At $3,500, Could This Plain Jane 2001 Ford F150 XL Be A Plain-Good Deal?

Illustration for article titled At $3,500, Could This Plain Jane 2001 Ford F150 XL Be A Plain-Good Deal?
Image: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Ford’s F150 has been the country’s best selling vehicle for decades, but few sold have been strippers like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 2001. Let’s see if its low-specs come with an appreciably low price.

It’s a simple fact that no matter where you live, the weather is going to impact your car. It could be something as simple as the summer sun fading once bright paint and upholstery. Alternatively, wet winters could turn you into the captain of a ghost ship due to rust.

The lack of corrosion was a main selling point of yesterday’s 1989 Nissan Pathfinder XE. It was offered in rust-prone Minneapolis but was said to be from a less car-cancer rich state. Along with being a solid citizen, the Pathfinder also sported a desirable five-speed manual transmission and the funky two-door body that was a real blast from the past. None of that seemed to add up to the truck’s $4,500 asking price though, and it fell in a narrow but decisive 53 percent Crack Pipe loss.


Hey, I have something for you roll around in your head for a couple of minutes here—at what point in does something that’s valued for being simple and straight-forward become boring and dull? You know what I mean; when do you graduate from tick-tack-toe to chess?

For some people, tick-tack-toe is plenty for a lifetime. Those folks just need the basics to get through life and can’t be bothered with anything “extra” or any unnecessarily complexity just to put on airs.

For those simple folk, this 2001 Ford F150 XL could be the perfect ride.

Illustration for article titled At $3,500, Could This Plain Jane 2001 Ford F150 XL Be A Plain-Good Deal?

Now, Ford’s F150 has been the best selling vehicle here in the States for like... oh, forever. It’s been a long run and to maintain its popularity, Ford has made damn sure to cover all the truck’s bases. That means a range that tops out with Lincoln-levels of luxury and convenience all the way down to trucks that do nothing more than keep your ass off the ground and can cart around a reasonable amount of stuff. This truck is one of the latter, and I think it’s glorious for that.

Check it out; when was the last time you saw armstrong windows on any vehicle from this century? Heck, when was the last time you saw a full bench and standard cab on a pickup? There’s just so much missing here—carpet, power locks, any semblance of chrome trim—that there’s very little that can go wrong or cost all that much should something wear out.

Illustration for article titled At $3,500, Could This Plain Jane 2001 Ford F150 XL Be A Plain-Good Deal?

The tenth generation of F150 is unique in its style. It’s the “aero-truck” of the series looking more like a pickup version of the Ford Taurus than a boxy hauler. The rounded corners and sloping nose give the truck a smaller, less imposing appearance, and some people don’t like that. I happen to think it’s one of the best looking of the series, and has held up well over the years.


Here it comes in Wedgewood Blue over a grey cloth interior, rolling on silver steelie wheels and a 120-inch short bed chassis. Both bumpers and the nose are contrasting dark grey and look to be in solid shape. If this truck were white you’d most likely be automatically directing its occupant to the gas meter or electrical panel. Here in blue, it’s anonymous but far from ugly.

Illustration for article titled At $3,500, Could This Plain Jane 2001 Ford F150 XL Be A Plain-Good Deal?

There are 174,000 miles on the clock, and aside from some significant chipping of the paint on the wheels, those don’t seem to show at all. The cloth upholstery looks intact and un-marred as do all the plastics that abound in the cab.

Power comes from Ford’s 4.2-litre Essex V6, a Canadian-built mill that started out life in the ‘80s as a 3.8, That powered things like T-birds and Windstars, and while this engine line was 90° between its banks it’s not a V8 with two pots lopped off as legend would have it.


The stroked 4.2 debuted in the F150 in 1997 in replacement of the long-serving 4.9-litre straight-six. As entry-level engine in the F-150, the Essex pumped out a modest but serviceable 205 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Here it gets paired with a Mazda-sourced five-speed manual gearbox which sends power to the rear axle exclusively.

A few of the ads we have featured this week have been frustratingly light on vehicle details, and the one for this F150 is no exception. Here’s everything offered in the ad’s copy:

Ford Blue F150 2001 for sale!

3500 or best offer!

Manual transmission

On top of that, in the highlights section, they claim the truck to be a four-cylinder. Unless it’s burned the values in two of its pots, that would be incorrect.


What we do get is that the title is clean and that the condition is excellent, a boast backed up by the small selection of photos included in the ad. From the pics, we can also glean that the truck has its current tags.

Illustration for article titled At $3,500, Could This Plain Jane 2001 Ford F150 XL Be A Plain-Good Deal?

That’s a pretty simple ad for what’s obviously a pretty simple truck. I have to ask, what more could one want? Well, we could ask for a super deal, and with a $3,500 price tag, it’s going to be up to you to decide if we get that as well.

What do you think, is this plain and simple Ford worth that $3,500 asking? Or, is this an F150 that’s too expensive to give an eff about?


You decide!


Los Angeles, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Dan B. for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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Nope! And I say that as someone who has owned multiple pickups for the past 30 years. A pickup is for hauling things, and a 2-door like this sucks in that mission, because virtually everything ends up in the truck bed, exposed to weather and theft.

This is a an overpriced stripper of the non-pole-dancing type. Somewhat useful as a work truck, but you better have a good way to lock up your tools out of sight. Overpriced. For $3500 you a little more, you can find crew- and club-cab models that will be vastly more useful and comfortable.

Crack even though it’s a cheap DD with a stick.