2021 is a big year for the Ford F-150. The Blue Oval has added a hybrid powertrain option to its already impressive lineup. The electrified version of one of America’s favorite pickup trucks offers a smooth ride with impressive payload and towing capacities. The Ford F-150 hybrid loses nothing in translation.
But does the new hybrid powertrain offer good fuel economy? Will it save money at the gas pump?
The 2021 Ford F-150’s new hybrid powertrain
The 2021 Ford F-150 has more than just a new hybrid powertrain. The popular pickup is new from grille to tailgate, even though it’s not obvious from the styling.
The PowerBoost hybrid powertrain features a potent combination of a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine and a 47-hp electric motor. It’s now one of the bigger output powertrains in the F-150 lineup, Car and Driver reports.
The electric motor slots between the 10-speed automatic transmission and the engine. The 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery hides beneath the bed.
Though many might think the battery is on the small side for a sizable truck, Ford chose it because it’s easier to package. The battery’s weight won’t have a huge impact on payload and towing capacities, and it costs less than larger units.
Regardless of the powertrain, the new F-150 boasts better interior materials and execution across the lineup. You can trade out the 8.0-inch touchscreen for a 12-inch model. You get Ford‘s Sync 4 infotainment system with both, and it’s capable of wireless connectivity and updates. There’s also an available 12-inch digital gauge cluster that’s easy to use with dynamic graphics.
The Ford F-150 hybrid’s fuel economy
The new Ford F-150 hybrid gets a combined 430 hp and a whopping 570 lb-ft of torque. That’s 30 more horses and 70 lb-ft more than the updated non-hybrid EcoBoost. It only gains 4 mpg over its gas-fed counterpart. So is the new hybrid F-150 worthwhile?
The four-wheel-drive Lariat model weighs 5,794 pounds but still managed to reach 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds for Car and Driver. For a half-ton truck, that’s pretty spry. Its 2,120-pound payload capacity and 12,700-pound towing capacity are equally impressive.
Though the motor isn’t exactly built for speed, it does allow for powerful short sprints when cruising on electricity at lower speeds. It shifts from electric to gas so smoothly you won’t notice it. The switch from friction to regenerative braking is just as seamless.
The new 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg overall, 4 mpg more than the F-150 EcoBoost.
What the experts are saying
The team at Consumer Reports purchased a Ford F-150 Lariat PowerBoost Hybrid for $71,400. Will it pay for itself in fuel economy? Considering the high purchase price, they don’t think so.
According to CR deputy auto editor Jon Linkov, “It may end up being a situation much like some of the more expensive hybrids that we’ve seen. It’s not gonna pay for itself in fuel savings unless you’re keeping it for 10, 15 years.”
Editor Mike Quincy added, “You are paying a premium for it. It is an expensive truck … But so far, my impressions are very positive.”
The new hybrid powertrain may not translate to big fuel savings for you, but it could if you keep the truck for over a decade. And the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid still offers plenty of other perks, including what CR calls the “top dog” of engines. Plus, it’s loaded with great features, including an innovative onboard generator system. The motor provides up to 7.2 kilowatts of electricity to the bed outlets.