Used Car Review

2012 Ford F-150: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo December 2014

The 2012 Ford F-150 is part of a long line of full-size pickups that have consistently been the top-selling vehicles in America for more than 30 years running. The 2012 model year brought some notable improvements to the line, namely a larger 36-gallon fuel tank on EcoBoost-equipped models, the addition of Hill Start Assist and a new automatic 4x4 system for Lariat and higher trims. Also new for 2012 was the introduction of the FX Appearance package, which added flat black accents, flat black wheels and black leather seating with red piping. SuperCrew models provide limousine-like legroom for rear passengers, while the plush King Ranch and Platinum trims provide a level of luxury that is on par with the Lincoln Navigator SUV. Offering superior economy and comfort, the 2012 Ford F-150 is a great choice if your pickup truck must also serve as a family shuttle.

What We Like

Good fuel economy; comfortable ride; class-leading towing and payload; integrated tailgate step ladder; flat load floor in the SuperCrew

What We Don't

Frivolous rear hinged doors on regular cab; 5.5-ft bed isn't very useful; high-end trims can get pricey.

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The Ford F-150 offers a choice of four engines. The base engine is a 3.7-liter V6 that's good for 302 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Two V8s are offered: a 5.0-liter engine that produces 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque and a 6.2-liter that's good for 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque. Finally, there's the 3.5-liter EcoBoost turbocharged V6 that produces an impressive 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. All F-150s use a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel economy for the base 3.7-liter engine to be 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway with 2-wheel drive, and 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy with 4-wheel drive. The 5.0-liter V8 earns 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy with 2-wheel drive and 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy with 4-wheel drive. Both the 3.7- and 5.0-liter engines can also run on E85, but when doing so, they see a significant decrease in fuel economy. The SVT Raptor's optional 6.2-liter V8 is rated at 11 mpg city/16 mpg hwy with standard 4-wheel drive, while the 3.5-liter EcoBoost earns 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy with 2-wheel drive and 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy with 4-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The Ford F-150 comes in three cab styles: Regular Cab, SuperCab and SuperCrew, with cargo beds ranging from 5.5 to 8 ft in length. There are 10 trims, starting with the XL and moving up to the STX, XLT, FX2, FX4, Lariat, Harley-Davidson, SVT Raptor, King Ranch and Platinum.

The base XL comes with a vinyl bench seat and floor cover, air conditioning, manual windows and mirrors, AM/FM radio, tilt steering wheel, removable locking tailgate, 17-inch steel wheels and the 4.6-liter V8 engine. Standard safety features include AdvanceTrac with roll stability control, front-seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags.

The STX jazzes things up a bit with a 40/20/40-split cloth bench seat, MyKey programmable key fob, styled steel wheels, body-colored bumpers, a CD player, an auxiliary input jack and even more available option packages.

The XLT improves things significantly by adding power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, alloy wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, upgraded interior trim, upgraded cloth seats and chrome accents.

The FX4 brings a rugged off-road package that includes standard 4-wheel drive, the 5.4-liter V8 engine, off-road springs and shocks, 18-in wheels, additional skid plate protection, bucket seats with a center console, telescoping steering column and a power driver's seat.

The Lariat and King Ranch up the ante with leather seating, heated front seats (heated and cooling front and heated rear bench seat on King Ranch), power adjustable pedals, 10-way power driver and passenger seats with driver's side memory, upgraded wheels, exterior paint choices and the SYNC voice-activated audio system.

The Harley-Davidson edition includes most of the Lariat's standard equipment plus special leather interior, custom exterior paint and unique 22-in wheels.

The SVT Raptor is the sports car of the bunch, with a lifted heavy-duty off-road suspension, bigger tires and wheels, protective skid plates, sport seats and an available 6.2-liter V8.

Platinum pickups include all the King Ranch features plus 20-in wheels, heated rear seats, a power sliding rear window, unique paint and interior trim, Sony audio, upgraded leather seating surfaces and more available options.

Options for the F-150 include a number of work-solution features, such as an integrated tailgate step ladder, a pop-out side step for easy access to the bed, a stowable bed extender, the Tool Link radio frequency tracking system (for keeping track of tools at the work site) and an in-dash computer with Internet capability. Comfort and convenience features vary by trim and include navigation radio, Sony audio, SYNC and Bluetooth connectivity, a power sunroof, a sliding rear window with defroster, retractable side steps, a rear backup camera, rear parking sensors and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. An electronic rear axle replaces most of the limited-slip units on models equipped with the EcoBoost and 5.0-liter engines.

Pricing

With so many trims and cab configurations on the market, the F-150's pricing can range from bargain-basement to a premium price tag. As the F-150 holds middle-of-the-road 5-year resale value, it should be easy to get into a nicely outfitted XLT for less than a comparably equipped Toyota Tundra. The Dodge RAM and Nissan Titan hold slightly lower resale values. To get a good idea of the F-150's price range, we suggest checking out the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search AutoTrader to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2012 Ford F-150:

A recall was issued for a possible problem with the passenger airbag seat sensor that detects if an occupant is in the seat. The sensor could misclassify the weight of the occupant, possibly resulting in the airbag failing to deploy, deploying late or deploying when it should not.

Another recall pertained to a reverse gear range sensor calibrated out of the specification range allowed under federal law.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The Ford F-150 earned five out of five stars in the NHTSA front- and side-impact crash tests. In the rollover roof-strength test, the 4x2 model earned only four out of five stars, while the 4x4 model earned three stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Ford F-150 its highest rating of Good in the frontal offset and side-impact crash tests.

The 2012 F-150 left the factory with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. In addition to the new vehicle warranty, second owners can purchase extended coverage when they buy from a certified pre-owned (CPO) Ford dealership. CPO vehicles come with a 169-point inspection and a 6-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty starting from the time the vehicle enters service.

Other Cars to Consider

Used Toyota Tundra -- The Tundra offers strong V6 and V8 engines that are on par with the F-150, but it doesn't have as diverse a model range or features menu. The Tundra does, however, hold better resale values.

Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500 -- The Silverado can almost match the F-150 in capacity and features, but it can't match the F-150 for horsepower, towing, resale or crash-test worthiness.

Used RAM 1500 -- The RAM offers the power of a HEMI V8 plus a smoother ride and better interior cabin materials, but it can't match the F-150 for power, towing or resale.

AutoTrader's Advice

With so many trims and configurations to choose from, it's impossible to say which is the best. For most people, the XLT SuperCab or SuperCrew will offer the most value, but try to find one with either the 5.0-liter V8 or EcoBoost V6. If money is no object, a 4-wheel-drive King Ranch is about as American as an American pickup truck can get.

Find a Ford F-150 for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Ford F-150: Used Car Review - Autotrader