Used 2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

2003 Ford F-150
List price range
2003 Ford F-150

Pros

  • Wide range of configurations and features, capable powertrains and suspension, attractive styling inside and out.

Cons

  • Poor IIHS crash test result, everybody and his brother has one.
Ford F-150 years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With a wide variety of cabs, styles and equipment from which to choose, you can't go wrong. No wonder it's the best-selling vehicle in the world.

vehicle overview

Introduction: In the music scene, artists who top the sales charts are rarely considered the best in terms of quality. The same thing goes for prime-time TV shows or the most popular fast food restaurants. It almost seems to be an inverse relationship; the worse a product is, the more popular it is.

This theory doesn't bode well for the Ford F-150. Not only has it been the best-selling pickup in the country for the past 24 years, it's been the best-selling vehicle for the past 18 years (although the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra twins may wrest away that title for 2002). But for whatever reason, the F-150 bucks the trend. It has the sales numbers, the universal appeal and the quality to keep it in the top spot.

The first F-Series made its debut in 1948 as a workhorse designed to appeal to those reveling in post-war opportunities. The F-150 was birthed in 1975 and replaced the F-100 model in 1984. The current iteration made its appearance in 1997. Overall, the F-150 is an excellent blend of style, comfort and utility. While it doesn't necessarily excel in any given area when stacked up against its competition, its appeal and performance average out to best-in-class status. About the only significantly negative thing you can say about an F-150 is that there are just too many of them on the road. Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options: One particular advantage to the F-150 is its wide range of body and option configurations. You can order the F-150 as a Regular Cab, SuperCab or SuperCrew, the SuperCrew being the crew-cab model with four doors and a short bed. Then, on everything except the SuperCrew, you have the choice of a 6.5- or 8-foot cargo box in either Styleside or Flareside design. There are three trim levels: XL, XLT and Lariat. There are also two special SuperCrew models offered: the heavy-metal Harley Davidson F-150 Crew Cab and the pimped-out King Ranch, the latter now available as a SuperCab in addition to last year's SuperCrew. Powertrains and Performance: Ford offers four different engines. The smallest is a 202-horsepower 4.2-liter V6 with either a manual or an automatic transmission. This engine meets ULEV emissions standards for 2002. Next up is a 4.6-liter V8 with 231 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque. The biggest engine available is a 5.4-liter V8 generating 260 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. The Harley Davidson model gets a supercharged version of the Triton V8, delivering 340 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque.

Towing and cargo capacities vary depending on model. For maximum payload ability, you'll want to order the 7700 Payload Group, which includes mechanical modifications that increase gross vehicle weight to 7,700 pounds. Safety: Driver and passenger front airbags are standard, as are four-wheel ABS and child safety seat anchor points. Not all of the different versions of the F-150 have been crash tested, but among those that have include the Extended Cab and SuperCrew versions, both of which receive high marks in NHTSA frontal testing. The extended cab also gets a perfect five-star rating for side impact testing. IIHS testing, however, has indicated that the F-150 fares poorly in frontal offset crashes.

Interior Design and Special Features: The F-150's feature list is comparable to that of many family cars and luxury sedans. F-150 Lariat's are the most luxurious, and they come standard with features like 17-inch wheels, power adjustable pedals and leather seating.

Even more car-like is the F-150 SuperCrew. It has been designed for consumers who want more interior space without compromising the functional capability and versatility of a fullsize pickup. Unlike the SuperCab, which has smaller hinged doors that swing out clamshell-style, the SuperCrew actually mates an Expedition cabin with a shortened cargo bed. It has four fullsize doors separated by a B-pillar on each side, with inside and outside handles on each door. Driving Impressions: On both pavement and rocky trails, the F-150 offers up a stable ride and plenty of power. Steering is somewhat twitchy, but otherwise this truck can be used for long freeway trips with no problem. The front seats are comfortable, and the extra rear-seat space in SuperCab models is perfect for extra cargo or children. Use the handy SuperCrew for adults who need to ride in back.

2003 Highlights

Arriving in 2003 for the XLT supercab styleside configuration is the Heritage Edition, which includes 17-inch wheels, a chrome cab step and various stylistic flairs such as a black bedliner, a lower valance, paint striping and a paint scheme with a raised cut-line. Also new is an STX edition for the XL- and XLT-trimmed regular and supercabs that includes an MP3 player combined with a monochromatic color scheme and clear lights, among others. Upgrades for the fancy King Ranch flavor consist of fake wood for the interior, lighted step bars and an in-dash six-disc CD changer. For the Lariat, expect a standard rear window defroster and a Pioneer CD and cassette system (the latter is also newly available on the XL and XLT). Harley-Davidson models have the option of getting a two-tone black-and-silver paint. Finally, a new LATCH system helps you tie down the kiddie seats properly.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Ford F-150.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

One Awesome Truck!
tearex63,05/27/2014
I purchased this truck in December 2012 with 54K miles on it. The truck had already been modified with an oversized blower drive pulley, tuner, cold air package & Bassani exhaust. I had the truck dyno tested and it pulled 383 HP at the rear wheels. Needless to say, this truck is WICKED fast. Random people come up to me and compliment me on how cool it is. I love the sound of the blower coming on and the fact that I can light the tires any time I feel like it. Starts and runs just like a regular truck, great exhaust tone & instant throttle response. Only bad thing is the 10 MPG around town, but what the heck, I've got motorcycles & junky cars to drive to work.
03 Lightning = Great Buy
George,09/17/2009
Year 3 of owning my Lightning. It is daily driven for most of the year. She gets into the occasional 'spirited acceleration' now and then. Picked it up with 25k on the clock, now have 73k. I take good care of it, pretty much looks and runs the same as the day I got it. Only issue Ive ever had was the starter going around 50k. Beyond that plenty of tires (my fault haha), and recently rotors and pads. Most reliable vehicle Ive ever owned!
Ford Lighting
racerdjk,12/03/2002
I take very good care of her because she was a bit expensive for a truck. I raced many cars an won. Most say they didn't know there was such a fast truck out there.
fast
1973_Mach_1,12/10/2002
good truck, lot of power on demand. i think it would run down anything on the road.
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Features & Specs

MPG
11 city / 15 hwy
Seats 3
4-speed automatic
Gas
380 hp @ 4750 rpm
See all Used 2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2003 Ford F-150
Used 2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning Overview

The Used 2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning is offered in the following styles: 2dr Regular Cab SVT Lightning Rwd Flareside SB (5.4L 8cyl S/C 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightnings are available in my area?

Used 2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning.

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Find a used Ford F-150 for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $8,111.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 Ford F-150?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford F-150 lease specials