Despite Similar Drivetrains, the Toyota Tundra Hybrid Still Falls Short of the Ford F-150
When Toyota first announced a hybrid 2022 Tundra, many pickup fans expected a revolutionary drivetrain from the maker of the Prius. The i-FORCE MAX turned out to be identical to Ford’s PowerBoost, down to the layout, advertised engine displacement, and number of transmission gears. Even more disappointing, the new Tundra won’t touch the fuel mileage of the hybrid F-150. Here are the two trucks, head-to-head.
|Toyota Tundra i-FORCE MAX||Ford F-150 PowerBoost|
|Gasoline engine||3.44L twin-turbocharged V6||3.5L EcoBoost V6|
|Transmission||10-speed Aisin automatic||10-speed Ford/GM automatic|
570 lb-ft of torque
|2WD MPG||20 city/24 highway (22 combined)||25 city/25 highway (25 combined)|
|4WD MPG||19 city/22 highway (21 combined)||23 city/23 highway (23 combined)|
The Ford F-150 PowerBoost gets 25 mpg
Ford introduced the world’s first full-size hybrid truck for the 2021 model year. The Ford PowerBoost is built around the company’s time-tested turbocharged, 3.5L EcoBoost V6.
The PowerBoost also includes a 47 horsepower (47 kW) motor/generator unit sandwiched between the gasoline engine and the ten-speed transmission. Finally, the system is linked to a 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the pickup bed.
When you tap your brakes, this motor/generator unit helps your hydraulic brakes to slow the truck down. As it does so, it also charges up its battery pack.
Then, when you hit the gas, the motor/generator launches the truck off the line. At high enough speeds, the gasoline engine takes over.
An F-150 with the Ford PowerBoost drivetrain can accelerate to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. It can also tow 12,700 pounds and haul 2,120 pounds. To top it off, Ford claims you’ll see a 20 percent increase in fuel efficiency over the standard EcoBoost V6. The EPA agrees that the 2WD PowerBoost truck gets 25 mpg, the 4WD 23 mpg.
It’s no surprise that Ford sells the PowerBoost as a premium F-150 drivetrain. It is a $2,500 upgrade in most trims, in the top trims it will cost you even more.
Toyota estimates its new i-FORCE MAX will get 22 mpg
Let’s be honest, Toyota does not redesign the Tundra often. The automaker has been selling the second generation of this full-size truck since 2007! By 2021, the only engine Toyota offered was a 5.7L V8. This V8 gave up both horsepower and efficiency to the similarly-sized 5.7L HEMI V8 in the Ram 1500. The truck needed an upgrade.
When Toyota rolled out its third-generation Tundra, the company announced several dramatic changes. Firstly, Toyota tossed the old truck’s naturally-aspirated V8. In its place, every Tundra will feature a twin-turbocharged 3.44L V6. Toyota has been running this same engine in a Lexus sedan for five years. In the Tundra, it’s tuned for low-end torque and badged as a 3.5L i-FORCE.
Secondly, Toyota did away with the old Tundra’s rear leaf springs: the new Tundra rode on the same fully-boxed frame with rear coil springs as the latest Land Cruiser. Taking a page out of Ram’s book, Toyota further improved the Tundra’s ride with available air suspension.
Finally, Toyota engineered a hybrid Tundra option as its top-trim drivetrain. It is a very similar drivetrain to Ford’s PowerBoost. Toyota did opt for a nickel-metal-hybrid battery pack tucked under the rear seat instead of a lithium-ion unit beneath the bed. That said, the Toyota’s battery capacity is 1.9 kWH.
The resulting i-FORCE MAX loses out to the Ford PowerBoost in two categories. The first one is fuel efficiency: the Toyota gives up 2-3 mpg in its combined ratings and 4-5 mpg around town. The second category is price: the i-FORCE MAX will be a $3,400 option, only available on upper-trim Tundras.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra vs the 2022 Ford F-150
The all-new Toyota Tundra does beat the Ford F-150 in a couple of categories. The Tundra’s rear-coil suspension makes for a much smoother ride–both on-road and off.
Also, the Toyota’s ten-speed automatic is also a smoother transmission. In addition, many trim levels of the 2022 Tundra feature a segment-leading 14-inch screen. Finally, some buyers may prefer the new Tundra features in-your-face design language, though others may say its grille is reminiscent of a yawning whale.
Overall, you might say the two trucks are neck-and-neck. There’s only one problem: with one major redesign every decade, we expected the Toyota Tundra to vault ahead of its competition. Quibbles such as coil springs and transmission tuning will be easy for Ford to deal with in its next redesign in one or two model years. But we’re stuck with this Tundra for a while and in some ways, it’s already dated.
See a side-by-side comparison of the hybrid-equipped Tundra Capstone and F-150 Platinum in the video below: