Ford F-150 Reliability – How Reliable is It?

The Ford F-150 has quite a reputation. It is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. due to its performance and iconic look. But what about the Ford F-150 reliability?

The Ford F-150 has received high reliability ratings from several sources. JD Power has given the 2020 Ford F-150 a reliability rating of 84 out of 100. Consumer Reports has given this truck a 4.5 out of 5 reliability rating.

Many Ford F-150s last beyond the 200,000 mileage range. They have an engine packed with power, are fuel-efficient, and can drive easily on almost all terrains. The F-150 is easy to maintain, and its parts are widely available.

Read on to learn more about the reliability of the F-150 and what makes it last.

ford f150 reliability

Ford F-150 Reliability

The Ford F-150 reliability ratings have been fairly high, according to several sources. JD Power has given the 2020 Ford F-150 a reliability rating of 84 out of 100. Consumer Reports has given this truck a 4.5 out of 5 reliability rating.

When you talk about pickup trucks, the Ford F-150 always comes to mind. Why? This Ford pickup truck has been in existence since the 1940s. It is, to date, the most popular pickup truck and has remained the number 1 selling full-size truck in the US.

The Ford F-150 has become an American icon. It has been in production since 1948 and has seen many people haul various things in it, drop off and pick up kids to school, drive through mud and rain, and so much more.

There are so many mixed-up reviews out there about the Ford F-150. There have been questions about the reliability of the Ford F-150, specifically for some year models that have had recalls.

You can consider a car reliable if it does not undergo frequent repairs other than normal maintenance like oil changes, brake jobs, checkups, and tire change. On the other hand, you have an unreliable car if it needs constant fixing or changes along with frequent breakdowns.

For instance, Consumer Reports, an independent non-profit organization specializing in consumer product testing, didn’t give the Ford F-150 13th generation an impressive reliability rating. But that doesn’t mean that the F-150 is at the bottom of the list. In fact, it placed 5th in Consumer Report’s list with 18 pickup trucks on the list. [1]

Consumer Reports gave the 2020 Ford F-150 a redeeming commendation on its fuel efficiency. The Ford F-150 can do 26 miles on the highway on a gallon of gas and 13 miles of city driving. In addition, it does 19 miles on average per gallon.

US News and Edmunds gave very positive reports and feedback for the Ford F-150’s overall performance but had some concerns about its reliability. [2]

I rate the Ford F-150 with 4.5 stars for reliability. Let’s take a look at what the F-150 (2020 but has almost the same features from the year 2017) has to offer:

Power

You have six types of engines to choose from – the 290 horsepower naturally aspirated V6, 325 horsepower EcoBoost V6, 375 horsepower EcoBoost V6, 395 horsepower V8, 450 horsepower turbo V6, and 250 horsepower turbo diesel. The Ford F-150 engine can last up to 300,000 miles before it needs rebuilding. 

Transmission

The Ford F-150 EcoBoost V8 and diesel engines have an advanced, electronic 10-speed automatic transmission. Its 10-speed transmission comes with modes – Tow/Haul, Snow/Wet, Eco Select, and Sport. These features improve the F-150’s overall performance as compared to the 6-speed transmission.

Drivetrain

The Ford F-150 has a 4×2 drivetrain but gives you the option of 4×4 capability in some of their models. The 4×4 is perfect for driving through tough trails.

Also, the Ford F-150 4×4 models come with Electronic-Shift-On-the-Fly (ESOF) system with neutral towing capability. This feature lets you choose between two modes of 4-wheel drive: 

  1. High – Added traction for driving through slippery conditions at medium to high speed
  2. Low – For steep climbs or driving through muddy surfaces
reliability of ford f150

Wheels

The Ford F-150 comes with 17-inch silver steel wheels, but you have the option to upgrade to any of the following:

  • 17-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels
  • 18-inch silver aluminum heavy-duty payload wheels
  • 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with flash gray painted pockets
  • 20-inch low gloss black premium painted wheels

Ford Co-Pilot 360

The Ford Co-Pilot 360 helps to give you more confidence while you’re on the road. It includes the following features:

  • Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)
  • Cross-traffic Alert and Trailer Coverage
  • Auto High-Beam headlamps
  • Rear-view camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist
  • Autolamp with Rainlamp Wiper Activated Headlamps
  • Auto start/stop engine technology

Body

The F-150 boasts of high-grade, military-strength aluminum body. Another advantage is that it is very resistant to dents.

This reliable truck comes with a powerful engine and a sophisticated, comfortable interior. It holds superior towing and hauling capability with user-friendly technology too.

Note that for any vehicle, maintenance is the key so that it can continually run well. The Ford F-150 is easy to maintain, and its car parts are widely available. It is, after all, the top-selling full-size truck in the US for the last four decades. That alone says a lot.

The Most Reliable Ford F-150 Year Models

Have you ever wondered what year model is the most reliable Ford F-150? The F-150 1996 was rated as the most reliable F-150. It was actually the year 1996 when the F-150 gained more popularity in the pickup truck category. There were no complaints recorded regarding the reliability of the 1996 F-150.

Here are the most reliable year models if you’re eyeing to buy a second-hand Ford F-150. The list is based on reviews of Ford F-150s from websites like KBB and Car and Driver.

1995

The F-150 1995 was an Eddie Bauer model with an updated design from the 1994 Lariat. Owners attested to this model’s reliability and durability, which came with power under the hood and new features like side airbags on the driver’s side.

1996

This year was great for the F-150. The National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded no complaints on the Ford F-150’s engine for the first 100,000 miles for the entire year. The truck became popular for its high-powered fuel-injected engines. To date, there are still a lot of these models up and running!

1997

The 1997 F-150 gave you a choice of engines – the 4.2-liter Essex V6, 4.6-liter Triton V8, and the 5.4-liter Triton V8. It showed consistency with engine power for the third year. Although this year had some complaints recorded by the NHTSA, none were major issues – just loose sparkplugs.

1998

The 1998 Ford F-150 is high up on the list for reliability. There were no recorded major issues for this F-150 model except for minor electrical problems with an easy fix. The Ford F-150 topped sales for the 4th consecutive year in 1998.

2017-2020

These years for the Ford F-150 saw very few recalls, which were mostly about the powertrain. The Ford F-150 upped its game with newer models and became the best full-size pickup truck. All their engines also have high horsepower, capable of lasting for a very long time.

I have discussed the reliability of the F-150 and the year models of the most reliable F-150s. Now, let’s take a look at why it is topping the US market in sales.

We’ve discussed the Ford F-150 reliability; next, let’s look at what makes the F-150 so popular.

What Makes the Ford F-150 the Best-selling Pickup Truck in the US?

The first generation of the Ford truck has been in production since 1948. In 1975, the F-150 series replaced the F100 series. In 1977, the Ford F-Series became the best-selling truck in the United States, a position it has held ever since.

Since 1981, the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the US. So not just the best-selling truck, but the best-selling vehicle. That says a lot about the Ford F-150 reliability. Just last year, 2019, over 800,000 F-series were sold all over dealer shops in the US. The Ford F-150 is on its 13th generation and is showing no signs of stopping from topping sales.

reliability of ford f150

Aside from its overall reliability, here are some of the reasons why the Ford F-150 is such a popular vehicle:

The F-150’s Options Are Endless

The Ford F-150 gives you so many options; it feels like you are actually building one. Ford lets you customize your F-150 and pick what you want for color, engine, bed size, and cabin size. For Ford, it’s all about what the customers want.

The F-150 Was Built with Safety in Mind

The NHTSA gave the F-150 a 5-star rating. The Ford F-150 comes with safety features like disc brakes, ABS, airbags, traction control, electronic stability control, daytime running lights, brake assist, and integrated turn signal mirrors, all included in their basic package.

You may choose to upgrade and add Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information System, and Pre-Collision Assist.

The F-150 Is Ultra-durable

The F-150 is known for being very durable. It lives up to its tagline, “Built Ford Tough.” Today, you will see many F-150s still running very well with 250,000 miles or more. It can go years with only basic maintenance required.

The F-150 Is Known for Performance

The F-150 allows you to drive through various terrains with ease and confidence. They have tough hauling and towing capabilities – you can tow up to 13,000 pounds and haul up to 3,300 pounds in the back.

The F-150 Is Very Fuel-efficient

The truck boasts of getting an average of 19 miles per gallon in city driving and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. Trucks are known to be fuel-efficient, but the F-150 rates outstanding on gas mileage.

The F-150 Is Stylish and Comfortable

You can customize your F-150 by choosing your trims, running board, and wheels to make it fit your style. It gives you the option of adding features like heated and cooled seats, climate controls, and a moonroof. The F-150 definitely has your comfort in mind.

The F-150 Has Smart Technology

Ford has continuously added smart technology features to the F-150. It includes driver-assist technology so you can integrate your smartphone into your vehicle. This feature lets you lock your vehicle, start it, stop it, and check your fuel levels all remotely from your phone. It also comes equipped with 3D cameras and sensors.

The Ford Raptor

This article won’t be complete if I don’t mention the Ford Raptor. The Raptor is the highest performance model of both F-150 and Ranger. It is now on its second generation for the F-150, with its first generation starting in 2010.

The more aggressive Raptor was created to tackle more off-road driving. Ford took the F-150 a notch higher with the Raptor by adding more features to it. The Raptor, however, being the top performance level of the F-150, comes with a higher price tag.

For performance, the Ford Raptor runs on a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine with 10-speed transmission and 450 horsepower. The Raptor is a 4×4 vehicle with independent front suspension.

The F-150 Raptor was indeed made for more ruggedness, adventure, and durability. But surprisingly, it has been very effective for everyday driving. It is functional as a family car and as a hauling and towing truck. The Raptor is capable of towing 8,000 pounds and hauling 3,200 pounds. Ford Raptor’s reliability is at 4.5 stars as it combines style, utility, and power.

Conclusion – Ford F-150 Reliability

The Ford F-150 has received high reliability ratings from several sources. JD Power has given the 2020 Ford F-150 a reliability rating of 84 out of 100. Consumer Reports has given this truck a 4.5 out of 5 reliability rating.

The Ford F-150 has been the top-selling full-size pickup truck in the US for 30 years. I think that alone speaks of the reliability of the F-150. It wouldn’t continue to top the best-selling list if it wasn’t reliable in a very competitive auto industry market.

The truck offers a variety of choices for color, engine, bed size, and cabin size. It lives up to the Ford tagline, “Built Ford Tough,” because of its durability and toughness while being stylish and comfortable. It is also fuel-efficient and needs little maintenance.

Best of all, it can run 200,000 miles and still be a very roadworthy truck. With all that said, the Ford F-150 rates 4.5 stars for reliability.