Large pickup truck; Built in USA
  • crew cab
  • ext. cab
  • ext. cab
  • ext. cab
  • reg. cab long bed
  • reg. cab short bed
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,000 – $25,000*

2004 Ford F-150

2004 Ford F-150

2004 Ford F-150

2005 Ford F-150

  • Cargo room (crew cab)
  • Instruments/controls
  • Passenger room (crew cab)
  • Trailer-towing capability (5.4 V8)
  • Passing power (V6, 4.6 V8)
  • Fuel economy

Various rivals top Ford by offering such laudable features as side curtain airbags, four-wheel steering, and 4WD that can be left engaged on dry pavement. Even so, the latest F-150 is an advance over the previous model. This version brings its own share of innovation to the class. In passenger room, refinement, and on-road composure, it’s more than competitive with any full-size pickup.


Ford redesigned America’s best-selling pickups for 2004, giving them roomier cabs, more power, fresh styling, and new features. Regular-, extended-, and crew-cab body styles returned. All cabs now had four doors and were 6 inches longer and 4 inches wider than their predecessors.

The regular cab joined the SuperCab (extended cab) with rear-hinged “half doors” as standard. The SuperCrew crew cab returned with four front-hinged doors. Both extended and crew-cab models contained a rear bench seat for six-passenger capacity. The added cab length in extended models allowed the rear seatback to recline to the same angle as in the crew cabs.

Crew cabs used a 5.5-foot cargo bed. Other F-150s had beds of 5.5, 6.5, and 8-foot length, depending on model. All pickups came in flat-side Styleside form; the 6.5-foot bed also was offered as a flare-fendered Flareside model.

Ford’s base engine was a 231-horsepower 4.6-liter V8. Optional was a 5.4-liter V8 rated at 300 horsepower, versus 260 in 2003. A four-speed automatic was the sole transmission–available for the first time with a floor-mounted shift lever. All models could be equipped with rear-wheel drive or with 4WD that had to be disengaged on dry pavement but included low-range gearing.

Antilock four-wheel disc brakes were standard. No side airbags were available. Ford said a new frame design improved rigidity. The half-doors on extended cabs could be fitted with roll-down windows, unique among full-size pickups. Tailgates had helper springs designed to make them easier to close.

Five trim levels were offered: work-oriented XL, sporty STX, mainstream XLT, off-road FX4, and luxury Lariat. Three different instrument-panel designs, along with trim variations, helped differentiate the versions. New features included modular overhead storage compartments inside the cab, which could be added or altered to suit a variety of applications, including DVD entertainment.

For a while, the redesigned F-150 was sold alongside the previous-generation F-150, renamed F-150 Heritage. Chief F-150 rivals included the Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram, Nissan Titan, and Toyota Tundra.

Yearly Updates

2005 F-150
Ford’s new base engine was a 4.2-liter V6 that developed 202 horsepower and came with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. A new super-exclusive King Ranch edition of the F-150 debuted this season, along with a Work Truck option package for the XL model.
2006 F-150
A new Harley-Davidson SuperCab model featured special trim and the 5.4-liter V8 engine. Fitted with a 6.5-foot Styleside cargo box and unique 22-inch wheels, the Harley-Davidson could have either 2WD or 4WD. Lariat, King Ranch and FX4 models could now get 20-inch wheels. Satellite radio became available for the King Ranch and Harley-Davidson. Traction control was now available for 2WD V8 models.
2007 F-150
America’s best-selling vehicle was available with a navigation system for 2007. A sport-themed FX2 package with specific trim was also newly available for 2WD XLT SuperCabs and SuperCrews.
2008 F-150
The 2008 Ford F-150 got a few new features like a rearview camera. Also new this year was Ford’s Cargo Management System. Available on any F-150 with the 6.5-foot Styleside box, this system came with two side rails, a pair of bins, a pair of crossbars, and a header bar.


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

After the 2004 model year, Ford’s F-150 came with a choice of four powertrains. The 202-horsepower 4.2-liter V6 engine works with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Only the four-speed automatic has been available with the 231-horsepower 4.6-liter V8, or the 300-horsepower 5.4-liter V8. Initial F-150s did not have a V6 choice.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/256
Engine HP 202
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/281
Engine HP 231
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 293
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


ohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.4/330
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 365
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

Ford’s 4.6-liter V8 delivers modest acceleration, but works well enough for light-duty hauling and commuting. The V6 also has adequate power for commuter duty, but will struggle with even modest loads in the bed. Acceleration is strong with the 5.4 V8, which is well suited to heavy work but still trails Dodge’s Hemi V8 for overall power and GM’s 5.3 V8 in refinement. With the 4.6-liter V8, the automatic transmission tends to rush upshifts and delay downshifts, frustrating passing response and driving in hilly terrain.

Fuel economy is about as expected for a big pickup: namely, not so good. A test 2WD Lariat SuperCab with 5.4 V8 averaged 13.2 mpg in mostly highway driving. An extended-use 4WD Lariat SuperCrew with that engine also managed 13.2 mpg, but in a mix of city and highway duty. All engines use regular-grade fuel.

A stiffer frame and revised rear suspension, compared to earlier models, yield a firm but reasonably comfortable ride that’s composed over big dips and swells. Still, the chassis jiggles and quivers on even mildly rippled surfaces–though SuperCrews suffer only minimally. With an empty bed, the F-150’s tail bounces more over potholes than class-leading GM rivals or the Toyota Tundra.

Firm, responsive steering highlights this pickup’s capable handling, though an F-150 is as ponderous as any other big pickup in tight maneuvers. Like all pickups, too, the rear end hops in bumpy corners. Electronic throttle control automatically adjusts to take jerkiness out of low-range 4WD driving. Powerful brakes have good pedal modulation. Ford’s claim that the F-150 is the quietest in its class is difficult to refute. Engines are subdued while cruising. Road and wind noise are low at highway speeds.

Pleasantly contemporary interiors range from spartan in XL models to opulent in leather-trimmed Lariat, King Ranch, and Harley-Davidson pickups. Handsome gauges are well-arranged, but some testers have considered them a bit small for easy viewing. Controls for audio and automatic climate systems are slightly undersized compared to those in other full-size pickups. Turn-signal/wiper stalks are too short for easiest operation, and the console-mounted shift lever is made of hollow-feeling plastic. Available steering-wheel toggles for some audio, climate and cruise functions are not distinct enough in placement, size, or identification.

Front seats are firm and flat, but comfortable, providing ample head and leg room. Seats in regular and extended cabs have integrated seatbelts; crew cabs use traditional pillar-mounted belts. Step-in is tall, but big doors mean entry/exit is typical of big pickups. Outward visibility is unobstructed.

Extended-cab rear seats are spacious enough for occasional adult use, though all except youngsters will likely long for the crew cab’s additional leg room. Both are nicely padded, and angled backrests add to comfort. Rear access doors don’t open independently of the front doors, but rear-seaters do get accessible handles to let themselves out. Only the Nissan Titan extended cab offers rear doors that don’t form a confining space when opened in tandem with front doors in tight quarters. The optional power sliding rear window (if installed) is a welcome convenience.

Ford made cargo-bed walls 2 inches higher than on previous models. This adds volume for hauling loose items, but makes loading and unloading from the side more difficult. Tailgate-assist with helper springs is a convenience, but complicates tailgate removal. Regular-cab rear door panels open to ease access to storage space behind the seats. SuperCab rear seat bottoms fold back to increase storage, but seat-frame corners jut into the cargo floor. With any cab, generously-sized map pockets in all doors highlight interior storage. The center-console bin is not as large or accessible as in the Dodge Ram. Ford’s innovative sliding center roof storage system is no better than fixed systems offered on competitors, but allows for easy aftermarket add-ons.


Model Tested: 2005 Ford F-150 4WD XLT ext. cab 5.4 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.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 2
Ride Quality - 4
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 9
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 10

Total: 56


crew cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
138.5 224.0 78.9 73.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1710 27.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.1 39.6 41.3 39.0
ext. cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
132.5 217.8 78.9 73.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1740 26.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.9 39.6 41.3 32.7
ext. cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
144.5 229.8 78.9 73.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1820 27.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.9 39.6 41.3 32.7
ext. cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
163.0 248.4 78.9 73.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
2640 27.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.9 39.6 41.3 32.7
reg. cab long bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
144.5 229.8 78.9 72.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
3020 27.0 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.9 NA 41.3 NA
reg. cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
126.0 211.2 78.9 72.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1890 26.0 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.9 NA 41.3 NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2004 F-150 crew cab


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

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


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

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Brake noise
Description: Brake shutter or judder may be caused by rotors and/or calipers and/or steering rack-and-pinion steering gear, which may require updated replacement parts. (2004-05)
Description: Vibration from the rear at speeds over 45 mph may be due to the parking brakes not fully releasing due to problem with parking brake cables. (2004-08)
Description: The fan clutch may be rather noisy, especially after a cold start. A quieter one has been released. (2004-05)
Cold-starting problems
Description: Poor drivability (including rough running, hesitation and backfiring) after cold soak when the ambient temperature is below 60 degrees requires recalibration of powertrain control module. (2007-08)
Door handles
Description: The inside door handle may not work because the cable comes disconnected and for which there is a locking clip now available. (2004)
Engine noise
Description: Chirping or squealing from the engine comportment is due to serpentine drive belt and an improved belt is available. (2004)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel gauge may be inaccurate and the check engine light may come on if the fuel level sender gets contaminated with sulfur in the gasoline. (2004-07)
Spark plugs
Description: Spark plugs tend to break off in the cylinder heads on 5.4L, 3-valve engine often requiring costly head removal. (2004-05)
Suspension noise
Description: Noise from the rear suspension in cold weather (below 15 degrees F) requires revised shock absorbers. (2005-06)
Vehicle noise
Description: The limited slip differential may chatter on slow turns, for which there are improved clutch packs. (2004)
Vehicle shake
Description: A vibration at highway speed felt in the floor and/or steering wheel may be corrected by installation of a frame-mounted damper kit. (2004-05)
Water leak
Description: A campaign was issued to replace the right side panel of the pickup box on 6-1/2 ft. bed trucks because water gets trapped and can lead to rust-through. (2004)
Check-engine light
Description: The throttle position sensor on the 4.6L V8 may go bad causing the check engine light to come on. (2004-05)

Recall History

2004 F-150
Description: Depression in fuel tank could lead to illumination of check engine light, odor, or fuel leak. Dealer will inspect and replace fuel tank.
2004 F-150 Heritage
Description: For 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.
2004-06 F-150
Description: Certain Anzo replacement combination lamps lack amber side reflectors.
2005-06 F-150
Description: ABS warning light may fail to illuminate if unit becomes inoperative.
2005-06 F-150
Description: Tires on some vehicles could wear prematurely.
2005-06 F-150 with 5.4-liter 3-valve engines
Description: The brake-booster supply tube, which helps provide power brake assist, may swell and separate from its fitting, increasing brake-pedal effort significantly. Dealers will replace a rubber hose on the brake-booster vacuum-supply-tube assembly.
2005-2006 F-150 pickup trucks manufactured at the Norfolk assembly plant from November 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005
Description: If the clockspring jumper wire comes in contact with the driver side frontal air bag lower horn plate, the wire insulation may become chafed, creating a potential for a short circuit. If this occurs the air bag warning lamp may illuminate indicating that service is required. The driver side frontal air bag could inadvertently deploy increasing the risk of injury or loss of vehicle control if occurring while in motion. Ford will notify owners and instruct them to take their vehicles to a Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealer to have a new clockspring jumper wire installed that incorporates a protective mesh cover. Repairs will be performed free of charge.
2006 F-150
Description: Windshield wiper motor may have been produced without grease being applied to output shaft gear, which could lead to loss of wiper function.
2007 F-150
Description: These trucks may have a fuel tank with a depression at the seam between the top and bottom halves of the tank (not visible from outside the fuel tank). If a depression is large enough, fuel may permeate the fuel tank wall resulting in a fuel odor, or a “service engine soon” indicator light. If left uncorrected, a fuel leak could eventually develop. Dealers will replace the fuel tank.
2007-08 w/Roush liquid propane conversion
Description: The hydro-carbon paper affixed to the inside of the airbox lid with adhesive may become dislodged during operation, possibly resulting in loss of performance, illumination of the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) or stalling.

Equipment Lists

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