What is a tremor anyway? Is it a symptom of a nervous disorder? A small earthquake? Regardless, Ford has used the name for off-road versions of the Ranger and F-250, and now there's an F-150 Tremor, too. Think of it as oneYoungfor people who want to cover trails instead of deserts. Or maybe it's a Raptor for people suspicious of the vibe of this truck. Whatever the marketing rationale, it's another piece of F-150 in Ford's never-ending quest to leave no market share unattended.
Besides, it's very good.
Tremor is more or less for FordPro TRDIt's for Toyota. It's a brand of trim levels with technology optimized for careful ground coverage. It's a high-tech floor tracker. The perfect type of truck for someone who wants to reach the remote fishing spot with dignity while carrying everything they need to make great connections. It's nothing to bark down Ocean Drive in Miami or Sunset Strip in West Hollywood looking for other types of connections.
To that end, the Tremor gets a revised suspension with special springs, reinforced front hubs and upper wishbones, and an extra inch of ground clearance. The 18-inch wheels are Raptor-like (though not Raptor wheels), and thanks to specific offsets, they add an inch to the trail. These matte black wheels sit on 33-inch P275/70R18 General Grabber off-road tires. There are also "skid plates" (Ford's term) stolen from the Raptor that protect things.
Aside from that, the sample truck included an optional Torsen limited-slip differential ($1000). The standard four-wheel-drive stuff also includes an automatically selectable, two-range, torque-on-demand transfer case (which Ford describes as "similar to the F-150 Raptor's power unit") and a rear-locking differential—a mix of full-time four-wheel drive and off-road-optimized All wheel drive.
Then there are the electronic marvels beyond that. There are selectable driving modes for most terrains except the Martian surface, Hill Descent Control, "Trail Control" that keeps the truck at the driver's chosen speed, and a "Single Pedal" system that modulates the accelerator and brakes in difficult situations that the driver only has to take care of the steering. And then there is also a turning assistant, which enables tighter turning radii in tricky situations. Or even in simple situations.
Not that the F-150 FX4 isn't already a capable off-roader. In fact, it's far more powerful than most homeowners will ever need. But the Tremor offers an extra level of capability, slightly better approach and departure angles, for whoever needs it. Well, "need" is a big word. "I want" is something else entirely. And it's "wanting" that sells trucks.
Isshaking packit's a $13,445 option on top of the $49,505 base price for a 2021 F-150 4x4 pickup. Add a few more options, like a $995 onboard power generator, $695 power tailgate, and painted truck bed liner Der Total value of this truck was $68,400...plus an exciting $1,695 destination fee.
Overcome Tremor and the most impressive thing about this beast is the F-150 part. Ford has been tweaking the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 for more than a decade since it's been in production. On the 2021 F-150 (this truck is a 2021), it's rated at 400 horsepower at 6000 rpm and has a robust 500 pound-feet of peak torque at just 3100 rpm.
However, these numbers only give you an idea of how well the 3.5 EcoBoost performs. Torque is plentiful from idle to redline, it's perfectly mated to the 10-speed automatic (itself a sweet developing thing) and even makes a decent exhaust note now. With rivals like the 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine now offered in the 2022 Toyota Tundra, a head-to-head comparison needs to be made to judge which is the best. But at least in behavior, if not demonstrable durability, the EcoBoost is seductive. Yes, it outperforms Ford's available 400-horsepower DOHC 5.0-liter 32-valve V8 and with a whopping 90-pound-foot advantage in torque production.
It's also a great truck. Ford has developed this F-150 body cleanly since it was announced in 2015 with all sorts of fanfare about its all-aluminum construction. The major update that came with the 2021 model includes a neat overhaul of the grille, sleek multi-piece headlights and a more integrated front bumper.
The Tremor package with the "Active Orange" paintwork increases the attractiveness inside and out. It's a vibrant accent color, although it still looks a lot darker than the Raptor fender on display.
Inside, the interior has also been completely revamped for 2021. There is a huge screen in the middle as everyone loves big screens and lots of compartments for stuff. While other trucks (Tundra again) have pushed more functions onto the big screen, Ford has stuck with separate buttons. So many buttons and digital displays (no longer real instruments) that the F-150 comes close to intimidating commercial airliners.
The seats are fantastic, the quality of the materials seems excellent and there is a lot of space in the cabin. Come on, this thing is huge. There should be space inside.
There are so many options here, so many ways of adapting the truck to specific conditions, that it would take literally months to evaluate it under all circumstances. After all, snow and sand don't usually coexist, and rocks come in hundreds of shapes. But in this limited exposure there was no terrain beyond.
Where the tremor is at risk is on the road, where you will likely spend most of your time. The Grabber tires seem tenacious off-road, but they hum on some surfaces and the leaf-spring rear suspension isn't as strong as the coil springs used on the model.sheep 1500jTundra. It's nothing bad, but the trucks have become such incredibly mature products that the slight differences in driving and handling are noticeable. The Ford's steering is a little numb, but no more than its rivals, while its precision seems better. a little better.
The other gripe is the length of the bed at 5.5 feet. In a truck that big, it might just not be long enough for someone hauling, say, dirt bikes along with fuel tanks and camping gear. A longer bed version would result in an even more massive truck and would likely require a change from the 145.6-inch wheelbase to something like the 157.2-inch wheelbase used on F-150 SuperCrews with the bed. That's too heavy for a lot of trail work.
In an age when gas is nearly $6 a gallon, even at cheap pumps here in California, it may have become harder to justify a truck like this. However, the EPA rating of 16mpg city and 20mpg highway is considered an impressive achievement. After all, this thing has a huge frontal area, always runs 4-wheel drive, has a 400-horsepower motor, and weighs about 5000 pounds. Stay on the turbos and fuel economy will drop precipitously. But treated with care, these EPA numbers are at least possible. Not likely, but possible.
While $70,000 is a high ticket for this big truck, it's at least easy to see where the value lies. It's more truck than most people will need. But it sure is easy to want. No nervous command is required.
John Pearley Huffmanneditor-in-chiefJohn Pearley Huffman has been writing about cars since 1990 and he's doing it right.