The 2021 Ford F-150 is the undisputed king of pick-up trucks. Sure, there might be slicker, more stylish trucks on the market, but the numbers don’t lie. According to market data from Car and Driver, the Ford F Series was the top-selling vehicle of 2020 in America. It’s been the top-selling truck for more than 40 years.
The price range varies greatly. The base model 2021 Ford F-150 XL has an MSRP of $28,940. Yet, once you get all the way up to the Limited trim, a Ford F-150 can cost you $70,825. Just keep that in mind when you price and build your own. We’re still talking about a pick-up truck, right?
Well, the low entry cost is a big reason for the F-150’s popularity. The Ford F Series also has big brand marketing power that goes back for generations. Many Americans can recall seeing a Ford pick-up truck in their Dad’s garage before they were even old enough to drive one. When you partner those factors in with all the options of today’s F-150 you get a nearly unbeatable vehicle that flies off the dealership lots.
There are six different model trims available for the 2021 Ford F-150. There’s the base model XL and the XLT. The XL comes with attractive styling and an 8-inch touchscreen display. The next tier is comprised of the Lariat and King Ranch trucks. Then, you get to the top of the mountain with the Platinum and Limited models. These F-150s can rival a luxury sedan in terms of cost and interior amenities.
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What’s New for the 2021 Ford F-150?
The latest F-150 has some new functionality features and a V6 hybrid powertrain. In total, there are 21 new upgrades to the 2021 F-150 from Ford. For hard workers, there’s a fold-down workstation and a lockable under-seat storage compartment in the cabin. In the truck bed, there’s a new workstation, clamp pockets, and zone lighting. Cosmetically, the new F-150 has more colors, grilles, and appearance packages. The interior has been updated with a larger instrument cluster, a bigger dashboard display, and improved SYNC 4 technology.
The Iconic Style of the F-150
The 2021 Ford F-150 is a good-looking truck even without any additional packages or upgrades. It has a wide track and rounded edges in the front fascia. It walks the line between the blocky GMC pick-up trucks and the unadorned look of the RAM trucks. Yet, it isn’t as modern as the Nissan Titan.
There are options galore for the F-150. You can choose between 15 different colors and more than 10 different front grille options. The Platinum model is resplendent with chrome accents and 20-inch wheels while the XLT F-150 takes a more subtle approach. It has a blacked-out front grille, halogen lights, and simple color palettes. It’s a good idea to price and build a Ford F-150 online to get a better feel for what type of style suits you best.
There are 3 different truck bed options. There’s a five and a half, six and a half, and an 8-footer. Just keep in mind that you can’t outfit the F-150 with an 8-foot bed if you’re getting the four-door super crew cabin.
There are six appearance packages. So, if you like the Lariat model but think its exterior is a bit muted you can build your F-150 with the Lariat Chrome Appearance Package. Likewise, if you think the King Ranch model is a bit over the top, you can tone it down with the King Ranch Monochromatic Paint Package. This will give you an F-150 that looks more like the Platinum model.
There are six different engine options for the 2021 Ford F-150. There’s a tough 3.0 Liter turbo diesel. There’s an EcoBoost V6 engine that has a maximum towing capacity of 14,000 pounds and a 5.0 Liter V8 engine that delivers a maximum payload of 3,325 lbs. The F-150 can be outfitted with a nimble 2.7 Liter EcoBoost V6 and a 3.3 Liter V6 engine.
The new hybrid powertrain deserves a closer look. It’s a 3.5 Liter PowerBoost V6 that gets 25 miles per gallon on the 4×2 variant. It can go 750 miles on a single fill-up. That’s a gamechanger for full-size trucks. Surprisingly, the 4×4 variant still gets a class-leading 24 MPG.
The 3.5 Liter V6 hybrid boasts 570-pound feet of torque and 430 horsepower. It also has a maximum towing capacity of 12,700 pounds and a payload of 2,120 pounds on standard equipment. No other full-size 4×2 truck can match the 2021 F-150s performance numbers.
In a Ford Motor Company press release, Hua Thai-Tang, the chief product platform, and operations officer for Ford described the main reasons why Ford chose to launch their new hybrid powertrain. “Our team spent months living with and observing truck customers at their homes, on job sites, and on the weekends.”
Thai-Tang went on to say, “Using electrification, we realized we could now give customers something they had long wanted but didn’t think was possible – tremendous power, great fuel economy, and all-new capabilities to make their F-150 even more productive.”
The PowerBoost hybrid is one of Ford’s crowning achievements this year. That same PowerBoost configuration comes with a 2.4-kilowatt powerplant that can export power to the worksite. You can tap into it through the cargo box or via outlets in the cabin.
Build and Price Pro Tip: For even better utility you can upgrade the Pro Power Onboard system to a 7.2-kilowatt powerplant. Not only is that a significant boost over the standard feature, but it’s well over 10 times the amount of exportable power than any other full-size truck on the market.
All of the F-150 powertrains are managed by a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive comes standard on the 2021 F-150, but there are two 4×4 options available. There’s a familiar shift on the fly, an all-wheel-drive system on the XL and XLT models. It’s been around on F-150s for a while now.
The second 4×4 system shunts torque on demand to the front wheels. You can override the system manually through the transfer case. The 2021 F-150 can off-road with the best of them. There’s an FX4 Off-Road Package that adds skid plates, hill descent control, off-road shocks, an electronic-locking rear differential.
Build and Price Pro Tip: If you’re a fan of the Ford Raptor off-road truck, but can’t wrap your head around the $53,455 MSRP, then take a look at the Ford F-150 Tremor. It comes with most of the Raptor’s off-roading equipment but comes as a package for the Ford F-150. Pricing hasn’t been officially announced yet, but you can expect it to be in the range of $4,000 as an add-on to your build.
Interior Amenities of Ford’s Best-Selling Pick-up
You can find the 2021 F-150 as a 2-door regular cab, supercab, and 4-door supercrew. If you’re going to be inviting more than 2 people into your vehicle, then skip the supercab altogether. It has less rear bench space than some compact cars. Yet, the four door supercrew has about 43.6 inches of rear legroom.
The interior of the 2021 Ford F-150 concentrates on both form and function. The center console can house an 8-inch or 12-inch touchscreen navigation system. If you opt for the smaller 8-inch touchscreen, you’ll find yourself staring at all the additional black paneling that fills the space.
The Limited model has a twin-pane glass moonroof, ambient lighting, and real woodgrain inserts. The King Ranch model has one of the most sumptuous interiors for the F-150 line. It comes with full leather, heated and ventilated bucket seats up front, leather trims and inserts around the cabin, and an 8-speaker premium audio system from Bang & Olufsen. You’ll instantly feel the comfort of a lazy Sunday on the ranch whether you’re in Texas, Oregon, or New York.
How Safe is the 2021 Ford F-150?
If you’re in the market for an F-150 pick-up truck, you’ll hear and see the word “tough” over and over again. That’s not just marketing. The 2021 Ford F-150 has a dent-resistant, high strength, aluminum alloy body. It’s the only truck in the full-size grouping to have this level of high strength, lightweight aluminum alloy. That aluminum-alloy body is slapped onto a roll-formed steel frame.
Even the base model F-150 comes equipped with excellent safety features. It comes with automatic high beam headlights, emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane control. When you upgrade to the XLT model and above, your 2021 Ford F-150 comes equipped with Co-Pilot 2.0. That’s a comprehensive suite of advanced safety features like post-collision braking, blind-spot detection, and parking sensors.
The 2021 Ford F-150 has an amazing hybrid V6 engine, best towing and payload of any full-sized truck on the market. The 2021 F-150 is a dominant pick-up truck with a starting cost of just $28,940. It’s little wonder that it racks up so many awards, including the prestigious Edmunds Top Rated Truck of the year.
In a company press release, Alistair Weaver, the editor in chief for Edmunds summed it up nicely. “The Ford F-150 has numerous bragging rights with impressive towing, max payload and with an EPA-estimated rating of 25 mpg city/26 mpg highway/25 mpg combined, but we believe its true strength rests in the extensive and varied options that allow shoppers to get a truck tailored to their needs. With the F-150, Ford displays a clear understanding of the changing needs and wants of truck customers, and for that and many other reasons, it deserves the title of Edmunds Top Rated Truck this year.”
So, what do you think of the 2021 Ford F-150? Is it really the best pick-up truck in America or just another truck?