2021 Ford F-150 pricing starts at $34,079 in Canada, $29,290 in the US.
The Ford F-150 is an immovable force, a juggernaut, and will soon offer the most complete line in the industry.
The PowerBoost Hybrid powertrain offers efficiency and serious power.
The Ford F-150. Is there a more recognizable automotive product in North America? As the best-selling in the US and Canada for as long as most of us can recall, it’s no surprise that Ford treasures its full-size truck. In fact, for all of Ford’s revenues in 2018, F-Series pickup sales accounted, on their own, for more than 25%. If this doesn’t begin to explain why Ford has and is investing so much in the trucks, then nothing can.
Just over a year ago, Ford launched the 14th generation of the F-150 and in a nutshell, the launch is not yet over. In the last 14 months, Ford’s sequentially introduced a new truck, a hybrid version, a new Raptor, and most recently, the fully-electric Lightning. Though the latter is the more fascinating, the new PowerBoost hybrid has its own serious merits.
PowerBoost > EcoBoost
Without breaking down the countless ways one can specify their F-150, from the Lariat trim, the turbocharged 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 is a $2,350 option while the PowerBoost hybrid option is only an extra $2,500. The output then climbs from 400 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque to 430 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 570 lb.-ft. of torque from 3,000 rpm. The numbers are only part of this story. The 33-kilowatt electric motor integrated into the standard 10-speed automatic transmission delivers its power with ferocity under part- or heavy throttle.
Frankly, the F-150 flies frighteningly fast when pushed. The 10-speed doles out the gears as required with such efficiency that an “ST” badge would not be out of place on this F-150’s flanks. There is, however, a truly massive advantage to the PowerBoost. Unlike the EcoBoost which will wreck your wallet when driven at only 5/10, the PowerBoost will maintain an incredible 11L/100km in mixed driving with me at the wheel. A more reasonable driver will effortlessly see 10L/100km. This is roughly 30% better than the EcoBoost. Essentially, the hybrid will pay for itself before too long.
Not all is perfect though. Under hard acceleration, the transmission occasionally will struggle with all the power. Likewise, in slow and steady traffic, there’s constant shuffling between the transmission and the throttle inputs. This “dance” causes rough transitions at low speeds unless the driver can absolutely feather the throttle.
The last few generations of the Ford F-150 have narrowed the gap between premium and mainstream where refinement is concerned. The new 2021 F-150 is an impressively polished and quiet vehicle even when driven on unpaved roads as I discovered. At highway speeds, the pickup and its passengers are unruffled by speed or any type of noise. What’s more, the ride quality is exemplary with generous levels of dampening and comfort. If this truck sported a Lincoln badge, well, it’s too good to be a Lincoln…
For a full-size 5,400lb pickup, the Ford F-150 is easy to drive. Steering and brakes are perfectly suited to the truck – the sense that this is a solid vehicle inspires immense confidence. And, in my experience, that changes little when loaded (up to 2,120lbs) or towing (up to 12,700lbs).
Handsome and incredibly helpful
I’ve said on a few occasions that the new F-150 is attractive even though the physical updates seem no more than skin deep. The fact that, despite the track being wider, there being no less than 11 different grilles, three headlamp designs, and 13 wheel styles available, the 2021 F-150 is instantly recognizable, and this was a wise decision.
For the new F-150, Ford went all-in with technology and accessories. One that impresses is the available-with-PowerBoost ProPower Onboard 7.2 kW generator. Unless you work with your truck, the generator will essentially make you a tailgate party superstar. One option F-150 owners should consider are the power running boards which, for $1,300, make life easier for all passengers. Other available features, as fitted on the press unit, were the power tailgate and the
Lined in comfort
Climbing on board the 2021 Ford F-150 is a different affair. As a popular and mid-trim Lariat, the tester was fitted with the 12-inch touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC 4 infotainment system, two-tone leather, a B&O audio system, a fully digital instrument panel, and more. Of the many options here, the Interior work surface, with the retracting shifting and forward-flipping armrest, can always be useful.
As with everything else about the new F-150, the build quality is stunningly good. From the materials to fit and finish, without overlooking seat comfort and room, this truck’s interior is built to do it all, from work to compromise-free family duty.
The next step is all-electric
This is the final word on the 2021 Ford F-150 with the hybrid PowerBoost powertrain option: It can do everything. Now that the PowerStroke diesel option will soon be pulled, going hybrid is the best way to get power and efficiency for a relatively small fee.
Configuring a new F-150 quite nearly requires a Ph.D. but from what I can tell, PowerBoost is offered from the XLT trim. As tested, the Lariat with hybrid power, the FX4 package, and so on, retailed for $82,000. Unless I’m mistaken, an XLT Super Crew 4×4 with the 5.5-foot bed is the lowest trim where PowerBoost becomes available and it is priced from about $53,000. Until the Lightning arrives, this is the way.
In the end, the Ford F-150 is king. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins, the Ram 1500 are the next best options.