An eco-conscious pickup truck might sound like an oxymoron, but Ford has rolled out a hybrid version of its best-selling F-150 for 2021. This truck boasts a smooth ride, great range, and the same excellent features as the standard F-150.
However, it has an annoying interior flaw. Here’s what’s great and not so great about the 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid.
Consumer Reports’ take on the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid
Consumer Reports‘ Talking Cars podcast recently covered its experts’ first impressions of the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid. Hosted by CR’s Jennifer Stockburger, Jon Linkov, and Mike Quincy, the episode discussed this truck’s ride and handling, along with the new F-150 Hybrid’s features.
The 2021 F-150 Lariat Hybrid that CR tested cost the not-for-profit consumer organization $71,435, plus a $1,695 destination charge. You can add the PowerBoost hybrid powertrain to any F-150 trim with a crew cab for about $2,500 to $4,495.
There’s also a 400-hp, 5.0-liter V8 option for the F-150, but the most powerful engine is actually the 430-hp, 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 PowerBoost hybrid. It pairs with a 47-hp electric motor. The hybrid version beats the standard version’s fuel efficiency by only 4 mpg, but Car and Driver noted that’s a 20 percent improvement. According to Talking Cars, the F-150 Hybrid has an impressive 700-mile range, making this truck convenient.
The co-hosts also praised the F-150 Lariat Hybrid’s ride quality. They found the ride smoother in the hybrid version than in other F-150 trucks, calling it “refined” and “super-smooth.” They speculated the improved ride could be due to the battery system’s weight and placement.
The F-150 Lariat Hybrid also boasts a luxurious interior with comfortable seats and great visibility. It’s quiet, too, especially when driving on electric power. But don’t expect it to sound like a typical roaring pickup truck, CR’s experts mention.
The most annoying interior flaw
The 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid isn’t perfect, though. The interior trim’s vulnerability to scratches flummoxed CR autos editor Jon Linkov. He said, “Some of the trim, really great. Some of the trim, easy to scratch up already. So at $71,000, [there are] scratches in trim that you’re gonna use [often], such as near the locking buttons.”
The easily scratchable trim wasn’t his only complaint. Linkov also noted Consumer Reports’ pricey F-150 Lariat Hybrid didn’t have power-up windows, but cheaper models have the feature. And the transition from electric to gas power was sometimes “clunky,” he said.
Talking Cars‘ co-hosts also noted some electric features on their test truck — such as the electric power running boards and electric mirrors — sometimes got confused or stuck while operating. These issues raise questions about the new model’s reliability, but CR’s experts mused it could be simply a matter of working out some early kinks.
An overview of the 2021 Ford F-150
The 2021 Ford F-150 offers six engine options, including the hybrid. All engines are paired with a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. There are also three cab configurations, although the PowerBoost hybrid powertrain is available with only one. The F-150 also comes in three bed lengths and six trim levels. Starting prices range from $28,940 to $74,250.
According to Ford, the F-150 Powerboost Hybrid can tow up to 12,700 pounds and haul up to 2,120 pounds. The non-hybrid version of the 3.5-liter V6 can tow up to 14,000 pounds, Car and Driver reports. When properly equipped, the truck has a maximum payload capacity of 3,250 pounds.
The hybrid version offers several extra amenities, including a generator and bed outlets. All 2021 Ford F-150 trucks have a gear selector that folds flat to make space for a flat work surface to be used above it. Talking Cars‘ co-hosts believe it’s a great truck with desirable extras.
The F-150 also boasts a large touchscreen with a user-friendly design. An 8.0-inch screen comes standard, but a 12-inch one is available. Smaller drivers who sit closer to the dashboard might wish the larger screen had been angled toward the driver, director of operations at Consumer Reports’ auto test center, Jennifer Stockburger, mentioned in the podcast. The optional 12-inch digital instrument cluster also provides plenty of useful information.
The Talking Cars podcasters were enthusiastic in their 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid review. Though the scratch-prone interior trim might be annoying, that flaw doesn’t outweigh this hybrid pickup truck’s other benefits.