Wednesday, November 30, 2022
First Reviews 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid Quick Review: The Mighty Hybrid

2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid Quick Review: The Mighty Hybrid

The 2021 Ford F-150 will carry on as the one to beat. The PowerBoost Hybrid will give Ford extra bragging rights

  • 2021 Ford F-150 pricing starts at $33,429 in Canada, $28,940 in the US.

  • The Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in North America and that’s not about to change.

  • The PowerBoost Hybrid is impressive on all points.

When we write comparison tests, we like to discuss how important the evaluated vehicles are to their respective automakers. When it comes to the Ford F-150, few other vehicles in the world are under as much pressure to perform. And perform the 2021 Ford F-150 will and does.

When one considers that the F-150 is Ford’s flagship model, their best-selling product, most lucrative, and is the best-selling vehicle on the continent, the pressure is also on designers and engineers to uphold the F-150’s position. For the all-new 2021 truck, Ford has brought it’s “A” game with countless innovative features, technologies, and have introduced their first full hybrid powertrain for the truck.

2021 Ford F-150 Limited | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Timid yet premium design evolution 

Our time with the 2021 Ford F-150 was extremely brief and the goal was to sample the new PowerBoost hybrid powertrain. We did however walk around the new truck to take in its evolutionary design. Frankly, the F-150’s physical updates seem no more than skin deep but the track is now wider and there are no less than 11 different grilles, three headlamp, and 13 wheel designs available. In short, the new F-150 is incredibly handsome.

Ford supplied us with a rotary sander to confirm that the included (with the PowerBoost) ProPower Onboard generator works, and well, it does. We also got to mock try-out the tailgate work surface as you can see in the image gallery.

2021 Ford F-150 Limited | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The cabin is quite an event in contrast but to be fair, the tested model was a Limited loaded to the absolute hilt in options, accessories, surfaces, and tech. Throughout, our truck was covered in supple leathers in shades of grey and blue (yes, blue), from the dashboard to the quilted seats. The included 12-inch touchscreen display featured SYNC 4 (it’s standard for all) which showed to be extremely responsive. The PowerBoost comes with a series of unique pages including power-flow charts to keep track of the hybrid system’s functions.

We tested out our unit’s built-in optional Work Surface which includes the trick power-folding gearshift lever. There’s a button on the console just ahead of the “PRNDL” that automatically drops the shifter enabling the armrest to flip open to reveal the flat work surface.

PowerBoost for very real

2021 Ford F-150 Limited | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Now, about the actual PowerBoost hybrid powertrain. It consists of the twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 fitted with a 35-kilowatt (47-horsepower) electric motor integrated into the standard 10-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor is fed by a 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery mounted between the frame rails. This battery size does not enable the F-150 to travel any considerable distance on electricity alone. But it does provide a massive boost in power.

Total combined system output is rated at 430 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 570 lb.-ft. of torque from 3,000 rpm. No matter which drive mode is selected (Normal, Sport and ECO), the system’s torque comes in like a tide rolling in; it’s progressive and sustained. The sense of speed is skewed by the weight and size of the vehicle but the numbers on the included 12-inch digital instrument didn’t lie… And certainly, the specs, as in the PowerBoost’s 12,700 lb. towing capacity, 2,120 lb. payload, and estimated 1,120 km (700 miles) range are not lies either.

2021 Ford F-150 Limited | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Furthermore, the new 2021 Ford F-150 is exceptionally refined and smooth. As these large trucks evolve, they are transforming into civilized and comfortable do-everything everything. The transmission is practically seamless as it doles out the power, building upon the truck’s impressively cultured behaviour. It’s also quiet as even under wide-open-throttle, the V6’s familiar note is barely audible. Starting up the F-150 reveals no noise at all as it runs on battery power at first.

The PowerBoost’s other talents

While the PowerBoost hybrid is immensely powerful, it’s also exceedingly frugal. It is rated at 9.8L/100km or 24 MPG. This makes it the most fuel miserly full-size petrol-powered pickup on the market. Ford has another trick up its sleeve in relation to the hybrid powertrain: It’s affordable and available on all trims.

2021 Ford F-150 Limited | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Unlike the Power Stroke diesel engine, which is only offered on higher trims, the PowerBoost can optionally replace the 3.3-litre V6 in the base models for $5,750. This essentially means that for about $42,000, a 2021 Ford F-150 owner will benefit from all the PowerBoost’s advantages in their work truck. Upgrading from a 2.7-litre Ecoboost V6 will cost $4,850, from the 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6, the fee will be $2,500 and from the Coyote 5.0-litre V8, only $2,200. We have to believe that Ford wants to sell hybrids.

By contrast, the Power Stroke diesel is a $4,700 to $8,250 option depending on the engine it replaces and it generates less power, is not as capable but does return slightly better fuel numbers. In our minds, the PowerBoost option is a no-brainer. It’s also the only real hybrid on the market at the moment.

The 2021 Ford F-150 Limited we drove has a starting price of $89,725. With a few options such as the Work Surface and Max Recline front seats, its final price is of $93,000.

2021 Ford F-150 Limited | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2021 Ford F-150 Limited | Photo: Olivier Delorme

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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