It may not look totally different than its predecessor, however the F-150 is new and improved the place it issues most.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Ford F-150 is the best-selling pickup in America for a purpose: It simply works. Whether or not on the job or at play, the F-150 has lengthy been the dependable stalwart on this phase, even within the face of powerful competitors just like the Ram 1500. This yr marks the introduction of the 14th-gen F-150, bringing with it some modern options and new applied sciences that ought to maintain it on the head of its class for years to come back.

Like

A number of work-friendly featuresExcellent cabin techPunchy turbocharged engine

Do not Like

Sometimes tough ridePoor gas economyBland inside design

Necessary new options

Arguably the largest information this yr is the provision of an onboard generator, one thing that got here in useful earlier this yr when a very good chunk of Texas was with out energy. My take a look at truck has a 2-kilowatt generator with two 120-volt, 20-amp shops, which is ideal for tailgating or operating smaller instruments on a job website. A 2.4-kW generator is commonplace on F-150 PowerBoost hybrid fashions, and a bigger 7.2-kW generator is non-obligatory, with 4 120-volt, 20-amp shops, and one 240-volt, 30-amp plug. Ford says you may arrange a cellular welding store with this a lot juice.

Extra modern methods are discovered contained in the F-150. The gear selector can fold flat into the middle console, making means for a fold-down floor that gives 15 inches of flat work house. I like the brand new Max Recline seats, too — as somebody who routinely places in 12-hour days behind the wheel, with the ability to lay down at practically 180 levels to have a fast snooze is pleasant. The reclining seats are tremendous snug too, with the cushions rearranging themselves to make a flat floor with no dip between the seat again and backside cushions.

A number of configurability

The F-150’s form and measurement would not actually change this yr, despite the fact that all of the sheet metallic is new. Drivers will principally discover the newly designed stacked headlamps bisected by a horizontal line operating throughout the fascia. These are set off by LED fog lights and daytime operating lights. Greater-level trims just like the King Ranch pictured right here get a lot of exterior chrome and embody 20-inch polished wheels and metallic trim throughout the tailgate, proudly proclaiming that you’re certainly the king of the ranch. Total, the F-150 is a nice-looking truck, and a bit extra buttoned-up and tidy than its predecessor.

You actually cannot beat the Ford F-150 so far as configurability is anxious. Accessible with six powertrains, three cab choices and three mattress lengths, there is a wealth of customization available. And that is earlier than you dig into the six totally different trim ranges and two- and four-wheel drive choices.

The F-150 is on the market with three cabs and three mattress lengths.

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Highly effective engine choices

No matter which choices you choose, the F-150’s powertrains do not disappoint. New for this yr, Ford provides the PowerBoost hybrid, which we have already examined. This time round, I’ve the three.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 gasoline engine, however you can even get the F-150 with a 3.3-liter V6, 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6, 5.0-liter V8 and three.0-liter diesel V6.

The gas-only 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 has 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque which is loads of energy for on a regular basis driving, and the truck has loads of gutsy midrange punch for freeway passing. The ten-speed automated transmission is a dream, with clean, imperceptible upshifts and simple downshifts that may leap three or 4 gears at a time when energy is required.

The PowerBoost hybrid provides $2,500 to the F-150’s backside line, but it surely’s positively the engine I would get, particularly when you think about it is rated to return 24 mph with four-wheel drive. The conventional 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 is EPA-estimated to return 20 mpg, although throughout per week of testing, I solely noticed 17.5 mpg.

As for experience high quality, nicely, the F-150 drives like a truck. That’s to say it may be a bit bouncy and floaty, particularly with my tester’s FX4 package deal with off-road tuned entrance shocks. It is par for the course right here, however if you need a nice-riding truck, the Ram 1500 with its coil-spring setup or non-obligatory air suspension is the one to purchase. Good because the Ford is, Ram’s truck is far more snug over the lengthy haul.

The Professional Energy Onboard generator is without doubt one of the F-150’s finest options.

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Truck stuff

The F-150’s towing and payload specs depend upon configuration. An extended-wheelbase truck with rear-wheel drive will tow greater than a shorter-wheelbase pickup with four-wheel drive. My truck with the tow package deal, quick mattress and four-wheel drive can deal with 11,000 kilos, however relying in your spec you possibly can tow anyplace from a paltry 5,000 kilos to a whopping 14,000 kilos. Nonetheless, if you are going to tow that a lot on the common, it is normally higher to improve to a heavy-duty truck which could have the larger brakes and sturdier body to make towing 14,000 kilos simpler. Certain, the F-150 will do it, however you will benefit from the expertise extra in an even bigger truck.

As for payload, my tester can deal with 2,100 kilos within the mattress, however once more, you possibly can haul roughly relying on configuration, anyplace from 1,705 kilos to three,325 kilos. As for the competitors, the Ram 1500 can tow a most of 11,650 kilos and haul 2,320 kilos within the mattress. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can tow 13,300 kilos and carry 2,280 kilos of payload.

Ford upped its trailer know-how recreation for 2021, as nicely. There is a new reverse information with 5 cameras and a bit graphic that tells you which ones solution to flip the steering wheel, since that may typically be complicated. (Keep in mind, backing up a trailer means turning the wheel to the left to maneuver the trailer to the fitting.) You can too simply use the Professional Trailer Again-Up Help, the place you flip a dial within the course you need the trailer to go and the truck handles the guesswork for you. The Ram 1500 has an analogous characteristic.

Nonetheless, Chevrolet has cameras out there everywhere in the Silverado, together with one that permits drivers to type of see by way of their trailer and know what’s behind them. There are 4 out there hitch views, six out there driving views and 5 out there parking views. In the event you even get this near hitting one thing within the Silverado, you will learn about it — or not less than be capable of see if occurring.

A 12-inch infotainment display screen runs Ford’s Sync 4 tech.

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Tons of tech and good cabin facilities

The F-150 received a serious tech improve, together with a 12-inch show. Working Ford’s new Sync 4 infotainment system, this infotainment system is quicker and extra highly effective than the outgoing tech and drivers can use a split-screen characteristic to regulate a number of capabilities on the identical time. Sync has all the time been fairly simple to make use of, and it simply will get higher with this improve. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are right here they usually’re a breeze to arrange.

My tester additionally has a 12-inch digital gauge cluster with some cool graphics and extra data than you may ever want. I select to maintain it easy with my pace entrance and heart however I may embody drive mode graphics and navigation data, to call just a few.

Most F-150 trims get Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 2.0 suite of driver’s aids commonplace, together with entrance and rear emergency braking, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring. My tester goes massive with adaptive cruise management, lane centering and a brand new intersection help that may mitigate an imminent crash when turning left into oncoming visitors.

A fold-down desk provides you loads of room to work — or eat.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Ford can also be moving into the hands-free driving recreation with a late-availability Tremendous Cruise-like system known as Energetic Drive Help. On sure mapped and divided highways the F-150 will permit drivers to take their fingers off the steering wheel, though a driver-facing digicam makes certain your eyes stay on the street. Count on it to come back to the F-150 later this yr by way of an over-the-air replace.

The F-150’s cabin will get a pleasant improve, although the Ram 1500 nonetheless takes the cake by way of general consolation and refinement. Loaded F-150s could be had with open-pore wooden, in addition to heated, cooled and massaging entrance seats. There are additionally loads of storage locations together with a middle console that may maintain Roadshow’s favourite snacks: a six-pack of Weight-reduction plan Dr. Pepper and a Costco-sized field of Cheez-Its with loads of room left over.

The ability-deploying operating boards and handles on the A-pillars make hauling my butt up into the truck simpler, and adjustable pedals assist each quick and tall individuals discover a good driving place. Having discovered mine, nevertheless, it’s a bit troublesome to achieve the middle touchscreen with out leaning ahead fairly a bit. It is a massive truck, y’all.

America’s best-selling truck retains going sturdy.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

One thing for everybody

The F-150 vary covers an enormous swath of costs. A base XL begins at $30,635 (together with $1,695 for vacation spot), however a completely loaded Restricted can attain above $80,000. Personally, I would keep on with a midrange Lariat. It is no fancy-pants mannequin, but it surely’s additionally a lot cheaper and nonetheless nicely geared up. I would add the additional driver’s aids however I’d most like skip the package deal wanted for the Energetic Drive Help because it finally ends up including practically $7,000 to the underside line. I would add the trailer tow package deal and the hybrid powertrain which provides me the two.4-kW generator. And naturally, the Max Recline seats. I am all in at $58,8155 together with $1,695 for vacation spot. In the meantime, the King Ranch you see right here is available in round $76,000.

With new options, a lot of powertrains, nice tech and tons of functionality, the F-150 continues to supply tons of alternative for all kinds of truck clients. All issues thought of, the F-150 is certainly positioned to maintain its best-selling truck crown for years to come back. 

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