How and why one vehicle can dominate the market has a lot to do with what changes and what stays the same. This balance between modification and consistency has made the Ford F-150 a favorite with pickup enthusiasts. With upgrades to predominately aluminum construction, the F150 in recent forms has been able to reduce its curb weight by 700 lbs. And with double the number of injectors in the current 7-liter EcoBoost V-6 and the 10-speed tranny in the 2018, drivers can enjoy a more robust torque output. When asked, though, owners say its the attributes that remain steadfast across four decades that make the F-150 one of the most popular vehicles on the road.
The Ford F-150 is reaching its midlife with a lot of experience under its belt. For the 2016 model, Ford engineers put the F-150 through rigorous testing from off-road performance to hauling heavy loads to temperature tests in the desert. The F-150 has been put through over 10 million miles of testing before ever going on sale. It is this endurance pedigree that has kept F150 adorers faithful.
Impressive Fuel Efficiency
Balancing performance with fuel efficiency is achieved through the combination of the lightweight military-grade aluminum body introduced in 2016 and the trademark Ecoboost engine, which was first offered in 2011. Past generations to today have delivered V8 power with conservative V6 fuel consumption. Keeping this delicate balance between fuel efficiency and power will continue to keep F-150 followers loyal well beyond 2018.
Towing and Hauling Strength
Though lightweight, the F150 still has the towing and hauling muscle of heavier vehicles. In 2009, greater towing capacities were introduced. For anyone working with big hauls, the F-150 has historically delivered payload performance up to 2,250 pounds, and towing capacities of more than 11,000 pounds, depending on the engine model. It's the ideal workhorse for contractors and the perfect pickup for trailer towing.
An Easy-to-Use Accessible Vehicle
Unlike some other pickups on the market, many owners find that the F150 accommodates with user-friendly features. In 2015, the F-150 became the first pick up with adaptive cruise control. Modern designs to the interior make the F-150 as comfortable as any sedan, like door handles with sculpted finger holds. This appears to be a seemingly incidental touch, but it is important for drivers wearing gloves, which is a common characteristic of the tradesmen who rely on the F-150. Well-designed grooves to the tailgate handle offer a sturdier grip when opening or closing and steering wheels with finger holds provide better grip also. It's the little things that matter to F-150 drivers. Luxury is an option as well. With features like touchscreens and 10-way adjustable seats, many drivers may forget they are in a pickup.
Versatile Enough for Everyone
By far the most outstanding characteristic of the Ford F-150 is its appeal to many different drivers. While the classic pickup seems profiled for cowboys and construction workers, the F-150 has been attractive to various lifestyles. This versatility comes from cab design options that can easily accommodate a family to a variety of features that fit both the off-road F-150 adventurer and the cruise control commuter. Consequently, 2017 marks the 40th year Ford's F-150 has been ranked as the best selling pickup in the U.S.