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43 Consecutive Years as America’s Best Pickup Truck, What’s the Hype About?

2w ago

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Introduction

The F-150 is a truly historic truck. It has been America’s best-selling pickup truck for over 40 years. The F-150 started its legacy in 1948 as the Ford Bonus-Built, and it’s still here today, over 70 years later. So, why is this the best selling truck in the USA, the country that buys the most pickup trucks in the world? Is it because people buy what they know, they like what’s familiar and are scared to try something new? I don’t think so, I think people buy the F-150 because it is truly the leader in all pickup trucks. When Ford used aluminum to reduce weight it didn’t take long for their competitors to follow suit. Also, Ford leads it’s competitors with the most second row legroom for any pickup truck. It’s clear Ford is not afraid of changing and improving the F-150, as this is the 13th generation.

Generational Changes

Ford clearly doesn’t mess around when they redesign an F-150. When they released the 13th generation, they dropped the curb weight by almost 750 lbs, making the F-150 even more fuel-efficient. How? They accomplished this by changing the steel body panels to aluminum. They offered new technologies, such as adaptive cruise control and stop/start technology for the 2.7L Ecoboost. These technologies make the F-150 safer to drive and even more fuel-efficient. Ford changed the standard engine to the more fuel-efficient 3.5L V6. If that wasn’t enough, Ford decided to do a mid-cycle change in 2018. Again, for the sake of fuel economy Ford changed the standard engine to the 3.3L V6. Then, Ford gave every engine a 10-speed transmission which increases efficiency and performance. Every engine got a 10-speed except for the standard 3.3L V6. Then, for those who enjoy driving aids, they offered pre-collision assist with pedestrian vision.

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Rear

Price & Options

The F-150 has a starting MSRP just under $27,600, putting it on par with other trucks in its class. The F-150 is one of the most customizable vehicles on the market, with 7 different trims and 44 configurations, not including packages. Since there are too many to list, the flowchart below describes every F-150 configuration, and is just as confusing as buying an F-150 today:

Confusing Flowchart

Confusing Flowchart

The paint color on this F-150 is as American as a pair of blue jeans. This also happens to be its factory color name, blue jeans. This F-150 XLT has a 5.5ft bed, 4x4, a SuperCrew Cab, and equipment group 302A which gives it the 18” PVD chrome wheels as well as a bunch of other options:

Options for this F-150

Options for this F-150

Specs

The F-150 has great fuel economy for a truck with 19 MPG city, 26 MPG highway, and 22 MPG combined. The F-150 comes with a standard fuel capacity of 23 gallons or an optional 36-gallon tank. If you opt for the 36-gallon tank you can expect to fill up almost every 800 miles or every 3 weeks. That is if you drive the national average of 13,476 miles annually. The curb weight starts around 2 tons and goes up to almost 3 tons. There are four different engines offered. All engines come with a 6-speed transmission, except for the 3.5L EcoBoost which gets a 10-speed:

Engine Options

Engine Options

What It’s Like to Drive

It’s not the most maneuverable truck with a 143-inch wheelbase, but certainly not the worst. The steering wheel gives almost no resistance, which is nice in parking lots, but I would prefer a tighter steering wheel for turns. The F-150 rides smooth, which is expected when driving a pickup truck. The climate control feels like a leaf blower on the highest setting, and I have no doubt it will certainly keep you cool/warm year-round. It has good technology with the 8” Sync 3 infotainment system. The seats are comfortable and adjustable in 10 different ways. The truck offers great vision with blind-spot mirrors on both sides, as well as an auto-dimming for the rear-view and driver-side mirrors. Also, it comes with a backup camera, with guidelines to help make the truck easier to park. Lastly, with the 3.5L EcoBoost engine’s max towing weight of 12,200 lbs., you could easily tow a full-grown African elephant, which I’m sure is why you’re looking for a truck.

Grille

Grille

Why It’s Better Than a Chevy Silverado:

As most know, the F-150’s closest rival is the Chevy Silverado. The F-150 gets better fuel economy than the Silverado. Ford’s most conservative engine gets a combined MPG of 22. Comparatively, the most fuel-efficient Chevy gets a combined MPG of 20. Then, the F-150 offers a max payload of 3,270 lbs., which is 1,000 lbs more than any Silverado. However, if you care about things like WiFi instead of a higher max payload or MPG, get a Silverado.

Pros

- Technology

- Ride

- Power

- Climate Control

- Options

- Spacious

- Comfortable

Con(s)

- Disconnected feeling steering wheel

Interior

Interior

Conclusion

Personally, I think this is a great truck. With all the different options Ford has, there certainly is an F-150 for every purpose. However, if you are in the market for an F-150, I would urge you to check out the 2018 F-150, simply because of the mid-cycle redesign. The price difference between the 2017 and 2018 models is negligible, each costing around $30,000 depending on mileage, condition, and options. If you like assisted driving, the 2018 offers pre-collision assist with pedestrian vision. Also, the 2018 gives you a 10-speed transmission, so long as you don’t get the 3.3L V6 standard engine. If that still doesn’t sell you on the 2018, Ford also redesigned the grille, headlights, taillights, and wheels. If you’re in the market for a truck, the F-150 certainly will do all you need and more.

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Comments (2)

  • I have had my 2016 f150 in "Blue Jeans" with the 2.7 EB for nearly 4 years now. Great truck, but I have 1 complaint, the 2.7 has no trouble pulling a load up hill (its fantastic!), but coming down 6%+ grades requires just a few too many braking events. Towing approximately 6,500 lbs. Having said that I would buy it again tomorrow.

      10 days ago
    • The 2.7 EB’s power really is impressive, I want to try the 3.5 EB to see how much of a beast it is. Just out of curiosity, when you tow do you use the tow/haul feature? I was reading that it applies engine braking, but unfortunately I can’t confirm...

      Read more
        9 days ago
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