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What Are the Best and Worst Years for Ford F150? – [Must Read]

Of all the Ford F150 models, choosing one can be very confusing. I struggled a lot when I was looking for one in the market because not all of them are good.

There are some amazing models of the Ford F150 which I can assure you, will give a fantastic performance

On the contrary, there are also models which have quite poor performance. So that you don’t end up wasting your money on a bad truck, I have made a thorough list of the best and worst years for Ford F150.

In my opinion, the best years are the Ford F150 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2018. And, the years to avoid are the Ford F150 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016.


What Are the Best Years for Ford F150? Most Reliable

I must say that Ford has done an excellent job with a lot of their F150 trucks, and they give users a lot of utility. Hence, they are one of the most popular trucks in North America overall.

From what I have learned through my research and experience, I have found 10 years of Ford F150 models that are decent and reliable. They are, the Ford F150 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2018. 

Below I will be discussing each of these models that are reliable and have overall quality. Keep in mind that these models are in no particular order or ranking. 

Ford F150 1993: You may be surprised to see this old model on my list, but it’s genuinely good. This vehicle has a classic pickup track design that you would see in the 90s with a hard frame.

It is a very efficient truck and is well-known for being very durable. You can use this robust Ford F150 for a lot of towing and other difficult tasks. 

Ford F150 1994: Similar to the 1993 model, the Ford F150 1994 model also has that classic 90s truck look and a traditional design. This year, Ford made some design tweaks with side steps and other things. 

Additionally, the engine that this 1994 model has is very powerful and has 143 horsepower, which is still decent today.

Ford F150 1996: Ford continued with its traditional truck look with this 1996 model, but there were some visual modifications as well. The front part of the vehicle then had a smooth curve, which gave it a slick appearance. 

The horsepower in this model was bumped up a bit from the past models, so it can do even more heavy work. This truck will not fail you at all, at least in the first 100,000 miles, and so it is a very reliable model.

Ford F150 1998: In 1998, Ford saw a rapid increase in demand for their F150 model because of their, at the time, latest 1998 model. This model had almost no transmission or engine issues in comparison to the following years’ releases. 

Its engine construction and overall design are what I admire the most about it. It is extremely reliable in every way and doesn’t make dangerous safety recalls. The only issue that you might face with it is some minor electrical problems, which are simple to fix.

Ford F150 2001: The Ford F150 2001 model is similar to the 2003 model that I have discussed below, but it does have some distinctions. Although it is less proficient in some ways than the 2003 F150, it has a stellar powertrain that compensates for it. 

I think this model is perfect for people who want a truck they can use for a long time because it can go over 200,000 miles without any major problems sometimes.

Ford F150 2003: From my research, I have found that the 2003 F150 is one of the best-rated pickup trucks in the market now, and it’s for a good reason. It is very robust, and its power is truly extraordinary. You will have the ability to haul more or less anything. 

This model is very reliable, but one thing I don’t like about it is that it gets 12 miles per gallon, which is not a lot. You should also take care of the transmission to avoid any possible failures or issues. 

Ford F150 2009: The Platinum trim level of Ford began from this 2009 F150, but contrary to what many people may think, they are still very powerful. It has a whopping 248 horsepower engine. So, it can handle almost anything that you throw at it. 

This truck is very spacious inside, and you get a lot of legroom, making the rides very comfortable. Another thing that I like about this truck is that it has a very big and bold design. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t have enough safety recalls. 

Ford F150 2012: Driving this 2012 Ford F150 model is a very smooth experience. It is a very customizable model and has useful features such as neutral tow-assist and hill assist, which helps the truck utilize the engine power. 

It has a box-like design which is not seen in most F150s, which looks amazing. I think this model is so great because it can be used for anything from towing to just driving around with your friends and family for a comfortable ride.

My caveat with this vehicle is its very average braking system.

Ford F150 2014: In the 2010s, a lot of Ford F150 models were called out by consumers and were said to be unreliable. However, amongst them, the 2014 F150 stood tall in all its glory because, like its other consumers, I also find this model to be a great choice. 

You can customize a large number of parts of this vehicle, and it also has a large trim selection, which makes it so appealing to the customers in the market.

Furthermore, upon driving it around, I thought it was very comfortable and easy to drive. 

Ford F150 2018: From the newer Ford F150 models, I think the 2018 truck can be said to be the best one. It has the durability and power that you would need for towing and hauling, and it also has almost all the important safety recalls you need in your vehicle. 

One of its best features, from my perspective, is that this truck is long-lasting and will give you fantastic mileage. You can also modify this truck to your liking, and it also has a wider price range for that.


What Are the Worst Years for Ford F150? Years to Avoid

Just as I have said in the beginning, there are quite a few Ford F150 models that you need to avoid. The years of the Ford F150s are: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016. 

Ford F150 2004: After the 90s, Ford released several models of the F150, which flopped badly. The 2004 F150 is one of these flops, and some say it’s the worst.

Users came across countless engine and transmission failure issues, and so the demand for this model quickly went down. 

The gas tank straps of this model got corroded in over 1 million of these F150s, causing the tank to roll on the floor of the car! A complete disaster. 

Ford F150 2005: I thought that maybe Ford would learn their lesson from the 2004 F150 and make improvements, but the catastrophe continued in 2005 as well.

There were hundreds of thousands of complaints about the same engine and transmission issues. 

Although it claimed to be long-lasting, on average, this model could only travel a little over 100,000 miles. The worst thing about this model is that there were issues with many safety and security aspects, including the release of airbags. 

Ford F150 2006: It shocks me to see how long Ford went on with the same issues in their Ford F150 lineup, as even the 2006 model had transmission and engine problems like the prior models. 

The engine components of this F150 malfunctioned very regularly, which led to countless complaints again.

After this truck has been driven for about 63,000 miles, a lot of its components will start to malfunction. This can lead to very expensive repairs that everyone hates!

Ford F150 2010: Compared to the disasters that are the three models I’ve talked about above, the 2010 F150 is a slight improvement. However, in no way, shape or form is it a good option.

While it does have a moderately decent engine, there are several problems, such as breaking of the windows and leaking, that put it on the bad list. 

There have been frequent complaints about the glass of the rear windows shattering easily, which can be extremely dangerous if you’re riding with passengers. 

Only after 35,000 miles this 2010 model starts to show transmission failures. Moreover, apparently, the ride is very uncomfortable because the car keeps vibrating.

Lastly, there are prominent problems caused when downshifting from 2 to 1. 

Ford F150 2013: The year 2013 brought a lot of poor luck for Ford. The 2013 F150 had a slightly different heavy front-end design, which no one really paid attention to.

A lot of common problems were seen with the transmission and the engine as the engine parts weren’t just of good quality. 

In some cases, users faced complete engine shutdown and transmission failure, which stopped their truck suddenly on the road.

I find this to be unacceptable because your car suddenly shutting down in the middle of the road is very dangerous. Hence, I would highly suggest you avoid the 2013 Ford F150. 

Ford F150 2015: In 2015, the customers, including myself, were hyped to see what improvements Ford would bring to their new model because the 2014 F150 was good. However, I felt that this release was disappointing yet again. 

The 2015 Ford F150 had severe transmission problems, and the riding experience was uncomfortable because the truck would vibrate too much. Ridiculous things started to happen to this vehicle two years after its release. 

Their doors would randomly open while driving the truck. This was a huge safety hazard and made consumers very disappointed.

There was also difficulty in downshifting in this vehicle, which didn’t make things any better. 

Ford F150 2016: In the list of the worst F150s, a lot of them have the issue where the engine suddenly stalls. While the same happens for the 2016 model as well, it happens even quicker, just after the truck has run for only 30,000 miles. 

Engine problems seemed to be more common in this model. NHTS has been flooded with more than 100 complaints concerning the faulty components of the engine.

Like the 2015 model, this truck also had a random door opening issue. So, if you want to be safe, I would recommend you completely avoid this 2016 F150. 

Ford F150 2011: To be concise, the engine of the Ford 2011 F150 is just bad. While accelerating, the engine will suddenly stall, which can be extremely annoying.

In general, this track lacks the power that I would expect a decent truck to have to do all of its tasks.

I also found that there are steering issues with this 2011 model. NHTSA received thousands of complaints from customers saying that their power steering wasn’t functioning properly.

What’s more disappointing is that these problems surface even before the truck has traveled 100,000 miles. 

Ford F150 2007: To be fair, I wouldn’t say that the Ford F150 2007 model is the worst. In fact, it is much better than the disastrous mess that the 2004, 2005, and 2006 models were. However, it is still not a good pick at all. 

The engine of this model is very noisy for no clear reason, which can be very annoying and distracting for the driver.

Moreover, the spark plugs frequently malfunction in this model, which can call for regular repairs. Besides these, there aren’t any major issues with this truck. 

Ford F150 2002: Although there aren’t as many problems with this 2002 truck in comparison to the other models on this list, one thing about it really breaks the deal for me. It’s almost guaranteed that the spark plug system will malfunction. 

It bothers me that Ford released a truck that has a spark plug that will almost certainly malfunction.

What’s worse is that these repairs aren’t cheap, they can cost you about $700, and if you need to do these fixes regularly, you will end up losing a lot of extra money. 

Eventually, a large portion of these 2002 F150 owners had to get the entire spark plug system replaced.

Photo of author

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief at F150Lab

Kevin Shaw has a vast knowledge of pickup trucks, especially the Ford F150. He has been doing various DIY fixes, upgrades, and modifications to pickup trucks for more than five years now.

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