Putting a hybrid powertrain into the F-150 is a significant move for Ford. And considering how important the F-Series is to Ford, the Blue Oval couldn’t afford to half-bake it. To see if it did, YouTube team Throttle House recently spent some time with a 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat PowerBoost Hybrid. And at the end, the hosts came away massively impressed.
How much capability and features do you get with the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat PowerBoost?
Whether it has the PowerBoost hybrid powertrain or not, the Lariat sits roughly in the middle of the 2021 Ford F-150 trim arrangement. It’s more expensive than the XLT, but it’s right below the King Ranch.
Normally, the F-150 Lariat starts at $44,695. But if you want it in SuperCrew PowerBoost 4×4 form, the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat’s base price jumps to $56,785. However, the Lariat Hybrid’s higher price tag does include several desirable features.
Firstly, there’s the hybrid powertrain itself. Each 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid comes with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 linked to a 35-kW electric motor and 10-speed automatic. The electric motor is linked to a 1.5-kWh battery pack, Autoweek reports. Altogether, the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat PowerBoost has 430 hp and 570 lb-ft. And that’s enough to let it tow up to 12,400 pounds, and depending on the bed length, carry anywhere from 1810-2120 pounds.
Getting the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat with the PowerBoost hybrid powertrain also nets you an onboard 2.4-kW generator. Non-Hybrid F-150s can also get a generator, but it’s an optional extra and limited to 2 kW. And F-150 Hybrids can further upgrade their generators to deliver 7.2 kW, Car and Driver reports.
However, the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid offers more than just its PowerBoost-related features. Unlike lower trim levels, the Lariat comes standard with a 12” center touchscreen, not an 8” one. It also has a 12” digital gauge cluster, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and 4G WiFi. There’s also an optional ‘Interior Work Surface’ feature that lets you fold down the shifter and unfold a worktable on the center console, Car and Driver reports. Plus, the hybrid pickup has an extensive ADAS suite, with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring, Autotrader reports.
Ford did “a bang-up job” with the F-150 Lariat PowerBoost Hybrid, Throttle House says
The 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat PowerBoost Hybrid in Throttle House’s video has roughly $12,000 in options. On top of the center console worktable, the truck in the video has power-operated running boards, a power-operated tailgate, trailer backup assist, and the upgraded 7.2-kW generator. Which, incidentally, can genuinely power a home. The F-150 Lariat in the video also has ‘Zone Lighting,’ which adds additional exterior lighting besides the headlights and taillights.
Overall, the hybrid powertrain in the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat PowerBoost is impressively smooth. And with it the truck can even briefly run in electric-only mode, Roadshow reports. “It just drives like a truck,” Autoblog says, “a very powerful truck.”
Speaking of, at one point in the video, the Throttle House hosts have to tow a race-prepped BMW M3. But the F-150 feels so under-stressed, they barely even notice that the trailer’s there. Automobile had a similar reaction while towing a 5500-lb Airstream camper. Little wonder the 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid is almost as fast as the Raptor, TruckTrend reports. And that electric motor means “instant torque” at low RPM, Throttle House reports.
Equally impressive, in Throttle House’s eyes, are the improvements to the interior. It’s spacious and utilitarian, with an easy-to-understand layout and comfortable seats. And in co-host Thomas’s opinion, the truck’s digital gauge cluster is “one of the easiest to read and easiest to use” on the market. Plus, one of the options on the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid in the video is the Bang & Olufsen audio system. And it has plenty of power outlets inside, too.
What still needs work?
Although Throttle House was seriously impressed with the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid, there are a few areas that need additional attention.
Firstly, the hybrid powertrain isn’t necessarily as fuel-efficient as you might think. The EPA rates the F-150 Hybrid 4×4 at 24 mpg combined, but Consumer Reports only saw an indicated 18 mpg in its initial testing. And while MotorTrend managed to get 20 mpg out of its Ford F-150 Hybrid on the highway, it never quite matched the EPA rating. Though, to be fair, that’s not necessarily unusual or unique to the F-150.
Secondly, although the Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid’s powertrain is smooth overall, its ride doesn’t quite match up. Throttle House found it jittery over some stretches of pavement, something CR also noted. For a truck, it’s rather smooth, Driving.ca reports, but it’s not quite as comfy as the Ram 1500.
Speaking of the interior, the Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid does have a few cheap-feeling trim pieces. And Throttle House noted a few rough exterior trim pieces, too, including one that tore open one of their crewmember’s jeans. Plus, considering how much the hybrid powertrain costs, it might not be the best value for everyone.
That being said, Throttle House is seriously considering getting a 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid as a crew utility vehicle. So, while it’s not perfect, it is an impressive truck.
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