2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid review article highlights:
- 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid ($46,500 – $63,305)
- 2021 Green Truck of the Year Award – Green Car Journal
- Pros: Stout towing power, upgraded interior materials, enhanced tech, and standard onboard generator.
- Cons: Low fuel economy improvement and the added weight from the hybrid system impacts the ride quality.
Ford redesigned the F-150 for 2021 to improve its capabilities for work and luxury convenience. The new hybrid powertrain provides a greener truck than before, and the onboard generator can power construction sites, camping equipment, and even your home.
Each trim level includes upgraded materials to provide a higher quality feel. With the Interior Work Surface, you can lay the shift level flat in the center console to access a fold-out table. It has enough space for your laptop and other materials, effectively turning the truck into a mobile office.
I spent a week with the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Platinum trim, exploring how well the truck performs while towing, powering an RV, and as a daily driver. It serves as a full-size truck that can be configured to meet a variety of budgets and needs.
Which Ford F-150 PowerBoost trim is best?
The Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid powertrain can be added to four different trim levels for about $2,500 to $4,995.
- The XLT SuperCrew has a base price of $42,005, and it costs $4,995 to add the PowerBoost.
- The Lariat SuperCrew costs about $48,750, and you can add the PowerBoost for $3,300.
- The King Ranch SuperCrew starts at $58,025, and the PowerBoost adds $2,500 to the price.
- The Platinum SuperCrew costs $60,805, and you can add the PowerBoost for $2,500.
The Lariat trim costs a bit more than the XLT trim, but the upgrades are worth it. While The XLT model is an excellent step up from the basic XL work truck trim, the Lariat includes more standard goodies like the 12.0-inch infotainment system.
Other premium Lariat features include heated and ventilated front seats, the remote start system, leather-trimmed seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels, and more.
The PowerBoost Platinum trim includes Admiral blue bucket seats, a massive moon roof, heated seats in the second row, privacy glass, power deployable running boards, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, massaging seats, and Max Recline seats.
The 2021 Ford F-150 has a brand new look
The 2021 Ford F-150 was redesigned from the grille to the tailgate to bring a fresh look to the table. It has a more prominent look with a larger grille that’s accented by C-shaped wrap-around headlights.
It sets the tone for its little brothers. The Ford Maverick has a similar face, and the 2023 Ford Ranger is expected to have matching headlights as well. It has an impressive multi-function tailgate that can be used to hold your coffee, make measurements, clamp boards, revise plans, and more.
How is the F-150’s interior?
There are only two drawbacks with the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid Platinum’s interior. The battery pack sits under the rear seat, taking up a bit of cargo space. It may prevent some items from lying flat. Also, the seat massagers can land in awkward positions when they aren’t being used. They may poke your back.
Otherwise, hybrid powertrain or not, the 2021 F-150 has an immaculate and spacious interior. It’s crafted with high-quality materials, including leather and wood-grain appliques. The pedals, seats, and steering wheel are power adjustable to meet all sorts of shapes and sizes.
There is enough space in the front and rear for adults to sit comfortably. The moonroof allows ample light to enter the cabin and the large windows and side mirrors provide tons of visibility. Plus, the F-150 features an intuitive layout. Everything you need is easily within reach.
How comfortable is the 2021 Ford F-150?
The Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid provides a quiet interior for relaxing rides. Wind and road noise are well muted. It also has a pretty smooth ride, although competitors such as the Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra absorbed impacts a little better.
The massive seats are well-padded and supportive, but I wouldn’t opt for the massaging seats. The climate controls keep the cabin comfortable, and the ventilated seats work quickly on hot summer days. The Max Recline seats almost fold entirely flat, providing the perfect place for naps.
Does the 2021 Ford F-150 have good tech?
Yes, the 2021 Ford F-150 is loaded with great tech. It joined the massive screen party with an optional 12-inch infotainment system. An 8.0-inch screen comes standard, and an improved version of Ford Sync 4 software is included. The menus are easy to navigate, and the system works quickly.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, but you can upgrade to wireless connectivity with a wireless phone charger. The touchscreen has split-screen functionality, allowing you to view two systems simultaneously. For example, you can view the navigation and your music at the same time.
The new digital gauge cluster can easily be configured to display crucial driver information. For example, it shows which driving mode you’re in, your speed, eco behavior, music, trailer gain, etc.
How does the Ford F-150 PowerBoost drive?
The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid uses the optional turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, lithium-ion battery pack, and a 47-hp electric motor. They combine to generate 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque. This setup is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
It has a peppy acceleration and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.4 seconds. The transitions from gas to electric power are incredibly smooth, and the regenerative braking feels confident.
There is a little body roll around sharp curves, but the truck feels stable. The leaf-spring rear axle may shudder from time to time over larger bumps. Also, the new variable-assist steering is tight and responsive.
Unlike previous F-150 models, the 2021 PowerBoost Hybrid is agile and easy to park. The 360-degree overhead view, parking sensors, and rearview camera allow you to easily navigate tight areas.
How does the Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid perform?
The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and up to 24 mpg on the highway. It achieves about four extra miles per gallon than the gasoline-powered models and outperforms all other gasoline-powered trucks in the segment.
You can tow up to 12,700 lbs with the PowerBoost, and other F-150 models can tow up to 14,000 lbs. While towing a 6,000 lbs camper up steep mountain inclines, the F-150 didn’t struggle at all. The extra weight was hardly noticed and well-controlled when going downhill. The camper didn’t sway and came to smooth stops.
With the Reverse Trailer Guidance feature, high-resolution cameras overlay graphics to tell you where to turn while backing up. The Pro Trailer Backup Assist system allows you to use a knob to adjust where you want your trailer to go, and the F-150 automatically steers you in the right direction. Plus, the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) includes Trailer Coverage to detect vehicles in your trailer’s blind spots.
While towing, I had to check out the Pro Onboard Generator. The system provides either 2.4 kW or 7.2 kW of output. The upgraded 7.2-kW system comes with four 120-volt outlets and a 240-volt 30-amp outlet.
You can power an entire campsite with a projector, stove, loudspeakers, lights, and more for up to 85 hours. All you have to do is plug the devices into the back of the truck and turn the generator on. We had electricity in the camper, with the microwave, stove, tv, speakers, and lights running without any issues.
The system is monitored through the FordPass smartphone app. You’ll be notified if you’re trying to pull too much power. The system automatically turns on the gasoline engine as needed to provide consistent power without draining the battery.
How safe is the 2021 Ford F-150?
The 2021 Ford F-150 is a pretty safe truck with a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It’s also an Insurance Institue of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick.
It scored mostly Good ratings for its ability to protect crash dummies in simulated wrecks. It received two Acceptable ratings for its ability to protect passengers’ legs and feet during side crashes.
The F-150 earned a Superior rating for its ability to provide collision warnings and to avoid forward collisions. The child seats received a marginal score because the tether anchors are hard to find and may be confused with other equipment.
Safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available blind-spot monitoring
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
How reliable is the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid?
According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Ford F-150 has a predicted reliability rating of two out of five. This score is a little concerning because it’s below average. However, it’s based on issues that owners reported on previous model years.
A majority of the transmission and engine problems were reported on the 2017 and 2018 models. The 2019 and 2020 models have fewer complaints, indicating that the F-150 may be improving. The PowerBoost Hybrid powertrain is still a little too new to assess fully.
The 2021 Ford F-150 has six recalls for problems involving the airbags, seat belts, hydraulic brakes, steering, loss of power, and windshield separation. But Ford is fixing these issues at no cost to owners.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid an expert rating of 8.9/10
The MotorBiscuit editors gave the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid an overall rating of 8.9 out of 10. While the new hybrid powertrain provides plenty of power and an exciting acceleration, it only improves the fuel economy by four miles per gallon.
The Power Onboard Pro Generator, new 12-inch infotainment system, and refined cabin provide a more luxurious feeling than before. Plus, the interior is very peaceful. The multi-functional tailgate, Max Recline seats, and interior workspace can fill a variety of needs. But rivals still have a better ride quality.