More so than any other segment in the automotive industry, pickup trucks are the ultimate jack of all trade vehicles, that can haul or tow more than crossovers, have the ability to go off-road or take on deep snow, while also providing enough interior room where you can go on road trips with the family. However, a weak spot for pickups has always been efficiency, as most buyers love their V8 powered trucks, and the V6 often leaves more to be desired especially for diehard enthusiasts in this market. For 2021 Ford is ushering in a new era for the F-150, an era that introduces hybrid technology under the hood to give drivers the best of both worlds when it come to performance and capability. So here’s a short list of reasons why you should buy a 2021 Ford F-150 XLT PowerBoost.
Ever since RAM made pickups more of a lifestyle while also offering a luxury experience, brands like GMC, Chevy, and Ford have had to respond to this new generation of pickup truck buyers whose list of demands go far beyond towing capacity. It now boils down to the technology you find upfront, and for 2021 Ford gave the F-150 an all new 12 inch touchscreen that is paired to the new Sync 4 system. While at first glance not much appears to be different from last generation, the responsiveness and high resolution quality definitely enhances your experience behind the wheel. For consumers who prefer a traditional layout you will have physical buttons for the volume and tuning knobs, along with the dual zone climate control and three level heat seats.
The ergonomics of this cabin make it more conducive for commercial use as well, with a retractable table that allows the driver or passenger to setup their laptop and get work done when they’re out of the office. Disappointing to some, since we’re looking at the powerboost you won’t have the power folding gear shift level, but as a result you have additional storage between the front seats and overall you have the perception of more shoulder room upfront with the cleanly designed center console.
If you don’t need the most luxurious interior, the cloth seats that come equipped with the XLT provide a lot of comfort and support despite the lack of aggressive bolstering. For shorter or taller passengers, you have power adjustable pedals to help you find the ideal seating position, and really helps you get acclimated with a pickup of this size almost instantly.
Smooth and Enjoyable Driving Experience
Pickup trucks are not known to be the most plush vehicles on the market, as buyers aren’t looking for soft suspensions or lack of ruggedness, yet the F-150 for 2021 is one of the smoothest vehicles we’ve ever driven. To a certain degree, we were very hesitant to call it full-sized SUV-like, as it handled the imperfections of Massachusetts roads with ease and we weren’t being thrown around at all which is very uncharacteristic for pickups. While the Ford Ranger is often referred to as driving like a car or small crossover, the F-150 takes that same concept but in a bigger form, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Where buyers will be impressed is with the linear accelerations and very smooth gear shifts as the amount of torque you receive on the low end will certainly put a smile on your face. Whether you’re on the highway or on suburban backroads, the F-150 XLT PowerBoost adapts to whatever road conditions you encounter, and best of all for new buyers in this segment is that there’s little to no learning curve when taking this pickup out on a test drive for the first time.
Where the F-150 impressed the most however is with the overall enjoyable driving experience that begs you to stay behind the wheel and encourages you to continue exploring. Pickups are work horses, and up until very recently weren’t considered the most ideal for long road trips, but the way in which the F-150 handled and performed, we certainly didn’t want our time with this truck to end. In a market that’s been redefined thanks to RAM, it’s encouraging to see Ford reacting to those changes, and giving buyers a vehicle they won’t regret purchasing.
You Sacrifice Nothing By Going With the Hybrid
In the past, the decision to stay away from hybrid technology was justified, as in more ways than one you’d be sacrificing performance or capability for better fuel range. Yet, for the F-150 in 2021, the argument to choose the 3.3L V6 over the 3.5L PowerBoost V6 isn’t valid, as there’s no denying that this pickup is proficient in many ways. Under the hood the 3.5L Powerboost V6 engine puts out 430 hp and 570 lb ft of torque and is paired with a 10 speed automatic transmission. Believe it or not, this pickup rockets to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds which is one tenth of a second slower than the Raptor, and this statistic right here isn’t getting enough attention in the automotive world at the moment. You can get by slower drivers with ease while experiencing very little lag on the low end thanks to the instant torque you receive, and quite honestly this is what made our time with the F-150 the most enjoyable as a V6 shouldn’t perform like this. It’s supposed to feel underpowered, and that just isn’t the case by going hybrid.
For maximum payload capacity, the 3.5L Powerboost V6 is rated at just over 2,000 lbs, which is slightly better than full gas powered 3.3 V6. Then for towing capacity, this is where the hybrid impresses as Ford claims you can tow up to 12,700 lbs which is only a 300 lb difference compared to the 5 liter V8. Lastly for fuel economy you can expect to receive right around 24 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, with Ford claiming a fuel range of 700 miles which will most certainly entice buyers. When bringing all these ingredients together, you have one very capable pickup truck, that can fit the bill for most consumers in this price range and segment.
At the end of the day, the 2021 Ford F-150 XLT PowerBoost provides a lot of value. You have the enhanced technology, exceptional performance, and better fuel efficiency for those times when you go on a weekend vacation with the family. Ford also didn’t forget about buyers who will use this pickup as their work truck, as you will have a power tailgate, a retractable step to conveniently hop into the back, and a generator mounted on the left side of the cargo bed that is home to 4 three pronged outlets for when you want to charge up the power tools at a construction site, or the electronics when tailgating at a sports event.
It’s the perfect all-around daily driver and a vehicle that can truly do it all, and if you’re not influenced by traditional pickup truck buyers who insist on going with a V8, then the 3.5L PowerBoost V6 engine is going to provide everything looking for, from performance to overall efficiency.