Sunset in the Badlands
Last month I took my 2021 Lariat Powerboost on the ultimate roadtrip: A 8600 mile journey from Orlando to Yellowstone National Park and back (stopping at many more parks along the way). I put as many miles on it in a month that I had on the odometer in the first year. This was the trip I had in mind when I bought the truck a year ago and overall I have to say it performed like a champ. In fact I’m so pleased that I am reconsidering my Lightning reservation which came up for order while I was out of town. My Powerboost feels like a keeper.
Orlando to Detroit (to pickup family): 16 hours driving
Detroit to Moab: 24 hours
Moab to Bryce Canyon: 5 hours
Bryce Canyon to Vernal, UT: 6 hours
Vernal, UT to Yellowstone: 8 hours
Yellowstone to Badlands, SD: 9 hours
Badlands to Detroit: 16 hours
Detroit to Orlando: 16 hours
Mesa Verde NP
Capitol Reef NP
Grand Staircase - Escalante NM
Bryce Canyon NP
Grand Teton NP
Minuteman Missile NHS
Plus numerous other state and local parks and places of interest. I’d be happy to answer any questions on those parks if you are interested but I figure that most of you are looking for my thoughts on the truck.
My BlueCruise was activated via OTA a couple months before the trip. I had limited experience with it on the local highways around central Florida before the trip but I was pleased with how it was going. This trip was a real trial for the feature as most of the distance traveled was on BC eligible highways (major sections between Utah to Yellowstone and Yellowstone to South Dakota were not limited access highways and therefore not eligible for BC). After many thousands of miles of BlueCruise driving I would say it worked great 96% of the time. The hands free feature was a great benefit for long road trips as I was able to relax a lot more and didn’t get tired as quickly as I might have with hands-on driving. In fact I did a lot more driving than I had planned as I was always quite fresh and my passengers didn’t need to back me up as often.
My observation is that when it couldn’t do hands-free driving was when the camera had issues seeing the road lines. This happened most commonly when the sun was in front of the vehicle or when the paint was very close in color to the road surface. Basically if I had difficulty seeing the lines with my eyes (due to glare or poor paint) then the truck couldn’t see them either.
There were also times when it asked me to put hands on the wheel but kept steering (hands-on BC) usually on tight curves. My experience here in Florida was that almost never happened but I had it happen a lot more often on various highways across numerous states. Road standards are really all over the place. My thought is that it’s really a case of the road curves being too tight for the truck to handle confidently and just wants your hands on the wheel for backup. I still rarely had to steer myself.
Overall I highly recommend BlueCruise and I’m glad I had it for this trip.
My hybrid Powerboost experience has been that my best mileage is usually around 50-60 MPH on flat Florida roads. In those conditions I have gotten 26-28 MPG. For this trip of mostly highway driving I wasn’t expecting that but I was quite pleased. By the end of the trip I had 22.4 MPH average on the display (I didn’t bother with any hand calculations). The worst mileage I saw on the whole trip was around 11MPG while driving 80MPH (the speed limit) through South Dakota with some high winds. My best was about 143 MPG…. driving down some mountains around Moab.
My truck has the FX4 package with no aftermarket modifications. Unfortantely I wasn’t able to do much off-roading. Many National Parks don’t have places where you can drive off road and the weather didn’t cooperate when we were in places that did (many rainy days in Moab). I did do a little including driving down the switchbacks of the Echo Park road in Dinosaur (before being forced to turn around due to oncoming rain). I tried out the various drive modes and used combinations of 4A, 4H, and 4L. Never had any issues and never got stuck.
My F-150 Powerboost was a great vehicle for this trip. Lots of space for people and stuff. Gas mileage was good and the range meant fewer stops for fill ups (only needed 2 full tanks to drive Orlando to Detroit, for example). The FX4 was more than enough for the driving we did on some mountain dirt roads and the tires held up well. No issues with the truck, like I said it handled all the driving like a champ.
It was an amazing trip and I’d love to head out west again sometime in the future and I would trust my truck to do it again.
Shafer Trail in Canyonlands
Mesa Verde NP
In the La Sal Mountains above Moab
Colorado River, Moab
Echo Park Road, Dinosaur NM
Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone