The Ford F-150 is the most popular pickup truck in American history. It is a part of the Ford F-Series, a range of light-duty trucks first introduced in 1948.
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Now in its fourteenth generation, the Ford F-150 has maintained its position as the best-selling truck in the U.S. every year since 1977.
As with many other models, the Ford F-150 has had some very iconic years and some horrible years as well. In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the best and worst model years of the Ford F-150.
This will be of great help to people who are looking to buy the model, whether used or new. Let’s get started, shall we?
Before we go, make sure to read about just how long Ford F-150s lasts.
The Best And Worst Years For The Ford F-150 Are:
The best years of the Ford F-150 are 1994,1996, 1999, 2012, 2009, 2001, 2003, 1993, 1998, and 2014 models. The worst model years include the 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013,2015, 2016, and 2018 models.
What Ford F-150 Years Are The Most Reliable?
There are plenty of reliable Ford F-150 models and we have curated a comprehensive list of them below:
1. 1999 Ford F-150
The 1999 Ford F-150 was introduced as the third model of the F-series’ landmark tenth generation.
It was met with wide acclaim from critics and customers who praised its magnificent interior design, potent engine, and incredible off-road capability.
It remains one of the most reliable Ford F-150 models on the market, decades after its debut. On Car Complaints, the 1999 F-150 only accounts for 90 complaints of the over 5,000 total complaints for the model in general.
The ’99 F-150 boasts an excellent 4.5 rating on Cars.com as well as a 4.3 rating on Edmunds. It is widely considered one of the most reliable pickup trucks in the Used section of the auto market.
2. 2003 Ford F-150
The 2003 Ford F-150 is one of the most reliable F-150 model years. It was met with a lot of praise for its extended range of features and configurations, gorgeous styling (internal and external), and agile powertrains.
Little wonder, it has maintained its spot among the highest-rated pickup trucks on Kelley Blue Book. It also has some of the fewest complaints among F-150 models on Car Complaints, with just 103, so far.
Not to mention its excellent 4.5 customer rating on Cars.com and stellar 4.7 ratings on Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book.
The 2003 F-150 has certainly earned itself a place on this list and it’s worth your consideration if you are in the market for a used F-150.
3. 2000 Ford F-150
The 2000 Ford F-150 is one of the best model years of all time. It’s a tenth-generation model that debuted to massive acclaim from critics and customers.
Some of its most acclaimed attributes include its dope acceleration, efficient 4WD, versatility, and roominess.
On Car Complaints, the 2000 F-150 has only tallied 66 complaints which is one of the fewest on the platform. It also boasts a 4.3 rating on Cars.com, a 4.4 rating on Edmunds, and a perfect 5.0 rating on Auto Blog.
Truth is, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many F-150 models that are more reliable than the 2000 Ford F-150. Hence, its inclusion on this list is justified and well-deserved. Units of the 2000 Ford F-159 are still available on the Used Cars market to this day.
4. 2001 Ford F-150
The 20001 Ford F-150 is another tenth-generation F-150 model year. It toed the line of its immediate predecessor and garnered a lot of praise across the board for its sheer quality.
Some of its most impressive attributes include its massive powertrain, a wide range of inclusive configurations, and spaciousness.
On Car Complaints, the 2001 Ford F-150 has only 143 reported complaints, which is one of the fewest tallies on the platform. It received a 4.6 rating on Edmunds and a 4.4-star rating on Cars.com, indicating favorable reviews.
The 2001 F-150 is one of the most reliable F-150 models ever made. It’s a good choice for people who do not mind vintage and used F-150 models.
5. 2002 Ford F-150
The 2002 Ford F-150 hit the auto market as part of the 10th generation of Ford’s F-series.
It had a swell debut and enjoyed lots and lots of praise and accolades. Its best attributes include agile powertrains, well-built suspension, and handsome styling.
It polled 166 complaints on Car Complaints, which is one of the fewest figures in the F-150 category.
The 2002 F-150’s reliability is further corroborated by its 4.6 rating on Edmunds and 5.0 rating on Auto Blog.
6. 2008 Ford F-150
The 2008 Ford F-150 closed out the F-series’ 11th generation. It debuted to massive acclaim from critics and customers who lauded its interior quality, rugged build, smooth ride, and terrific payload capacity.
There are 170 complaints for the 2008 model year on Car Complaints, which is one of the fewest in the F-150 category.
It is one of the most reliable F-150 model years which is why it’s still getting some traction in the “Used” market.
7. 2009 Ford F-150
The 2009 Ford F-150 is the first model year of the F-Series’ twelfth generation. Upon its debut, it was greeted with so much love and laudation from reviewers and customers.
Its best features include its exceptional tow ratings, excellent safety scores, and gorgeous interior.
It polled a total of 116 complaints on Car Complaints, which is one of the least figures for any model year on the platform. It also takes the #1 spot on U.S News’ list of the best full-size pickup trucks of 2009.
8. 2014 Ford F-150
The 2014 Ford F-150 is the last model year of the F-Series’ twelfth generation. Its arrival on the auto scene triggered wide praise from critics and customers.
Some of its most praised features include improved fuel economy, roomy seats, agile engines, a wide range of trim levels, and great rear visibility.
It polled just 169 complaints on Car Complaints and is widely regarded as one of the most reliable F-150 model years of all time.
9. 2012 Ford F-150
The 2012 Ford F-150 was released in 2011 as part of the twelfth generation of the F-Series. Upon release, it received a lot of praise and positive reviews from pundits and customers.
Some of its best attributes include its comfortable cabin, good fuel economy, and improved acceleration.
It has received a total of 203 complaints on Car Complaints and not only is this a relatively small figure, but many of the issues are also just not severe.
10. 2019 Ford F-150
The 2019 Ford F-150 is a 13th-generation model that made its grand debut in 2018. Its release was met with wide critical acclaim and inclusion at the top of several “best pickups of the year” lists.
At the time, the 2019 F-150 boasted class-topping tow ratings, a vibrant engine lineup, and affordable ownership costs. It also topped the U.S. News’ list of the best full-size pickup trucks for the 2019 model year.
The 2019 F-150 remains one of the most reliable model years and is highly sought after in the “Used” market. Speaking of, check out how much used Ford F150s cost.
11. 2020 Ford F-150
The 2020 Ford F-150 debuted in 2019 and ranked 2nd on U.S News List of the best full-size pickup trucks for the 2020 model year.
It also received a reliability rating of 86/100 on J.D Power, making it one of the highest-rated F-150 model years.
On Car Complaints, it has only received a total of 17 complaints so far, which is one of the fewest on the platform.
While it still needs a few more years to solidify its durability claims, the 2020 Ford F-150 already started off on a great note. As of now, its place on this list is as solid as any other model year’s.
12. 2021 Ford F-150
Much like its predecessor, the 2021 Ford F-150 also debuted to widespread acclaim among critics and customers. It kick-started the model’s current 14th generation and has lived up to expectations.
This model year has been around for over two years and has only polled 9 complaints on Car Complaints so far. While it still needs a lot more years to truly ascertain its long-term reliability, early statistics justify its place on this list.
13. 2017 Ford F-150
The 2017 Ford F-150 arrived on the scene amidst fierce competition from models like the Ram 1500. It garnered a lot of early laudation for its nimble handling, great towing capacity, above-average fuel economy, and impressive safety ratings.
On Car Complaints, the model polled a total of 139 complaints which is one of the fewest on the platform.
The 2017 Ford F-150 has maintained its reputation of quality and reliability and remains one of the choicest model years of the F-150.
14. 1997 Ford F-150
The 1997 Ford F-150 is the first iteration of the F-150’s iconic tenth generation. It has received lots of praise and commendation for its relatively good fuel economy, mind-blowing reliability, and incredible engine performance.
It notched a total of 53 reports on Car Complaints, which is one of the fewest on the platform. It also gets a solid mark of approval from reputable sites including Edmunds and KBB, where it got excellent 4.3 and 4.5 ratings respectively.
If you are having trouble choosing between the F-150 model years, the ’97 Ford F-150 wouldn’t be a bad choice, by any means.
15. 1998 Ford F-150
The 1998 Ford F-150 hit the auto scene as the second model year of the F-Series’ 10th generation. It enjoyed myriads of positive reviews upon debuting thanks to its ingenious styling, enormous engine options, nimble handling, and excellent off-roading.
There are 54 complaints about the 1998 F-150 on Car Complaints which is one of the very fewest figures for the category. The 1998 F-150’s reliability remains an incontrovertible fact to this day which is why it couldn’t be left off this list.
16. 1993 Ford F-150
The 1993 Ford F-150 is a ninth-generation model of the F-series. Its introduction was met with wide acceptance from critics and customers alike. Its most acclaimed features include its zippy acceleration, balanced ride, nimble handling, and potent engine options.
On Car Complaints, the 1993 Ford F-150 polled a total of seven complaints, which is one of the fewest on the platform. It also boasts an impressive 4.4 rating on Edmunds and 4.6 on Cars.com. The ’93 F-150 is one of the most reliable F-150 model years in recent history.
17. 1994 Ford F-150
The 1994 Ford F-150 is another ninth-generation model of Ford’s F-series. Much like its predecessor, the 1994 F-150 was greeted with overwhelmingly positive reviews upon arrival and the story stays the same to date.
Some of its most acclaimed attributes include plush seats, great engine performance, smooth ride, and responsive handling among others. On Car Complaints, the 1994 Ford F-150 has 12 total complaints so far, which is one of the fewest totals on the platform.
In terms of reliability, the 1994 Ford F-150 has undoubtedly lived up to the Ford F-150 name and remains an attractive choice in the Used market.
18. 1995 Ford F-150
The 1995 Ford F-150 debuted in 1994 as part of the ninth generation of the F-series. It garnered massive commendation for its composed ride, excellent braking, plush seating, and impressive hauling capacity.
It received a total of 19 complaints on Car Complaints, which is one of the fewest for any model year on the platform. Its reliability is top-shelf, and it remains one of the best F-150 models to this day.
19. 1996 Ford F-150
The 1996 Ford F-150 closed out the ninth generation of the F-series. Like its earlier-mentioned predecessors, it was greeted with encomiums and laudations from different quarters. This is all thanks to its agility, great visibility, impressive acceleration, and quick-witted handling.
On Car Complaints, the 1996 Ford F-150 polled a total of 16 complaints, making it one of the least reported model years. It has certainly earned its place among the most reliable F-150 model years.
Ever wondered where Ford F-150s are made?
20. 1986 Ford F-150
This is one of the most reliable Ford F-150 models and it has only had 5 complaints on Car Complaints.
21. 1987 Ford F-150
The 1987 Ford F-150 is an eight-generation F-series model with just 3 complaints, making it one of the most reliable model years.
22. 1988 Ford F-150
The 1988 Ford F-150 is another eighth-generation model, and it has just 10 complaints on Car Complaints so far.
23. 1989 Ford F-150
The 1989 Ford F-150 has only had 3 complaints on Car Complaints, making it one of the most reliable model years in the category.
24. 1990 Ford F-150
The 1990 Ford F-150 is another eighth-generation model with just 3 complaints on Car Complaints. It also boasts a 4.5 rating on Cars.com and Edmunds, making it one of the most reliable cars on this list.
25. 1991 Ford F-150
The 1991 Ford F-150 is the last model of the eighth generation. It has no more than 8 complaints on Car Complaints as well as an excellent 4.5 rating on Edmunds.
26. 1992 Ford F-150
The 1992 Ford F-150 is the debut model for the ninth generation of the F-Series.
It has had 17 complaints which is the most among all model years on this special list.
However, on a much wider scale, it has one of the fewest complaints for any Ford F-150 model year ever.
What Ford F-150 Years Should You Avoid?
While there are lots of great Ford F-150 models to choose from, there are some model years no one should go near. Below are the worst Ford F-150 years you should avoid:
27. 2004 Ford F-150
The 2004 Ford F-150 is one of the worst Ford F-150 model years of all time. While it boasts a rugged build and potent engine, it has been flagged for too many faults over the years.
On Car Complaints, the 2004 F-150 has the highest number of complaints in the F-150 category with 1,170.
About 662 of these problems are windows and windshield problems while 245 of the complaints are about the engine.
According to Car Complaints, the worst 2004 Ford F-150 problem is about the windows not rolling up. This problem shows up at an average mileage of 67,150 miles with a “pretty bad” severity rating of 8.2.
The second worst issue is engine failure, and it has an average mileage of 104,850 miles and a “really awful” severity rating of 9.4.
So, if you are looking to get a Ford F-150 model, the 2004 Ford F-150 shouldn’t be up for your consideration.
28. 2005 Ford F-150
The 2005 Ford F-150 follows its predecessor’s path and earns its place amongst the worst Ford F-150 models. There are a total of 663 complaints about this model year on Car Complaints, which is the second most in the category.
Of the 663 complaints, 268 of them are about window/windshield problems, which is another evidence of its uncanny similarity to its predecessor. Also, 173 of the complaints are engine problems and 79 of them are transmission problems.
The worst problem for this model year according to Car Complaints is the loud knocking noise issue with a severity rating of 7.6 and an average mileage of 79,850 miles.
Car Complaints rate transmission failure as the second worst problem with an average mileage of 81,700 miles and a severity rating of 9.0.
Another factor that contributes to the severity of this issue is the cost of repairs which can be as high as $5000 for some engine issues.
29. 2018 Ford F-150
The 2018 Ford F-150 is the most recent F-150 model on this list. It also has the lowest number of complaints of any model year on this list with just 137, so far.
However, the 2018 F-150 made it to this largely because of the unmatched severity of its issues.
On Car Complaints, the 2018 Ford F-150 has the worst issue of any model year. This issue is about the model’s “hard shift” with an average mileage of 15,650 miles and a typical repair cost of $7,000.
Little wonder, it has been named the worst Ford F-150 model of all time by Car Complaints even though there are plenty of models with way more complaints.
30. 2013 Ford F-150
The 2013 Ford F-150 is a 12th-generation model of the F-Series. It polled a total of 417 complaints on Car Complaints, making it one of the worst model years, in terms of the number of issues.
Of the 417 problems, engine problems constitute 79, brake problems constitute 68, and transmission problems constitute 56. Car Complaints also rates “power steering failure” as its worst problem and “erratic shifting” as the second worst.
If you are looking to buy a reliable F-150 model, it’s best to avoid the 2013 Ford F-150.
31. 2010 Ford F-150
The 2010 Ford F-150 is also a 12th-generation model of the popular F-Series. It has a total of 388 complaints on Car Complaints, which is one of the highest figures in the F-150 category.
Of its 388 complaints, 108 are about windshield/window issues while 53 are about transmission issues, and 44 are about body paint problems.
While it’s not the worst F-150 model, the rising number of complaints over the years has landed it a spot on this list.
32. 2015 Ford F-150
The 2015 Ford F-150 debuted to massive acclaim among critics. However, it has garnered a worrying number of complaints over the years, including 346 reports on Car Complaints.
65 of these complaints are about transmission issues and 55 of them are about internal accessories while engine problems take up 39.
This isn’t a bad model year, by any means, but the severity of these complaints are a legitimate cause of concern and may be enough reason to avoid.
33. 2011 Ford F-150
The 2011 Ford F-150 is a 12th-generation model. It debuted in 2010 to widespread acclaim but over the years, its goodwill has depleted, owing to the number of complaints about it.
On Car Complaints, the model polled no less than 310 complaints which is one of the highest on the platform. Of the 310 complaints, 65 of them are about engine problems while 37 are about windows/windshield issues.
A number of people across different Ford forums have complained about the rear windows of this model shattering. This problem is listed as the worst on Car Complaints with an average mileage of 68, 300 miles.
Up there are some of the reasons the 2011 Ford F-150 couldn’t have escaped this list.
34. 2016 Ford F-150
The 2016 Ford F-150 is a 13th-generation model of the F-Series. It debuted in 2015 to massive praise across the auto community. However, it has accrued a serious number of complaints over the years, which is why it is featured on this list.
On Car Complaints, the 2016 F-150 polled a total of 308 complaints, which is one of the highest tallies in the F-150 category. The worrying part is, 80 of these complaints are about engine problems and 42 are about brake failure.
The brake failure problem is rated “worst” on Car Complaints with an average mileage of 39,000 miles and a severity rating of 9.1. Hence, we advise that you completely sidestep the 2016 Ford F-150 if you are looking for a very reliable model.
Have you seen our list of Ford F-150 engine sizes yet?
35. 2006 Ford F-150
The 2006 Ford F-150 is an 11th-generation model of the F-Series. It was lauded as a significant improvement to its predecessor, the 2005 Ford F-150.
With time, however, the 2006 F-150 has garnered no less than 251 complaints on Car Complaints. Another worrying stat is that of the 251 complaints, 119 are about engine problems, some of which describe total engine failure.
There is also the problem of spark plugs breaking off in the head, which has been rated the worst problem for the model on Car Complaints.
If you are considering the 2006 Ford F-150, we advise just passing it up for a better and more reliable model year.
What Are Some Typical Problems With The Ford F-150 Models?
Below are some of the most reported issues with the Ford F-150:
- Ejection of spark plugs from the cylinder head
- Loss of power while driving
- Faulty window regulator
- Head Gasket leaks
- Defective ignition coils
- Rusty hoods
- Windows and windshield shattering
- Rough running engine
- Internal engine failure
- Frequent rough shifting
Go Back: See best and worst years for all ford models.
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.