For the past 46 years, there’s been one top dog in the industry: the Ford F-150. It’s been a trendsetter, a pioneer, and a force that other trucks aspire to imitate, but recent news suggests that the F-150 may finally have some competition—and it’s not from a fellow truck. The Tesla Model Y, a subcompact electric SUV, has been recognized as the second best-selling vehicle in the US, second only to the iconic F-150.
So, how should Ford feel about this news? Being that the automaker has held the record for the best-selling vehicle for almost five decades, many Ford fanatics will agree that the brand has nothing to worry about; it may just be that Tesla is hot right now. Still, the F-150 has stood the test of time, breaking through plenty of barriers, making it into a new millennium unscathed. All the while, it continues to become more advanced. The next time you see a Ford F-150 for sale, stop and think about all the ways the F-150 proves that it’s the most impressive truck available. When it comes to industry leaders, the F-150 is one of the greats, and there’s no way Ford is going to let that title slip from its grasp any time soon.
The Toughest Around
“Built Ford Tough” has been the Ford motto for ages, and if there’s one model that exhibits this perfectly, it’s the F-150. If you’ve ever driven an F-150, you know it’s built to handle anything it comes up against. The proof is in its ultra-strong body and all the components that make it the force it is in the industry. Its fully-boxed high-strength steel frame sets the groundwork for this legendary pickup, with large cross sections and immense rigidity throughout to allow it to take on hulking loads and more. Not only is this frame impeccably tough, but it’s also lightweight, making it easy for the F-150 to perform optimally.
Its reinforced military-grade aluminum-alloy body sits atop this strong frame, showcasing thicker gauges where necessary without adding weight to the vehicle. This makes the F-150 one of the most gifted haulers around, with a higher power-to-weight ratio, something you won’t find in the competition. This durable build is made to handle the job site, the wilderness, or any other environment that it’s in, allowing it to appeal to drivers who demand more out of their everyday truck.
The F-150 has been put through a rigorous testing process, ensuring it can stand up to some of the toughest challenges. So, taking toughness and durability into consideration, if you think that Ford is worried about a little Tesla, think again.
In a recent study performed by Consumer Reports, the Ford BlueCruise hands-free driving system earned the top spot among the available semi-autonomous systems in the automotive industry. The test was conducted on a 50-mile loop of public roadways and analyzed various components of these hands-free driving systems; from steering to speed control, safety, and other important factors, the BlueCruise system was at the top of the list.
Utilizing various advanced features, including Adaptive Cruise Control and highway mapping, vehicles armed with BlueCruise—like the F-150—are able to travel unassisted on over 130,000 miles of roadways across North America. Perhaps what makes this system so impressive is the eye-facing camera, which analyzes the driver’s gaze to ensure that ample attention is on the road at all times, as opposed to the #7 Tesla Autopilot system, which only requires drivers to touch the steering wheel every so often.
Various add-ons to the BlueCruise system will unlock even more capabilities, including lane change assistance and lane repositioning. This feature comes in handy when another vehicle gets too close, effortlessly shifting the F-150 away from the adjacent vehicle.
There’s no shortage of power that emanates from an F-150, especially when you take a closer look at its available powertrains. From a full hybrid system to a powerful V8, the F-150’s arsenal of engines is second to none. Top power belongs to the 3.5L EcoBoost turbocharged V6, which propels the F-150 forward with 400 horses and 500 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to tow up to 14,000 lbs—a best-in-class accolade.
The F-150 takes this power a step further with all of the trailering help that can be enjoyed, including onboard scales, which come in handy, alerting drivers if their payload is too heavy or if there’s room for more. Hitch assistance is there to help connect trailers and more to the F-150’s hitch effortlessly and safely—and with Continuously Controlled Damping, the F-150 is easily able to cushion the bumps of the road to ensure a controlled and stable ride.
Don’t worry—the F-150 isn’t just a one-trick pony. Its capabilities extend far beyond the realms of hauling heavy gear. With features like Pro Power Onboard, keeping tools, equipment, and more powered up for the day is no sweat for this established workmate. Its 7.2-kWh option, for example, can power items like a welder, air compressor, saw, and more, making it easy to see why the F-150 reigns supreme on the job site.
The F-150 doesn’t just command attention on the job site—it also blasts past obstacles on the trails. Its Raptor and Raptor R models have created quite a buzz in the industry, causing other automakers to come up with their own versions of these menacing machines.
Fit to traverse any terrain, the Raptor models are armed with off-road-ready elements that make any jaunt in any environment more thrilling than ever. With a 5.2L supercharged V8 at the helm of the adventure, the Raptor models—producing 700 hp—can take on any challenge off-road. Plus, with Fox Racing monotube shocks with active damping, no terrain is out of bounds for the Raptors.
These trucks are also armed with a sophisticated Terrain Management System featuring seven drive modes to help them cascade over the elements like true professionals. From Rock Crawl to Slippery, Baja to Off-Road, there’s nowhere these accomplished adventurers can’t travel. All-terrain tires, a suspension lift, and plenty of durable elements make these trucks some of the most exhilarating around, allowing the F-150 to appeal to yet another demographic of drivers.
America’s Best-Selling Truck
The F-150 bows down to no one. Even if you’ve never driven one of these trucks before, you have to admit that the proof is obvious as to why it’s an American best-seller.
It’s tough, capable, and hosts some of the best advancements in the industry, especially when it comes to hands-free driving and off-road credibility. It’s built for any driver, from avid adventurers and hard workers to families and commuters. It’s available in several trims to appeal to various budgets, allowing the average American driver to enjoy this level of excellence in their vehicle.
There’s nothing quite like the F-150 when it comes to versatility, toughness, and overall prowess. Although the Tesla Model Y may be creeping up on the F-150’s best-seller status, it simply doesn’t offer what the F-150 brings to everyday drivers. The F-150 is a giant—a cornerstone of the automotive industry—and it would be tough to imagine any other vehicle occupying the top spot regarding all-around talent, performance, and true American grit.