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A grey 2020 Ford F-150 is shown from the side driving through a desert.

Buying a Used F-150: Tips On Buying a Truck for the Family

Buying a pickup truck is something tons of people do every single year. They’re the biggest-selling vehicles on the market, with the F-150 leading the charge. A lot of people rely on the F-150 to get things done for them across a wide range of utility and leisure purposes. Another popular way of acquiring the highly-sought after Blue Oval brand nameplate is from online Ford F-150 sales, where you can get the best deals and lowest prices on used F-150s. The trucks are available in abundance, and it’s not hard finding a good deal on a used Ford F-150. But what if you want the truck for your family?

There’s a completely different mindset and conversation to be had when it comes to feature requirements and shopping for a vehicle for the family, especially pickup trucks. Just because a vehicle is available in abundance doesn’t always mean that it’s the right kind of vehicle you’re shopping for. You have to think about what works for your travel arrangements, what works for the size of the family, and what works for their safety. These are all important features to look at when shopping for a used F-150 for your family.

Key Requirements When Shopping for the Family

When you’re searching for the right kind of vehicle for your family, there are a few key things you are likely going to have on your list (or should have on your list) as must-haves for the vehicle you buy. When looking to acquire a used F-150, the list takes on a few different changes based on a number of facets. You’re going to want to think about what you get with the truck differently than when you’re shopping for a sedan or SUV.

First and foremost is price, which you’re likely going to want to set based on the features you want. The better features you want inside the vehicle, the more costly it will be. That’s a given, but the price for the F-150 is going to be based on the trim and model year. You can opt to get a more feature-rich trim from an older model year if you are looking to save money but still want more luxuries. You will also have to consider what space you get with the trim and its features.

Larger iterations of the F-150 mean it will cost more. Also, consider that costs will vary with a larger lower-end trim versus a higher-end trim that’s smaller in size. So it’s a matter of deciding on space versus features versus model year. If you’re willing to give up some of the more modern-day infotainment and built-in safety features, an older model year isn’t a bad way to go. If you can’t live without some of the more modern-day vehicular amenities, then opting for a lower-end trim of a newer model year variety while scouring through available online Ford F-150 sales is probably the preferred route.

Another thing to consider is fuel economy: You may end up having to pay more for a diesel if you want the best travel range. The V8 options available might net you the most power, but it all comes at the expense of fuel economy. Alternatively, a more mileage-friendly, small-displacement V6 might be the preferable middle ground for those who want something affordable and accommodating when it comes to daily driving.

A red 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor is shown from the side driving through a desert.

SuperCrew vs SuperCab vs Standard Cab

Cab size is an extremely important feature to consider when buying a used F-150, especially if you’re looking through online sales. Why? Because different cab sizes determine how many people can fit inside the truck. The F-150 is available in three different sizes, including the Standard Cab, the SuperCab, and the SuperCrew. The differences between these three configurations determine how many people can ride inside the truck.

If you’re buying a truck for the family, then a Standard Cab is not going to work. Why? Because Standard Cab can only fit up to three people. It’s a two-door variant of the F-150 with a single row of seats. This is basically just two adults and maybe a small child in the middle. If you’re a small family in need of a truck and it’s just you, your spouse, and maybe a young kid, then a Standard Cab might work for a few years until you can upgrade to something else, but it’s definitely not suitable for a handful of family members.

The SuperCab offers two full-sized doors at the front of the cab and two smaller suicide doors at the rear, which open in the opposite direction of the normal full-sized doors. The SuperCab can actually seat up to six people across two rows, with both rows configured as a split bench. The thing about the SuperCab is that it doesn’t have handles on the smaller rear doors, and they can only be opened when the main front doors are opened. The SuperCab is generally less expensive than a SuperCrew, however, and does provide more space than the Standard Cab. So it’s a nice middle ground for those who need the extra seating but want to save some money in the process.

The best option for a family truck is the SuperCrew cab configuration for the F-150. It offers four full doors for easy access to the front or second-row seats, and it provides roomy seating for up to six people across those two rows. As far as cabin size is concerned, if you have a growing family and need a sizable family vehicle, the SuperCrew is the largest light-duty variant cab size available for the F-150. However, it can cost you anywhere between hundreds to thousands more than a Standard Cab or SuperCab, depending on the model year and trim.

Short Bed vs Standard Bed vs Long Bed

Bed sizes aren’t the most important feature for a family-oriented pickup truck, but they can alter the price point. Longer beds cost more. Shorter beds cost less. If you’re looking for a pickup with a modicum of utility and enough room for a family, and you’re trying to save on money, you can opt for a short bed. You won’t get the best towing or payload capacity, but you will still get standard pickup truck functionality out of it.

If you absolutely need a standard bed for work but also need the four-door SuperCrew, then expect to pay more than a short bed variant. The SuperCrew isn’t available in a long bed format, but a SuperCab with a long bed is, so if you need the towing and payload but also want to seat up to six people, you can opt for a long bed SuperCab format. As usual, there are always going to be pros and cons when it comes to features versus price, but if you don’t mind paying more, and getting more, then a standard bed in a SuperCrew format is probably the optimal choice.

A black 2019 Ford F-150 Limited is shown after searching 'online Ford F-150 sales.'

Safety Trims Come First

When you have a family, buying the right kind of vehicle that’s fun to drive, economical to drive, functional for work, and feature-rich can be a real challenge. Even more than that, making sure it comes with all of the right safety features can be even more of a headache, especially when different trims come with different safety features. On the plus side, if you are searching through online Ford F-150 sales for the right kind of vehicle configured with the right kind of safety tech, Ford makes it easy with the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite.

The upside is that the Ford Co-Pilot360 and Co-Pilot360 2.0 safety packages for newer model year F-150s include everything you could want from an active safety standpoint. The other upside is that every trim can have the more advanced safety features added as part of a separate package. The downside is that if you’re searching for a used F-150 for sale online, then it means you have to find one that comes with the separate package included. On newer models, the XL trim or higher comes with a lot of more recent safety features as a standard. On older models, you might have to look to the Lariat or higher for more advanced safety features included as part of the standard package.

One thing to keep in mind is that all of the trims, even older model variants of the F-150, come with crumple zones, airbags, seat belt pretensioners, and a lot of other basic safety equipment. Also, newer generations still have a lot of other active safety technology made standard, but as mentioned, the more advanced safety features are equipped on the higher-end trims. If you’re looking for an affordable used F-150 with the kind of safety features you want for your family, eyeing an XL, Lariat, or above is probably the safest route to go.

Get the Perfect F-150 for Your Family

At one time, you wouldn’t consider a truck to be a good family vehicle. They were large, bare-bones, and got horrible gas mileage. However, modern advancements have made trucks the perfect choice for many families so long as you find the right set of features and body configuration. Luckily, it’s easy to search online for what you want out of your truck and track down a model in your budget that has the things you need. With such a long line of models to choose from, the F-150 will be one of the best models to look for when you want a truck the whole family can enjoy.