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The F-150 SuperCrew has a large and versatile cab, but feels ungainly and uncomfortable. The powertrain performs well, although it isn't particularly smooth and quiet when compared to its competitors. A poor offset crash-test result is cause for concern.
Alerts
There are 11 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2001. ESC standard from 2009.
Road Test

The F-150 SuperCrew has a large and versatile cab, but feels ungainly and uncomfortable. The powertrain performs well, although it isn't particularly smooth and quiet when compared to its competitors. A poor offset crash-test result is cause for concern.

Seating
3 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
extended cab
regular cab
crew cab
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4.2-liter V6 (202 hp)
  • 4.6-liter V8 (248 hp)
  • 5.4-liter V8 supercharged (380 hp)
  • 5.4-liter V8 supercharged (340 hp)
  • 5.4-liter V8 (260 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 Ford F-150 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“Hood paint began chipping, but not from any kind of contact. Looks like poor painting; had same problem previously with the cab top”

Craig H., AZ (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“Left front door paint started to blister”

Lloyd S., NS (2003 Ford F-150 King Ranch 5.4-L V8)

“The black paint on the side step rails is peeling off”

Larry D., IN (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

“Over the years, in the Florida sun the Red paint has completely faded on the roof”

Robert R., FL (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“Extrior paint fades in certain areas”

Rayford G., LA (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“Paint peeling at rusty places”

Anonymous, QC (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)

“Sills on both sides are rusted out with holes and frame is starting to rust”

Anonymous, CT (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

“Rust everywhere”

Anonymous, ON (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)

“Truck rocker panels have rusted through, rust is also around the wheel wells on the bed, the frame is badly rusted”

Anonymous, AL (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“I'm getting rust along the lower rear quarter panels”

Larry D., IN (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

“The entire body has rust problems. We've had it repaired twice already, and it still needs more work. Very disappointing”

Susan P., NH (2003 Ford F-150 Unsure Unsure)

“Rust shows in many places”

Anonymous, QC (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

“Replaced after 13 years of ownership”

Anonymous, MS (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“Battery icon came on and gauge started to show discharge.Had it checked but needed fully charged battery to do so.Bought new battery then alternator after checking out bad”

Anonymous, IL (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“Check engine light began flashing and engine began to lose power.Mechanic said I needed full tuneup with all new coils and plugs.2 coils were cracked and plugs were very worn”

Anonymous, IL (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“Two coils failed; pulled and replaced”

Fredrick D., FL (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)
Spark plugs or wires failure

“Spark plug broke in the engine block - 2nd time, 1st time we were able to repair ourselves, 2nd time we had to have dealer retap”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson 5.4-L V8 supercharged)

“Some of the spark plugs and coils failed and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.2-L V6)

“Coils fail repeatedly”

Anonymous, ON (2003 Ford F-150 King Ranch 5.4-L V8)

“Spark plug blew out of port, stripping threads out, known problem with the motor and aluminum heads. Requires re-threaded insert, such a well known problem dealer had Ford correction part on hand, repair shop fixed in less than 24 hours”

Anonymous, MD (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

“Spark plug blew out of the cylinder head. They tell me this is a known issue with this engine. Special tool was made for repairing this failure”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

“Normal repair due to use”

Fredrick D., FL (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)

“Spark plug receptical threads are wearing down; replaced cylinder #3 with external receptical for spark plug. Cost $500.00. Fords traditionally have 10 year life on spark plug engine threads. I have been very fortunate so far. All cylinders still full power. Just this spark plug threads problem. Alternative is to retool all plug recepticals but that would cost about $2400.00. I am getting ready to replace this truck”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.5-L V8)

“Had to replace starter after 13 years of ownership”

Anonymous, MS (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“Was a defective sensor”

Frank E., MD (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

“It would not release”

Anonymous, LA (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“Calipers ceased to open on occasion. Created wear on pads and extreme heat to rims. One mechanic thought it was ABS computer, but second opinion told me to replace calipers and problem was solved”

Jaime F., TX (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“New calipers were installed incorrectly and had to have the vehicle towed”

David K., VA (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.5-L V8)
Master cylinder

“I had problems with with fading breaks and at the advise of the mechanic had the master cylinder replaced. Which did not cure the problem. Then needed to have the break system controller replaced. All of this was expensive and resulted in having to find transportation for 3 weeks while was repaired. Now the ADS system is starting to have problems and I'm told the sensor units need replacing”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)
Premature brake wear

“brakes seize up”

Anonymous, ON (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)

“planning to replace rotors and pads”

Anonymous, WA (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.2-L V6)

“had to replace brakes on all four wheels”

Frank E., MD (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Difficulty with truck out of alignment with no curb or pot hole incidents causing great wear and replacement of tires also needing alignment and other related repair work which is expensive. Told common in Ford 150”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat Unsure)
Ball joints

“fair wear and tear”

Dale F., MN (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“Normal replacement”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)

“High pressure hose began to weep from O-Ring replaced myself for $60”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)
Power steering pumps and hoses

“Hose connection point to pump cracked and blew out all fluid. Required new pump”

Anonymous, MD (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

“Front shock stated to leak oil, I changed both of them”

Anonymous, CT (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)
Springs or torsion bars

“Replace bushings three times”

Len L., MN (2003 Ford F-150 XL 5.4-L V8)
Tire wear is uneven

“Clock won't change daylight savings time without great difficulty”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat Unsure)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“EGR valve required replacement after producing fault codes showing gross leak”

Todd B., FL (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.5-L V8)

“OBDII will not connect/ transmit any information”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“Catalytic converter failing”

Anonymous, FL (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“PVC hoses cracked/leaked causing engine to run rough and stall, engine was running too rich”

Richard B., TN (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)
Fuel pump

“Fuel pump failure. Second fuel pump failure within 5 year period”

Walter K., MD (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.2-L V6)

“Stopped running. Dealer replaced fuel pump for $900. Stopped running again. Replaced fuel relay”

Anonymous, GA (2003 Ford F-150 King Ranch 5.4-L V8)

“A warning light came on on the dashboard. I took it to my mechanic and they diagnosed it as a small emissions sensor on top of the gas tank. The replacement cost would be over $350. They told me it in no way affects my engine and is not letting bad emissions of any consequence into the air. I chose not to have it fixed. My state has a emissions check every few years. It they catch it I'll replace it if required”

Jennings G., MD (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“Bad sensor near gas fill pipe causing Check Engine light to remain lit”

Robert C., MI (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

“over heats”

Anonymous, TN (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“Six disk CD changer does not work at all”

Anonymous, GA (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)
Display screen goes blank

“speedometer quit working”

Anonymous, KS (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.5-L V8)
Radio

“Works sometimes.......sometime not”

Anonymous, KS (2003 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson 5.4-L V8 supercharged)

“Radio volume control and lights don't work”

Linda N., GA (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)
Speakers

“Left speaker occasionally drops out and can be restored by cranking up the volume. Interior Door panel was removed and speaker wire connections were checked and problem couldn't be duplicated at dealership, but continues to occur. I just turn up the volume and it's OK for awhile. An annoying quirk!”

Adrian D., ME (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

“Simple 100K mile service”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson 5.4-L V8 supercharged)
Engine knock or ping

“This was an intermittent problem that was finally linked to the spark plug/coil problem that required the coils to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.2-L V6)
Oil leaks

“Seal between engine and transmission has been leaking for a while”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“Oil pan leak gasket”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“Oil drips onto the pavement below; but not enough to require the addition of more oil into the engine”

Ken B., AR (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.2-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“The roof leaks into the headliner, causing the electronic sensors in the headliner to malfunction and leaking water onto the driver and passenger when sharp turns are made”

Dede A., TX (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“Air conditioning condensate water leaks onto the front passenger floor area”

Ken B., AR (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.2-L V6)

“water leaked in the cab from rear window seal”

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)
Wind noise

“The rear doors don't alwaysshut tight, preventing the front door from sealing proooooooperly”

Dale F., MN (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“Changed the door weatherstripping but wind noise continues”

Jack C., NM (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“Needed to be replaced along with lines”

Len L., MN (2003 Ford F-150 XL 5.4-L V8)
Automatic climate control

“Will not blow out front vents, be lived to be a vacuum issue”

Ken B., FL (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“Rebuilt climate control module. Problem switching from cold to hot persisted. Probably blend door problem”

Anonymous, GA (2003 Ford F-150 King Ranch 5.4-L V8)
Blower (fan) motor

“when on AC blowing normal dash front vents, it will suddenly start blowing thru the defrost vents and dash vents blow nothing. it may switch back and it might not”

Anonymous, MS (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

“just something i do every 2 to 3 years is add freon”

Ken M., IN (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.2-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Mirrors

“outside mirror never operated satisfactorily with the inside lever”

Rayford G., LA (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)
Seat belts

“belt retractor lost tension....$650 for Ford to repair”

John K., HI (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)
Windows

“Rear window seal is leaking. Research on the internet suggest this is a reacting problem with this model. Not an easy fix, must remove & then replace the seal”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

“Window trim around upper brake light leaks. Ruined carpet. Mold”

Anonymous, FL (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

“The re plugs in front don't work and the trail connector as everything connected to it went out in a storm while on vacation”

Linda N., GA (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)
Clock

“radio/clock lighting stays out most of the time now for about a year but it will come on once in a while”

Anonymous, MS (2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4-L V8)
Headlights

“Headlights won't shut off consistently, brights will come on and stay on”

Anonymous, MO (2003 Ford F-150 Unsure Unsure)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“Partially plugged causing truck not having power”

Duane M., OH (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.5-L V8)
Exhaust manifold

“Ford service manager told me many years of the Ford trucks have had exhaust manifold cracking and bolts breaking”

Anonymous, NY (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“I was having my car serviced at a tire place and they had my truck jacked up and we opened the hood to get out the tool to lower my spare tire. Long story short we created a vapor lock in my exhaust system. I was told that I would need to replace my catylitic converts, but when I went to a muffler shop, I was told that my catalytics were okay, I needed a new muffler”

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford F-150 Lightning 5.4-L V8 supercharged)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“Had noise coming from rear of truck and it turned out to be a damaged driveshaft”

Anonymous, TX (2003 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson 5.4-L V8 supercharged)
Differential

“limited slip rear end”

Norman T., VA (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 4.2-L V6)

“Had to have entire rebuild over $600”

Anonymous, MI (2003 Ford F-150 XL 4.2-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

“Had 2 different cylinders blow a spark plug out the top”

Robert H., CO (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

“Leaking head gasket at about 150 K miles. Finally fixed; exspensive repair”

Robert H., CO (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“Truck shudders when accelerating and turning from a stop. Clutch pack in rear differential need to be replaced”

Anonymous, MI (2003 Ford F-150 XLT 5.4-L V8)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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