The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid Fails to Offer Good Value
The new 2021 Ford F-150 has a lot to offer with six powertrains, three cab configurations, and both short and long beds. For the first time, the F-150 will also offer a hybrid powertrain making it the only full-size truck with such an option so far. Is the new F-150 Hybrid a good deal?
The team at CarGurus got to try out the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid. What happens when one of the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. goes hybrid?
The 2021 Ford F-150
According to CarGurus, Ford took the safe approach in the latest redesign of the Ford F-150. The changes they made were significant they explain but smaller in scope than previous redesigns.
The styling of the previous generation was updated to give it a bolder look. The interior got more comfort features along with the new Sync 4 infotainment system. There’s also an added PowerBoost hybrid powertrain, the first hybrid offering for the F-150. It’s the only full-hybrid powertrain you can currently get in a full-size pickup truck according to the CG team.
There’s a dizzying array of options available for the F-150. There are six trim levels, three cab configurations, three bed lengths, and six powertrains. You can also choose between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
The CG team tested a 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch with the SuperCrew cab. It was 4WD and equipped with the PowerBoost powertrain.
The Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid
The Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid powertrain is new in 2021. It’s composed of a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, a 10-speed automatic transmission, an electric motor, and a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The new hybrid powertrain puts out an impressive 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque. It’s now the most powerful drivetrain of the 2021 F-150 lineup with more horsepower and torque than either the Ram 1500’s 5.7-liter V8 or the Chevy Silverado’s 6.2-liter V8 according to CQ.
When it comes to hauling and towing, the F-150 still beats its Detroit peers with any powertrain except the hybrid. The hybrid can only tow 12,700 lbs compared to the max capacity of 14,000 lbs it can achieve with the non-hybrid EcoBoost V6. You’d also need the specific towing packages to get those numbers.
The CG team felt that the PowerBoost Hybrid offered sufficient power and made good use of the power from its electric motor. The transition between hybrid mode and electric-only driving, they pointed out, left a lot to be desired. The transition wasn’t smooth with the combustion engine engaging with an awkward thump, particularly during midrange acceleration.
That aside, they liked the truck’s performance and its ride quality. The cabin was quiet and comfortable enough that they explained they wouldn’t mind driving the entire 700 miles Ford says you’ll get on a tank of gas with the hybrid powertrain.
Is it a good value right now?
At the end of the day, the CG team found that the Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid gets good fuel economy for a full-size truck with 25 mpg combined using a four-wheel drive. But the improvement in fuel numbers over the other versions of the F-150 was slight. The EcoBoost V6 got the same highway mpg as the hybrid and diesel did better.
While any improvement in gas mileage in a big truck is a big deal, the CG team didn’t feel the PowerBoost Hybrid offers great value. Not right now. Plus it costs $1,900 more than the non-hybrid V6 which has better towing numbers.
Again, the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid is the first full-size hybrid truck and now that it’s been introduced, it should continue to get better. Until then, it doesn’t seem enough to justify the increased cost.