The 2021 Wards 10 Best Interiors have been revealed in random, non-alphabetical order one per day since Oct. 4. This is the 10th winner profile. Winners will receive their trophies Nov. 16 during Automotive TechWeek in Novi, MI.
“Want to see a beautiful luxury car that can tow 14,000 lbs. (6,350 kg)? Look inside the new Ford F-150.”
The F-150 is a pickup, of course, but the 2021 model’s level of refinement like that seen in high-end passenger cars struck a chord with Wards 10 Best Interiors judge Drew Winter. It’s the first F-150 to win Best Interiors honors since the ’15 King Ranch Edition.
That luxury combines with the latest technology, practicality and what Ford calls “all-new features to improve customer productivity.”
Case in point: The optional Interior Work Surface which, after tucking the shift lever into the console with the push of a button, unfolds to provide a work surface for grabbing a meal, signing documents or firing up a 15-in. (38-cm) laptop.
And you don’t even have to leave your truck after a day of work if you choose the optional front-row seats that fold flat for sleeping – and perhaps stargazing through the panoramic moonroof.
Soft surfaces contrast with textured metal trim inside the 14th-generation F-150, which also has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, carbon-fiber accents and chunky, knurled knobs on the dash.
“This has a well-tailored look to me,” judge Dave Zoia observes. He also appreciates the color combination of the Admiral Blue leather seats and trim accented by soft gray throughout.
The 4x4 SuperCrew, Limited Edition PowerBoost hybrid model Wards judges tested included an all-new 12-in. (30-cm) center screen allowing customers to control multiple functions simultaneously, including navigation, music or truck features.
Ford says it went with the landscape horizontal orientation of the center screen because it enables quick access to loads of digital information while allowing room for physical audio and climate-control buttons underneath.
The combination of touchscreen and hard knobs (pictured above, left) “should be a template for all vehicles, not just big trucks, to ease the driver’s ability to readily make changes to often-used functions – temperature, fan, volume and tuning,” judge Bob Gritzinger writes on his scoresheet.
The all-new SYNC 4 infotainment system is standard, offering voice control, real-time mapping and customizable information on demand. There’s wireless smartphone charging, too.
The F-150 earned high marks for basic comfort, with judge Christie Schweinsberg writing: “Running boards make for easy entry and exit from front and back. Giant legroom in second row helps with ingress/egress from there.”
Adds Gritzinger: “I think the collapsible cargo box under the rear seat should be standard equipment in every truck. “Handy for all kinds of gear you want to keep out of sight.”
The F-150 we tested stickered at $79,145, which “is cheap by some pickup standards,” Zoia notes.
To Schweinsberg, meanwhile, “$79,145 is steep, but I think Limited grade is pretty swank.”