Consumer Reports and Edmunds Disagree Over the 2021 Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 has been one of the longest-standing best-selling vehicles in America. It is popular, homegrown, and in the past few years, it has even become a versatile option, offering some luxuries that might surprise you. For a vehicle with such a large consumer base and even fan base, it’s surprising to see that opinions and reviews vary so drastically. In fact, if you bounce back and forth between these two popular review websites, you might be feeling more than a bit conflicted about the 2021 Ford F-150.

Does Consumer Reports recommend the new Ford F-150?

Consumer Reports is a go-to website for many car buyers, but you may be surprised to see a low-ranked 2021 Ford F-150 on their list. In fact, the new F-150 received a surprisingly low score of 55 out of 100. That means that Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the 2021 Ford F-150, but also that it doesn’t make their list of good buys or great pickups.

A quick look at the scores might lead readers to be more confused. The F-150 gets high marks for road testing and is noted for offering a pleasant acceleration, smooth ride, and overall quality driving experience. It’s also posted with good scores for predicted owners’ satisfaction, which makes us wonder what it is about the vehicle Consumer Reports doesn’t seem to like. With a reported 19 mpg fuel consumption and questionable reliability in previous years — mostly due to recalls which have been mostly resolved — the F-150 loses major points for expected reliability.

A dark blue Ford F-150 King Ranch on the road
The 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch | Nic Antaya, Getty Images

Does Edmunds recommend the 2021 Ford F-150?

Edmunds, on the other hand, displays rather positive scores for the 2021 Ford F-150. Using a slightly different scoring system, Edmunds gave the new F-150 a total overall score of 8.5 out of a possible 10 and also gave it the little flag indicating it as a top-rated vehicle. While Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the popular pickup truck, Edmunds does, which can be a tad confusing to some buyers.

The breakdown of scores includes key factors that most buyers look at, such as interior quality, storage, comfort, and driving experience, and, of course, if the car is a good value. In fact, while the scores vary drastically between both websites, the reviews for the 2021 Ford F-150 are incredibly similar, which leaves us wondering what the big difference really is.

A 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch at the Ford Built for America event
The 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch | Nic Antaya, Getty Images

What Consumer Reports does differently

There is one factor consistently mentioned on the Consumer Reports scoring that isn’t included in Edmunds: expected reliability. Where Consumer Reports takes into account previous model years, active recalls, and some user-reported problems, Edmunds seems more focused on the ‘here-and-now of the vehicle, which can be good and bad. For Consumer Reports, it is important to remember that the scores each vehicle received are based on the website’s expectations for reliability based on data and statistics from previous model years.

The back end of several 2021 ford f150 pickup trucks
Ford Motor Co. F-150 pickup trucks | David Paul Morris/Bloomberg, Getty Images

Is the 2021 Ford F-150 Recommended by Edmunds?

Regardless of the small hiccup in scores, both Consumer Reports and Edmunds seem to agree with many aspects of the Ford F-150. While most buyers are confident in the popular pickup truck, and some data may leave us feeling a bit wary of reliability problems, the newest model year will likely remain as popular as it has ever been.