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2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid Platinum review: Luxurious utility

If you ask someone what the quintessential pickup truck is, chances are they’ll immediately say the Ford F-150. As the bestselling vehicle in the U.S., the F-150 is a staple among commercial fleets and personal transportation. Now, in its fourteenth generation, this popular truck is offered in so many configurations there’s one for every taste and need.

For 2021 there’s a hybrid variant that promises to give you workplace support improved efficiency, power, and even luxury in the case of upper trims. Does this F-150 make a good proposition? Is the Platinum trim a proper premium truck?

2021 Ford F-150 hybrid Platinum exterior

2021 Ford F 150 Hybrid Platinum front 01 1
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

Other than the PowerBoost badges on the front doors, the 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid doesn’t advertise its electrified heart. The truck looks tough and capable, featuring an imposing front fascia reminiscent of the larger Super Duty. Headlights with LED accents that reach past the front bumper and triangular-shaped taillights add to the truck’s good looks. Platinum models get a generous helping of chrome exterior trim including the grille, side mirror covers, side garnish, and tailgate.

2021 Ford F-150 hybrid Platinum interior

2021 Ford F 150 Hybrid Platinum front seats 01 1
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

One look at the F-150 hybrid Platinum trim’s interior and there’s no mistaking that this is a proper luxury truck. Genuine wood adorns the dash and door panels, and nearly every surface is padded or covered in soft-touch plastic. Leather upholstery with brown accents adds a sense of occasion every time you get in. Despite the F-150’s squared-off profile, the cabin is surprisingly quiet with exterior noise kept to a minimum. You get slightly more tire noise on vehicles with the FX4 Off-Road package due to the all-terrain rubber.

Being a crew cab, the F-150 hybrid has generous room for five passengers. Even with the panoramic sunroof, there’s a lot of head- and legroom even for tall passengers. The front seats are softly cushioned but could use more side support to keep you from sliding around when turning. You get a lot of practical touches, too, including an integrated foldout table on the center console. Sizable storage cubbies provide plenty of places for your mobile devices and knickknacks. The rear seats also have cushions that flip up and folding seat backs, allowing you to throw more gear and equipment in the cabin.

2021 Ford F-150 hybrid Platinum tech and convenience features

2021 Ford F 150 Hybrid Platinum interior 01 1
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

Ford’s Sync 4 interface is intuitive and logically laid out. The responsive 12.0-inch touch screen has a split-screen feature, allowing you to display more functions. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility retain the divided layout, allowing you to jump between your device and the native system seamlessly. The 18-speaker, 1,080-watt B&O Unleashed surround sound system is crisp and immersive, adding to the luxurious experience.

The Ford F-150 hybrid builds on the truck’s usefulness even with the fancy appointments. Along with the usual 120-volt outlets inside the cabin, the Pro Power Onboard panel in the bed adds four extra 120-volt outlets and a 240-volt outlet. This enables you to use the truck as an additional power source to run your tools or power your home in case of an outage. Heck, the 240-volt outlet’s ability to put out 7.2 kW can even charge a battery-electric vehicle if needed.

Every F-150 gets Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver assistance features as standard. The most notable part about the suite is how unobtrusive it is. Lane-keeping and steering assists nudge you back into your lane so gently it feels natural. Adaptive cruise control accelerates and brakes smoothly, and proactively keeps your set distance without jerking you around. The spacing between you and the vehicle ahead, while adaptive cruise control is active, is a little more than 1.5 car lengths to take into account the F-150’s size, providing more room for emergency maneuvers.

2021 Ford F-150 hybrid Platinum driving impressions

2021 Ford F 150 Hybrid Platinum rear three quarters 04 1
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

Quite possibly the highlight of the F-150 hybrid’s driving experience is its powertrain. The 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 is paired to a 35-kW electric motor, a 10-speed automatic transmission, and a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery for a combined output of 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque. The result is lag-free acceleration that moves this aluminum-bodied beast effortlessly. Between the two turbochargers and the electric motor, there’s no buildup, you get even power delivery across the rev range. For maximum efficiency, the truck costs or goes into EV mode as frequently as possible to minimize the use of the gas engine. Our only quibble is with the 10-speed automatic. While it’s quick, snappy, and responsive, there are times where shifts are slightly rough at low speeds.

Don’t expect the F-150 hybrid to shrink around you; it’s still a full-size truck. You won’t mistake it for a smaller car or crossover through turns but it’ll give you confidence during emergency maneuvers. Body motions are nicely controlled and the accurate steering helps you place the F-150 on the road and easily maneuver it through tight spaces. The F-150 hybrid features excellent ride quality thanks to the suspension doing a nice job absorbing road imperfections and lots of damping. Even when empty, the F-150 does a great job hiding its truck roots because it doesn’t bounce around much, staying compliant and composed on the majority of road surfaces.

Ford did an excellent job blending regenerative and mechanical braking in the F-150 hybrid. You can’t tell where the handoff occurs when you’re slowing down. Minimal nose dive and reassuring pedal feel add to the truck feeling like a non-electrified vehicle.

2021 Ford F-150 hybrid Platinum pricing

The 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid is only available as a crew cab and starts at $43,485 in XL trim with the 5.5-foot bed or $43,595 with the 6.5-foot bed. Our test car is the F-150 hybrid Platinum, which is the second most expensive trim, costs $74,365 with options like the FX4 Off-Road package, Pro Power Onboard Outlets, and a panoramic sunroof.

2021 Ford F-150 hybrid Platinum final verdict

2021 Ford F 150 Hybrid Platinum front three quarters 03 1
Photo credit: Stefan Ogbac / EV Pulse

The 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid serves as a steppingstone for those looking to get a taste of electrification without much compromise. Best of all, the F-150 hybrid adds more conveniences, making it a good choice for work, play, or family use. We hope that Ford expands the availability of the hybrid powertrain to additional cab and bed combinations so that more can reap its benefits. Upper trims like the Platinum prove that luxury trucks are a reality and that automotive status symbols don’t necessarily have to be sports cars, crossovers, or sedans. The only version missing now is the all-electric F-150, and we can’t wait to drive that after experiencing the hybrid.

At a glance

  • Year: 2021
  • Make: Ford
  • Model: F-150
  • Trim: Platinum
  • Type: 4-door full-size truck
  • Combined horsepower: 430
  • Torque: 570 lb-ft
  • MPG ratings (city/highway/combined): 24/24/24 (4×2: 25/26/25)
  • Pros: Powerful hybrid system, excellent fit and finish, clever tech and convenience features
  • Cons: Occasional rough shifts from the transmission, crew cab only, front seats could use more side bolstering
  • Base price: $43,485
  • Price as tested: $74,365
Written by Stefan Ogbac
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