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2021 Ford F-150 Platinum vs. 2020 F-150: Signature Lighting Comparison

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The 2021 Ford F-150 first reached dealerships several months ago, and while examples of the all-new pickup are still in short supply, there are no doubt many previous generation owners looking to upgrade to Ford’s latest and greatest light-duty truck. With that in mind, we recently had the opportunity to compare how both models look at night when their signature lighting is activated, and what we found was quite interesting.

2021 Ford F-150

Taken at night, this picture neatly demonstrates what owners of the 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum and its 2020 equivalent encounter when hitting the unlock button of their respective key fobs. On the previous generation model, the LED lighting snaked around the headlamps while the fog lights remained inactive. That’s not the case for the current generation truck, which only features the signature lighting on two sides of each front headlamp assembly. However, the 2021 does enlist the fog lights for lighting duty, a move that ends up accentuating the whole package quite nicely.

Out back, Ford kept things consistent on both the 2021 Ford F-150 and its predecessor, as both models mirror the setups featured up front. The older model boats a more complex design that features a relatively bright LED setup in the middle of each rear assembly, while the new truck sports a much more austere aesthetic.

Aside from the lighting, we can also see that the 2021 F-150 “Platinum” lettering on the rear tailgate sticks out a bit more, as it appears Ford decided to use a larger font to better highlight the trim level. The designers also gave the lettering its own cut-out from the rest of the tailgate in the form of a raised section around the letters, which helps make it stand out a bit more. There does seem to be at least one piece of connected DNA between both trucks however, as the Blue Oval badges look identical to one another, while also residing in the same location.

We’ll have more cool comparisons like this soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford F-150 news and continuous Ford news coverage.

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Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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Comments

  1. John

    I like the led lighting on the front of my 2017 Lariat better than either of these as mine has more colour on the front with the amber lights.

    Reply
  2. Tom

    Another story about pickup trucks. How exciting. This is a really BIG development. Ford can’t build cars but have time to fiddle around with such minutiae. Is this change really needed on the job site ? Oh I forgot, these trucks will never see a job site; only grocery store and soccer field parking lots.

    Reply
    1. NCEcoBoost

      Totally agree. Actually, the 2020 lighting looks MUCH better than the ’21, so it was a waste of effort. The other minutiae that they fiddle around with annually is the decontenting, while GM ADDS features for the $.

      Reply
  3. MIKE BARANOWSKI

    Typical Ford, no real product improvements, just silly “accent” lighting changes. How about addressing some of the quality issues? Transmission shifting issues, communication problems with the multiplexing in the vehicle. No that makes too much sense. Oh the premature rusting too !

    Reply
  4. Lee Glidewell

    How about going back to building simple vehicles that doesn’t require any of the chips or other electronic/battery gobbledegook. Manual transmissions/windows. Power steering/brakes would be welcome. Only a radio in the dash. Simple enough for the average DIYer to diagnose/repair without needing a degree in rocket science or advanced calculas.
    Whatta y’all know? The vehicles would sell like hotcakes, solving the slumping sales issue.
    Cheaper to manufacture allowing prices to be lowered drastically and y’all wouldn’t need a second mortgage to finance them.
    How about it, Farley? Make to much sense?

    Reply
    1. Mike says..

      I believe FORD still makes a basic work truck model that is VERY basic. They don’t sell a lot of them because the market prefers fully loaded models. I kind of miss the good old days too….but that is what dinosaurs do.

      Reply
    2. Ryan

      Because you can only sell those in 3rd world countries. In the US, you are required to have a back up camera, which requires a video screen. Must have ABS, which requires an electronic module and wheel speed sensors. Must meet emission standards, which requires electronically controlled fuel injection and usually variable valve timing, with all the related sensors (MAF, O2, temperature, crank position, cam position, etc). Must have TPMS, which again requires an electronic module and usually wireless sensors, unless you just monitor the wheel speed which is quite worthless. Must have traction control, which again needs an electronic module. And it doesn’t matter how old school you get, still need a battery….

      Now, you can still purchase a Ford truck with just a radio (no CD player, no satellite radio, no navigation), crank windows, manual locks, rubber floor, bench seat, incandescent lights, steel wheels, non-assisted tailgate, no parking sensors, no cruise control, lockout hubs, big pushrod V8, no turbos, but still with your power steering, power brakes, and all the government mandated equipment. I do miss the manual transmissions (and more so the manual transfer case) but the new 10 speed auto is fantastic for towing. So I wouldn’t complain at Ford too much, they still make trucks that are about as basic as legally possible, you’re just going to have to special order it if you want one like that (which is what I did, power locks/windows was the only fancy option I got). I previously had a 24 valve cummins, I think the only added tech in my new Ford (20 years newer than the cummins) is the mandated back up camera and traction control, plus Ford has their 4G modem standard now (which could be ripped off and not affect anything other than your phone app so it really doesn’t matter). I can still open the hood and see the engine block, and there’s room in there to see straight through to the ground. Simple truck that can be worked on at home

      Reply
  5. edward martin

    The availability of two-tone exterior paint is unavailable on current king ranch F 150, as was available on my 2008 truck. WHY?

    Reply
    1. Fordpuppy

      First of all things change. Secondly there is a 2 tone option.

      Reply
  6. Fordpuppy

    First of all things change. Secondly there is a 2 tone option.

    Reply
  7. Gerard

    Hopefully the fascination with the “accent lighting” that all the mfgs have will start to level off. It’s like there is a huge competition out there to outdo each other, and some cars and trucks out there are starting to look rediculous: front and back. I wish they would spend their time designing LED headlamp that don’t have the dazzling effect as they are coming at you and look like they are always on high-beam.

    Reply
  8. Gerard

    Hopefully the fascination with the “accent lighting” that all the mfgs have will start to level off. It’s like there is a huge competition out there to outdo each other, and some cars and trucks out there are starting to look overdone, front and back. I wish they would spend their time designing LED headlamps that don’t have the dazzling effect as they are coming at you and look like they are always on high-beam.

    Reply
  9. Wayne Lowe

    So Ford “lost” a billion $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ but about half of it was paid out in bonuses and rewards to executives and Ford family. Oh, cry for Ford.

    Reply
    1. royl

      I glad someone actually stated the facts!!! BTW, when you see the amount of “bonuses” it is easy to see why ford is mfg in Mexico, the lower cost (and quality) of labor was necessary to off set what the “big boys” raped the company for.

      Reply
  10. DW

    F-150 has a higher domestically produced part content than other manufacturers

    Reply
  11. Don

    Come On… Americans are wrapping their selves around head light an tail light configurations.
    I going back to sleep… It’s a dream.

    Reply

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