We recommend the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, as it offers a great combination of power, fuel economy, and towing capability for the money. However, if you tow a large trailer on a regular basis, you may want to consider the 5.0-liter V8 or the 3.5-liter EcoBoost – both are more powerful for 2021.
F-150 offers a wide variety of engines, trim levels, bed lengths, and wheelbases, making it easy to find the right combination for your needs that fits your budget. This truck also is consistently at the top of its class for towing and payload capacity, and Ford places a strong emphasis on both work innovations and luxury amenities.
Is Ford making a hybrid truck?
Yes. The 2021 model year is the first time the Ford F-150 will be available as a hybrid. Trucks with the “PowerBoost” name are gas/electric hybrid. This version of the F-150 makes 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque.
Where is the 2021 F-150 built?
The 2021 Ford F-150 will be built at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan and the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. The hybrid model, known as the PowerBoost, will be built exclusively in Dearborn.
KBB editors’ overview
The Ford F-150 has been the bestselling truck in America for 43 years because it consistently offers capability, value, innovation, and choice. With three cab sizes, three bed lengths, six powertrains, and six trim levels (not including Raptor), the F-150 gives buyers the opportunity to find a combination that suits their needs and their budget. Lately, the Ram 1500’s eTorque mild hybrid system, near-luxury interiors, and huge infotainment screen have wowed the public. The Chevrolet 1500’s impressive variety of models and engines and its outstanding 5-Year Cost to Own data make that truck easy to recommend. Yet the F-150 is still the best equipped for work and leisure, and no other truck matches the Ford when it comes to work solutions tech and convenience and safety features.
For 2021, the Ford F-150 is essentially all-new. Ford updated the styling and redesigned the interior, which now features a new infotainment system and more work and storage solutions. There’s also a new hybrid powertrain option, as well as the availability of an onboard generator, and the company has updated almost every engine in the lineup. While Ford hasn’t yet announced power ratings or each model’s capabilities, we anticipate the 2021 F-150 will offer best-in-class horsepower, torque, towing, and payload capacity.
Powerboost Hybrid Engine: Ford’s full hybrid system uses a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, a 35 KW electric motor, and a 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery mounted below the rear seat so it doesn’t take up passenger or bed space. Ford anticipates the F-150 with the PowerBoost will be able to tow at least 12,000 pounds while offering about 700 miles of range on a tank of gas. It also comes standard with Pro Power Onboard.
Pro Power Onboard: With the Pro Power Onboard inverter, the F-150 can serve as a generator. There’s a 2.0-KW unit available for the 2.7- and 3.5-liter EcoBoost and the 5.0-liter V8. The 2.4-KW inverter comes standard with the hybrid. The 7.2-KW system, optional only with the hybrid, offers the most power. Ford gave an example: it can charge a plasma cutter, TIG welder, chop saw, air compressor, angle grinder, and work light simultaneously for up to 32 hours.
2021 Ford F-150 interior
The 2021 Ford F-150’s interior was totally redesigned with upgraded materials and new color combinations. The center stack – where you can find all the navigation, stereo, and climate controls – is all-new. It houses the truck’s standard 8-inch touchscreen, which is twice as big as the previous model’s standard screen. Sync 4, the newest version of Ford’s infotainment system, is standard. A 12-inch touchscreen is also available, which is a landscape (horizontal) layout that still leaves ample room for physical buttons and knobs. You can also get a digital gauge cluster with animations that show what terrain you’re on and the drive mode the truck is in.
An optional Interior Work Surface creates a flat working area over the center console. If your F-150 doesn’t have the column-mounted shifter, you can fold down the console-mounted transmission shifter when you want to use the Work Surface. Then you push a button to stow the Surface in the center console when you’re done. If you need to grab some ZZZs between jobs or just want to feel like you’re flying first class, Ford now offers Max Recline seats that fold nearly flat.
2021 Ford F-150 exterior
Even though Ford has made changes to every piece of the 2021 F-150’s sheet metal, the end result is a truck that looks remarkably similar to its predecessor. It’s slightly wider, for a tougher stance, and the new grille and headlight designs reveal that it’s a 2021 model. There are 11 grilles and three different headlight designs, plus 13 different wheel designs that range from 17 to 22 inches.
There are new extended-length power running boards can be lowered with a hands-free “kick switch,” and can also be set to stay down if you’re making multiple trips to load or unload cargo. In addition, every tailgate now comes with built-in clamp pockets, and there’s a new feature called the Tailgate Work Surface that includes integrated rulers, a cupholder, pencil holder, and smartphone/tablet holder.
2021 Ford F-150 standard features
The base model of the 2021 Ford F-150, the XL, comes with a 3.3-liter V6 backed by a 10-speed automatic, comes as a rear-drive truck, and rides on 17-inch steel wheels. Its smallest cab is a regular cab. The basic fuel tank size is 23 gallons, but a 26- or 36-gallon tank is available.
This truck has an 8-inch touchscreen that includes a digital version of the owner’s manual, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The F-150 is set up for over-the-air updates, which often happen in the background, and most are instantaneous. All F-150s come standard with some Ford Co-Pilot360 technology, including forward collision warning and dynamic brake support, hill start assist, pre-collision assist with auto emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), auto hold, and its rearview camera has dynamic hitch support, making it easier to line up the truck with a trailer.
2021 Ford F-150 options
You can choose two larger cabs – the extended cab SuperCab or the crew cab SuperCrew – and a 5-1/2-, 6-1/2-, or 8-foot bed. There are three wheelbase lengths as well. Trim levels continue in increasing price with XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. There are two different 4-wheel-drive systems, both of which have a flat tow mode. If you want more power than the 3.3-liter V6 offers, you can look at the twin-turbocharged 2.7- or 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, the 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 turbodiesel, or the 3.5-liter PowerBoost V6 hybrid. There are 11 grille styles, which vary based on trim level, and 13 wheel designs.
There’s an available locking full-length fold-flat storage area that goes in the second row. You can even get a setup that lets you turn on and off individual exterior lights, which comes handy when you’re on the job site or camping. Ford’s tailgate step is still available, as is the Pro Trailer Backup Assist, where you use a knob to back your truck and trailer into place. Safety options include Active Drive Assist, active park assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-centering and lane-keeping assists, and reverse brake assist.
Interior options include a 12-inch touchscreen and a digital gauge cluster. The Interior Work Surface creates a flat working area over the center console. If your F-150 comes with a console-mounted transmission shifter, it folds down when you want to use the Work Surface. You can push a button to stow the Surface in the center console when you’re done. And Max Recline seats fold nearly flat.
2021 Ford F-150 engine
There are still six engine choices but the lineup has changed a little. Plus, the 5.0-liter V8 and EcoBoost V6 get more power for 2021.
Engine choices now include:
- 3.3-liter V6 which delivers 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.
- 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost which delivers 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
- 5.0-liter V8 with 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque.
- 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V6 with 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque.
- 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.
- 3.5-liter PowerBoost gas/electric hybrid V6 with 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque.
The gas/electric hybrid PowerBoost F-150 is now the top engine option. It’s rated at 12,700 pounds of towing capacity. However, if you’re looking for the absolute best in terms of towing, get the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and the optional Max Trailer Tow Package. Here, the F-150 is rated at 14,000 lbs. of conventional towing capacity. That’s an 800 lb increase over the 2020 model.
Also, Ford hasn’t announced fuel-economy numbers, but the use of active grille shutters, an automatic air dam, and a more aerodynamic body should improve fuel economy across the lineup.
The base engine, a 3.3-liter V6, comes standard with a 10-speed automatic for the first time, which should improve fuel economy for that engine. For the PowerBoost hybrid, Ford is aiming for 700 miles of range on a single tank of gasoline. The PowerBoost uses a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 and a 35 KW electric motor that works with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It can run solely on electric power, but only for very short distances.
How much does the 2021 Ford F-150 cost?
We expect the 2021 Ford F-150 pricing to start at around $30,000 for a regular cab XL. Pricing will increase incrementally from there, as each trim level, going from the XLT to the Lariat, to the King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited, will come standard with more features and high-end luxury amenities. We expect the Limited 4×4 SuperCrew PowerBoost with every option could approach $80,000. That base price is comparable to that of the Chevy Silverado 1500 and the Ram 1500, but nudges higher than the top-line Silverado and Ram.
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To see what people in your area are paying for their new trucks, check out Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Purchase Price. Based on the data we’ve gathered on previous F-150 models, we expect the resale value of the Ford F-150 to be comparable to that of its competitors.
2021 Ford F-150 safety technology
Co-Pilot360: Ford’s inclusive suite of advanced driver assists includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active park assist, automatic high beams, evasive steering assist, BLIS (blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert) and Lane Keeping. Some of this technology comes standard, and other features are available with higher trim levels.
360-Degree camera: This optional feature allows a complete 360-degree view around the vehicle, particularly helpful given the F-150’s elevated height and numerous low-level blind spots. This camera is also useful when backing up the F-150 while towing a trailer.
Active Drive Assist: This optional feature will have a camera that faces the driver to track the driver’s head and eye position to sense if the driver is getting drowsy. This is designed to be a more accurate system than one that solely uses steering wheel inputs. This technology will also offer the option of some hands-free driving. The prep kit will be available soon, and an over-the-air update will activate the system in the third quarter of 2021.
Intersection Assist: If you’re turning left at an intersection and there’s a risk of a crash with an oncoming vehicle, the optional Intersection Assist will apply the brakes to avoid a crash.