Get Ready for ‘Tron-Like Noises’ in the Ford F-150 Hybrid
The giant automaker teased us, for quite some time, saying that the new Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid, would rival its diesel sibling, and it seems to be living up to that statement. The questions are, however, how well does it perform, and how well does it handle the road?
One of the recent episodes of Consumer Reports‘ Car Talks goes over the Ford F-150 and what each editor thought about it. They share what it was like to drive it as well as what they liked and didn’t like about it.
How does the Ford F-150 Hybrid with PowerBoost engine compare to the non-hybrid version?
The Consumer Reports editors felt the ride in the hybrid version was much better than the traditional Ford F-150 pickup. The non-hybrid model seemed stiffer when driving down the road. They did offer up a possibility for the difference, though. The generator you get with the hybrid model adds weight to the vehicle, so it could be the reason why that truck rides smoother than the other one.
Another interesting contrast between the two models is that the traditional F-150 has power-up windows. The new hybrid version, for some reason, doesn’t come with that. For the price point of approximately $71,000, it was odd for them to see such a common feature not be included with this truck.
Overall, they felt the hybrid was an F-150 pickup in almost every way, including its luxurious feel, comfortable seating, and its relatively quiet cabin. The difference was within the way it drove.
What was it like driving the hybrid model?
While they remarked on its smooth ride, one editor, Jon Linkov, summed up his experience by saying it was “very cool to drive around on hybrid electric power. You do hear the humming, Tron-like noises.” He goes on to say, “You do hear some of the electric whirring. There are extra noises that aren’t associated with a truck.”
Another editor mentioned that she was very impressed with the 10-speed automatic transmission that Ford modified for this pickup. On the instrument cluster, there’s a gauge that tells you which gear you’re in. She said that she couldn’t tell which gear it was in without looking at the gauge. She was also impressed that it came with a generator.
One of the reviewers mentioned that it drove great in both the gas-powered mode and the electric one. However, they felt it was a bit clunky when transitioning from the electric mode to the gas.
He wasn’t too keen on the powered running boards and powered mirrors that would run when you were in proximity. He said they would get confused and get stuck coming out or going back in.
What can you expect with the Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid ?
Powering it up is a Powerboost hybrid engine that generates a total of 430 hp along with 570 lb-ft of torque. Ford pairs it with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which sounds like a powerful combination. The only downside is that it only gets 24 mpg on both city roads and on the highway.
For the interior, you can find a 12-inch touchscreen, which is large enough for the driver to easily see what’s going on with the infotainment system. Ford didn’t crowd the screen with apps but offers just enough features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
When it comes to towing, however, the F-150 doesn’t impress. A gasoline-powered truck can tow up to 14,000 lbs. With the hybrid version, it can tow only 12,700 lbs max, and that’s when it’s properly equipped with towing features.
With the generator, the hybrid version can easily help you with your camping trips or when there’s a blackout storm in your area, like Texas recently had to deal with. You can bet some Ford F-150 Hybrid owners put that feature to the test during the power outage.
The first impression of the Ford F-150 Hybrid with PowerBoost engine is definitely a good one. There are a few drawbacks to it, but this unique pickup easily overcomes them.