2021 F-150 Hybrid Limited Review by Mark Fulmer
Raising the Bar for Light Duty Trucks
by Mark Fulmer
The Auto Channel
Everyone knows about the F-150 which for the last 43 years has been the king of the light duty trucks, but the 2021 model has raised the bar with a bounty of useful, practical add-ons and tech. If you haven't caught the current log cabin building TV ad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3MG7ZcIH5k), check it out and enjoy one of the most well written, well produced truck ads in recent years.
The all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid V6 powertrain is a remarkable engine producing 430 horsepower and 570 lb.-ft. of torque creating an EPA-estimated range of 700 miles on a single tank of gas and a maximum available12,700 pounds towing. The electric engine gives you terrific low-end torque which makes towing easier and more precise.
If you are not fond of backing up while hitched to a trailor, you will be very fond of the Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which makes backing up a trailer as easy as turning a dial.
But this powerplant has an equally remarkable add-on. A set of power outlets, in back of the bed, provide four standard 120-volt, 20-amp plugs and one 240V/30A.They are part of the Pro Power Onboard system which add 7.2 kilowatts, fed by the new Powerboost hybrid powertrain. All that extra juice gives you the ability to run a wide array of power tools for up to 32 hours with a full tank. It can also serve as a backup power source for your home.
Practical features are plentiful. LED headlamps and tail lamps, a large center screen letting you set up multiple windows for navigation, music or truck features that include truck-specific graphics and animations on selectable drive modes, as well as off-roading data and turn-by-turn navigation. For night work, there is Zone Lighting for all those 1 hour jobs that turn into all-nighters.
The full-length extended power running boards with kick switch have the added usefulness of easy access to the front of the bed. When it comes to hauling, there are cleats mounted to the sides of the tailgate as tie-downs for extra-long items in the bed. Clamp pockets are built into the tailgate of every truck so it's possible to hold materials down for precision work. And how about a handy flat tailgate work surface with integrated rulers, a mobile device holder, cupholder, and pencil holder.
Big hits with true truckists were a lockable, fold-flat rear storage vault to the F-150 that extends the width of the rear seats. Out of the way, and out of sight and secure. And there were kudos for the Max Recline Seats that fold flat to nearly 180 degrees, with the bottom cushion rising to meet the back cushion and the upper back support rotating forward up to 10 degrees for maximum comfort.
If the F-150 keeps adding and refining its powerplant, its usefulness,and its technology, it will continue to be the leader of the pack in America.