A black 2019 Ford F-150 Limited is shown parked in an open lot at a marina.

Buying a Used Ford F-150? Check Out These Standout Model Years

The Ford F150 is one of the most popular vehicles on the road, and usually, the first thing that comes to mind whenever the word “pickup” is used is passing conversation. With a pedigree and lineage that goes back for decades and continuous accolades by drivers from all walks of life, it’s no wonder why so many people have chosen to make the Ford F-150 their vehicle of choice. With performance, prowess, and capability, the F-150 is the workhorse that more Americans trust to deliver the goods when the situation demands it.

Like any other vehicle that one places their trust in, it’s more of an investment and less of an actual purchase. This is why many have turned to purchasing a used F-150 because they know that a few miles on the odometer don’t mean the vehicle has diminished in quality. For this reason, we’ll examine the best years of the F-150 so you can choose which pre-owned model will serve you best. It’s no longer a question of “Are there used ford trucks near me?” but more along the lines of “What version of the F-150 will I be purchasing?” Let’s take a look at some notable model years.

A Matter of Cost

Before we dive into the different years, it’s important that we illustrate just how viable the F-150 is as a used vehicle. All vehicles, regardless of their make and model, go through the process of depreciation once they’re sold and driven off the lot. While some depreciate much quicker than others, the Ford F-150 does an excellent job of retaining its resale value. This speaks to the level of quality that the truck possesses.

An F-150 retains over 75% of its starting price after the first five years and only drops below 50% after a decade has passed. While all vehicles require routine service at regular intervals, the repair costs for an F-150 remain relatively low. Annual costs don’t exceed $1,000 for the first six years of ownership, and in that same time frame, the chances of needing a major repair are well below 20%. These numbers are presented here to reinforce what so many have already attested to: a Ford F-150 is a worthwhile investment.

A red 2017 Ford F-150 XLT is shown towing a white boat on an open road.

The 2017 Ford F-150

We start our look at the best years of Ford’s flagship truck with what many consider one of the finest moments for the blue brand. The 2017 edition of the F-150 received high accolades from several industry critics, with Car and Driver Magazine naming it one of their ten best trucks and SUVs of the year. This was the first year Ford’s ten-speed automatic transmission appeared, directly competing with GM and their ten-speed Allison transmission.

A transmission that increased the vehicle’s capability was only part of the equation that year. Ford equipped the F-150 with four distinctive engine options, allowing drivers to choose from a range of different power configurations. Longtime fans of the F-150 will recognize the 5.0L V8, which is affectionately known as the “Coyote.” With 385 hp and the ability to generate an impressive 387 lb-ft of torque, the Coyote’s impressive specs were only topped by a twin-turbo 3.5L V6, whose capability of pushing out 470 lb-ft of torque was nothing short of remarkable. Many attest to the responsive handling of the F-150, which outmaneuvered many other vehicles in its class.

While the performance of the F-150 has certainly always had its fair amount of praise over the years, 2017 saw Ford take this same level of ingenuity to the interior of the vehicle as well. In an age where the interior of many trucks bears a striking resemblance to those of various luxury sedans, the 2017 F-150 was the creme-de-la-creme. Anchored by an 8-inch infotainment screen, the interior was symmetrical and stylish, with plenty of available add-ons to elevate the luxurious feel of the vehicle, such as leather trimmings and ventilated seats. The 2017 F-150 also boasted a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), meaning you were guaranteed oversight and protection in the event of a collision.

The 2019 Ford F-150

2019 seems like a lifetime ago, mainly because of the tumultuous nature that 2020 decided to throw our way. As for Ford, they showed their continued commitment to excellence in the form of the 2019 F-150. Once again receiving high marks from the industry and drivers who got behind the wheel, new features would take center stage as we all navigated the road ahead. Two of the biggest announcements for the 2019 model year included the introduction of a new engine to the ever-growing powertrain options and a new towing capacity that saw Ford outdoing its competitors once again.

In direct response to GM’s resurrection of the diesel-fueled engine, Ford proved they were just as capable of harnessing the same power. This news came much to the delight of truck drivers who were looking to save some hard-earned money at the pump. A 3.0L 6-cylinder turbo diesel possessed a combined fuel economy average of 25 MPG, which, along with its ability to generate 440 lb-ft of torque, took capability to new heights. The gasoline-powered twin-turbo V6 led the industry in towing prowess, with a maximum capacity of 13,200 lbs.

The new innovations in performance were once again accentuated by a stylish interior that catered to drivers who had a keen eye for style. Available leather upholstery with a two-toned color scheme turned the F-150 into a high-end luxury vehicle that maintained its “Built Ford Tough” reputation. Once again, the NHTSA awarded the F-150 with a five-star rating, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the vehicle one of the safest pickups on the market. Additional features such as adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking were also available to provide drivers with more oversight regarding safety.

A blue 2021 Ford F-150 STX is shown driving on a mountain road after viewing used ford trucks near you.

The 2021 Ford F-150

With 2020 in the books and the world returning to a state of relative normalcy, Ford perfected the designs of the past. Whether it was under the hood or behind the wheel, the F-150 was about to enter the future with new innovations that were nothing short of remarkable. In 2017, it was four. Two years later, diesel power arrived on the playing field, making it five. And, in 2021, there would be a new addition that would bring the F-150’s total available engine options to six. This provided customers with more variety than ever before, and there was much to be excited about, as the F-150 was being gifted the benefits of hybrid technology.

The new powertrain, consisting of a 3.5L V6, an electric motor, and a ten-speed automatic transmission, outperformed the diesel engine with great fuel economy. The new hybrid powertrain achieved 25 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway, allowing for a range of 765 miles in between fill-ups. Once again, the interior of the F-150 had a few surprises once one got behind the wheel. The shift lever of the vehicle could now be folded flat to provide a mobile workstation, and with the addition of an available 7.2-kW generator, the F-250 was now the most popular item at any tailgate party.

The Advantages of a Used Ford F-150

With its ability to maintain resale value, low repair costs, and various features that keep improving with age, the Ford F-150 is one of the best options on the market. The model years we chose to shine a spotlight on today are ideal examples of a worthwhile investment. With the ability to go the extra mile, tow the heavy burdens, and provide performance that rivals the competition, Ford is the brand to trust. For those in the market for a reliable pre-owned truck packed with performance, strength, and innovative tech, consider the Ford F-150 as your next workhorse.