The Ford F-Series of pickup trucks has been at the top of the automotive world so long, the manufacturer could slide along for a few years without worry. But that hasn’t happened. Trucks dominate yearly sales figures, and Ford likes its perch. It tweaks its trucks, offering variations of variations. It keeps ahead of rivals and doesn’t flinch.
With semiconductor shortages continuing to delay 2022 models, 2021 F-150 models are still new 18 months after debuting. And new for 2021 is the Ford F-150 4×4 SuperCrew Lariat Hybrid. It’s offered in three cabs, three bed lengths, six powertrains, six trims and the performance-oriented Raptor.
The F-150 Hybrid is equipped with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s a heavyweight, totaling 5,794 pounds. Its cargo capacity is 52.8 cubic feet. The hybrid adds a 47-horsepower electric motor, redefining the truck. It’s now the highest-output F-150 in the current lineup. A 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery is positioned under the truck’s bed. While in electric driving mode, the F-150’s usually calm nature acquires a persistent whine. With its plush interior, spaciousness and top-line technology, the F-150 is far removed from the work trucks of yesteryear. But utilitarian traits remain: The Ford’s shifter bar defines a tough grind, never shifting smoothly.
Like any good work truck, the F-150 bounces over blips on city streets and never glides over any road irregularly. The exception: flat roads at freeway speeds. The F-150 cruises more like a luxury sedan than a workhorse with a heavy, multi-function tailgate and a towing capacity of nearly 13,000 pounds. Convenience equipment is plentiful: a 12.5-inch infotainment screen and instrument gauges, massive sunroof, heated steering wheel and heated and cooled seats. And there is a power tailgate with a step, 360-degree camera, fold-out work area and running boards. The Lariat trim also features a class IV trailer hitch, LED bed lighting, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, remote start and remote tailgate release. Some cool, small features also help push the F-150 ahead of the competition. A phone and tablet holder are part of the tailgate, as are bottle openers. A measuring stick is also positioned along the length of the tailgate.
And arguably the best addition: the Pro Power Onboard. It’s an in-bed power system with a series of plugs for charging power tools, small appliances and other accessories. It’s available in 2 kW, 2.4 kW and 7.2 kW, with the latter only available with the 3.5-liter hybrid powertrain.
With its improved gas mileage, near-luxury interior and versatility, the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid is a pickup truck worthy of purchase for other than its workhorse definition. It’s a modern mobile apartment. What a shame to use it solely as an automotive ranch hand.
Facts & figures
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 5.4 seconds
Fuel economy: 24 mpg city; 24 mpg highway
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $50,980
Manufacturer’s website: ford.com
Price As Tested: $68,765
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited mileage; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/60,000 miles; Hybrid Battery, 8 years/100,000 miles