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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2020 used Ford F-150 Lariat is driving down a tree-lined road.

Why a Used Ford F-150 Is a Great Option for Towing and Off-Roading

Full-sized trucks are desirable for their towing capacity, off-roading capabilities, and rugged looks. Used options are great, too, because they’re more affordable and often just as capable as brand newer models. So, if you want a truck with enough power to get things done but not so much power that you’re charting into the heavy-duty level territory, a used Ford F-150 is a great option. But, which used model is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck?

You may think that the 2015 model is loads cheaper, but that isn’t necessarily the case. It may also seem like the newer model would have better customization options, but does it? Let’s take a look at the 2015 F-150 and the 2020 F-150, compare two used models, and see which one has the best features. We’ll talk about all the things you can tow, off-roading capabilities, aesthetic appeal, and average pricing. Ford enthusiasts can brag about their powerful trucks after reading this, and skeptics may be converted to the Ford life by the end of it. Anyway, let’s dive on in!

The 2015 Ford F-150 Model

Towing Capabilities

If you own a Ford F-150, you know that it’s wildly capable of towing just about anything you’ll ever need. When properly equipped, a 2015 Ford F-150 can tow up to 12,200 pounds. That may not mean much, so let’s put it into perspective. With the 201 F-150, you can tow an average-sized camper, a fishing boat, a pontoon boat, a loaded horse trailer, and smaller items like mowers, ATVs, and motorcycles. While this is less than heavy-duty trucks like the Ford F-350, it’s perfect for those who aren’t hardcore farmers. You can tow pretty much any hobby-related item with the Ford F-150.

Additionally, this model has integrated tailgate steps. Thanks to this, loading and unloading cargo is a piece of cake. The fact that it’s safe to load up and easily accessible makes it even more appealing. Trailer sway control and trailer brake control safety features will ensure extra protection and stability when you’re hauling anything via trailer.


Another great thing about owning a used F-150 is its ability to tackle the dirt and mud. You may own a 2-wheel drive or a 4-wheel drive model, and both are capable to an extent, but the 4-wheel drive F-150 is ideal for off-roaders. Depending on your model, you’ll have either a V6 or a V8 engine with 17-inch wheels. You can really up the off-roading game by adding your own multi-terrain or mud-terrain tires if you’re specifically looking to drive off-road more than on the pavement.

Where off-roading assistance is concerned, the F-150 pulls through with its 360-degree camera. What’s behind you matters a little bit more when you’re driving off-terrain. There are a lot more animals, rocks, and holes to watch out for. Additionally, the terrain is often uneven and can be dangerous. The 360 camera helps you when backing up, as well as while you’re driving on off-road adventures. This, combined with the model’s fog lamps, optional rear sensing system, and hill holder technology, makes it a great off-roading full-size pickup truck.

A blue 2015 used Ford F-150 is driving down a city street past a brick building.

Aesthetic Appeal

You can’t properly brag on your vehicle if you don’t address its aesthetic appeal. The F-150 comes with a nice color variety. Its exterior colors include Blue Flame Metallic, Blue Jeans Metallic, Caribou Metallic, Green Gem Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Magnetic Metallic, Oxford White, Race Red, Guard Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic, Bronze Fire, and Tuxedo Black. The 2015 model comes with standard front and rear black bumpers, black step bars, black platform running boards, and black door handles.

Your used Ford F-150 may also come with any of Ford’s additional appearance packages. These include the Chrome and Sport appearance packages, which come with their own special customization features. For example, these packages include 17-inch Silver-Painted Aluminum wheels with blue centers, among other chromed-out add-ons. Lastly, there are several more available wheel options if those basic 17-inch wheels just aren’t cutting it. You can find 18-inch Machined Aluminum wheels, Six-Spoke Machined Aluminum wheels, and several 20-inch options. The 20-inch rims are available on the XLT, Lariat, and King Ranch, so if you want some bigger wheels, you’ll want to keep an eye out for those models.

The 2020 Ford F-150 Model

Towing Capacity

There are pros and cons to the 2020 model in comparison with the 2015 model when it comes to towing capacity. Standard engines provide a 5,000 to 8,000-pound towing capacity range, which is less than the 2015’s standard options. However, the 3.5L EcoBoost engine offers a towing capacity of up to 13,200 pounds, which is over 1,000 pounds more than the 2015’s EcoBoost engine.

As far as features go, the 2020 model does offer many Smart Towing features. These include Pro Trailer Backup Assist, trailer information, Trailer Brake Control, Blind Spot Information with Trailer Coverage, and a Dynamic Hitch Assist option. These tech features are definitely worth bragging about.

The Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature is enough to be proud of on its own. It comes with a knob that you can use to choose what direction your trailer goes. This is great for novice trailer drivers and super handy for experts who get tired of dealing with trailer steering. While there are 5 years between the 2015 and the 2020 model, this is one thing that the 2020 F-150 has over its 2015 counterpart.

A black 2020 used Ford F-150 Limited is towing an airstream trailer under a green bridge.


The 2020 F-150 is built with an aluminum alloy military-grade style body, preventing dents and making it more damage-resistant than other models. When off-roading, you’re bound to bounce around and bang into something every now and then, so this is a nice feature to have. You won’t have to worry so much about body damage.

Further, the Raptor trim is made specifically for rural driving with its all-terrain tires, beadlock wheels for better traction, and the option to choose between 4-wheel high or low. It also has Hill Descent Control, which works similarly to the 2015 model’s Hill Holder Technology, but better. Hill Descent Control helps prevent slipping and works as an off-roading cruise control system, whereas Hill Holder Tech simply prevents rollback on hills. While the 2015 model definitely works great for basic off-roading, the 2020 model comes with more off-roading assistance technology features.

Aesthetic Appeal

The 2015 model definitely has the upper hand when it comes to color options. The 2020 F-150 comes in 11 colors, but several colors are similar and less diverse than the 2015’s options. These colors include Blue Jeans, Velocity Blue, Oxford White, Magnetic, Iconic Silver, Rapid Red, Race Red, Magma Red, Agate Black, Stone Gray, and Silver Spruce. The exterior features can be different depending on trim. Still, the mid-level trim includes a satin chrome two-bar style grille with chrome surround, chrome handles, heated, power-folding side mirrors, power deployable running boards, LED headlamps, and body-colored rear and front bumpers.

The front grille combined with the body details definitely makes the 2020 model look tougher than any F-150 before it, including the 2015 model. However, the color options aren’t as vast as most consumers wish they were. There’s no green option for the 2020 model, yet there are several neutral silver options, which isn’t really necessary. Aesthetically, you might want to go looking for a 2015 model over a 2020 model.

Which F-150 Wins?

This is difficult to answer, but we have some options. The truth of the matter is that there isn’t necessarily a flawed model for the Ford F-150. Both models are great for off-roading and towing average-sized trailers and items. The only thing that sets the 2015 model over the 2020 version is its variety in exterior color options. Likewise, as expected, the 2020 model has an advantage with its tech features and additional driver-assist assets. So, no matter which used Ford F-150 you are able to find, you are sure to be happy with its features and capability.

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