New Model News

What's new: 21 interior and exterior 2021 Ford F-150 features

Ford has redesigned the Ford F-150 for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Sure, Ford has redesigned the F-150 for 2021, but what does that all mean? The team in Dearborn came up with a handy guide to show the innovations and while we could just post those two images here, that doesn't tell the whole story. Scroll down to get a more in-depth look at the 21 changes to the exterior and interior of the 2021 Ford F-150 for the new model year.

New steel frame

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has given the truck a new high-strength steel frame. That doesn't mean that they've shied away from aluminum. The body is made from a high-strength version of the material.

Appearance packages & wheel options

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is promising that the F-150 will come with a wide variety of appearance packages and wheel options. Though the exact packages to be offered aren't known, we do know the wheel options, which vary by trim level:

  • Standard
    • 17-inch silver-painted wheels
    • 17-inch silver-painted aluminum alloy wheels
    • 18-inch machined-aluminum alloy wheels with magnetic pockets
    • 18-inch machined-aluminum alloy wheels with ebony black pockets
    • 18-inch silver-painted aluminum alloy wheels
    • 18-inch aluminum alloy chrome-like PVD wheels
  • Optional:
    • 20-inch aluminum alloy chrome-like PVD wheels
    • 20-inch aluminum alloy premium painted tarnished dark wheels
    • 20-inch machined-aluminum alloy wheels with magnetic pockets
    • 20-inch machined-aluminum alloy wheels with light caribou-painted pockets
    • 20-inch polished-aluminum alloy wheels
    • 22-inch polished-aluminum alloy wheels

PowerBoost

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When it's a hybrid a hybrid? When it's a PowerBoost. The 2021 Ford F-150 will be available as the only full-hybrid model in its segment. This is compared to the mild-hybrid 48-volt system that some of its competition has.

The system consists of Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine paired with a 35-kilowatt battery. Ford estimates that drivers can go 700 miles between fill ups.

The hybrid models will also have at least 12,000 pounds of maximum towing capacity.

Buyers can get the PowerBoost powertrain on any trim level F-150.

PowerBoost models have a "PowerBoost" badge on the outside bottom of the F-150's driver's side door. When the truck is powered by a the available diesel engine, the badging is changed out to "PowerStroke". When one of the traditional gasoline-powered engines is chosen, it appears that there is no badge in that area.

Pro Trailer Backup Assist

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is continuing to give its F-150 Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Not much is new with the technology, but it does play out on the F-150's new, larger screen which provides higher resolution imagery. The knob sits in a similar position as it did in the last generation but the trailer brake controls are lower down, having been divided by a horizontal structural element in the center stack that runs the width of the interior.

Trailer Reverse Guidance

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150 doesn't have as many camera angles as the Chevrolet Silverado but it does have reverse guidance, which utilizes five cameras to give drivers an idea of their obstacles and provide line guidance while backing up. The system can even tell you which way to turn the wheel.

Pro Power Onboard

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

You don't need to bring a generator with you when you opt for Pro Power Onboard, which turns the F-150 into a mobile generator. Buyers can purchase the tech at every trim level. It has a 2.0 kilowatt output on optional gasoline engines. PowerBoost models get a 2.4-kilowatt or 7.2-kilowatt system.

Zone lighting

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When you don't need the full power of the F-150's headlights while camping, parking, or maneuvering in your driveway, zone lighting is the solution you need. The technology allows you to control the individual exterior lights on the truck.

Trailer Theft Alert

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford F-150 doesn't just let thieves sneak off in the middle of they night with your trailer unnoticed. The automaker's new trailer theft alert pushes an alert to your mobile device via the FordPass app if the tech senses that the trailer is being unhooked while the truck is locked.

Over-the-air (OTA) updates

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford technology has enabled the F-150 to receive over-the-air technology updates. This means that you won't have to visit the dealership or use a small disc to get the navigation system updated. Also, owners can add features to their model as the technology develops and is made available.

Clamp pockets

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In the tailgate the F-150 are clamp pockets designed to hold down materials so clean cuts can be made and precision work can be executed.

Built-in bottle opener

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150 is ready to tailgate. The design team added new cleats on the inside of the tailgate that don't just act as tie-down locations - they're also capable of acting as bottle openers.

Tailgate Work Surface

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Buyers can opt for the Tailgate Work Surface, which provides an area with built-in rulers, a mobile device holder, cupholder, and pencil holder. This isn't just good for pros. DIYers and weekend warriors will like the feature too.

All-new interior

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has put comfort, technology, and functionality in focus in the redesigned cabin. From seats to displays to ergonomics, the company took into account interviews with current and previous-generation F-150 owners when designing the new interior.

Max Recline Seats

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The truck's Max Recline Seats fold flat to nearly 180 degrees, providing plenty of space to lay down, recline to a comfortable position while you wait for your takeout to finish cooking, and provides a fresh configuration for hauling items in the cabin.

Larger digital gauge cluster

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150 is available with a customizable 12.0-inch digital instrument panel. It responds to the truck's selective drive modes and displays data that is helpful for off-roading and towing, as well as turn-by-turn navigation instructions. The easy-to-read screens feature crisp graphics. A 4.0-inch productivity screen is standard in the instrument cluster.

12-inch infotainment display

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is giving the F-150 an available 12-inch infotainment touch screen located at the center of the dashboard. An 8-inch infotainment touch screen is standard. The Ram 1500 has a similarly sized screen, but that one is vertically oriented as opposed to the horizontally oriented screen in the new F-150.

More standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2021 Ford F-150 has more driver-assist technologies than what you'll find in other full-size trucks. This includes Active Drive Assist, a new hands-free driving technology. You can see all the technologies in action here.

SYNC 4

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The new SYNC 4 infotainment system is standard. It features hands-free voice control, phone capability, navigation, and other features. The system can connect your smartphone to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto wirelessly. It has twice the computing power as SYNC 3.

Lockable rear under-seat storage

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

This one is pretty straightforward. The available bin below the back seat can be locked for storage security.

Interior work surface

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

This may be one of the niftiest inventions of the F-150. The center console is able to be opened up and used to create a flat surface to work on - a portable desk or table. The truck's shifter folds into a storage area so that it doesn't get in the way.

Trailer light check

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Using the FordPass app, owners can cycle through the trailer light functions to check to see if any of their lights are out and to ensure that the system is functioning properly. This means that there is no partner required to help with hookup.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is an off-road ready family hauler.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Pathfinder is the company's three-row crossover, sitting below the Armada and above the Rogue in the company's lineup. It's a rival to the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot. Check out the Nissan's most compelling features by scrolling down.

Every Pathfinder comes loaded with safety technology.

The Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety and driver assist technology comes standard on the Rogue. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, land departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking.

Additionally, the company's Intelligent Driver Alertness and Rear Door Alert technologies are standard.

ProPilot Assist takes the wheel.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan's ProPilot Assist technology doesn't allow for hands-free driving and it's not self-driving, but it does fuse together many functionalities that make daily drive functions easier, especially when your children are doing their best to distract you.

ProPILOT Assist combines steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control to help control acceleration. It can be used in heavy traffic and on open highways.

For 2021, ProPilot Assist has been enhanced. It has next-generation radar and camera technology that is designed to allow for smoother braking, better steering assist, and improved detection performance when vehicles cut into the lane.

There's a removable second-row center console.

Between the second-row captain's chairs in the seven-passenger Pathfinder, there's a thin center console (enough storage space for two cupholders and some small items) that is removable without using any tools. Removing this console allows for easier access in/out of the third-row for small children and adults. With the console in place, the seats can still be tipped and moved forward for quick ingress/egress to/from the third row.

The second row is spacious.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Sitting in the second-row captain's chairs is very much like sitting in those that you'd find in a full-size SUV. Adults will find that hip-room is plenty big enough while children will relish the opportunity to feel like they're being treated to upscale accommodations.

Three people fit across the back seat.

Second-row captain's chairs are being offered for the first time on Pathfinder with this new model. Nissan has added rear seating flexibility with the ability to fit three across the back seat. While three adults are a tight fit in the third row, children, tweens, and some teens that don't have long legs won't likely have a problem with it.

Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan has made the Rogue available with all-wheel drive. Those models also get five drive modes: Off-road, Snow, Standard, Eco, and Sport. The modes are engaged using the drive-mode selector mounted on the center console. The all-wheel drive system uses new technology that is designed to respond quicker when slippage is detected.

It has a 6,000-pound towing capability.

Nissan boasts that the 2022 Pathfinder has best-in-lass available 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity. That's enough to allow boats, ATVs, camp tents, or trailers to be connected out back. Trailer Sway Control is standard on the Pathfinder and allows for more towing confidence, especially when winds pick up.

Moving the second-row seat is as easy as the push of one button.

Nissan has equipped the second-row bench seat in the Pathfinder with EZ-Flex one-touch mechanics. It takes just one press of a button to activate fold and slide functionalities for the second-row seats. The button can be reached from both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle for ease.

The cargo area is plenty spacious.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America


Behind the SUV's third-row seats Pathfinder can fit a 120-quart cooler or four golf bags - all with the third row full of occupants. The interior can also accommodate 4x8-foot plywood sheets.

The ride is sublimely quiet.

Nissan has equipped the Pathfinder with acoustic laminated front glass, thicker second-row glass, increased door and floor isolation, and a 60-percent increase in engine noise absorption materials. The result is a vehicle that provides a quieter ride, meaning less likelihood parents will have to should to be heard by third-row passengers.

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The Kia Sorento Hybrid offers a lot to like for families looking to save on fuel.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The redesigned Kia Sorento looks good. Kia has given the three-row SUV new life, not as a substitute for the Telluride SUV but instead as its own crossover, with plenty of differences to give them their own identity.

The 2021 Sorento comes in two variants, the Sorento and Sorento Hybrid. Each is offered in its own set of trim levels. The Sorento base model is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder internal combustion engine that delivers 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Higher grades get a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is rated at 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.

Sorento Hybrid comes in two trim leaves, S and EX. Both are powered by the company's turbocharged 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain that offers up 177 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The SUV prioritizes fuel efficiency over performance, an important distinction that sets the Sorento Hybrid apart from other hybrid variants, including the Toyota RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid that delivers an energetic boost to the RAV4 lineup.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid The Sorento Hybrid is the type of vehicle that can get you to a trailhead, but isn't built to go beyond that.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The power output is fine if you plan on sticking to in-town driving and aren't looking to load up the Sorento Hybrid for a long road trip. In the default Eco drive mode, the car responds to the throttle the most comfortably. Under traditional and harder acceleration, the Sorento Hyrbid's powertrain is noisy and ill-mannered. It's almost like the SUV is telling you, "I'm built for efficiency, not speed". Message received.

Kia's done a good job making the Sorento agile and it drives nicely and makes for a pleasant daily runaround. Unlike what Toyota has done with the Highlander, all-wheel drive is not available on the Sorento Hybrid.

The 2021 Sorento Hybrid comes standard as a six-seater with captain's chairs in the second row. The seats, leatherette in the upmarket trim level, are comfortable enough. There's a decent amount of cargo space with the third row erect or stowed.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid The cabin of the Sorento Hybrid is plush enough for its price point.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The well-thought out cabin design delvers exactly what customers need and in the EX trim level, the car's appointments are near-premium. The SUV has the usual list of standard and available features, but nothing is too fancy: Bluetooth, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice recognition, satellite radio, push button start, keyless entry, a rearview camera, wireless smartphone charger. Nothing looks, feels, or operates like it's cutting edge, but it doesn't have to - this isn't a luxury vehicle.

There is one very nice design touch in the cabin. On either side of the infotainment touch screen are vents that service the front row of the auto. Their output is divided into two each with the bottom vent able to serve the midsection of front passengers' bodies while the upper part goes higher. More automakers should design vents this way.

The Hybrid EX model that was delivered for testing had its lane keeping and centering system not as honed in on lane lines as is optimal, which resulted in crossing over the lines without any alert going off or corrective action being taken by the vehicle's computer.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid Cargo space is always tight in three-row SUVs, but Kia has given the Sorento a good balance between cargo space and third-row legroom.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid starts at $33,590. That's a thousand-and-a-half over the starting price of the Telluride and $4,000 more than the traditional 2021 Sorento.

There are currently only two other three-row hybrid SUVs on the market, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the Ford Expedition Hybrid. The three models and their varied price tags and third-row layouts service very different customers but they generally all get lumped together. The Sorento Hybrid is, by far, the lowest priced model of the three, and it feels like it when you're inside. There's nothing wrong with that. Dodge sold a lot of Journeys despite the fact that it wasn't the best or most expensive SUV out there.

Think of the Kia Sorento Hybrid as the Dodge Journey of three-row hybrid crossovers and you won't be disappointed.

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