precisely that. Apart from the stylish aesthetics, the XLT does have some superior features that have been proven to be more functional. Options such as heated seat, power seat for the driver, trailer brake control, and such genuinely make the XLT package much more user friendly than its base models.

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