A new Ford F-450 can cost upwards of $47,000. The most expensive trim levels can easily top $85,000. That’s a huge investment that places the F-450 out of reach of many potential buyers and businesses. Or does it? Save a ton of money buying a used Ford F-450. Like all Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks, a Ford F-450 can tow and haul a ton, making this heavy duty truck one of the best workers in the auto industry. The F-450 differentiates itself from the F-350 with its extra wide stance and 19.5 commercial-grade tires. In this guide to the used Ford F-450, we’ll discuss the different generations of the F-450 so you can make an informed purchase and save a ton of money in the bargain.
Third Generation (2017-present)
The third generation of the Ford F-450 meant even more work capacity than ever before thanks to significantly tougher underpinnings, a more powerful turbodiesel engine, and a larger crew cab. That cab can be outfitted with Sync or SYNC 3 infotainment systems on an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, 110-volt outlets, and premium audio systems. Features vary widely between the base trim and upper trims, so check to make sure you’re getting what you really want. The King Ranch and Platinum models are the most tech- and feature-rich trim levels while the XL and XLT are the workhorses. The Lariat sits snugly in the middle.
The third generation also benefits from improvements to its suspension, which translates to a smoother ride and tighter turn radius. The 6.7-liter turbodiesel engine really gets the job done with no end to power.
Second Generation (2011-2016)
The second generation of Ford F-450s looks dated by today’s standards. But you’re probably not looking for beauty, but brawn. Even these older trucks can tow up to 22,000 pounds, thanks to its turbocharged 6.7-liter V8 diesel delivering a generous 400 horsepower with 800 pound-feet of peak torque.
It’s probably best to steer clear of the 2012 model year, which had a few reported engine problems like seized engines or engine failure. Like most generations, the later the model year, the better its track record.
First Generation (1999-2010)
Before 2011, the Ford F-450 came only as a chassis cab and had to be custom upfitted to spec at a separate facility than the manufacturer. If you find one of these first-generation models, keep in mind that every 7,500 miles you need to add diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Your best model years for reported problems were 2000 and 2003, when zero reported issues. And it’s probably a good idea to avoid 2008 Ford F-450s due to reported engine and cooling system problems. This generation can tow more than 17,000 pounds.