2021 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercrew PowerBoost Hybrid new car reviews

Photography Courtesy Ford

Until the new all-electric F-150 Lighting comes out, we'll have to settle for driving the electrified–as in, hybrid–version of the F-150, better known as the "PowerBoost."

But when there is 430 horsepower and 570 lb.-ft. of torque available on tap, is it even really settling?

Even more interesting is that, according to the spec sheet, the 3.5-liter, turbocharged V6 PowerBoost engine has more oomph than any of the other engines you can get with the F-150:

  • 3.3-liter V6: 290 horsepower, 265 lb.-ft of torque
  • 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6: 325 horsepower, 400 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 5.0-liter V8: 400 horsepower, 410 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6: 250 horsepower, 325 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6: 400 horsepower, 500 lb-ft. of torque

At any rate, you probably want to know what it's like to drive. Keep reading to get our impressions.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Oh, look, a deer. How cute.

And, of course, it dashed across the road right in front of us. But no contact, no foul. Go on, deer, do your deer things.

But then the baby deer popped from the woods. It was even cuter. And it also ran out into the road. Right. In. Front. Of. Us.

It didn’t have a care in the world that it was on a collision course with nearly three tons of loaded Ford F-150.

The deer didn’t care about the new hybrid drive that delivers 570 lb.-ft. of torque.

And it definitely didn’t care that our day’s schedule didn’t include time for picking deer brains from F-150’s all-new grille work.

No, this deer only cared about its little deer self.

Here’s where the F-150 shined: As I trail-braked while aiming for the gap, those nearly 6000 pounds transitioned predictably–smoothly, controlled, no drama. Didn’t even hear a tire squeal.

And just as easily, the F-150 was back in its proper lane. Zero drama at all.

The deer? It lived to keep on doing deer things. Didn’t even stop to take in the moment, make a TikTok or say thanks.

An all-new Ford F-150 is big news. An F-150 that feels light on its feet is big news. And one that offers hybrid drive, well, that’s even bigger news.

The big question: What kind of fuel economy thanks to that hybrid drive? We saw very low 20s on the highway without really trying–holiday traffic and such–but did find economy go up when closer to 55 mph than 70 mph. Our overall average for the week was right around 20 mpg.

The truck’s quick, too, especially when you dig into it. We did hear the occasional clunk at low speeds, though, as if the transition involving the hybrid didn’t always occur as smoothly as hoped.

The rest of truck just keeps doing truck-like stuff. It even offers solutions to problems that you didn’t even know existed. Ever notice how the shifter can sometimes get in the way–like when you're trying to use the center console for a dinner table?

Instead of resorting to a rotary knob, the F-150 retains a standard shifter. But press button, and it folds out of the way.

More multi-tasking: Thanks to the hybrid drive, the F-150 can operate as a generator.

Will you drive the hybrid enough to offset the expense? That's between you and your calculator. But the latest F-150 do truck stuff very well while driving surprisingly tidy.

Just ask the deer.

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Comments
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06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/30/21 3:46 p.m.

I really wish GM would stick with things sometimes.  Remember this back in 2010?  Not as much horsepower but the fuel economy specs are similar to Ford's hybrid.  But gas was cheap back then, so they sold like things that don't sell very well.

https://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/vehicles/silveradohybrid/2010.tab1.html

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
9/30/21 3:47 p.m.

I'm very interested in the 110V output on these.  Did you get to play with that feature at all?  Seems like it'd be useful as a generator during power outages.  Kind of like how some people have rigged inverters to Priuses.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/30/21 5:44 p.m.
06HHR (Forum Supporter) said:

I really wish GM would stick with things sometimes.  Remember this back in 2010?  Not as much horsepower but the fuel economy specs are similar to Ford's hybrid.  But gas was cheap back then, so they sold like things that don't sell very well.

https://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/vehicles/silveradohybrid/2010.tab1.html

Fuel was like $4-5/gallon only two years earlier, proof that consumers have the memory of a goldfish.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
9/30/21 6:37 p.m.

I believe it's possible thinking has changed on hybrid trucks since 2010. Back then, hybrids were for... well, people who don't drive trucks.

Nowadays, the fastest most powerful cars in the world are either hybrid or EVs. The image is a bit different. But I imagine there are still folks who won't consider a hybrid truck.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/30/21 7:04 p.m.

If GM made a big deal of an BEV Truck back then, probably a hybrid would run off of that hype- that's very much what is happening now.

But the potential market for BEV's is incredibly different now than a decade ago,  which boosts the market for hybrids, too.

For me, it would be awesome if the hybrid truck that can tow moves down to smaller trucks.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/30/21 8:35 p.m.
eastsideTim said:

I'm very interested in the 110V output on these.  Did you get to play with that feature at all?  Seems like it'd be useful as a generator during power outages.  Kind of like how some people have rigged inverters to Priuses.

Ford dealers were loaning them out to folks in Texas last winter when they had widespread outages, for that very purpose. Nice gesture, but also really good advertising.

Patientzero
Patientzero GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/1/21 1:13 a.m.

My 2021 Ram has the 5.7 with eTorque.  All the power you'd ever want but the fuel economy numbers are pretty optimistic.  The real world fuel economy is IDENTICAL to my previous 2010 F150 with the 5.4L 3 valve.  I don't know if that is a slam against Ram or kudos to Ford, lol.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
10/1/21 4:58 a.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

The Dodge truck system is pretty pathetic, it's an electric motor that assists in turning the engine.  So it adds assist at light load, which is exactly when an engine is at its least efficient... so the motor helps the engine to stay in its region of least efficiency.

 

They'd probably have had better results with a stop/start system and all electric accessories so the engine wouldn't need to restart for A/C or heat.

 

Toyota did a lot of funny tricks to make the Prius engine more efficient at part load, at the expense of wide open throttle power.  (Mostly the massively higher compression ratio)  IIRC the hybrid engine used in the Dodge and GM hybrid trucks is just a normal non-hybrid engine.

Patientzero
Patientzero GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/1/21 5:00 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

It also has stop/start but it doesn't help much on the highway and is disabled in tow/haul mode.  I can't replicate the claimed city mileage with highway driving.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
10/1/21 9:15 a.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:
eastsideTim said:

I'm very interested in the 110V output on these.  Did you get to play with that feature at all?  Seems like it'd be useful as a generator during power outages.  Kind of like how some people have rigged inverters to Priuses.

Ford dealers were loaning them out to folks in Texas last winter when they had widespread outages, for that very purpose. Nice gesture, but also really good advertising.

Cool!  I was also thinking it'd be nice if Ford would offer the hybrid package on a full size Transit.  RV conversions could be built without a separate generator.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/1/21 9:17 a.m.
eastsideTim said:

Cool!  I was also thinking it'd be nice if Ford would offer the hybrid package on a full size Transit.  RV conversions could be built without a separate generator.

I was hoping it would show up on the 2022 Expedition, but alas...

Gimp (Forum Supporter)
Gimp (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/1/21 10:06 a.m.

I have one of these on order and I can't wait.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/1/21 10:12 a.m.

I'm not one for trucks–though the new Maverick and Santa Cruz do look enticing to me–but a hybrid pickup truck looks like it makes a ton of sense, especially when you can get such respectable power numbers and still get normal-ish mpg.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/1/21 11:02 a.m.
eastsideTim said:
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:
eastsideTim said:

I'm very interested in the 110V output on these.  Did you get to play with that feature at all?  Seems like it'd be useful as a generator during power outages.  Kind of like how some people have rigged inverters to Priuses.

Ford dealers were loaning them out to folks in Texas last winter when they had widespread outages, for that very purpose. Nice gesture, but also really good advertising.

Cool!  I was also thinking it'd be nice if Ford would offer the hybrid package on a full size Transit.  RV conversions could be built without a separate generator.

That would require the RV converters ask for that.  And pay for it.  If it was desired, then it would be more likely to be delivered.  But what I know of the market, cost is more important than features.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
10/1/21 12:05 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

I suspect work van customers would be a more viable market overall.  Class B RV upfitters could just ride their coattails.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/1/21 12:50 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

But if they really wanted it, they would inform us, and it would be built.   It's pretty easy money.  The funny thing is that we make a lot of money on bare chassis vehicles, but the penny pinching is pretty significant.  RV's buy a lot of bare chassis vehicles.  

In terms of work trucks, those are far more likely to be pick ups than vans.  Especially the ones that would benefit from an on board generator.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
10/1/21 12:58 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to eastsideTim :

But if they really wanted it, they would inform us, and it would be built.   It's pretty easy money.  The funny thing is that we make a lot of money on bare chassis vehicles, but the penny pinching is pretty significant.  RV's buy a lot of bare chassis vehicles.  

In terms of work trucks, those are far more likely to be pick ups than vans.  Especially the ones that would benefit from an on board generator.

Makes sense.  I had been thinking about the class B market, where buyers seem to be willing to spend more despite the smaller size, and tend to put more miles on their vehicles.  The potential for a little extra room (or better mileage) would be a good selling point, but the market is not very big.  I agree the class C builders who buy the chassis cabs are cheap enough they wouldn't see a point to going hybrid/built in generator.  If they are determining where the market goes, it won't happen.

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro Dork
10/1/21 3:21 p.m.
06HHR (Forum Supporter) said:

I really wish GM would stick with things sometimes.  Remember this back in 2010?  Not as much horsepower but the fuel economy specs are similar to Ford's hybrid.  But gas was cheap back then, so they sold like things that don't sell very well.

https://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/vehicles/silveradohybrid/2010.tab1.html

I test drove one of the Silverado hybrids when I was looking at trucks back in February. It drove nicely and the hybrid system worked well. But it was a lower trim work truck with okay seats and not many amenities. It was priced higher than the '13 Ram 1500 I ended up with and had a lower tow rating. I think it was 6K while the Ram is 8800 lbs. 

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/1/21 3:42 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

You know, over time, perhaps owners will think about getting a hybrid, when you can get a 400hp engine to drive the vehicle.  Which is exactly what they have now.  There's a strong RV movement to become full electric- no propane- so having a hybrid would be a perfect fit.  One can surely hope, that's for sure!

Opti
Opti Dork
10/1/21 9:27 p.m.

I saw a surprising amount of very expensive hybrid problems in the hybrid GM trucks. For a truck doing truck things I'd prefer ICE/all electric/hybrid in that order.

Simplicity makes for a good truck

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