Ford introduced the F Series truck series to the North American market more than seven decades ago. Early on, the F-150 proved to be a reliable truck with many excellent features. Ultimately, the F-150 became the most popular vehicle for people in the United States.
The new Ford F-150 Lightning is one of the most practical EVs we’ve seen on the market. However, the six-figure price tag on the market makes it unavailable to many buyers. In addition, the majority still prefer to drive fuel-powered trucks instead of going all-electric.
For shoppers on a budget, the twelfth generation of the F-150 (2009-2014) can be a great place to look for a reliable truck that won’t cost an arm and a leg. However, not every trim and model year is worth your money. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best 12th-generation versions of the Ford F-150, the most budget-friendly editions, and which models offer the most value for their price tag.
Most Powerful: The 2014 Ford F-150 Platinum Offers a Powerful 6.2L V8
If you want the maximum possible power, the F-150 Platinum comes with two powerful engine options; a 5.0L V8 that makes 360 horsepower and a larger, more powerful 6.2L that boasts 411 ponies. The latter offers 434 lb-ft of torque and can handle two to 11,300 pounds.
Regardless of the engine configuration, Ford equips the 2014 F-150 Platinum with a six-speed automatic transmission system that can be combined with RWD and 4WD. When configured correctly, the F-150 can sprint from idle to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds.
Obviously, these powertrains are fuel-guzzling. According to EPA estimates, the 6.2L engine delivers 12 miles to the gallon in the city and 16 on the highway (13 MPG combined). If you want decent power but don’t want to visit gas stations every other day, you can go for the 2014 F-150 Limited trim.
Ford fitted a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 on the 2014 Limited Edition that is slightly more powerful than the 5.0L V8 option while still offering reasonable fuel economy. The 2014 F-150 Limited is rated at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway.
Most cost-effective: The 2009 Ford F-150 XL is a reliable workhorse with an affordable price tag
The 2009 Ford F-150 XL provides the basics needed for a work truck and is typically priced lower than its rivals. According to the Kelley Blue Book awards, it is possible to used 2009 XL under $10,000 on the used market. However, the fair market price range can reach up to $12,600.
The base 2009 F-150 comes with a 4.6L V8 engine that makes 248 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels if you go for the most affordable model.
The base V8 engine can go 14 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles on the highway (16 MPG combined). Ford does not offer EcoBoost powertrain options for the 2009 F-150. If you are looking for a more economical model, you should consider newer model years.
Although more affordable than its rivals, the F-150 costs $100 more to service in a year compared to the Dodge Ram or the Silverado 1500. According to the Repair Pal website, the annual cost of a 2009 Ford F-150 is $ 812.
Best Value: The 2012 Ford F-150 Lariat is a durable truck with impressive technology and engine options
Last but not least, we believe the 2012 Ford F-150 Lariat offers the best value among other half-ton trucks from the same year.
Ford offers several engine options for the 2012 F-150 Lariat. However, the 3.6L V6 EcoBoost powertrain comes with the best combination of fuel economy and horsepower; it can produce 365 horsepower and offers up to 23 MPG on the highway. Plus, it comes with 420 lb-ft of torque, which is more than any other powertrain available.
One major reason the 2012 model year will stretch your dollar the furthest is its reliability. According to the Car Complaints website, The 2012 model has significantly fewer registered owner complaints than the 2011 and 2013 model models.
Based on various car sources, the 2012 Ford F-150 has no problem getting 300,000 miles on the clock with regular maintenance. Averaging 14,000 miles per year, that means over 21 years of reliable service for the 2012 F-150 Lariat. Normally, you can expect to drive a used car for about ten years before having to spend money on expensive engine and transmission overhauls.