What to Consider When Buying a Used Ford

By KBB Editors 12/26/2021 9:07pm

2022 Ford ExplorerWhen shopping for a used Ford vehicle, there are some essential items to consider before going to the dealership. Two significant facts that should be considered early in the pre-owned vehicle buying process are how the vehicle will be used and how many passengers will be regularly transported. In addition to vehicle usage, desired gas mileage and budget should also be considered.

You will also want to determine which is right for you – a traditional used vehicle or a certified pre-owned vehicle. Like other CPO programs, the Ford Blue Advantage program costs a bit more, but provides the added confidence of a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection and manufacturer-backed warranty protection.

Tips for Buying a Used Ford

Ford sells multiple vehicles for each segment, and choosing the right used car, truck, or SUV can take a bit of time to decide. The Ford lineup includes everything from small SUVs to big trucks.

Choosing the Right Body Style

When buying a used Ford, you’ll have to decide what body style will be best suited for your needs and what you plan on doing with the vehicle. Shoppers looking for a work vehicle might be drawn to the utility of a truck, while those looking for a commuter car might be interested in a hatchback. Ford vehicles are available in six body styles, and each one provides a unique set of benefits.

Convertible – There is a certain freedom that a top-down convertible offers. The thrill of feeling the wind on your face while driving on your favorite backroad is something that only a convertible can provide. Although convertibles may be fun to drive, they lack practicality for everyday use in many circumstances, especially when cargo capacity is important.

Coupe – Coupes are two-door cars with a sloping roofline that creates a sleek look. Coupes are typically going to be sports cars. However, a few models have sporty styling but lack the power and handling associated with sports cars. If more than two people or child seats will be regularly transported, accessing the rear seat of a coupe may become tiring.

Hatchback – Hatchbacks are available in three-door and five-door configurations, and they both feature a large rear hatch to accommodate larger cargo. Hatchbacks are the most versatile car body style since they have a larger cargo capacity than a sedan when the rear seat is folded down. The shorter length of hatchbacks compared to sedans also makes them more maneuverable in tight spaces.

Sedan – Sedans are four-door cars and usually the largest car body style with the most passenger space. Although sedans offer less cargo space than hatchbacks, they provide more security due to the lockable trunk. If you want to transport four adults comfortably, then a full-size sedan is an excellent choice.

SUV – Sport utility vehicles offer the most interior space of any vehicle body style outside of minivans. There is a wide range of SUVs, and the largest can accommodate up to eight passengers and still have room for cargo. Larger full-size SUVs are also highly capable of towing heavy loads that would typically be reserved for a full-size truck.

Truck – Trucks are a great choice if you need to haul messy or heavy cargo. The bed of a pickup truck is the ideal place to carry cargo that wouldn’t easily fit in an SUV. In addition to having a large payload capacity, trucks can tow significantly more weight than an SUV when equipped with a heavy-duty towing package.

Choosing the Right Model

With over twenty models to choose from, there is bound to be a used Ford car, truck, or SUV that piques your interest. Ford offers a wide range of automobiles that fulfill varied driving needs, from fuel-efficient cars to heavy-duty trucks.

Used Ford Cars

There are many body styles available when it comes to buying a used Ford car: coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks, and sedans. Each body style offers unique benefits and can be combined with a variety of features.

Ford C-Max – A roomy hatchback that focuses on utility rather than performance. The C-Max Energi PHEV features a 7.6-kWh battery that provides 20-miles of range.

Ford Fiesta – Ford’s smallest car is available in hatchback and sedan body styles. The Fiesta hatchback is available in ST trim, increasing power output, and handling capabilities.

Ford Focus – The Ford Focus is available in multiple body styles, but the hatchback version has proven to be more popular. The Focus ST and Focus RS are hot hatches that deliver plenty of power from their turbocharged four-cylinder engines.

Ford Fusion – Available with gasoline, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid powertrains, the Fusion is Ford’s most versatile sedan. The PHEV Fusion provides 26-miles of battery range from a 9-kWh battery.

Ford Mustang – The Mustang is Ford’s longest-running production car dating back to the 60s. Drivers looking for maximum performance should consider one of the Mustang Shelby models emphasizing racetrack performance.

Ford Taurus – The largest car in the Ford lineup and is available with AWD. The Taurus SHO pushed the power output to the limit with a 3.5 EcoBoost engine that produced 365 hp/350 lb-ft with the help of twin-turbochargers.

Used Ford SUVs

Ford offers a variety of SUVs that range from rugged off-roaders to eight-passenger family haulers.

Ford Bronco – A classic is reborn with the Bronco, and it’s ready to tackle off-road terrain with ease. The Bronco features a removable roof and is available in two-door and four-door configurations.

Ford Bronco Sport – Not ready to deal with the sacrifices of driving a hardcore off-roader daily? The Bronco Sport bridges the gap between off-road and on-road performance near perfectly.

Ford EcoSport – The EcoSport is the smallest SUV in the Ford lineup, making it easy to maneuver around cities. The standard AWD and combined fuel economy of 26 mpg makes the EcoSport a solid choice as a daily driver in regions with inclement weather.

Ford Edge – Ford’s midsize SUV almost falls perfectly in the middle when it comes to size compared to the other SUVs in the lineup. Drivers looking for a sporty SUV should consider the Edge ST powered by a 2.7L V6 EcoBoost engine that produces 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque.

Ford Expedition – The largest SUV in Ford’s lineup with seating for seven or eight passengers depending on the configuration. Drivers who need the most cargo capacity should consider looking at the Expedition Max for a vehicle that can do it all.

Ford Explorer – The best-selling SUV of all time has been in production since 1991. Drivers looking for a mid-size SUV with a bit more off-road capabilities should consider the Explorer Timberline with its increased ground clearance and underbody protection.

Ford Flex – A boxy SUV that emphasizes cargo capacity and on-road handling. The Flex offers three rows of seating and can carry up to seven passengers.

Ford Mustang Mach-E – The Mustang Mach- E is Ford’s electric SUV. The Mustang Mach-E is capable of 0-60 times as low as 3.7 seconds in the GT trim.

Used Ford Trucks

The Ford F-150 is the best-selling pickup truck in America and has been leading the truck segment for decades which means there are plenty of options for buying a used Ford truck.

Ford Ranger - A midsize truck that emphasizes outdoor activities rather than heavy loads like the F-Series trucks.

Ford Raptor – Are you looking for more power, ground clearance, and racing technology? The Ford Raptor is a Baja-proven race truck ready to tackle any terrain.

Ford F-150 – The F-150 is Ford’s light-duty truck capable of towing up to 14,000 lbs and carrying a 3,250 lb payload.

Ford F-250 – The F-250 is a heavy-duty truck that can tow up to 20,000 lbs and has a maximum payload rating of 4,260 lbs

Ford F-350 – the F-350 is available in single rear wheel and dual wheel configurations depending on the cargo-hauling needs. An F-350 DRW is capable of towing up to 35,000 lbs.

Ford Maverick – A compact truck that breaks the stereotype of what a pickup should be. The Maverick is a compact truck with an available hybrid powertrain that delivers a combined fuel economy rating of 37 mpg.

Choosing the Right Fuel Type

Ford vehicles are available in various fuel types, and each one offers its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. The most common fuel type is gasoline, and it has been powering internal combustion engines for over 100 years. In recent years a shift to electricity has begun to help minimize the environmental impact of cars.

Gasoline – Gas is the most commonly used fuel type for vehicles on the road today. Gasoline is typically available in three octane grades which can include 87, 89, and 93. Higher octane gasoline offers improved performance in high-power engines due to its resistance to premature detonation.

Diesel – Diesel can produce more miles per gallon than gasoline because of the increased energy density. Vehicles will typically see a 20% improvement in fuel economy compared to their gasoline counterparts. Diesel engines require more expensive maintenance than gas engines, and the additional cost should be factored into the cost of ownership.

Hybrid – Through the combination of gasoline and electricity, hybrids are able to offer improved fuel economy. One of the ways that hybrids can boost efficiency is through regenerative braking. Every time the vehicle slows down or comes to a stop, the battery pack is recharged, which is essentially free energy.

Plug-In Hybrid – Taking one step closer to being an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrids are able to operate using just electricity for a short distance. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have smaller battery packs than pure electric vehicles, and can typically drive 30-50 miles on electricity alone before the gasoline engine needs to turn on. PHEVs are a good choice for city drivers that spend a lot of time in stop-and-go traffic or those looking to lessen the environmental impact of running a few errands around town.

Electric – Electricity is a renewable energy source with less environmental impact than fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel. Electric motors differ from traditional internal combustion engines in how they make power, which allows for faster acceleration. ICE vehicles must reach a certain RPM before maximum torque is produced, while electric vehicles deliver peak torque instantly.

Used vs. Certified

After narrowing down the massive selection of pre-owned vehicles for sale, it is time to make the final decision in the buying process. Should you buy a used Ford or a certified pre-owned one? While buying a used vehicle may cost less, not having a manufacturer warranty is a negative for quite a few buyers. High on every used car buyer’s research list should be the maintenance required to keep an aging vehicle running smoothly. Keep in mind that vehicles that were more expensive when new will tend to have more expensive replacement parts.

Although certified used Ford vehicles may cost more, the peace of mind that a manufacturer warranty provides might be worth it. The Ford Blue Advantage program offers two tiers of certification, including Blue and Gold. Both levels of certification must pass a rigorous multi-point vehicle inspection, and vehicles must not exceed a specific age/mileage to qualify.