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Ford F-150 Powerboost Hybrid

5 things to love. 5 things not to love. (Photo by Tim Esterdahl)

Now that he’s had the truck for almost six months and has put 4,000 miles on it, what does Publisher Tim Esterdahl have to say about his 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid? Let’s catch up with him in this video for a quick review of five good things and bad things on this truck.

Things to love about the F-150 Hybrid

1. Cloth seats are better. When asked why he didn’t choose the Lariat trim (or higher), Esterdahl says the cloth seats on the XLT were a deciding factor. So far they have no stains and have been easy to clean. They are also comfortable, even on 1,000+ mile trips.

2. The truck drives like a sedan. While this would normally be a bummer (some days you just really want that big-truck feel!), it is really nice ice for long hauls.

3. Power you can feel. With 430 horsepower and 570 pound-foot of torque, the hybrid technology gives you extra power for takeoff — this truck moves! Plus, the hybrid system itself is really cool. The truck will automatically turn on and use gas when the battery is gone, and turn the gas engine off again when the battery is charged.

4. XLT has so many features. It is way nicer than the XLT of years past. These new XLT trucks offer things like zone lighting, electronic locking rear differential, 4-wheel drive high and low, more charging options, power tailgate, windows, locks, mirrors, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise, pro-backup trailer system, tilt/telescoping steering wheel and adjustable pedals.

5. Power on-board. With four 110 outlets and one 220 outlet, Esterdahl’s family has used the on-board power for tools, powering the house during an outage and camping.

On the minus side

1. The rattles and hums. For a brand new truck the 2021 F-150 Powerboost Hybrid sure has a lot of rattles and noises. Esterdahl says there is one in the front right of the dash and another around the driver’s window. Not a big deal, just annoying.

2. Glitchy electronics. The new Sync system often resets and changes the channel, even after over-the-air updates. This can be a big bummer when you’re in the middle of your favorite song, and all of a sudden the station changes.

3. Annoying alerts. When put into reverse while towing, the truck informs you that reverse braking is not available. The alerts are annoying. A sensor must be off because it sends all kinds of notifications to his phone, or the truck honks. Again, frustrating.

4. Erratic MPGs. The fuel economy numbers are all over the board — even without a change in driving habits. Some days the truck gets 29 MPG. Other days it’s 16 or 19. And it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

5. RTFM — online. And finally, the owner’s manual is digital. It’s just not user-friendly. Bring back the printed manual. Please.

In the video below Tim goes over all of these things, plus two bonus issues: recalls and rust.

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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