2021 Ford F-150 Review

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2021 Ford F-150 Overview

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that Ford last redesigned the best-selling F-150 full-size pickup truck, yet the new 2021 model is on the way to up the ante. Not content with only making the best-selling vehicle, the new Ford F-Series trucks also target best-in-class horsepower, payload, and towing specs with the new F-150, which will continue to compete against the likes of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan.

Think the current crop of pickups hits maximum masculinity? Think again. The F-150 is built in America, and it raises the bar for tough design, yet it’s as much function as form. An aluminum alloy body tops a steel frame, which has proven to be a winning formula for Ford. And details like updated headlights, a new hood, and chunkier tires demand attention, yet it’s all manages to be more aerodynamic than ever for improved efficiency. Not unique enough for you? There are now 11 different grilles to choose from when ordering your Ford F-150.

Complete specs are still under wraps, but Ford expects the all-new 3.5-liter turbo V6 hybrid powertrain to deliver best-in-class performance, and it will be the first-in-class full hybrid powertrain. In this application, the EcoBoost name gets replaced by PowerBoost; this engine will be available across the lineup, and is projected for an EPA-estimated range of 700 miles as well as 12,000 pounds of towing capacity. This engine comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission that integrates a 35-kilowatt electric motor good for 48 horsepower, and the hybrid battery does not compromise cargo capacity or storage. The PowerBoost powertrain is aimed at maximizing fuel economy, but three other V6s, a V8, and a turbodiesel will also be available.

The XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trim levels carry over, and the F-150’s all-new cabin features a new color palette, upgraded materials, and increased storage options. Although initial reports stated otherwise, there is expected to be an off-road F-150 Raptor coming for 2021 as well. Standard features across the lineup include a dual glovebox, new bed-mounted tie-downs, and new bed-mounted clamp pockets. For options, the new and innovative interior work surface and tailgate work surface provide ideal space for eating or using a laptop while on the go. New seats offer nearly 180 degrees of recline. An onboard power station enhances worksite flexibility without the need for a generator. Lockable, fold-flat rear storage adds security for valuable items. Class-exclusive zone lighting offers numerous configurations for exterior perimeter lighting, perfect for camping or working. Stay tuned for trim-specific feature menus.

For infotainment, the F-150 gets Ford’s new SYNC 4 system. An 8-inch touchscreen display comes standard, and a new 12-inch display is available. The 12-inch display, no doubt sized to compete against the Ram 1500's top-of-the-line display, features split-screen capability. Both the 8-inch and 12-inch screens integrate access to a new digital owner’s manual. Standard features include over-the-air updates, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, emergency notification, and the FordPass smartphone app. For available features, there’s a 12-inch digital gauge cluster and a choice between 8- and 18- speaker Bang & Olufsen audio systems.

Standard safety features include a reversing camera, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, automatic headlights, and automatic high beams. Available safety features include intersection assist, active park assist, hands-free active drive assist, which functions on more than 100,000 miles of North American highway, tentatively available via software update in late 2021. Between the available class-exclusive trailer reverse guidance, which offers multi-angle camera views, and trailer backup assist, towing is safer than ever.

The 2021 model year Ford F-150 should arrive in the fall of 2020. It should do what trucks do best, but even better than before. With this redesign, Ford gives the rest of the Detroit crew a new benchmark, and one that’s 100% American-built, no less.

Updated Jun 28, 2020

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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