Ford’s F-150 hybrid pickup is the ultimate in remote workspace and nap

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The illusion was pleasant as long as it lasted. The all-new 2021 Ford (F) The F-150 4 × 4 SuperCrew Limited hybrid I was in had nearly all the optional features available, bringing its total price to almost $ 80,000. (Without options, it would have been around $ 74,000 because the limited version already includes a lot of them. The cheapest F-150s start at under $ 30,000.)

The price, at least, matched the luxury experience I had. This truck had a glass roof and front seats that fully reclined to function as cots. The seats also had a customizable massage function, so my bed rubbed my back as I looked up at the sky.

This F-150 also had all the technological hardware I needed so that when the software is finally ready in about a year, I could take my hands off the wheel on most major highways and let the truck largely drive itself. .

My phone rang. It was my editor who told me to watch a story we were working on. The beach buzz killed, I shot my the seat back to its upright position and reached my laptop. I pressed a button and the F-150’s gear selector flipped flat. Next, I pressed another button on the extra thick center console cover and opened it to create a desk between the front seats.

I plugged my laptop into a power outlet on the back of the center console and got to work. Turning sideways to reach that central office wasn’t the most comfortable way to type, but moving the driver’s seat back helped a bit. And it was definitely better than wedging my MacBook between my stomach and the steering wheel like I would in most vehicles.The F-150 also has other cool features, such as a long storage bin that unfolds under the rear seats. This gives you a place to store your stuff so it doesn’t roll around the cabin and under the seats. It’s not unique – the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado offer similar storage bins – and the differences boil down to which is deeper and which allows you to fold the seats down while the bin is in progress. of use. (In the F-150, the bin has sides that fold out and when pulled up you get a nice, deep storage bin, but you can’t use the rear seats.)

Storage bins are just part of the growing battle between full-size pickup truck manufacturers to make today’s pickup trucks more comfortable and useful for things other than hauling large, heavy items. Companies like Ford spend countless hours watching real truck owners use their trucks in real life. Researchers observe owners’ frustrations when they try to sleep, work, and store items where they won’t be stolen. This type of work led to innovations such as the Ram Truck RamBoxes – lockable storage bins inside the walls of the truck bed – and the GMC Sierra’s MultiPro tailgate that folds out into steps, a desk, a mini tailgate inside the tailgate and more.

To compete, the power tailgate of the F-150 features a fold-down step (a feature Ford has offered for years), built-in rulers, places to squeeze things and a pen compartment. It’s useful but not up to date like GM’s sleek hatchback.

Trucks these days come in a wide variety, from basic work trucks that your county parks department buys to ones like the Limited model I was in. All that the F-150 lacked was a microwave and a bathroom. With that, maybe I should never have left that Bronx parking lot. Come to think of it, the Limited model I was driving was also the new F-150 hybrid, so there was a bunch of electrical outlets in the bed connected to the truck’s large batteries. The lack of microwave was my fault. I should have brought one.

On the road, the hybrid system performed incredibly well, switching smoothly from its turbocharged V6 engine to battery power as I drove home on the highway. It’s not a plug-in hybrid – it produces all of its own electricity – but it is the most powerful and fuel efficient F-150. With the same 24 miles per gallon estimated by the EPA in the city and on the highway, it gets about four mpg more, on average, than the comparable non-hybrid version..

Beyond that, the experience would be familiar to F-150 owners. It’s a big, tall truck that wallows in the corners, bouncing through big bumps. If there is a “driver’s van,” the F-150 doesn’t even try for that. This truck drives like a truck.

When I got home I let it go the power tailgate and opened a bottle of winter beer on the lock tabs designed just for this purpose. They were also designed to keep the tailgate closed, of course, and to function as tie-down tabs for long items. It’s a small detail, but by looking after its owners like that, Ford can probably count on continuing to be America’s best-selling truck for a long time to come.

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