Full-Size Hybrid Trucks: Should You Pick Ford or Toyota?

Two manufacturers are now making full-size trucks with hybrid gasoline engines, Ford and Toyota. They both use similar systems to get big boosts in horsepower, and significant gains in fuel economy. But is it Ford or Toyota that wins? That depends.

The Tundra was fully redesigned for 2022 and is easily spotted by its big, bold, egg-crate-looking grille. The Ford F-150 was redesigned in 2021. While it was more of an evolution in looks, Ford added a lot of functionality.

Ram does make a “mild hybrid” for its 1500 series of trucks called the eTorque. That system is more of a higher-performance alternator/starter designed to improve performance and efficiency. It’s worth a mention, but it’s not a “true” hybrid like the Ford and Toyota systems.

i-FORCE MAX in the Toyota is (slightly) more powerful

The new for 2022 Tundra can be ordered with a hybrid powertrain.

The new engine takes Toyota’s twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 and ads a motor/generator system to it. It makes 437 horsepower. The new hybrid adds the generator inside the bell housing, between the engine and the transmission. It adds 48 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed through a 10-speed automatic.

The i-FORCE non-hybrid two-wheel-drive Tundra gets an EPA estimated 18 mpg in the city, 24 on the highway, and 20 combined. The i-FORCE MAX only gets 2 miles per gallon more than the regular truck in town, the same on the highway, and 22 combined. While an extra two mpg doesn’t sound like much, that is a 10% gain in the Tundra range of full-size hybrid trucks.

How does a Toyota Tundra hybrid work?

The new 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup truck offers diesel engine like performance. | Toyota
The new 2022 Toyota Tundra offers a gasoline V6 and hybrid drivetrain option. | Toyota

The electric motor does most to the work at low speeds for the truck. Once you’re going over 18 miles per hour, the gasoline engine is constantly on for better performance. The hybrid system engages to constantly add power when you’re in tow/haul mode. It makes more power than the Ford, but sometimes that’s not enough to be the quickest.

While the i-FORCE MAX powertrain is available on the Limited, Platinum and 1794 models of the Tundra. The Tundra TRD Pro only comes as a hybrid.

F-150 Hybrid is the most-powerful F-150

The Ford F-150 hybrid uses the electric motor to help tow.
Ford F-150 Hybrid | Ford.

Ford has done a lot to make its full-sized trucks more fuel-efficient over the years. It was the first, for example, to make an aluminum frame for its trucks to save weight and thus fuel. The 2021 and 2022 F-150s have active grille shutters to deploy an air dam, for example.

The Ford F-150 Hybrid also uses a 3.5-liter V6 to make a ton of power. It was the first hybrid full-size truck, and the system is an option on every trim level, from XL to Limited. It makes 430 horsepower thanks to a 47-horsepower boost from the system. The Ford integrates the hybrid system into its 10-speed automatic, too.

What is Pro Power Onboard?

Every Hybrid F-150 comes with the Pro Power Onboard system, which is a clever 2.4-kilowatt generator for running tools or tailgating supplies. F-150s with the system get two household outlets in the bed. A 7.2-kilowatt generator is optional. According to Ford, 2.4 kilowatts of juice is enough to run a circular saw, a miter saw a small air compressor, and a battery charger at once.

The 7.2-kilowatt PowerBoost system has four outlets in the bed and can run for 32 hours on a full tank of gas. It can run a 120-volt plasma cutter, a tig welder, a chop saw, a 1.4 horsepower air compressor, an angle grinder, and a work light, all at the same time.

How much are these full-size hybrid trucks?

Often, it’s not how much a truck can do. Both of these full-size hybrid trucks can do all of the truck stuff you want, including towing amazing amounts, going off-roading, hauling people, and lots of stuff. Your decision may be made because of cost.

PowerBoost trucks start at $41,145, depending on options. The i-FORCE MAX is a $3,400 premium over the standard truck, and the Limited is the least expensive version, which starts at about $52,300. Either truck, however, can be fully optioned into the $70,000-range.

RELATED: Hail to the King: The Ford F-150 is America’s Best Selling Vehicle…Again