All-new Ford F-150 pickup why it’s America’s bestselling truck

Ford F-150Ford F-150

The Ford F-150: America’s truck.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


  • The Ford F-150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the US since 1981.
  • In 2019, nearly 900,000 F-Series trucks rolled off dealer lots in America.
  • The F-150 underwent a risky redesign for the 13th generation of the vehicle — arguably the riskiest since the truck first arrived in 1947. Ford engineered the pickup with more lightweight aluminum.
  • This week, the all-new 2021 Ford F-150 will be revealed.
  • Here’s a look at why the F-150 is an icon, a legend, and a flat-out great pickup.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

This is a very big week in the US auto industry.

On Thursday, Ford is revealing its all-new, 14th-generation F-150 pickup truck. The F-150 has been the bestselling vehicle in American since 1981. It’s far and away the most important four-wheeled machine that Dearborn produces. As goes the F-150, so goes the Ford Motor Company.

The F-150 was rather radically and successfully redesigned in 2014, then updated in 2017. But the competition has kept pace: the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, and RAM 1500 are all new or relatively new. 

That means that 2020 and 2021 could bring an even more intense pickup truck contest to the USA. It’s worth noting that even an the coronavirus pandemic has damaged auto sales, pickups have continued to attracted customers. It’s also worth noting that Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler automobiles make major profits on their full-size pickups.

I’ve checked out every full-size pickup on the market. They’re all pretty great. But the F-150 is … special. Here’s why:

Ford F-150, the reigning king. The champ. The legend. The icon.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Humble beginnings! The Ford F1 was the original F-Series pickup. It rolled out in 1947, right after the end of World War II.

Ford F 1 1948

Ford F1.

Ford


The F-150 has been the bestselling vehicle in the US every year since 1981, back with Ronald Reagan was in his first term as president.

ronald reagan

Ronald Reagan.


Scott Stewart, file via AP



The 13th generation of the F-150 hit the streets for the 2015 model year. It was the most risky redesign of the icon in its long history, as Ford introduced lightweight aluminum to the construction.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Read the review.

The F-150’s rivals include the also-top-selling Chevy Silverado, shown here in Z71 trim with a Duramax diesel engine,

Chevy Silverado Z71 Duramax

Chevy Silverado.

Matthew DeBord/Insider


Read the review.

The mechanically similar but more upscale GMC Sierra is also a contender.

GMC Sierra Carbon

GMC Sierra.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider


The RAM 1500 came on strong after it was updated for the 2019 model year.

RAM 1500

RAM 1500.

Matthew DeBord/BI


Read the review.

The Toyota Tundra has gotten long in the tooth, but this perennial number five in the US pickup-truck race remains a great vehicle.

Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra.

Matthew DeBord/BI


Read the review.

Even through it brings up the rear, the Nissan Titan has a lot going for it.

Nissan Titan

Nissan Titan.

Matthew DeBord/BI


Read the review.

BUT the F-150 is the king. The F-150’s midcycle design refresh for 2016 wasn’t anything dramatic. The biggest difference was the beefed-up front grille, lending a more aggressive demeanor to America’s favorite truck.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The last time I saddled up in America’s truck, it was an F-150 4×4 SuperCrew, very well optioned, with an added Limited package that took the price above $74,000.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The “agate black” paint job and shimmering chrome highlights gave this pickup a near-luxury vibe. As you can see, my tester came with a short bed. We generally don’t get the longer box for our review vehicles.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Let’s talk about what makes a pickup truck a pickup truck: the bed, or “box.”

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The tailgate is easy to operate, even with heavily gloved hands.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The powered tailgate on my tester had a useful integrated step, as well a handle to assist with climbing into and out of the bed.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


It comes in handy! I’m serious! Climbing into the bed of a half-ton pickup used to be tricky.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The F-150 has a step bumper to use when the tailgate is up.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The F-150 uses a body-on-frame construction with a stout, hardtail, leaf-spring suspension.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


This Ford F-150 had a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, one of numerous options. The power is routed to the four-wheel-drive system by a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


This high-output variant of the 3.5-liter V6 is something: The turbocharged mill cranks out 450 horsepower with 510 pound-feet of torque. That beats the 5.0-liter V8 engine by a notable margin (395 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque).

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Fuel economy is so-so, at 17 mpg city/21 highway/19 combined. But the Raptor-grade motor yields a 0-60 mph time of just over five seconds. Acceleration is sort of staggering for a truck that weighs in at almost 5,700 pounds and can tow 12,000 pounds.

Weirdly, I had trouble running the gas out of my tester, though I didn’t take it on an extended road trip.

The running-board …

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


… Retracts when not in use.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


F-150 badging is prominent on the trucks’ side.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The “camelback” two-tone leather interior on my F-150 test truck was el primo. The front seats are heated, cooled, and exceptionally comfortable.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Ford continues to use its coded entry buttons to lock and unlock the doors.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The SuperCrew configuration provides limo-like seating capacity in the back.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The F-150 has a multifunction steering wheel, leather-wrapped, and an analog-digital instrument cluster that can be customized to display a wide range of vehicle info.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


There’s ample storage. In addition to the the large cupholders …

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


… The F-150 has a cavernous compartment between the front seats.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The Limited designation recurs inside.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The F-150’s infotainment system runs on what is by contemporary standards a modest 8-inch central touchscreen.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


The Sync 3 system is generally superb, with excellent navigation, easy Bluetooth device pairing, USB integration, and a SiriusXM introductory subscription. Bonus points for the wonderful Bang & Olufsen premium audio setup.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


There’s a useful tray on the dashboard, and my test truck came with a stupendous Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Towing capacity for the F-150 is 12,000 lbs.

2017 Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Ford


The F-150 also comes in a completely wild high-performance version, the Raptor.

Ford Raptor

Ford F-150 Raptor.

Matthew DeBord/BI


Read the review.

Ford also produces a police interceptor version of the pickup truck.

F150 Police Responder

Ford F-150 police interceptor.

Ford


The truck is built with pride in Michigan and Kentucky.

F-150 assembly line

Ford F-150.

Ford


Ford is very, very, very proud of the F-150. But that also means that Ford respects the icon and makes sure that, generation after generation, it delivers on its promise.

2017 Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Ford


I’ve tested all the full-size pickups on the market and there’s little question that the F-150 deserves its legendary status. I can’t wait to see what Ford has in store for us with the 14th generation.

Ford F-150

Ford F-150.

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider


Get the latest Ford stock price here.

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By |2020-06-24T02:27:03+00:00June 24th, 2020|Business|0 Comments

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