Large pickup truck; Built in USA, Canada
  • crew cab
  • ext. cab long bed
  • ext. cab short bed
  • reg. cab long bed
  • reg. cab short bed
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,000 – $14,000*


1998 Ford F-150 SuperCab extended cab


1997 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCab extended cab


1997 Ford F-150 SuperCab extended cab


1998 Ford F-150 interior


1997 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCab extended cab

Pros:
  • Cargo room
  • Passenger room
  • Trailer-towing capability
Cons:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Engine noise (V6)
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat comfort

All told, we rate the latest F-150 tops in its class, even with the arrival of new challengers for 1999: the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Overview

When Ford redesigned its F-Series pickup truck as an early 1997 model, it had been the top-selling vehicle of any kind for close to 15 years. Only the half-ton F-150 and the three-quarter-ton F-250 were redesigned initially; heavier-duty pickups (F-250 Super Duty and F-350) stuck with the prior design for a while. The F-150 pickup came with rear- or 4-wheel drive, in regular-cab and extended-cab form. Called SuperCab, the latter had a passenger-side third door, plus a 3-place rear seat that folded to create a flat, steel cargo floor. Short-bed models had a 6.5-foot cargo bed; long-bed models held an 8-foot bed. Ford called its flat-side cargo bed Styleside. The Flareside model, with a flared-fender carbo box, came only in short-bed form. A floor-mounted transfer case lever was standard on 4WD models. An electric transfer case, operated by a dashboard switch, was optional. Both allowed shifting in and out of 4WD High range “on the fly,” though the 4WD system was not intended for use on dry pavement.Three engines were available: a 4.2-liter V6, an overhead-cam 4.6-liter V8, and a 5.4-liter V8. Manual shift was standard with the two smaller engines, with an automatic transmission optional. Automatic was required with the 5.4-liter V8. All models had dual airbags, along with a key-operated dashboard switch that deactivated the passenger-side airbag. Rear-wheel antilock brakes were standard, with 4-wheel ABS standard on Lariat models and optional on other F-150s.

Yearly Updates

1998 F-150 Pickup
Redesigned so extensively for 1997, full-size Ford pickups saw few changes for 1998.
1999 F-150 Pickup
A SuperCab model with four doors joined the F-150 roster for ’99. All F-150 trucks got a new front-end look and revamped front seats.
2000 F-150 Pickup
Midyear brought power-adjustable gas and brake pedals, standard on the Lariat and optional on XLT models, but only with automatic transmission. Ford dropped the light-duty F-250 model in favor of a new heavy-duty F-150 with similar payload ratings. An overhead console with compass became standard on all but XL and Work models, while the Lariat got standard 17-inch wheels in place of 16s, plus turn-signal lights mounted in the outside mirrors. A new SuperCrew cab, with four regular-size front-opening doors, launched in midseason as an early 2001 model. This “crew cab” configuration had traditionally been reserved for three-quarter and one-ton pickups, but Ford was first to offer it in the more popular half-ton format.
2001 F-150
A SuperCrew model was introduced, and 4-wheel antilock disc brakes were made standard throughout the lineup for 2001.
2002 F-150
A new FX4 Off-Road package included heavy-duty shock absorbers, skid plates, unique body cladding, and 17-inch all-terrain tires. Returning midyear was the Harley-Davidson Edition, a SuperCrew with exclusive 20-inch wheels and special trim inside and out. For 2002, it replaced a 260-hp 5.4 V8 with a 340-hp supercharged version, and came in gray as well as black. Also arriving for 2002 is the SVT Lightning. A high-performance 2WD regular cab with a 380-hp supercharged 5.4 V8 and sport suspension.
2003 F-150
For 2003, F-150s gain extra sound deadening, and a rear-window defogger is available for the first time; it’s standard on all but XL and XLT models. XL and XLT regular cabs and extended cabs can be equipped in new STX trim, a $995 appearance ensemble aimed at 25-35 year olds. It includes specific interior touches, plus body-color exterior features set off by a chrome grille surround, chrome tubular step bars, and bright 17-inch wheels. Also new is the Heritage Edition for the XLT SuperCab. It marks the 100th year of Ford Motor Co. and includes a 2-tone exterior, badging, and other appearance items.
2004 F-150 Heritage
Ford renamed the 1997-2004 version of its full-size pickup the F-150 Heritage as the company began selling an all-new model called simply F-150. As the new F-150 was rolled out, the crew cab bodystyle was dropped, leaving only regular and extended cab models in the Heritage line.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

An F-150 could be equipped with a V6 that produced 210 horsepower (205 in 1999), or a choice of two overhead-cam V8s. The 4.6-liter V8 made 220 horsepower; its 5.4-liter counterpart, 235 horses. The bigger V8 gained 25 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque for ’99 and then a little more power in 2003. Either a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic might be installed, but the 5.4-liter V8 came only with automatic. For 2002, the Harley-Davidson Edition replaced a 260-hp 5.4 V8 with a 340-hp supercharged version while the new Lightning 5.4-liter made 380 horsepower.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/256
Engine HP 202-210
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 250-255
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
17/22
17/22
ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/281
Engine HP 220-231
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 290-293
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
16/21
16/21
12.5
ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.4/330
Engine HP 235-260
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 330-345
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

14/18

12.0

Supercharged ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.4/330
Engine HP 340-380
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 450
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

12/16

10.4

Road Test

Ford’s base V6 engine is noisy at idle, and grows raucous under hard throttle. Acceleration is adequate only in lighter-weight models with little cargo aboard. Both V8 engines are smoother and more powerful, but don’t offer quite as much low-speed muscle as the bigger overhead-valve V8 from GM and Dodge. For most applications, a V8 is the wiser choice–and the bigger, the better. For most light-duty work, however, the 4.6-liter would suffice. It feels lively when accelerating from a standstill (at least with an empty cargo bed), but is a little short of power when you punch the gas quickly in the 25-40 mph range–especially in a heavier model. Passing response is ample at highway speeds, however. An F-150 SuperCab 4×4 averaged only 12.5 mpg in a mix of city and highway driving, and managed 16.2 mpg on a highway journey.

On the highway, an F-150 delivers a stable and comfortable ride, with little of the bounciness or pitching that’s common to most pickups. When going through bumpy pavement, the suspension absorbs the worst of the rough stuff. In addition, the rear axle resists juddering even when the cargo bed is empty. Wind and road noise are moderate for a pickup truck. Depending on the model and option package–and there’s a vast selection available–interior furnishings range from stark to utterly luxurious. All F-150s have a modern, convenient dashboard with handy controls. Cupholders pop out from the dashboard, and large map pockets are mounted on doors.

Head, leg, and shoulder room up front are generous. Because 4WD models sit high off the ground, entry and exit demand more effort than in the 2WD versions. The SuperCab’s passenger-side rear door makes life easier. You get plenty of head room but marginal leg space in the rear seat. Getting into the back is definitely easier with the 1999 SuperCab’s rear half-doors. And the 2001 SuperCrew is plenty roomy and comfortable for three adults, with a high step in but large crew-cab door openings.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2001 Ford F-150 SuperCab 4WD 4.6-liter V8

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 2
20%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 9
90%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 5
50%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 52

Specifications

crew cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
138.5 225.9 79.1 73.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1765 25 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.8 39.8 41.0 36.8
ext. cab long bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
157.1 239.4 78.4 72.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1575 30.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 37.8 40.9 32.2
ext. cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
138.5 220.8 78.4 72.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1780 25.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 37.8 40.9 32.2
reg. cab long bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
138.5 220.8 78.4 72.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1780 30.0 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 NA 40.9 NA
reg. cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
119.9 202.2 78.4 72.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1675 25.0 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 NA 40.9 NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 F-150 reg. cab short bed

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 70
Injury 65
Theft 120

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: Transmission fluid can leak from the transmission into the transfer case. The low transmission-fluid level causes shifting and engagement problems. (1997)
Automatic transmission
Description: If water gets into the transfer case, the mode switch can be shorted out making it impossible to select a different range. (1997)
Climate control
Description: Cold air may come out of the heater vents at the floor due to a door in the duct not sealing properly. (1997)
Clutch
Description: Hopping, binding sensation from rear axle caused by binding limited-slip clutch packs requires revised clutch packs and reformulated gear lube. (2002-04)
Cold-starting problems
Description: Throttle sticks due to icing in cold weather requiring a service kit for the PCV system. (1997-02)
Dashboard lights
Description: Water in the spark-plug wells may cause the ignition spark to jump to ground causing a misfire and illuminating the check engine light. (1997)
Engine misfire
Description: The engine may run rough or idle roughly if condensation from the air conditioning drips onto the oxygen sensor. (1997-98)
Engine noise
Description: Piston slap on cold startup due to faulty pistons in 5.4-liter engine. (1998)
Heater core
Description: Installing a restrictor in the heater inlet hose may repair heater cores leaks. (1999-2002)
Audio system
Description: Electrical noise caused by the electric fuel pump in the tank can cause a buzzing noise when the AM band of the radio is selected. (1997)
Transmission problems
Description: Torque converter dust plug may fall out. Replacement should be retained with RTV sealant. 1989-2003)

Recall History

1997 F-150
Description: Retainer clip that holds master-cylinder pushrod to brake-pedal arm could be missing, causing loss of braking.
1997
Description: Separation of transmission bracket fitting from cable can result in inability to shift into “Park.”
1997 in 10 northern states
Description: Operation at highway speeds in winter conditions can cause PVC fitting to freeze; throttle plate could then remain in cruising position after pedal is released.
1997
Description: Seatbelt-anchorage attachments are missing or misinstalled.
1997 F-150
Description: Certification label shows incorrect rear-tire-inflation pressure.
1997 F150/F250
Description: It is possible that the intermediate steering shaft yoke may break, causing a loss of steering control. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
1997-02
Description: Cruise-control deactivation switch may overheat, smoke, or burn.
1997-2003 F-150
Description: Vehicles manufactured from June 20, 1995, through August 4, 2004, originally sold, or currently registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia: Prolonged exposure to road deicing chemicals may cause severe corrosion of the fuel tank straps which secure the tank to the vehicle. As a result of the corrosion, one or both straps may fail allowing the fuel lines to separate from the tank, or in some cases, causing the tank to contact the ground. Either scenario may result in a fuel leak and present a fire hazard. Ford will notify owners and instruct them to take their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have the fuel tank straps replaced with straps that have increased corrosion protection. Early in this campaign, if replacement straps are not available, dealers may install a cable support under the strap as an interim repair or a steel reinforcement over the existing strap as a permanent repair. Any repairs will be performed free of charge.
1997-98
Description: Certain off-lease vehicles, Canadian in origin but sold in the U.S., have daytime running lights that do not meet U.S. specifications.
1997-98 w/4WD
Description: If vehicle is overloaded, rear leaf springs can fracture.
1997-98 w/automatic transmission
Description: Shift-cable assembly might not be fully attached to steering column bracket and could come out, preventing shifting into “Park” even though indicator shows it is in “Park.”
1997-98
Description: Lug nuts may loosen and studs may experience fatigue failure, with potential for wheel separation.
1997-98 w/V6, in any of 23 states
Description: Throttle is unable to return to idle due to ice forming in throttle body.
1997-98
Description: Main battery cable can contact body panel in trunk, resulting short circuit.
1999 4×4 w/Off Road package and 4×2 w/Sport package
Description: Tire and rim identification information is incorrect on certification labels.
1999
Description: Fuel-pressure regulator O-ring may have been damaged, allowing fuel-vapor leakage.
1999
Description: Speed-control cable on certain vehicles can interfere with pulley, preventing throttle from returning to idle when disengaging the speed control.
1999-00 Super Duty w/5.4-liter V8 and manual transmission
Description: Accelerator-cable core wire on certain trucks can wear the conduit end fitting; could lead to separation of strands, which could prevent throttle from returning to idle.
2000-01
Description: Some of the owner’s manuals for these vehicles are missing instructions for properly attaching a child-restraint system.
2000-01
Description: A switch located in the plastic cover of the wiper-motor gear case could malfunction and overheat, potentially resulting in loss of wiper function or fire.
2000-01 2000 F-150 and 2001 SuperCrew
Description: Cruise-control deactivation switch on some vehicles may overheat, smoke, or burn; fires have occurred while vehicle was parked with ignition off.
2001
Description: Driver- and/or front-passenger-outboard seatbelt buckle may not fully latch. In the event of a crash, the restraint system may not provide adequate occupant protection.
2003 F-150/250/350/450 vehicles equipped with speed control
Description: The speed control deactivation switch may overheat and possibly cause a fire. Dealers will install a fused wiring harness into the speed control system free of charge.
2003-04 F-150 Lightening w/speed control system
Description: The speed control deactivation switch may, under certain conditions, leak internally and then overheat, smoke, or burn. This could result in an underhood fire. Dealers will install a fused wiring harness.

Equipment Lists

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Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.