The Ford F-150 is part of the F-Series, a descriptor used to cover the entire succession of Ford pickups that have been in production for nearly 60 years. Since that genesis, millions of Ford trucks have been sold. In fact, the F-150 has been the most popular vehicle sold in the United States for nearly every year of the past three decades.
This Ford truck is a go-to choice for many consumers. Those with commercial or small business needs view it as a reliable workhorse. Others see it as a vehicle that can handle a night out on the town just as easily as it does towing, hauling and recreation. A wide variety of body configurations, power trains and trim levels makes it easy to get the F-150 you want.
The full-size truck market segment has seen recent expansion and renewal. There are now more choices than ever. Shoppers are certainly encouraged to do their research, but there's little reason to doubt that the Ford F-150 will continue to be one of America's most popular new vehicles sold, as well as a keen choice for a used pickup truck.
The current-generation Ford F-150 has been available since the 2004 model year. It's available in three body styles and five different trim levels. The base XL is a standard work truck with a vinyl or cloth interior and minimal amenities. The STX has a few extra features, but most buyers go with the F-150 XLT, as it represents the best value and is available with the widest array of options. There's also the off-road-oriented FX4 trim level, the top-of-the-line Lariat and the special King Ranch and Harley Davidson packages.
There are three engine choices on this Ford truck: the standard 202-horsepower 4.2-liter V6, a 231-hp 4.6-liter V8 and an optional 300-hp 5.4-liter V8. Almost all variants will be equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission, though the V6 does come standard with a five-speed manual. All F-150 trim levels (except the FX4) and body styles can be equipped as either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
In Ford F-150 reviews, this model is typically considered to be the best F-150 yet. It's praised for its exceptional ride and handling characteristics and attractive and functional interior designs. Noted downsides include lackluster acceleration and braking, and limited storage space. So far, Ford has not made any dramatic changes or updates to this model.
Though the F-150 nameplate dates back to 1975, its roots can be traced to 1948. This is when the first modern light-duty, half-ton Ford pickup truck debuted. It was known as the F-1 and was renamed F-100 in the early 1950s. Ford has been making F-Series trucks ever since.
Many shoppers interested in a used Ford F-150 will come across the truck sold for the 1997-2003 model years. Though not as refined as the current model, it was a very capable truck that got just about everything right and it's a perennial pick in the "Large Pickup" category of Edmunds.com's Used Car Best Bets. When it debuted, its smooth exterior styling was a dramatic departure from previous F-150s, which were much more boxy and traditional in appearance.
For the most part, this generation mirrors the current one in terms of cab styles, trim levels and powertrains. Engine offerings included a 4.2-liter V6, a 4.6-liter V8 and a 5.4-liter V8. In 2000, the first Harley-Davidson edition was released. The following year saw the introduction of the King Ranch trim and the crew cab (Super Crew) body style. In 1999, Ford brought back the high-performance Lightning.
Trucks from the first half of the 1990s could be considered the last of the F-150s that placed utility first and luxury second. These trucks were available in two body styles (regular and extended cab) and a few trim levels. The Lightning performance version debuted in 1993, and the XLT Lariat was typically the top trim until the Eddie Bauer trim debuted in 1995. Main engines choices were a 4.9-liter inline six, a 5.0-liter V8 and a 5.8-liter V8. In terms of a purchase, Ford F-150 models built for 1994 and afterwards might be preferable for many buyers, as they had a standard driver-side airbag and an improved interior design.
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