The Ford F150: What’s Made It America’s Best-Selling Truck for Over 40 Years?

The Ford F150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the US since 1981, just 6 years after its release in 1975. In 2019, nearly 900,000 F-Series trucks rolled off dealer lots in America. But why? What makes them so popular? The F150 is popular for many reasons, in fact, so many that it’s hard to put a finger on each one. Despite consistent competition from similar Dodge and Chevy trucks, the F150 has constantly outsold and remained the most popular vehicle in America.

It’s important to note that though the F150 has only been around since 1975, the F-Series truck line was introduced in 1948 as the step up from the ol’ Ford Ranger. Bronco Graveyard, while known for classic Bronco parts (1966 – 1990), also has a full line of truck parts for the classic 1975 F150 through current F-series trucks, including the F150, F250, and F350.

Let’s take a look at why the Ford F150 has stayed so popular over four decades.

Ford F150: The Next Generation

The Ford F-150 is now in its 13th generation and still going strong. The modern Ford F150 is now constructed mostly of aluminum, which has lowered its curb weight by around 700 pounds. Despite this drastic change, the F150 remains what it’s always been--a rugged and reliable truck.

Ford Tough

The ruggedness of the F150 has long been one of its selling points. The Built Ford Tough slogan was made for it. How do you judge ruggedness? Well, one metric might be the fact that there are more F-Series trucks on the road with at least 250,000 miles on them than any other brand. New F150 trucks are put through 10 million miles of testing before going up for sale. The trucks were tested by going across the country, pulling heavy trailers, hauling heavy loads, and crossing deserts and freezing mountain passes. One version of the new truck was even put through the Baja 1000 race. It was all stock and only needed an air filter change at each stop. That’s pretty rugged. A reputation for ruggedness is part of why the F150 continues to be popular.

Reliable and Affordable

As a brand new vehicle, the base models of the Ford F150 are quite affordable at just under $30,000. Compared to the Ram 1500 and the Silverado 1500, the F150 beats them out in affordability. There are also plenty of F150 trucks on the used market where you can get higher trims and packages for less money than brand new. That brings us to the next reason why the F150 is so popular--reliability. They are also easy to maintain and repair. F150 parts are readily available from many sources, including Bronco Graveyard. Reliability and ease of maintenance are two factors that people don’t always consider when buying a new vehicle, but the F150 has that reputation, which is part of why truck buyers keep coming back to it.

Easy To Customize

The other thing that makes the F150 super popular is how easy it is to customize. You can do this by buying a used fixer and using classic F150 restoration parts to turn it into exactly the type of truck that you want. Newer F150s are also easy to customize due to all the available parts on the aftermarket. Besides customizing this best-selling pickup after you buy it, you can also customize it before it leaves the lot. Ford has provided a wide array of different packages and trims for the F150, so that you can get a truck geared towards comfort, towing, off-road adventures, and more. The Ford F150 just keeps evolving year after year with innovative technology in every aspect of its design.

Continually Improving Fuel Efficiency

Ford designers have worked hard over the years to increase the fuel efficiency of the F150, and many of the recent model years have shown that. The military-grade aluminum alloy used to construct the current truck is one element that improved fuel efficiency. Another aspect is the new 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine. This engine offers plenty of power at 365 horses as well as good fuel economy with 26 MPG on the highway and 19 MPG in the city. It has V8 horsepower with the fuel appetite of a V6.

Towing and Hauling

The Ford F150 has always mixed it up with top numbers in towing and hauling. Even in years when the Ram or Silverado models took the lead, the F150 would be back in subsequent years with the best tow rating. The current truck might be 700 pounds lighter, but it’s still one of the most capable trucks available when it comes to pulling stuff and hauling stuff. Several engine choices are generally available on most F150 models. With the right equipment, the newer F150 models can tow up to 12,200 pounds and haul up to 3,270 pounds.


Previously, we talked about how the F150 is very customizable to what you need as a truck owner. It’s also gotten more and more versatile over the years. Ford offers several different trim levels and several special packages and options. You can use the Ford F150 for almost anything, whether it’s work, off-roading, hauling the family, towing toys, and many other tasks. Not only that, but newer models of the truck have come a long way in terms of comfort and convenience. They’re packed with user-friendly tech and desirable niceties.

When you put all these reasons together, some of which apply mainly to newer F150S, you begin to see an outline of why the truck is so popular. It’s not individual features, it’s a combination of reliability, toughness, affordability, and a commitment to innovation that leaves each new F150 better than the previous one.

If you need to restore or repair any classic Ford trucks like the F150 or other F-Series trucks, Bronco Graveyard has you covered with F150 truck parts, truck restoration parts, and other parts for classic 4x4 trucks, including the Ford Bronco. If you ever have any questions or need help locating the right parts for your classic Ford truck or SUV, contact us at 248.437.5060.