The Ford F-150 doesn’t just attract cowpokes in ten-gallon hats, or guys with grease under their nails and Red Wings on their feet. F-150 has been the bestselling vehicle in North American for the past 32 years, and Canada for 43 years. So, F-150 appeals to, well, just about everyone.
THE HISTORY OF THE FORD F-SERIES TRUCK
Way back in 1948 the Ford F-Series made its debut, and in case you aren’t familiar with the F-150 (i.e. you’ve been living under a rock) it’s a full-size, half-ton pickup truck. Over the years, it’s been offered in a wide range of configurations including four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive, single cab, crew cab and double cab, short bed and long bed – you get the idea. Its versatility, as well as its dependability, are some of the reasons for the trucks’ long lasting success.
Tenth Generation F-150 (1997-2003)
For the first time since 1980, the F-150 was redesigned from the ground up, making it more efficient and aerodynamic. These trucks are virtually indestructible – you can drive them like a stunt car from the Dukes of Hazzard and they still won’t quit. People know these trucks last two, three, even four hundred thousand miles, so they hold their value well.
Model year 2003 marked that last year for the tenth generation F-150. As such, Ford introduced a Heritage Edition, which included 17-inch wheels, a chrome cab step and other tweaks such as a black bed liner and a different paint scheme. Ford also added an STX edition that included an MP3 player combined with a monochromatic color scheme and clear lights.
Eleventh Generation F-150 (2004-2008)
The F-150 got another complete overhaul in 2004. The new rig featured sharper-edged styling and the stepped driver’s window. These trucks are strong enough to arm wrestle Chuck Norris, yet refined enough to transport a sleeping baby, which is why everybody wants to own one.
In 2005, the option of a Work Truck Group was added to the F-150 lineup. This was also the first year for the 4.2-liter 6-cylinder and five-speed manual transmission. For 2006, the F-150 a limited-edition Harley-Davidson package debuted, and new 20-inch wheels became available on upscale models. Satellite radio was finally made available. For model year 2007, new standard features were added including an MP3 auxiliary input jack and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Optional equipment was added as well, such as a navigation system, FX2 Sport Package and power-folding mirrors. Under the hood, the 4.6L got additional power and the, while the 5.4L became E85-capable. Finally, 2008 marked the last year for the eleventh generation F-150. Changes included the addition of a Lariat Limited model, as well as a celebratory 60th anniversary edition.
Twelfth Generation F-150 (2009-2014)
Moving on, we come to the twelfth generation F-150 (2009-2014). There’s a lot to love about these trucks, such as their Super Duty-style grilles and available EcoBoost engine. Model year 2009 brought about a completely redesigned F-150 with new sheet metal and a few drive tweaks to the drivetrain. The interior also became roomier and a high-end Platinum model was introduced.
The SVT Raptor, a drool-inducing dedicated off-road rig, made its debut in 2010. The Harley Davidson Edition was also re-introduced. Model year 2011 brought about the biggest mechanical changes to the F-150. An entire new engine lineup was introduced, consisting of a 3.7L 6-cylinder, 5.0L 8-cylinder, 6.2L 8-cylinder and a twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost 6-cylinder. A six-speed automatic became standard on all F-150 models. Other upgrades included electric power-assisted steering, an optional 4.2-inch LCD screen, a better in-mirror rearview camera system, and a telescoping steering wheel. In 2012, the F-150 received only a few minor changes in the form of a new two-speed automatic transfer case for upper trim levels and an electronic locking rear axle. The Sync system also became Applelink capable. For 2013, all F-150s were given a minor styling update. In addition, xenon headlights, hill-descent control and the MyFord Touch infotainment interface were introduced. For the final year of the eleventh generation, 2014, the F-150 remained virtually unchanged.
Current Generation F-150
Finally, we come to the 2015 F-150, which marks the beginning of the thirteenth generation. For 2015, the F-150 has been completely – and we mean completely – redesigned. It’s the first truck to employ aluminum in construction of the body and bed. Plus, there are a slew of efficient new EcoBoost engines to choose from.
Considering the fact that the F-150 has been America’s bestselling vehicle since the A-Team debuted and Return of the Jedi was in theaters, it’s not likely you’ll see it disappear anytime soon. And for anyone who needs a sturdy rig that can do it all, that’s a good thing.