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Introduction:

To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Pickup

2021 Ford F-150 4X4 Supercrew Hybrid

Vehicle Type: Pickup Hybrid
73
 overall score
Category Ranking: 1

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $43,805
Price as Tested: $63,251

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 30.6
EPA City mpg24
EPA Highway mpg24
EPA Combined mpg24

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
  • Advanced Headlights [O]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [O]
  • Driver Monitoring [O]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [O]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [O]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [O]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

Introduced in 1948, the Ford F-Series has been the most popular vehicle sold in the U.S. for 4 decades. The 14th-generation F-150, new for 2021, is less revolutionary than some previous redesigns, with one exception—the addition of a hybrid powertrain. Called PowerBoost, the hybrid system consists of a 3.5-liter V6 (400 hp), electric motor (47 hp), 1.5-kWh battery, and 10-speed automatic transmission, good for 430 hp total and 570 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system provides a 4-mpg (20%) increase in gas mileage, and every hybrid model comes standard with Pro Power Onboard, a 2.4-kW generator (a 7.2-kW unit is optional). The F-150's spacious interior has great legroom and headroom front and rear, and the infotainment system is nicely sized and easy to use. Our test truck’s safety features included LED headlights with auto high beams, a 360-degree camera with parking sensors, and a blind-spot warning system that adjusts for trailer length. But not everything came up smelling like roses. The F-150’s ride was rougher than we’d like—even for a pickup. Transmission shifts sometimes slipped, especially at low speeds. And the transitions between electric and gasoline power frequently were jarring.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Powerful hybriddrivetrain
  • Standard onboardgenerator
  • Plentiful interior space,with ample legroom andheadroom
  • Easy-to-use, nicely sizedinfotainment system

Weak Points

  • Rough, bumpy ride
  • Jerky, sluggishtransmission and hybriddrivetrain
  • Poor gas-electric transitions

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 3/3
Curb weight (lbs): 5800.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 231.7 / 79.9 / 77.2
Wheelbase (in): 145.4
Number of air bags: 9
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Michelin Primacy XC
Front and rear tire size: 275/65 R18
Max towing capacity (lbs): 12700
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: Four wheel
Engine/motor: 3.5L V6 PowerBoost
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 430 @ 6000

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:

7.00

Fuel Efficiency:

3.85

EPA Emissions Score:

5.00

Acceleration:

7.84

Braking:

3.84

Handling:

4.89

Ride Quality:

6.36

Interior Size:

6.42

Easy of Entry and Exit:

8.04

Visibility:

7.43

Interior Noise:

7.26

Cargo Capacity:

5.32
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