Owning a Ford F-150: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This summer has seen an epidemic of Ford-150s being stolen off dealership lots. The culprit or reason hasn’t been determined, although investigators suspect an inside job. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that there’s a market for the truck. The F-150, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has been the best-selling vehicle in the country for the vast majority of those. In 2022, the 40 millionth truck in the series rolled off the manufacturing line. 

A big part of the reason for the remarkable sales of the F-series line is the sheer variety of models and trims available. While the lion’s share of F-150s sold are light-duty pickups, Ford also makes the F-250, F-350, and F-450 Super Duty versions. These of course are heavier, with bigger engines, and can pull larger loads. There are a staggering eight basic models of the F-150, ranging from the lower-cost XL to the higher-end Limited. Each of these can be customized, which means the pickup can be configured dozens of ways. (Also check out: these are the most fuel-efficient trucks on the market today.)

There are models of the F-150 for pretty much every level of income. The XL has a base price of $30,870. A Limited can cost nearly $90,000. 

One challenge Ford faces is that the F-series represents a substantial share of its overall sales. Having a lot of its eggs in one basket is risky for the automaker. In June, F-series sales represented 37.9% of Ford’s U.S. sales. And while Ford’s sales rose by 31.5% to 152,262 in June compared with June 2021, F-series sales were up only 26.3% during the same time. If F-series sales tumble, Ford is in trouble.

Ford recently moved aggressively into the electric vehicle market, with the F-150 Lightning. While the company sold only 1,837 of these in June, this is the start of a plan to ramp sales well into the tens of thousands per quarter. William C. Ford Jr., Ford’s executive chairman recently commented, “If this launch doesn’t go well, we can tarnish the entire franchise.” The Ford family controls a significant share of voting power through a special class of shares.

What does it mean to own a Ford F-150, or to buy one? As the top-selling vehicle in the U.S, with dozens of configurations, the experience of driving this pickup is not the same for everyone. 

Click here to see the good, the bad, and the ugly about owning a Ford F-150.

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