The Ford F-150 is not just the king of pick-up trucks. It’s the king of all vehicles. The F-150 has been the bestselling pick-up truck in the U.S. since 1977. Not only that, it’s been the bestselling vehicle of any kind since 1981. It’s also the bestselling vehicle in neighboring Canada too. It’s in the top 10 of bestselling vehicles in almost every country it’s sold in.
As of 2018, the F-Series has generated $41 billion in annual revenue for Ford. Is it any wonder that Ford has stopped manufacturing sedans in order to focus strictly on trucks and SUVs? Now, fans of the F-150 can look forward to the new 2021 model. It promises to move the F-150 from a stripped-down workhorse into more of a luxury vehicle. Here’s a look inside the all new 2021 Ford F-150.
In a word: “chrome.” That’s what comes to mind when you look at the newest F-150 rig. The 2021 model features a massive front grille that is laden with chrome. It gives the truck a big, muscular appearance. It also adds a touch of class, due to the sheen radiating off all that bling.
The large grille is complemented by oversized wheel wells and extra-large tires. Combined, they to give the new F-150 a larger-than-life appearance. Having four doors rather than two also enhances the scope and size of the truck. It’s hardly surprising that more than one early review of the 2021 F-150 has described the exterior appearance as “hefty,” which is just what fans of this truck have come to expect.
Engine and Performance
As with previous models, the 2021 F-150 is available with several engines. There’s a a 3.3 liter V6, a 5.0 liter V8, a twin-turbocharged 2.7 liter V6, a twin-turbocharged 3.5 liter V6, and a 3.0 liter turbo-diesel V6. That’s a lot of choice. Which one you choose will largely depend on how you intend to use your truck. Regardless of which one you pick, each engine option comes paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. You can also choose between rear- and four-wheel drive.
A plug-in-hybrid model is also available for the very first time. It utilizes an electric motor to provide up to 10 miles of electric-only range before one of the turbocharged V6 engines kicks in. Sadly, a widely rumored all-electric F-150 has yet to materialize. The rumored joint venture between Ford and electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian is likely still a few years off.
Towing and Payload
You don’t buy a Ford F-150 just for its appearance or comfort. You buy it because you have things to haul or things to tow. For these purposes, the 2021 model delivers. The new F-150 has a maximum towing capacity of 13,000 pounds. That keeps it in the hunt with key rivals like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Ram 1500. That’s also more payload than many large half-ton trucks can pull off.
Trimlines and Prices
Just as there are a lot of engine options available for the new F-150, there are also many trimlines to choose from. Six trimlines, in fact. They include the base model XL that has a starting price of $30,000, the XLT version at $35,000, the Lariat for $45,000, the high-end King Ranch at $55,000, the Platinum for $60,000, and the Limited-Edition model for a cool $70,000.
Most experts agree that you should skip the base model. Start with the XLT model, at least. It’s a significant step up from the extremely basic, no frills XL entry trimline. The base model is really meant as more of a fleet truck. If you want more luxury, look to the Lariat trimline. It it provides a good mix of features and is still somewhat affordable at $45,000. The nice thing about Ford is that they don’t typically provide a lot of options packages. Most upgrades are built-in to the various trimlines already.
The interior is where Ford has really stepped up its game with the 2021 F-150. The cabin is every bit as luxurious as the deluxe cabin of the competing Ram 1500. The seats have ample cushioning and there is leather accents throughout. They also added in nice touches like surround sound speakers, touch screen connectivity, and an onslaught of new technologies.
You really can treat the new F-150 as a traveling office. Plus, there is ample passenger space in the rear seats. Even full-size adults can sit in the back seats of the F-150 and stretch out their legs. The F-150 has a reputation for having the most spacious and family friendly cabin among pick-up trucks. That reputation will surely continue with the 2021 model.
In terms of technology, the new F-150 comes with a standard 8.0-inch infotainment display that runs on Ford’s patented Sync 4 software. A much larger 15.5-inch display is available as an extra option. The 15.5-inch display dwarfs both the Ram 1500’s 12.0-inch screen and the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra’s 8.0-inch screen. As expected, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard. There’s also a WiFi hotspot. Navigation and SiriusXM radio are available as options too, along with a premium surround sound stereo system from Bang & Olufsen. All-in-all, it’s pretty impressive.
As for safety features, you can expect many driver-assistance features. The biggest inclusions are automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. While the F-150 doesn’t offer the most driver assist or advanced safety tech on the market today, the big ones come standard. Depending on the trim you buy, of course.
Ford is not changing its standard warranty coverage for the 2021 model year. The new F-150 comes with the same three year, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper coverage as previous models. There’s also a five year, 60,000 mile powertrain protection. It’s the same one Ford has offered for years. Unlike rivals Toyota and GM, Ford doesn’t offer any complimentary scheduled maintenance on its line of trucks.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) won’t release fuel-economy estimates for the 2021 F-150 truck until closer to its on-sale date. However, we can look at the 2020 version for some estimates. The 3.5 liter, V6 engine averaged about 19 miles per gallon. The 3.0 liter, V6 Turbo Diesel boasts 24 MPG combined. On the lower end, the high performance 2020 F-150 Raptor version only averages about 16 MPG. We would expect the 2021 F-150 models to come in around the same numbers, but we’ll have to wait and see the official results.
- Lots of choice when it comes to engine type, including a hybrid model.
- Luxury and comfortable interior with room for four adults.
- Strong towing capability and great technology features.
- Warranty coverage remains the same.
- No scheduled maintenance provided.
- Fewer standard safety features than many competing vehicles.
The Last Word
Fans of the Ford F-150 will find lots to love in the 2021 model. Not only does the F-150 remain a reliable workhorse of a rig, but it’s more luxurious and comfortable than ever before. This is a truck that is sure to please everyone from blue collar workers to large families. Its great technology and spacious interior only serve to enhance what is already the bestselling vehicle in North America. You can pre-order now, or wait to test drive one when they hit dealerships in late 2020.