Pickup trucks rule the American car scene. They have done so for many, many years. The Ford F-150 is consistently one of the most popular in that category. The 2021 Ford F-150 shows that the company has really been ramping up the tech and performance features in these trucks, making them more useable, enjoyable, and ultimately, more popular.
The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost is one of the quickest, most well-equipped versions of the model Ford has ever made. Although this F-150 has the power and tech, the braking left much to be desired in MotorTrend’s testing.
The 2021 F-150 switched up the braking system
MotorTrend reports that for the 2021 line of hybrid pickups, Ford has gone from vacuum braking to electric-power braking. This was done to support the blending of regenerative and friction braking. The tester, Frank Markus, reports that the braking feel is all out of wack. Around town, the brake pedal can feel a little stiff and “wooden.”
The braking response of the 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid is said to be less linear than might be expected. The tester says, “Several times I went for the pedal, felt alarmed at the lack of response, pressed harder, and got too much braking (plus an incredulous look from my passenger).
Pickups aren’t exactly known for great braking feel
In general, pickup trucks can be a tricky platform for braking and handling anyways due to the strange weight distribution potentials. With hardly any weight in the back, they can get squirrely and struggle with traction. When they carry a full load, the added weight can make trucks tougher to stop.
The braking does not inspire confidence in the 2021 F-150 PowerBoost
What makes this braking especially noteworthy is that the hybrid Ford F-150 PowerBoost has a pretty decent amount of power. The twin-turbo PowerBoost V6 makes 430 hp. That impressive horsepower figure translates to a 0-60 mph sprint in 5.3 seconds. Keep in mind this isn’t some fancy performance truck; this is a good ol’ work truck that can get down.
With a truck this fast, you’d like to think that braking would be a priority, but it seems Ford dropped the ball on that aspect. MotorTrend did its braking distance test that came up with less than impressive numbers.
The 2021 Ford F-150 PoweBoost’s best stop from 60 mph was 136 feet. For reference, the range of F-150 stops in the same test is 118 to 140 feet. To be fair, MT admits the semi-knobby Goodyear all-terrains probably didn’t help this distance much, but more importantly, it is the F-150’s bulkiness that’s to blame. This newest version clocks in at 5,832 pounds, which is 185 pounds heavier than the second heaviest non-raptor truck.
It’s heavy, It’s fast, It’s slow to stop, but apparently, it’ll take a corner
The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost is surprisingly decent in the twisties. Don’t get me wrong, it still sounds an awful lot like a pickup truck to me, but according to MT’s tester, it showed some surprising control in the corners.
For such a tall and heavy truck, the F-150 reportedly stays nice and balanced in the corners. Markus says that the body roll was was “surprisingly reasonable.” Now I wouldn’t call that a glowing review, but it’s something. He also says, “The steering generally felt good—slow but perfectly linear. I never felt myself micro-managing the helm mid-corner.”
The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost is still impressive
There is plenty to love about this new Ford hybrid. The power and torque should make for a great working truck. It also features an onboard generator that seems like every truck-owners dream. The brakes need attention, but other than that, we should see a nice work truck out of the Ford truck masters.