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. As such, the carmaker adds and tweaks its trucks, offers variations of variations. It keeps ahead of rivals and their continued attempts to outdo the industry stalwart. Ford hasn’t flinched.
New for 2021 is the Ford F-150 4×4 SuperCrew Lariat Hybrid. It pushes the truck leader to the saturation point. It’s offered in three cab style choices, three-bed lengths, six powertrains, six trims and the performance-oriented Raptor.
Buyers have preferences, some of which they may not know they have. Whatever the niche, Ford has it.
The F-150 Hybrid is equipped for starters with 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with 325 horsepower and 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s a heavyweight, totaling 5,794 pounds. Its wheelbase is 145.4 inches and its length 231.7 inches. The cargo bed is 52.8 cubic feet.
2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Hybrid Shines
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. Combined, the numbers tally 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque.
While in electric driving mode, the F-150’s usually calm nature acquires an annoying whine. The upside: the hybrid option increases gas mileage averages to 24 miles per gallon in city and highway driving. It’s four mpg more than the non-hybrid F-150.
Pickups are known for power, not quickness. But the four-wheel-drive Lariat advances from 0-to-60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds, a swift effort among half-ton pickups.
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 from when driving a truck required physical strength. The Ford’s shifter bar defines a tough grind; it never shifts smoothly.
Like any good work truck, 2020 F-150 Hybrid offers a bumpy ride. It’s part of a pickup truck’s appeal. The F-150 bounces over blips on city streets and doesn’t glide over any other road irregularly.
The exception: flat roads at freeway speeds. It’s part of the truck’s luxury presentation. It advances more like a luxury sedan rather than a workhorse with a heavy, multi-function tailgate and a towing capacity of nearly 13,000 pounds. The maximum payload is 2,120 pounds.
There’s little doubt why the F-150 has retained its top-seller status for so long. Convenience equipment is plentiful: a 12 1/2-inch infotainment screen and instrument gauges, massive sunroof, heated steering wheel, heated and cooled seats, a power tailgate w/step, 360-degree camera, fold-out work area and running boards.
That’s not all: 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 a 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, with a top price of just under $70,000. What a shame to use it solely as an automotive ranch hand.