Sleek sports cars like Ferraris and Corvettes may get all the glances on the road, but there’s one tried-and-true vehicle that gets all the attention of consumers. It’s the Ford F-150 pickup. This truck has been the most popular vehicle of any type in the U.S. for more than four decades. In a recent article, we covered this truck’s big brother, the F-Series Super Duty, so now it’s time to explore all things F-150.
The original F-Series was launched in 1948, with the F-1 as the base model, while the F-150 debuted in 1975. So if you consider the F-Series to be the official label for Ford’s line of pickups, then it’s the longest-running Blue Oval nameplate still in production. If you look solely at the F-150 badging, then the longest-running Ford model title goes to the Mustang (which appeared in 1964).
Regardless of the distinction, Ford pickups have been playing streets, job sites, and farms for a long time. There’s a lot to consider if you’re just adding another vehicle to your history of Ford trucks or are thinking about getting behind the wheel of an F-150 for the first time. And, this is a particularly savvy time to be looking at a used pickup. Thanks to the pandemic and the global semiconductor shortage, the supply of new F-150s is tight, making pricing less favorable. Therefore, a used F-150 can be a smart buy.
Let’s look at the essentials of the F-150. To avoid writing a book on the subject, we’ll skip the first eleven F-series generations and instead focus on the more recent versions of the F-150 (the twelfth and thirteenth generation, to be specific). The newest F-150, the fourteenth generation, has recently launched so we’ll get more into these details in a future article.
The twelfth generation F-150 is a transformative truck for the market. Wisely, Ford recognized that the pickup’s role was moving beyond just workplace duty to daily driver status. As such, Ford engineered the F-150 with improved materials and higher build quality. However, the sweeping lines of its predecessor were cast aside for a more imposing look that customers still preferred. In fact, the twelfth-gen F-150 sees the debut of the massive grille that is still used in the newest F-150s. It’s a design element that also appears in competing products like the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500.
This F-150 is available in three styles: regular cab, a two-row SuperCab with smaller rear access doors, and the four-door SuperCrew. Cargo bed length varies from 5.5 feet or 6.5 feet. The regular cab can also be equipped with an 8-foot bed.
Interestingly, when the 2009 F-150 debuted, it was the first Ford half-ton pickup not to offer a six-cylinder. Instead, base power came from the 4.6-liter Modular V-8 (248 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque). This generation of F-150 later saw the introduction of new engines developed from Mustang power plants. The 3.7-liter V-6 (302 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque) and 5.0-liter V-8 (360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque) are overhead valve engines praised for efficiency and robustness. A twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 (365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque), dubbed the EcoBoost, enters the lineup as Ford looks for more fuel-efficient alternatives to V-8 power. A six-speed automatic is the sole transmission offering. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive available.
Significantly, 2010 sees the debut of the F-150 SVT Raptor. It’s a performance truck in the vein of the previous-gen SVT Lightning but with considerable off-road prowess. Equipment includes a heavily modified suspension and a 6.2-liter V-8 (411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque).
In keeping with the “something for everyone” theme, Ford offers the twelfth generation of the F-150 in a multitude of trims (which may not be available in all years or cab options).
XL is the entry-level F-150; it’s a work-first truck with just the basics. STX is mostly an appearance-oriented trim that gives the F-150 a more rugged look without the extra equipment. XLT layers in more creature comforts like power windows and locks, keyless entry, and power side mirrors. FX4 adds to the look of the STX with off-road gear such as skid plates, a locking rear axle, and trail-friendly tires and wheels.
Going deluxe with a twelfth-generation F-150 is easy, too. Lariat includes exterior upgrades as well as leather upholstery, power seats, and other luxurious cabin goodies. A Harley Davidson F-150 adds numerous appearance features that capture the themes from the storied motorcycle brand. Carried over from the previous F-150, King Ranch turns premium up a notch with upgraded leather seating and features found in luxury cars. When the King Ranch isn’t enough, an F-150 Platinum goes even more upscale.
The thirteenth-generation F-150 is noteworthy for two reasons. First, Ford’s best-seller becomes its first production vehicle with a mostly aluminum body. It was a controversial move that has since proved itself with durability and increased efficiency. Second, we see a merging of cab bodies with the larger Super Duty series. The underpinnings remain separate, but the sharing of bodies better links the different F-Series together and reduces manufacturing costs. The three cab options and three cargo bed lengths carry over from the last F-150.
From a design perspective, this generation of F-150 continues the bold and upright look. The signature C-shaped headlights first appear here. The truck gains an even wider appearance by moving these elements more to the corners and maintaining a horizontally-oriented grille. A more vertical front-end says this F-150 is all business. A 2018 refresh includes a broader grille that enhances the truck’s striking looks.
Thanks to the aluminum body (which helps the truck shed as much as 700 pounds) and reworked engine offerings, the F-150 now benefits from improved performance and better fuel economy. The base 3.5-liter V-6 generates up to 290 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. A new turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6 bumps up the truck’s capabilities with as much as 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. If that isn’t enough, the Coyote 5.0-liter V-8 offers up to 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Output for the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 provides as much as 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Beginning in 2018, a 3.0-liter PowerStroke V-6 Diesel (250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque) is available with the F-150. Depending on the year and engine, the transmission is either a six-speed or ten-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive optional.
The thirteenth-generation F-150 also sees a reworking of trims. It’s more of a simplification as the F-150 can be ordered as an XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, or Platinum. 2016 sees the introduction of a new trim, Limited, that’s even more premium than Platinum.
For the 2017 model year, Ford re-introduces the Raptor. This time, V-8 power is ditched in favor of a high-output version of the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6. 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque offer thrilling performance that matches this truck’s off-road capability.
Discover our selection of used Ford F-150 trucks for sale. Please note that our inventory changes frequently and is subject to prior sales. Be sure to ask us about incoming used Ford F-150 models.
If you’re searching for Ford F-150 pickups, then discover the used trucks for sale near me at Trust Auto. Need an F-150 SuperCab or an F-150 SuperCrew? Then Trust Auto in Sykesville, Maryland, is your must-visit dealership. While you’re here, you can even compare the F-150 to our selection of Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and RAM 1500 pickups. That’s something you can’t do at a new car dealer. Start your shopping journey by checking out our great selection of gas and diesel trucks for sale.
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