It turns out that switching to aluminum bodies on the Ford F-150 didn’t drive up repair costs after all, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Way back in 2015 for the 13th generation of F-150 pickup, Ford announced a big change in their best-selling truck’s overall construction. Previously, all F-150s had been made with steel bodies. They were heavy, strong, and dependable. But then Ford revealed the 2015 model year F-150 with an aluminum body and people lost their collective minds.
The problem is most people think of a soda can when they imagine aluminum--it’s brittle, easily dented, and can be crush into something a fraction of the size using nothing but the human cranium. People thought that an aluminum F-150 would lose all that legendary Ford toughness that that brand had become known for. Worse, it would cost you an arm and a leg to repair the thing when it inevitably self-destructed.
Turns out, that’s not the case at all. The aluminum generation is just as tough and no more expensive to repair than the previous steel-bodied F-150s.
The news comes courtesy of the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), a subdivision of the IIHS. The HLDI analyzes insurance claims to see what patterns emerge between specific vehicle models, which is important in determining insurance premiums. If a particular model costs a lot to repair, then that model’s premiums will be higher.
So, did switching to aluminum make the F-150 more expensive to repair? Nope! In fact, it remains one of the cheapest options for a pickup truck, with collision losses listed as 31.8% below those of the average vehicle. The previous steel-bodied F-150 had collision loses at 30.3% below average, making the current F-150 a slightly better deal.
The F-150 did lose some ground in the comprehensive losses category, which determines the cost of repair/replacement in situations that don’t involve a collision (such as accidentally driving into a lake). In this category, the F-150 only came in at 8.8% below average, while the previous-gen steel-bodied F-150 was 21.8% below average.
Still, the aluminum F-150 stacks up pretty well against other modern pickups. Check out the listing below for how well aluminum works for Ford.
Comprehensive Losses:Ford F-150 (31.8% below average)Ram 1500 (14% below average)GMC Sierra (10.7% below average)Chevy Silverado (10.3% below average)Toyota Tundra (8% below average)Nissan Titan (13.5% above average)
Collision Losses:Ram 1500 (10.6% below average)Ford F-150 (8.8% below average)Toyota Tundra (2.2% below average)Chevy Silverado (2% above average)GMC Sierra (7.5% above average)Nissan Titan (72% above average)