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A grey 2021 Ford F-150 is parked on grass in front of a lake and mountains after winning the 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2020 Ford F-150 comparison.

2021 Ford F-150 vs. 2020 Ford F-150: Is Newer Always Better?

Ford has been designing and redesigning its F-Series trucks for over 100 years, and through this time, Ford has created quite a name for itself as a pioneer in the industry. Throughout recent years, however, the F-150 has been falling behind its competitors in terms of appearance and options, so Ford set out to create a new model with more upgrades than ever before. The 2021 F-150 not only has upgraded power, but it has also undergone a complete overhaul of its appearance inside and out. When it comes to the 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2020 Ford F-150, is newer always better? See what has changed with Ford’s newest arrival and how it may just be a game-changer.

A Quick Inspection

Upon first glance, you can see definite changes in the overall appearance of the all-new 2021 F-150. Not only is the new model boasting a ton of upgrades under the hood, but it has also received quite the makeover in the way it looks as well. This redesign includes updated body panels, more modern exterior accents, and premium interior upgrades. Adding in a PowerBoost hybrid option, the 2021 F-150 showcases what Ford can do, taking them straight to the top of the list when it comes to popular pickup trucks.

With a more masculine exterior, this tough truck is setting new standards in the industry. A military-grade aluminum-alloy body makes this truck not only “Built Ford Tough” but also a dream to drive with its no-nonsense work ethic and superior handling abilities. The newly redesigned F-150 can certainly handle any job you throw its way. Catapulting into a new realm, the 2021 F-150 packs some serious power with its upgraded engine and other fun additions that we’ll delve more into later. In short, Ford pulled out all the stops when designing their newest offering.

A red 2020 Ford F-150 is parked on grass in front of distant hills.

Power and Performance

The 2021 F-150 and the 2020 F-150 are both available with multiple engine types, built to fit your needs. The new model is available in:

  • 3.3 L V-6
  • 5.0 L V-8
  • 2.7 L V-6 twin-turbo
  • 3.5 L V-6 twin-turbo
  • 3.5 L V-6 twin-turbo hybrid
  • 3.0 L V-6 turbo-diesel

With an increasing desire for a more fuel-efficient pickup truck, Ford delivers with the 2021 model. Making its debut is the hybrid powertrain option, which features a 3.5 L twin-turbo V-6 with a 3.5 kW electric motor. Ford claims this combination will allow the new F-150 to travel up to 700 miles without having to stop and gas up. You can expect to find a 10-speed automatic transmission with all engine selections.

As far as fuel economy is concerned, the 2020 F-150 gets 21 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. The 2021 model, with its updated hybrid engine, is expected to out-perform its predecessor by a wide margin. And when it comes to towing, the 2021 F-150 will be able to haul up to 14,000 lbs.

Exterior Overhaul

Perhaps the biggest changes between the 2021 F-150 and the 2020 model is the appearance. Ford went with a significant redesign of the F-150’s well-known body, opting for a sleeker grille and a cleaner look on the hood and fenders. Losing its boxy design, the new F-150 has a more contemporary style with clean edges, especially when viewed from the front.

Losing its C-shaped headlights, replacing them with larger, square headlamps, and redefining the wheel arches, the new F-150 has a more macho design than the 2020 model. As far as the side angle, there isn’t too much change from previous years, making the biggest changes with the exterior viewed from the front and back of the vehicle.

Interior Upgrades

The interior has also been redesigned, perhaps more so than the exterior of the new F-150. With an oversized 12-inch touchscreen display in upgraded models, a revamped instrument panel, and more technology add-ons, the 2021 F-150 gets back into the game, offering up quite the competition against other upgraded models, like the Toyota Tundra, Ram 1500, and Chevy Silverado 1500. Other interior upgrades include more storage options, a mobile workspace, fold-flat front seats, and an upgraded infotainment system, which we’ll dive more into later.

The interior mobile workspace makes working from the road easy. Simply fold the shift lever flat into the center console and voila! You’ve got a flat workspace for ultimate productivity. The new F-150 is available in a variety of trims, including:

  • XL: durable construction and built for hard work; this option features an 8-inch touchscreen and SYNC connectivity.
  • STX: with a blacked-out interior, this option features sport-cloth seats and a sleek appearance.
  • XLT: upgrades include a 12-inch touchscreen with a dialed-in Medium Dark Slate interior.
  • LARIAT Sport: classic and sporty, this package features a Vintage Carmine interior with leather-trimmed captain’s chairs and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
  • King Ranch: a Java interior makes for a smooth look with genuine wood accents throughout, while heated and vented seats make for a comfortable ride.
  • Platinum: a Carmelo interior with brushed aluminum and gunmetal accents gives this option a bold look, and leather seating and Active Motion make this ride a dream.
  • Limited: at the top of the food chain, the Limited offers an Admiral Blue and Light Slate interior with leather bucket seats, a Bang & Olufsen Sound System Unleashed with 18 speakers of pure audio bliss.

Want more? The new F-150 also features Pro Power Onboard, a built-in generator that can power anything from appliances to electronics and more. With all the upgrades both inside and out, Ford has revolutionized the comfort, convenience, and feel of its signature pickup truck to new levels with the 2021 F-150.

New Tech

The infotainment screen in a 2021 Ford F-150 is shown.

Base models will include the 8-inch touchscreen standard, while a 12-inch touchscreen option makes its way into more upgraded models, like the LARIAT Sport, Platinum, Limited, and others. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard in the 2021 F-150, and improved voice recognition and processing power help make the technology found in the new model an integral part of its design. The all-new SYNC 4 infotainment software allows drivers to receive over-the-air updates, like navigation, downloads, and more, with expectations of even more features being released in the future.

Safety Features

If you thought the upgrades couldn’t get any more impressive on the new F-150, think again. Perhaps the most revolutionary is Active Drive Assist. This hands-free driving system is designed to track eye and head movement to discern whether or not the driver is staying alert behind the wheel, making the new F-150 among the only vehicles offering this feature, which is expected to make its way into the new model in the future. As the years go by, safety features evolve as new technology continues to advance. Many of the driver assistance features seen in the 2020 model can be found in the 2021 model as well, including adaptive cruise control, active parking assist, lane-keeping assist, and more.

2021 Ford F-150 vs. 2020 Ford F-150: The Verdict

As you can clearly see, the 2021 F-150 has received some spectacular upgrades, and compared to the 2020 model, this model is seemingly a whole new vehicle altogether. With a more luxurious interior, a sleeker exterior, a new hybrid option, and impressive safety features, the 2021 F-150 is a shining example of evolution in a brand. The F-Series has continued to grow and advance with the times, and when it comes to one of the most highly-regarded pickup trucks on the scene, the 2021 F-150 paves the way for the future of truck design.

So, is newer always better? In the case of the 2021 F-150 and the 2020 F-150, it’s pretty evident that Ford knocked it out of the park with its newest endeavor. The 2021 F-150 wows inside and out with its power, design, and timeless appeal, making it a force to be reckoned with in the world of full-size pickup trucks.

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