America’s favorite pickup now comes in a hybrid version. And some truck lovers aren’t sure how to feel about it. Ford F-150 fans worry its new electric capabilities will interfere with performance and ride quality. On paper, these fears seem unwarranted: the battery’s weight is below average, and the engine produces plenty of horsepower.
Consumer Reports editors recently purchased a 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid for $71,400. Despite offering plenty of praise, they were disappointed at the absence of a particular feature.
Driving the Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid
The new Ford F-150 Hybrid packs a 3.5-liter twin-turbo PowerBoost V6 and a 35-kW electric motor. Combined, they produce 430 hp and an impressive 570 lb-ft of torque. It also boasts a 700-mile range. The truck comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission and either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
Consumer Reports‘ reviewers say their Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid is enjoyable to drive. The handling is exceptionally sharp by truck standards, and there’s great visibility from all angles. There’s also a futuristic humming in the cabin while driving in electric mode, but it’s not intrusive.
Additionally, the ride is smooth, even with an empty truck bed. CR attributes this to the added battery weight, which helps stabilize the suspension. It’s also as capable as any gas-operated truck. The F-150 Hybrid can tow up to 12,700 pounds and haul 2,120 pounds.
The Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid’s useful amenities
Ford overhauled the 2021 F-150’s cabin, now more comfortable and luxurious. Buttery-smooth leather wraps the steering wheel and dashboard, plus silver accents cover the air vents and shifter. And you can get your leather seats with maximum recline to fold as flat as a bed.
The center touchscreen is also larger this year, and CR’s reviewers appreciate that it’s not too distracting. However, one said if you’re shorter, you might wish the screen were angled toward the driver. Ford also improved the F-150’s Sync 4 software, offering more intuitive menus and better response times. Best of all, the interior is not only pretty but also functional.
You can fold the shifter down so that the center console folds out to a large flat work surface. The Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid also has cargo box lights and a built-in power generator. This is especially useful for contractors, who can now easily charge tools on the go.
But it’s missing this feature
Consumer Reports autos editor Jon Linkov expressed frustration that their $71,000 Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid oddly doesn’t have power-up windows. They’re still automatic switches, but power-up windows allow drivers to close the window completely with one button press. As Linkov points out, it’s a strange omission considering power-up windows come standard on less expensive trims.
CR’s reviewers found a few other small annoyances inside their truck. Soft-touch plastics had already begun to show wear such as scratches. They also noted an audible “thunk” when the truck switches from electric to gas driving.
But overall, Consumer Reports’ reviewers like their new F-150 Hybrid.
Why fans will love the F-150 Hybrid
The on-board power generator alone makes the Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid a great buy. CR’s editors shared that several owners used it to power their homes after losing electricity during Texas’s recent winter storm. The F-150 Hybrid also clearly isn’t lacking power and arguably rides better than its gas-powered sibling.
Though we agree the lack of power-up windows is strange, it’s probably not the first thing on most drivers’ minds. More important, consumers don’t have to shy away from hybrid powertrains for fear of turning their pickup into a Prius. You’re still getting a powerful truck while saving fuel.