Trucks & SUVs

Why Consumer Reports Can’t Recommend the 2020 Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is still the best-selling truck in America. Considering its impressive title, it may be surprising to hear that Consumer Reports recently named the 2020 F-150 as one of the models it can no longer recommend. Today, we’ll look at how they came to that decision and discuss why the F-150 didn’t get the nod.

How Consumer Reports gathers data

A big component in Consumer Reports’ data involves online surveys. These questionnaires are designed to prompt authentic responses from vehicle owners. Drivers are asked about many problems, and data is collected regarding engine performance, transmission, body configuration, and electronics.

In the survey where the 2020 Ford F-150 didn’t get a recommendation, some 420,000 vehicles were reviewed based on a 12-month lookback period of ownership for an in-depth opinion over a significant period. There are typically 200 to 300 samples of each model year among the sample sizes.

Consumer Reports also says they sometimes use brand history and reliability of similar models in the final decisions. They exclusively use online surveys now, although in years past they used both online and paper questionnaires.

What’s required to earn a Consumer Reports recommendation

In order to receive a Consumer Reports recommendation, a vehicle must first present a high enough score overall within its category. Scores are reflective of everything from reviewer testing and owner satisfaction to safety tests. Vehicles are subject to road tests and evaluated on overall safety components and ratings, too.

Why the Consumer Reports recommendations matter

The non-profit organization historically prides itself on working for the best interests of consumers. Consumer Reports serves as a platform to provide unbiased input across a host of products. The vehicle scores are helpful to potential car buyers as many rely on reputable reviews before making a significant purchase.

Safety plays a huge role, too. Recommended vehicles must perform better than average in Consumer Report’s testing or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration battery of safety requirements. Not all vehicles are crash-tested, but for those that get the recommendation, consumers can expect average or better ratings in safety.

Why the 2020 Ford F-150 didn’t earn a recommendation

Ford’s full-size truck dropped significantly and fell below-average this year. Because Consumer Reports shows past reliability ratings as well, it was evident to everyone that there were drastic setbacks for this model.

Members repeatedly cited issues, including problematic transmission slipping, four-wheel-drive not engaging, and infotainment image malfunctions. When Consumer Reports reached out to representatives for comment, Ford didn’t offer a response or comment.

The 2020 Ford F-150 isn’t the only model to lose endorsements

The 2020 Ford F-150
The 2020 Ford F-150 | Courtesy of Ford.com

Consumer Reports names 12 models that no longer got recommended status. Most fell due to problems identified by surveys. Two other notable losses were the Audi A6 and Honda Passport. On the flip side, 20 models from 2020 improved their survey performance and garnered coveted Consumer Reports endorsements.

While there were several issues reported within the surveys from 2020 F-150 owners, Ford still says they have a fantastic truck. Based on American buying trends, it may still be the favorite truck of all.

The opinions of the Consumer Reports members may sway your next purchasing decision. After all, nothing is more powerful than the review of a peer, especially when you may invest in a new 2020 pickup.