2021 Ford F-150
This is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S.A. For over four decades, Ford put their F-Series to work, for play, and everything in-between.
For 2021, Ford introduced their fourteenth generation F-Series half-ton pickup truck, known as the F-150. It is designed to not only continue its legacy as the pickup truck of choice for fleets, contractors, farmers, and weekend fun seekers. Ford went further with it to include a new full hybrid driveline and more innovations that have never been seen on a full-sized pickup truck before.
With the new generation truck, the basics have not changed. The cab and bed construction are shaped from military grade aluminum, assembled onto a heavy duty steel frame. This type of construction was introduced seven years ago and have yielded good results from its customers. Overall, the F-150 became lighter, while turning in some class-leading payload and towing capacities.
For 2021, not much have changed on the exterior. A new front clip, front fenders, and box highlight then evolution of the F-150’s design. A new set of LED headlamp and taillight units enhances the familiar look of the F-150. The grille got bolder and still offers a specific texture and design for each trim level.
Our Lariat tester received the Sport Appearance package, with a blacked-out grille, color-keyed bumpers, and a set of sporty 18-inch alloy wheels with black inserts. Our tester had the 7.2 kW Pro Power Onboard electrical system inside the bed. With four 110-120-volt three-pronged outlets and a single 220-240-volt plug outlet, this unit will deliver power to tools on the job or for appliances during tailgates on the weekends.
The biggest visible change is in the interior. Ford went for it on using even better materials than before, as well as adding a lot of new touches all around. The Lariat is in the middle of the lineup, but it has a lot to offer in terms of technology and standard equipment. We love the new 12-inch digital instrument binnacle that is highly customizable and very easy to read. Controls are now easier to reach and good to the touch – from the steering wheel to the controls below the instrument panel’s beltline.
The center stack received the biggest upgrade overall. Our tester has the large 12-inch touchscreen driven by Ford’s new SYNC 4 infotainment system. On each side of the center stack are a pair of front bucket seats with a substantial center console. The big feature was the retractable shifter, where you can have it activated by a press of a button. If you don’t need, you can lower it down into its own housing.
The front seats offer plenty of support and bolstering, along with solid comfort. Rear seat room is among the best in its class with exceptional space for three adults. The rear seat cushions fold up for additional storage.
Underneath the hood is the first full hybrid driveline in its class. It starts with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 and gets an electric motor connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Our tester came with Ford’s four-wheel-drive system. In all, this driveline yields a maximum of 430 horsepower with 570 pound-feet of torque. The result is a maximum towing capacity of up to 12,400 pounds with a payload rating of 1,830 pounds for our tester.
In terms of fuel economy, we averaged 17.7 MPG. Ford states that their EPA estimated fuel economy was 24 MPG for both city and highway.
Both pickup truck and non-pickup truck owners will appreciate the smooth ride of the F-150. It absorbs over rougher parts of the road and keeps the pickup truck balanced when it needs be. As far as handling is concerned, the F-150 feels confident in evasive maneuvers. You might find some roll and lean on occasion when the pickup truck hits a limit on banked corners.
F-150 gets a large steering wheel that is grippy to your hands. However, this system delivers a tighter-than-usual radius that makes the F-150 quite maneuverable. On-center feel offered up nominal looseness at the wheel. Brakes are good, with solid pedal feel. There seemed to be an improvement over previous generations in terms of stopping power and control. We found the brakes to stop well in normal and panic situations.
The F-150 lineup starts with a base price of $28,940. Customers have a choice of six trim levels, three cabs, three bed lengths, six engines – including the PowerStroke hybrid and a turbocharged diesel engine - and two final drivelines. Our Lariat in the SuperCrew, a five-and-a-half foot bed, the PowerBoost driveline with four-wheel-drive, and other options came with a sticker price of $67,150.
It is not as lonely at the top as one would imagine for the Ford F-150. Although loyal customers will trade in their old Ford for a new one before shopping it against the competition. That competition includes the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan.
However, the reasons for Ford’s sales leadership will become true when you drive an F-150 pickup truck. It is a market leader, as well as a segment leader in several aspects. If you’re a true Ford person, then this is your truck.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors