How would you describe a generation? Some people would describe it as a group of people who grew up around the same period, and the Merriam-Webster dictionary has a handful of definitions. One of these definitions is “A type or class of objects usually developed from an earlier type.” How does this correlate to the automotive industry, you may be asking? Not because of the drivers themselves, but the vehicles themselves, as manufacturers produce their models on a generational basis. Keep this in mind when you’re visiting a New Jersey used truck dealer, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find.
A truck that has seen more than ten generational leaps is the immensely popular Ford F-150, easily one of the most recognized pickup trucks amongst enthusiasts. Even if you’re not a truck enthusiast, the chances are that you’ve heard about the F-150 at least once. If not, all you need to know is that the F-150 is the most popular truck in Ford’s F-Series family. The F-Series saw its initial debut back in 1948 and included the F-100, F-250, F-350, and the almighty F-450. Nearly thirty years after the release of the F-Series, the F-150 was added to the lineup in the mid-1970s and hasn’t ceased production to date. The chances are that you aren’t in the market for a 1970s pickup truck unless you’re a collector, so which generation of the F-150 should you go with when you’re shopping? Let’s find out.
Talkin’ Bout My Generation
Vehicles are a lot like that one song by The Who, and while Pete Townshend and Keith Moon may have been referring to their youth, I like to twist things around a bit. As the lyrics go, “People try to put us down, just because we get around.” It sounds like a car, right? Okay, next one. “I hope I die before I get old,” and I see this line about an old vehicle that completely kicked the bucket just shy of its 10th anniversary. Alright, perhaps that’s not what the song “My Generation” was about, but we were onto something, at least we think. Vehicle generations are somehow relatable to those of humans. Every generation is built on the ideals of the preceding one, and many vehicles from their respective generations are often different enough to not be categorized with their older counterparts.
What About the F-150?
Like I mentioned earlier, the F-150 is nothing new, and it hasn’t been an entirely new concept since the Ford administration, although that’s purely a coincidence. To date, there have been fourteen generations of the F-series trucks, and the F-150 was introduced within the sixth. That ultimately means that there have been eight generations of the F-150, with the most recent release being the 2021 F-150. This year’s model brought forth the aforementioned fourteenth generation, which means that we’d like to focus on the one just before, the thirteenth. That generation of F-150 trucks lasted between the years 2015 and 2020, so as long as you shop within that time frame, you’ll have a thirteenth-generation Ford truck.
The changes are immediately apparent, and you’ll see this best with performance. A majority of the available powertrains in the twelfth generation were pushed to the corner in favor of a new assortment of engines. What remained identical was the twin-turbo 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine with the same specs as before, but we’ll get to that later. Another engine that made its way over was the 5.0L V8, although it brings forth some more power this time. Like the prior generation, the transmission was a 6-speed automatic across the board, although this would change with the implementation of a 10-speed automatic transmission in 2017.
Starting with the 2015 F-150, succeeding models in this generation came standard with a 3.5L V6, and in models such as the 2017 F-150, this engine produces 282 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque. Towing capacity on this engine sits at a respectable 7,600 lbs, but it only gets better from here. Next is a twin-turbo 2.7L V6 EcoBoost that has 325 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque, and its towing capacity taps out at 8,500 lbs. Moving over to the more powerful side of things, we see a large 5.0L V8 engine with 385 hp and 387 lb-ft of torque. This engine holds a towing capacity of 10,100 lbs, which is certainly impressive, but as one would expect with a V8 of this size, fuel efficiency is at a bare minimum. That’s not all for the F-150’s powertrains, however.
The next engine that we saw was the same twin-turbo 3.5L V6 EcoBoost as the year before, and it would get a bump in performance a couple of years later, starting with the 2017 F-150. It’s here where it would produce 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque with an accompanying towing capacity of 12,200 lbs. To understand the full potential of this engine, it may have a touch less horsepower than the V8 that we mentioned earlier, but it takes the cake with a massive increase in torque output and a towing capacity that is far greater than the V8. Best of all, it holds higher EPA-estimated efficiency ratings than the V8, and this is, of course, thanks to this V6 being a twin-turbocharged variant and not a standard one.
But Wait, There’s More
Wake up, still with us? Good. We’re not done talking about the engine options in the thirteenth generation of the F-150 yet. The new Raptor model at the time received a different turbocharged 3.5L V6 with an immense 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. It’s worth noting, however, that this engine is exclusive to the Raptor trim and later Limited trims, but they’re quite pricey and remain so today. In 2018 the 3.5L V6 that we had mentioned before that came standard with the F-150 was swapped out for a 3.3L V6 that produced a bit more horsepower and torque at 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.
Lastly, in 2018, in the middle of the thirteenth generation, a turbodiesel 3.0L V6 made its way onto the scene, offering fantastic fuel efficiency in addition to an outstanding amount of torque output. This diesel engine produces 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, which outmatches the torque on the V8, and nearly matches the twin-turbocharged V6 that we spoke of earlier.
Ageless, For Now
One of the best parts about pickup trucks, in general, is the value to performance ratio that you can expect. Even if you purchase a truck from five or six years ago, chances are it’s still going to perform similarly or even better than some of the most noteworthy releases today. The F-150, in particular, is a special case, and that’s because few pickup trucks have held up in performance and in driver expectations as the F-series of trucks. If you’re in the market for a used vehicle and you’re perhaps interested in a pickup truck, then come on down to Richard Lucas Chevy to browse a wide selection. We’re located at 1077 US Highway South 1 Avenel, NJ, and we can’t wait to help you find the perfect used truck.