The Ford F-150 has dominated the pickup truck segment for over five decades thanks to its practicality, power, handling, and towing prowess. Although Ford has retained its supremacy in the pickup class over the years, it does not mean all F-150 models are equally great for every customer. For this reason, it is evident that you want to know the best year for Ford F150 before your purchase.
Today, we will discuss precisely the best model years for Ford F-150 based on customer satisfaction and overall ratings. We have considered the U.S. News & World Report, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power ratings to bring you the best year for Ford F150.
However, please note the ratings aren’t available prior to 2007 since most of the U.S. assessment institutes started ranking vehicles in 2007.
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What is the Best Year For Ford F150?
The best model years for Ford F-150 are the ones that are reliable with the least complaints from the customers. While they may have received recalls from the automaker, the problems wouldn’t be of serious nature. Other than that, some models enjoy high popularity for their utility, safety, luxury, towing, and durability.
Please note we are not considering the new F-150 Lightning EV in our ranking because Ford introduced it recently.
2019 Ford F-150
USN Overall Score: 8.8/10 | J.D. Power Rating: 83 out of 100
The 2019 Ford F-150 is famous for offering the best tow rating of 13,200 pounds when suitably equipped. Other highlights of this full-size pickup truck include its beefy engines, composed ride, cushy seating, and straightforward SYNC 3 infotainment system.
It is accessible in seven variants (XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, Limited, Raptor) and three cab styles – the SuperCrew cab is the most spacious of all. The Limited comes with all the bells and whistles you could get in this pickup truck, including exclusive leather upholstery, retractable running boards, massaging front bucket seats, and a big panoramic sunroof.
On the safety front, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration honored the Regular Cab and Extended Cab with an overall safety rating of four out of five stars, while the SuperCrew secured a five-star rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety granted the SuperCrew Cab the top rating of ‘Good’ in all six collision examinations.
Regarding changes for the 2019 model year, the rugged Ford Raptor comes with new shock absorbers for better handling on the beaten path. Moreover, the flagship Limited received a high-output 450-horsepower V6 engine from the Raptor.
Here are the available engines and their fuel mileage:
- 3.3-liter V6, RWD: 19/25 mpg city/highway
- 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, RWD: 22/30 mpg
- 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, RWD: 20/26 mpg
- 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, RWD: 18/25 mpg
- 5.0-liter V8, RWD: 17/23 mpg
- 3.5-liter high-output twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, 4WD: 15/18 mpg
2015 Ford F-150
USN Overall Score: 8.7/10 | J.D Power: 86 out of 100
Ford completely redesigned the F-Series for 2015 and made it better than before with powerful engine choices, superb towing and hauling capability, and impressive handling. The thirteenth-generation F-Series lasted till 2020, and it was the first time Ford introduced aluminum structures for the trucks. The engineers did that to minimize weight, offer enhanced handling, and increase the F-150’s fuel efficiency.
Besides USN’s overall score of 8.7, Consumer Reports and J.D. Power also rated it very high. A reason for these high ratings is the truck’s new safety suite that comprises adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, forward collision alert, a 360-degree camera, and blind-spot monitoring.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded it an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a 2015 IIHS Top Safety Pick honor.
Ford offered this pickup truck in five trim levels – XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum – capable of towing up to 12,200 pounds when adequately equipped.
2016 Ford F-150
USN Overall Score: 8.6/10 | J.D. Power: 80 out of 100
With a fractionally lower USN rating than its previous model, the 2016 F-150 is another best year for Ford F150. It features everything buyers enjoyed in the 2015 F-150, such as outstanding towing, agile handling, and spacious interior, plus a few more. Enter the Ford SYNC 3 infotainment system, featuring big menu icons and user-friendly nature that replaced MyFord Touch. It is standard on the Lariat trim level.
Apart from the Lariat, Ford offers five more models, including XL, XLT, King Ranch, Platinum, and the flagship Limited. There are different engine options, such as the base 282-horsepower V6, a 385-horsepower V8, and two twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6s creating 325 and 365 horsepower. The likely mileage stands at 15-19 mpg in the city and 21-26 mpg on the highway, according to the powerplant.
New for the 2016 F-150 is Pro Trailer Backup Assist, allowing backing up a trailer effortless. You can direct the trailer in the route you like through a dial, and the tech will do all the steering inputs itself.
The 2016 F-150 followed the footsteps of its previous model in the safety attributes. It is the reason the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it an overall five-star rating while the IIHS named it Top Safety Pick for 2016.
The available advanced safety facilities comprise front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and forward-collision warning.
2017 Ford F-150
USN Overall Score: 8.5/10 | J.D. Power: 81 out of 100
2017 is another best year for Ford F150, courtesy of its high safety rating, excellent driving dynamics, above-average maximum towing ability, good fuel economy, and below-average ownership costs.
Besides, it is the first F-150 model to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto through the SYNC 3 infotainment system. Ford also revealed a new 10-speed automatic transmission that buyers could mate to the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 or 5.0-liter V8.
Moreover, the pickup truck comes in seven trim levels – XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, Limited, and Raptor, which Ford restored for the 2017 model year. The off-road-ready truck features exclusive Fox off-road shock absorbers, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, skid plates, a long-travel suspension, and a distinct four-wheel-drive layout that the truck manages through a Terrain Management System. You can also check the F150 PCM failure symptoms.
As far as safety is concerned, this F-150 truck does not disappoint again. Where the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration bestowed it with an ideal five-star overall rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded it with a ‘Good’ rating in all crash examinations.
The advanced safety features on higher variants consist of a rearview camera, a 360-degree surround-view camera, parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, lane keep assist, and rear parking sensors.
2013 Ford F-150
USN Overall Score: 8.3/10 | J.D. Power: 82 out of 100
If you are searching for the best year for Ford F150, the 2013 model comes with an above-average reliability rating. It boasts a high safety ranking for its class, robust engine choices, and roomy passenger cabin. The full-size pickup truck received Xenon headlights, hill descent control, and the MyFord Touch infotainment system that you can use through two directional pads on the steering wheel.
It gives buyers three cab layouts, three-bed sizes, various powerplant options, and nine variants. Ford offers various V6 and V8 mills with power ranging from 302 hp to 411 hp and best-in-class towing at up to 11,300 pounds. The EPA fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway or 12/16 mpg city/highway, depending on the mill.
The truck received a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS, while the NHTSA gave it four out of five stars.
It was the first time Ford unveiled the Limited grade for the F-150, boasting leather upholstery, heated front seats, and various accessories that are optional on other variants. Besides, the Limited comes equipped with retractable running boards, a wall-style power outlet, and a navigation system.
2018 Ford F-150
USN Overall Score: 8.3/10 | J.D. Power: 78 out of 100
Revised in 2015, this thirteen-generation model is among the best year for Ford F150, thanks to its excellent crash-test rankings, brawny engine options, decent fuel economy, and adult-friendly seats. For the 2018 model year, Ford specifically improved the truck’s towing capacity, added new safety tech, and updated the powertrains. The updated powerplants included a new 290-horsepower 3.3-liter standard V6, a 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel V6, and a beefier variant of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 and 5.0-liter Coyote V8.
With six engines, three cab styles, three box sizes, and seven trim levels, the 2018 F-150 is not only the most versatile in its segment but also one of the safest. It is evident from the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick for 2018 and five out of five stars for overall safety from the NHTSA.
Besides, the truck offers plenty of creature comforts such as heated front seats, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Along with the class-leading maximum tow rating of 13,200 pounds, the 3.0-liter Power Stroke Turbodiesel V6 delivers the best-in-range fuel economy of 22/30 mpg city/highway.
2014 Ford F-150
USN Overall Score: 8.1/10 | J.D. Power: 84 out of 100
The 2014 F-150 was a great work truck, offering robust mills, a smooth ride, and a functional compartment. It came with some unique changes to make it competitive in the market. In the used pickup truck market, it is still the best year for Ford F150 for its range of engine choices starting from a 302-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 to a 411-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 as well as a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
Accessible in single cab, extended SuperCab, and full four-door Super Crew, there are plenty of standard features that make it a desirable vehicle in the full-size pickup trucks segment. We are talking about a touch-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, vinyl/cloth/leather upholstery, and a ‘Good’ rating from the IIHS.
1994 Ford F-150
While we do not have the reliability or safety rating for most pickup trucks before 2007, we can tell the best highlights of the old F-150s. The 1994 F-150 made headlines for its added safety through the driver’s side airbag. It was the first for this famous truck, improving its safety status. Moreover, Ford added a CD player for the first time to allow the occupants to listen to their favorite music on the way. As far as its exterior styling is concerned, the American automaker made sure it looked tough, colorful, and pleasing to the eye.
In the power department, it wasn’t as powerful as today’s F-150s, but it was still very potent for its time. It came with a 4.9-liter V8 mill generating a reasonable 190-horsepower. The truck also features a CFC-free aircon and a center-fixed stop lamp along with extra door side beams for added safety.
1996 Ford F-150
The 1996 F-150 was the last model in the 9th-generation series, and Ford made sure it got everything the customers demanded. The engineers made the interior more functional and safer, adding new seats and integrated headrests for more comfort in addition to an automatic locking restraint system in the seatbelt.
Ford introduced seven trim levels comprising the Eddie Bauer design with wood grain decor. The 5.0-liter V8 became more robust with a 205 horsepower rating. It was one of the brawnier in the segment at that time. This horsepower rating is even respectable in today’s market, which shows how forward-looking Ford was.
2001 Ford F-150
It was again the best year for Ford F150 owing to its high sales numbers and quality-built. America’s best-selling truck got an outstanding 4.7-star rating from Kelly’s Blue Book for its versatility, power, functionality, and durability.
Along with three body styles, various bed sizes, and three trim levels – XL, XLT, and Lariat -there are two distinct Supercrew models. The engine choices include a 205-horsepower, 4.2-liter V6 mating to a manual or automatic, a 4.6-liter V8 creating 220 horsepower and 290 foot-pounds of torque, and a 5.4-liter V8 yielding 260 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque.
Various owners have rated it very high for its durability even after clocking 200,000 miles. 67% of owners gave it five stars on Edmunds, so it is still one of the best work trucks you can own today at a very affordable price.