Is the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Worth $10,000 Over the F-150 XLT?

Did you know most vehicle models come in various trim levels? It might not be something you’re aware of until you start shopping for one. But they can pose a dilemma when you’re trying to decide which model has all the features you desire. If you’re looking to buy the world’s best-selling pickup truck, know that the 2021 Ford F-150 comes in various iterations and configurations.

With six trim levels, it can be hard to decide which is the best. The 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat and XLT are excellent trims, but how do they compare? And, more important, is the Lariat worth an extra 10 grand? We’ll sort it all out for you.

The 2021 Ford F-150 XLT 

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Ford didn’t hold back in its F-150 trim options. You can choose among XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models. Looking at the Ford F-150 XLT, you’ll find a few reasons to consider this trim, the second level up from the base model. 

Starting at a reasonable $35,050, the XLT comes with a 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 and auto start-stop engine technology, Ford‘s website shows. The model’s standard 17-inch wheels and high-strength steel frame give the F-150 XLT a strong foundation and appearance. 

However, the XLT lacks tech prowess. It comes standard with a tiny 4.0-inch infotainment screen. A mediocre 6.0-inch screen is available for an up-charge.

The F-150 Lariat, only one trim level up from the XLT, has generated considerable attention and hype. Here’s why.

The 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat

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There are a decent number of similarities between the Ford F-150 Lariat and XLT trims. The standard electronic 10-speed automatic transmission, 4X2 drivetrain, and driver assistance package are just a few of the features the two models share. However, the Lariat definitely levels up the luxury. 

The Lariat comes standard with 18-inch wheels, a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, and dual-zone automatic climate control, which the standard XLT either lacks or offers at an up-charge.

The F-150 Lariat’s interior also surpasses the XLT’s in luxuriousness. More advanced technology features, a 12-inch digital infotainment touchscreen, and ambient lighting are a few of the many perks the Lariat boasts.

But, of course, another big difference between the F-150 XLT and Lariat is the price.

The 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat starts at almost $45,000. That’s a whopping $10,000 over the XLT.

So, is the Lariat worth $10,000 over the XLT?

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Spending the extra cash on the Ford F-150 Lariat is worth it if you want the better engine and tech upgrades. It’s a great light-duty truck starting under $45,000. And we agree with Car and Driver’s points here:

“While the XLT model is a step up from the basic XL work truck, we prefer the additional luxuries on the Lariat,” Car and Driver explains. “It costs over $10,000 more than the XLT, which may put it out of reach for some buyers, but it has the best mix of features and affordability.”

But ultimately, the right Ford F-150 model depends on your budget and needs.