When one of your friends has purchased a 2021 Ford F-150 Powerboost (that’s the hybrid!) truck and just absolutely loves it, you get excited to review one yourself.
And while I haven’t driven the hybrid version yet, I did get a chance to try out the gas version for the purpose of this 2021 Ford F-150 review, and I was not disappointed. Hopefully, I’ll get to drive the hybrid later this summer and report back here, but until then, here are some F-150 new features we loved.
SYNC4 Comes Standard
Ford’s newest iteration of its infotainment operating system is sleeker, faster, and more powerful than ever before, and the F-150 is the first production vehicle to offer it standard. I loved how easy it was to control, with a good blend of traditional buttons to accompany the controls on the screen.
12.5″ Infotainment Screen: A Can’t-Miss for this 2021 F-150 New Features List
With things like swipe gestures and split-screen apps, this massive screen takes up most of the dash. But it looks like it belongs there, unlike so many large screens which come across as afterthoughts. I was really pleased with how well-integrated this one looked and how easy it was to use.
Full Digital Driver’s Display
There are zero analog dials on the new F-150’s driver’s display. The whole dash area is a full-color screen, and everything is digital. Everything. This also means it is very customizable. While we think this is really really cool, we know there are some people who prefer a mix of old dials and a digital display in the center. But the level of customization is great for creating a really unique and enjoyable driving experience for anyone who gets behind the wheel.
Max Recline Seats
Only available on the King Ranch, Platinum and Limited models, these seats fold almost flat — further back than any truck seats we’ve ever seen. Perfect for napping and storage.
Related: The Ford F-150 is Now an Electric Pickup Truck, Inspiring More F-150 Innovations, More Tech and More Jobs
Fold-Flat Gear Shift
To me, this feature is proof that Ford is listening to its customers. So many truck owners have disliked the new rotary or push-button gear shifters, and a lot of us really dislike the flimsy steering-column mounted shifters. So Ford brought back a nice solid center console shifter… with a twist! This one folds flat to give you more elbow room and to make space for the fold-flat workspace.
Fold-Flat Workspace Is a Favorite
I work from home. I homeschool my kids. This means that we end up doing a lot of work and homework from the car, especially during these pandemic times when we’re trying not to take everyone into the store or doctor’s appointments. Having a nice flat space to set up a laptop or to place your notebook is really nice, and I can’t believe someone didn’t think of this sooner. It is probably my favorite new feature for this truck — or any truck on the market for that matter.
How does it work? Well, the F-150’s center console gear shift electronically folds down into the console, then half of the lid of the console folds forward completely, covering the center console area and creating a very large “desk” if you will. My oldest used the space to do some artwork, and I was able to set up my laptop and work very comfortably from the front seat of the truck without having to position the laptop on my legs, between me and the steering wheel. Every truck should have this. Every. Truck.
The Handyman’s Tailgate
We’re a bunch of DIYers around here, so I loved the new tailgate insert with its tablet holder, cup holder, and built-in measuring area. Paired with the available on-board power this tailgate instantly becomes a mobile workbench.
There are also tie-down clamps on the tailgate to help secure longer items that hang out over an open tailgate.
Towing Made Simpler
Completely new for the 2021 Ford F-150 is an included trailer sensor that mounts to the tongue of your trailer and plugs into the back of the truck. After a quick calibration, this sensor sends information to the truck’s infotainment system and allows you to use the truck’s trailering tools and knob to steer while you backup your trailer. The sensor predicts the movements for your specific trailer to better assist you. Who doesn’t want towing made easier?
Some cars have what we call puddle lights — lights on the undersides of the doors so that when you open your doors you can see where you’re about to step. Well, the F-150 takes this to a whole new level. They have front, rear, left and right side lights that can be controlled from the infotainment center or an app on your phone, lighting up an area outside the truck so you can see what you’re doing. These come in handy when you’re camping for sure but there are so many other ways you could use these! If you get a chance to play with them you’ll see why it’s a favorite on our list of 2021 F-150 new features.