The 2021 Ford F-150 with the PowerBoost system starts at $48,539 in Canada and $41,145 in the United States before freight and delivery charges.
Muscular hybrid powertrain, terrific on-board generator, good fuel economy around town.
Not all that more efficient on the highway, some powertrain transition harshness, price climbs rapidly with options.
The Ford F Series obviously doesn’t need a presentation. It’s the best-selling vehicle on our market since what seems like forever, and despite its immense popularity, the automaker isn’t resting on its laurels. Each year, it receives changes and improvements, and now, we’re treated to the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost.
That’s the name of the F-150’s new hybrid powertrain available in SuperCrew configuration. It consists of a twin-turbo 3.5L V6, a 35-kilowatt electric motor, a 1.5 kWh battery pack and a hybrid 10-speed automatic transmission. Output climbs to 430 horsepower and a massive 570 pound-feet of torque. Blastoffs are obviously enjoyable, with a 0-60 mph time of less than six seconds. Not bad for a 5,500-pound (2,500-kilogram) truck when equipped with the 4×4 drivetrain.
The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost’s towing capacity doesn’t suffer too much compared to the other available engines. The company claims a rating of 12,700 pounds (5,761 kg) in 4×2 guise, and 12,400 pounds (5,625 kg) in 4×4 configuration. The Power Stroke turbo-diesel 3.0L V6 can pull up to 12,100 pounds, the 5.0L V8 13,000 pounds and the EcoBoost 3.5L V6 14,000 pounds. On the other hand, the payload rating reaches 2,120 pounds (962 kg), while the max capacities in the SuperCrew version are 2,880 pounds, 1,805 pounds and 2,990 pounds with the 5.0L V8, the 3.0L diesel V6 and the twin-turbo 3.5L V6, respectively.
As for fuel economy, the PowerBoost system is rated at 24 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, for a combined average—you guessed it—24 mpg in the case of the F-150 4×4 in the U.S. The numbers for the Canadian-spec truck are 9.8/9.7/9.8 L/100 km.
It may not have been completely redesigned, but the changes inside and out are so extensive that it can be called a new generation, the outgoing one having been introduced for the 2015 model year. The overall shape of the pickup truck hasn’t changed, but it boasts a new front end, new wheel designs, new taillights and several minor cosmetic mods.
On the other hand, the cockpit has been thoroughly redesigned, with a more modern dashboard that houses a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and a digital 12.3-inch driver instrument panel in the higher trim levels, such as the Lariat we drove. Over-the-air updates are now available, which means the vehicle’s software will always be up to date, and will improve over time. Tesla has been doing this for years, and General Motors is starting to offer it in its newer products.
The 2021 Ford F-150 with or without PowerBoost gets many improvements and innovations, and the most interesting one is called Pro Power Onboard, which will likely be duplicated by the competition sooner or later. It’s an integrated 2.0 kW generator that’s optional with the EcoBoost 2.7L V6 and 5.0L V8 engines, which includes 120-volt (20-amp) power outlets inside the cabin and in the truck bed to juice up our tools and our camping and recreational accessories. Or keep the house lights on in the event of a power failure.
When choosing the hybrid powertrain, a 2.4 kW generator is standard, and can up upgraded to a 7.2 kW system, which adds a 240-volt (30-amp) outlet in the bed, as was the case in our tester. With the hybrid variant, we pull electricity from the battery pack, and the system takes care of occasionally starting up the gas engine to regenerate energy.
Pricing for the 2021 Ford F-150 ranges from $28,940 to $77,250 before freight and delivery charges in the United States, while the PowerBoost is priced from $41,145. In Canada, the F-150 ranges from $33,429 to $93,595, and the PowerBoost system is available from $48,539.
Why You Should Buy A 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost
- It’s the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup truck on the city cycle, period.
- In addition to its frugalness, the PowerBoost system is plenty powerful, and can still tow a very heavy load.
- The 2021 Ford F-150 has improved in many ways, boasting a more refined cockpit, a more modern infotainment system as well as new comfort and convenience features, such as the available reclining front seats, the flat work surface between the front seats, the exterior zone lighting system, the tailgate work surface and more.
- The Pro Power Onboard generator is simply a great feature to have. Not only does it eliminate the need for purchasing a portable generator, but the F-150’s engine is most likely less harmful for the environment than a gasoline generator engine that has no emissions regulation constraints. Plus, it’s included in the price of the hybrid powertrain.
- Ford is offering the PowerBoost system on all trim levels, not just the costliest ones. That’s smart.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy A 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost
- Your daily commute is limited to highway jaunts. In this case, the hybrid powertrain will provide little gains over the 2.7L EcoBoost engine, for the price difference. The diesel engine is also more efficient on the highway.
- The F-150 doesn’t boast the best reliability record in the segment. There have been reports of problems with the transmission, the power accessories and the on-board electronics over the years. Nothing major, but it doesn’t have the Toyota Tundra’s bulletproof status.
- The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost’s system produces the occasional harshness during transitions from electric to gasoline propulsion. Not a dealbreaker by any stretch, but something to think about.
- Payload capacity with the hybrid powertrain is still very good, leading almost all of its Crew Cab competitors no matter the engine, but it’s down substantially compared to the regular F-150’s.
The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost offers unmatched fuel economy without sacrificing much towing capacity, offering strong performance to boot. Adding the hybrid system is a reasonable extra, costing between $2,200 to $5,750 in Canada and between $4,495 and $1,900. It’s almost a no-brainer.
On top of that, the on-board generator is icing on the cake, and the numerous innovations the company has introduced help make this pickup the one to beat—once again.