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Pull Away With the 2021 Ford F-150’s Towing Capacity

Posted at Wed, Apr 28, 2021 1:00 PM

Completely redesigned for the 2021 model year, the Ford F-150 is even stronger and smarter than previous models. That's saying a lot, especially since this pickup truck is the best-selling vehicle in the United States since 1981. For drivers in the Dallas, Texas, area, this Ford truck has excellent towing and payload capacities, thanks to enhanced technology features. Use this guide to find out what you can expect when it comes to the towing capacity of the Ford F-150 and why you should consider it for your next vehicle.

Numerous Configurations

A blue Ford F-150 parked in front of a lake with the evening sun streaming through the dissipating clouds.

Image used with permission via Unsplash by caleb_white

Before you can even figure out which F-150 to consider, you should take a look at all the truck configurations. The truck has six trims: the XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. Some engines are only available on certain trims.

Impressive Engine Options

The 2021 Ford F-150 offers six different powertrain options, all of which provide the truck with plenty of power. Every one of the engines comes paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engines include:

  • A 3.3-liter V-6 engine that gets 290 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard on the XL and XLT trims.
  • A 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine that produces 325 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. It is standard on the Lariat but available on the XL and XLT trims.
  • A 5.0-liter V-8 engine that gets 400 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard on the King Ranch and Platinum but available on the lower three trims.
  • A 3.0-liter V-6 Power Stroke turbo-diesel engine that produces 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. It is available on all trims.
  • A 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine that gets 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. It is standard on the Limited but available with all others.
  • A 3.5-liter V-6 PowerBoost hybrid engine that produces 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. It is available on all trims.

Several of these engine options received upgrades from the previous year's model, but the big news is the addition of the PowerBoost hybrid engine. It throws down the most amount of torque by far. You'll also notice that 50% of the powertrains produce at least 400 horsepower.

Maximum Towing Capacity by Engine

To get a better understanding of the F-150's maximum towing capacity, you need to look at each engine individually. Keep in mind that certain engines are only available with specific truck cab and bed sizes.

3.3-Liter V-6 Engine

To attain the maximum tow rating of 8,200 pounds with this engine, the F-150 needs to have the regular cab and either the 6.5- or 8-foot cargo bed, the two-wheel-drive (2WD) SuperCab with the 6.5-foot bed, or the SuperCrew with the 5.5-foot cargo bed. It can achieve this number with either two- or four-wheel drive (4WD) unless otherwise stated. The truck also must have the 3.73 axle ratio.

5.0-Liter V-8 Engine

Just like the previous engine, this one achieves its highest tow ratings of 13,000 pounds when coupled with the 3.73 axle ratio. The models that reach this number include the regular cab paired with the 8-foot bed, SuperCab with the 8-foot cargo bed, or the SuperCrew with the 5.5- or 6.5-foot cargo bed. All are achieved with either 2WD or 4WD.

3.0-Liter V-6 Diesel Engine

To get the maximum rating of 12,100 pounds with this diesel engine, the truck needs to be the SuperCab with the 6.5-foot cargo bed or the SuperCrew and either the 5.5- or 6.5-foot cargo bed. Either engine should come with 4WD. This engine comes with either a 3.31 or 3.55 axle ratio, but the 3.55 gives the highest tow rating. 

2.7-Liter V-6 EcoBoost Engine

The smallest EcoBoost engine on the F-150, this engine has a maximum tow rating of 10,100 pounds. You can get this number with the SuperCab with the 6.5-foot cargo bed or the SuperCrew with the 5.5-foot cargo bed. Either cab should be mated with 4WD. The truck also needs the 3.73 axle ratio and the 2.7-liter EcoBoost Payload package.

3.5-Liter V-6 EcoBoost Engine

This is the engine that achieves the best-in-class maximum towing capacity of 14,000 pounds, which is 800 more pounds than the 2020 model's numbers. The truck reaches this number with the SuperCab with the 8-foot bed or with the SuperCrew outfitted with either the 5.5- or 6.5-foot bed. Either cab should have 2WD. They can have either the 3.55 or 3.73 axle ratio. To achieve this number, the truck also needs to have the Max Trailer Tow Package.

3.5-Liter V-6 EcoBoost Full Hybrid Engine

The newest powertrain option, this engine's maximum towing capacity is 12,700 pounds. The truck needs to have the 2WD SuperCrew with either cargo bed and the 3.55 axle ratio. This engine is only available with the SuperCrew.

Maximum Towing Capacity By Cab Size

If you'd rather have a breakdown of towing capacity based on cabin size for the F-150, the numbers are rather similar. With the 2WD regular cab, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, the 8-foot bed, and the 3.73 axle ratio, the truck can tow a maximum of 13,300 pounds. For the 2WD SuperCab paired with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, the 8-foot cargo bed, and either the 3.55 or the 3.73 axle ratio, the F-150 achieves the class-leading 14,000-pound maximum towing capacity. Similarly, the two-wheel-drive SuperCrew with either axle ratio and bed size also reach 14,000 pounds.

Enhanced Fifth-Wheel Towing Capacity

Placing a fifth-wheel attachment on a half-ton pickup truck is uncommon, as it's usually reserved for heavy-duty trucks, but the F-150 can tow a fifth wheel easily. When configured with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine with the 3.73 axle ratio along with the Max Trailer Tow and Heavy-Duty Payload packages, the F-150 can tow up to 14,000 pounds. The truck must also have the 2WD versions of the SuperCrew and SuperCab along with the longer bed options. 

This impressive towing capacity is just one of the reasons why U.S. News and World Report named the 2021 Ford F-150 as its top full-size pickup truck. If you're interested in taking the F-150 out for a test drive, reach out to the professionals at Planet Ford Dallas. They can schedule that drive and answer any questions you might have, so you can drive off the lot in one of these powerful vehicles today.

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