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The best-selling vehicle in the United States is the Ford F-150 and it’s for good reason. Not only is it a great truck, but it’s also ideal for families. It’s not the most perfect vehicle overall for parents and their children, but it is certainly one of the best pickups for families. Here’s why, according to Consumer Reports.

The Ford F-150’s practicality 

This is the area where the Ford F-150 both excels and falls short. In terms of its towing and payload capacity, this truck is at the top of its class. When equipped with Ford’s famous EcoBoost series of engines, the F-150 tested by Consumer Reports could tow over 7,600 pounds. The heavier duty trims could tow over 13,000 pounds. In terms of payload capacity, the F-150 can carry between 1,000 to 2,000 pounds, depending on the trim.

The F-150 also received good grades for comfort by Consumer Reports. Both the front and rear seats were comfortable with a lot of leg and headroom. The ride comfort wasn’t great, but the noise level got a perfect 5 out of 5 by Consumer Reports.

That said, despite its fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine, the F-150 just isn’t very fuel-efficient, especially if it’s being used as a family vehicle. Consumer Reports only got 19 MPG out of it, which is simply not good when compared to other family vehicles. With a price tag that starts at $28,000, however, the F-150 isn’t an overly expensive truck for families.

Safety for Ford F-150 families

Another important factor to consider when buying a family vehicle is its safety, and the Ford F-150 is one of the safest trucks on the market. Indeed, according to Consumer Reports, this truck has the best safety grade in every crash test except two. Those two were the rollover crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The F-150 scored 4 out of 5 stars on those tests, but everything else got a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. 

The F-150 also comes with a lot of standard safety features, including forward collision warning, anti-lock brakes, and a pedestrian detection system. But, Consumer Reports thought child seats were not very easy to install. That, along with the F-150’s headlights, which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety deemed as poor, are the only safety flaws for the F-150.

Buy your Ford F-150 used?

One way many families save money on a car is to buy used. However, there are some problem years with the F-150. Although Consumer Reports expects the 2019 model to be decently reliable, the same can’t be said for some of the other model years. 

In terms of the F-150s produced this decade, the models from 2011 to 2013 weren’t great in terms of reliability. The models from 2010 and 2014 to 2017 were considered decent concerning reliability.

But the worst recent F-150 model year was the 2018 model, which received the lowest reliability rating by Consumer Reports. There are 10 recalls affecting that model year, and this is the main reason why the 2018 F-150 got a bad grade. It should be noted that the owners of the 2018 F-150 didn’t report many issues to Consumer Reports.

The 2011 F-150 model is the other terrible recent model year. Consumer Reports and owners of that F-150 gave it poor grades overall. Your mileage may vary, however, but those two years are the worst to buy a F-150.