The Most Popular 2021 Ford F-150 Trim Isn’t Necessarily the Best

The Ford F-150 is the most popular truck in the world. It’s also the most popular vehicle of any kind in the U.S. It offers buyers a huge variety of trim levels and configurations to pick among. But buyers will be interested to hear that the most popular 2021 Ford F-150 trims aren’t necessarily the best.

How good is the 2021 Ford F-150?

The Ford F-150 has been redesigned for the 2021 model year. There aren’t mind-bending changes, but it does now offer a hybrid powertrain. It has six trim levels: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited.

It also has three cab sizes, three bed lengths, and six powertrains. The powertrains include multiple gas and diesel engines along with the hybrid. It has excellent towing capabilities, even with the hybrid powertrain. All engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are both available.

It also has a redesigned interior and a new infotainment system along with an onboard generator. An 8-inch touchscreen is standard, but a 12-inch screen is available. With its numerous configuration options, the 2021 Ford F-150 is the Edmunds Top Rated Truck for 2021.

Executive Chairman of Ford Bill Ford poses for a photo with the 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch Truck at the Ford Built for America event at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant
The 2021 Ford F-150 | Nic Antaya/Getty Images

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Edmunds says the F-150 XL Regular cab is one of the most popular versions. It starts at $28,940 with the 6.5-foot bed or $29,240 for the 8-foot bed. The Regular cab is the smallest and seats three.

This version has the 290-hp 3.3-liter V6 engine. This base trim of the work truck has vinyl flooring, manual mirrors and windows, and single-zone air conditioning. It has an 8-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It does have trailer sway control and pre-wired trailer connections. The XL trim provides lane departure warning and forward collision mitigation.

Another popular version, according to Edmunds, is the F-150 XLT SuperCrew four-wheel drive with a 5.5-foot bed. This version starts at $43,805, although the XLT trim starts at $36,745. The SuperCrew is the largest cab and seats six. This price also provides the 290-hp 3.3-liter V6 engine.

The XLT provides a few more practical features, like carpeted flooring, power door locks, power windows, and a power-locking tailgate. It also has fog lights, cruise control, and front-seat lumbar adjustments. The XLT adds blind-spot monitoring, rear automatic braking, and lane-keeping assist.

In addition, the XLT has available packages for drivers who want a larger touchscreen or an upgraded audio system.

Both Edmunds and Car and Driver recommend the Lariat trim of the 2021 Ford F-150. The Lariat trim comes in either SuperCab (with a 6.5-foot or 8-foot bed) or SuperCrew (with a 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed). Its lowest price starts at $44,695, which is quite a bit more than the XLT trim.

It includes the same advanced safety features as the XL and XLT trims, but the Lariat trim adds a number of premium comfort features. That includes leather upholstery, the 12-inch touchscreen, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

It also has heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats and power-adjustable pedals. The Lariat trim includes remote start and remote tailgate release, LED bed lighting, and a Class IV trailer hitch. There are three trim levels higher than the Lariat, but Car and Driver feels the Lariat trim offers the “best mix of features and affordability.”

Why more people buy the XL and XLT trims

The XL, XLT, and Lariat are the three lowest trims (out of six) offered for the 2021 Ford F-150. While the XL and XLT might be the lowest, they are anything but plain and basic. They still offer drivers technology and safety features. The Lariat trim is the one Edmunds and Car and Driver favor, but drivers don’t necessarily want to pay extra for added comfort features.

People have all sorts of reasons for buying a pick-up truck. While the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat trim might offer the most features for the money, the lower XL and XLT trims still give buyers a number of the features that drivers expect today, and they do it at a lower price point.