America’s favourite truck goes hybrid: The Ford F-150, reviewed


Ford’s F-series pickup vans have been the best-selling automobiles in the US for what looks as if without end, so there’s in all probability a robust temptation to not mess with one thing that has labored so nicely. However the instances, they’re a-changin’, and so should pickup vans.

Ford revealed its new concepts within the type of the all-electric 2022 F-150 Lightning this previous spring, however there’s one other new choice for many who need to go inexperienced(er) however aren’t keen to surrender burning hydrocarbons to get round: the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid. Whereas the hybrid is just not a game-changer, it gives higher mileage and the flexibility to make use of it as a 7.2 kW generator—even whereas the automobile is in movement.

Let’s begin beneath the hood of the F-150 4×4 SuperCrew Lariat we examined. There, you will discover a Ford 3.5 L, twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine, one of many six choices within the F-150 lineup. It is probably the most highly effective and torquey powertrain out there for the truck, with 430 hp (320 kW) and 530 lb-ft (718 Nm) on faucet. Ford has mixed the V6 with a 47 hp (35kW) electrical motor that lives between the engine and the 10-speed automated transmission, and it’s powered by a 1.5 kWh li-ion battery. Whereas that will appear small for an enormous pickup truck, it is indicative of Ford’s technique right here: pairing electrons with hydrocarbons for a modest improve in mileage and an even bigger improve in efficiency. These numbers put the F-150 hybrid on the high of Ford’s pickup vary in terms of pure energy and torque.

The F-150 hybrid is all about energy. Past horsepower and torque, this truck actually needs to be your private energy station. Whereas the hybrid is just not the one F-150 that may act as a generator, it is the one one that provides a 240 V, 30 A outlet within the mattress. (There are 4 extra 120 V, 20 A shops within the mattress and a pair extra within the cab.) It is a full 7.2 kW generator that may run for as much as 32 hours on a full tank of gasoline. And with the flexibility to run in generator mode whereas in movement, you possibly can cost your instruments on the best way to the job website.

You will see some profit from the hybrid on the gasoline pump, too, however not as a lot. The EPA charges the hybrid at 25 mpg (9.41 L/100 km) mixed throughout metropolis and freeway driving. That is higher than the remainder of the F-150 lineup, which is usually within the 19-22 mpg vary within the metropolis (the three.0 L V6 is rated for 20 mpg [11.76 L/100 km]), 27 mpg (8.71 L/100 km) on the freeway, and 23 mpg (10.23 L/100 km) general, however it’s the wimpiest energy plant within the F-150 lineup. We weren’t in a position to get near these numbers. We averaged 21.4 mpg (10.99 L/100 km) in per week of driving that included a street journey to central Illinois. Whether or not we have been tooling down Interstate 57 or working errands in suburban Chicago, mileage was remarkably constant. With its 30.6-gallon (115.8 L) gasoline tank, anticipate to journey nicely over 600 miles (965 km) between refueling.

Most payload for the F-150 hybrid is 2,120 lbs (961 kg). And the utmost towing weight is 12,700 lbs (5,760 kg)—the mixed automobile weights with a trailer vary from 16,700 lb (7,575 kg) as much as 18,400 lb (8,346 kg), relying on axle ratio and whether or not four-wheel drive is engaged. Cargo field quantity within the hybrid with its 5.5-foot (1,676 mm) mattress is available in at 52.8 cubic toes; a 6.5-foot (1,981 mm) mattress can also be out there.

There are few surprises on the street with the F-150. On the finish of the day, you are driving round in a field on a body, so you are going to get the everyday pickup truck journey. My solely actual niggle is with the 10-speed modular hybrid transmission. The adaptive 10-speed drive cycle typically skips gears when upshifting and downshifting, often leading to a slight lurching when the F-150 went instantly from first gear to 3rd. The lighter the contact on the accelerator, the extra pronounced the soar. At decrease speeds, the engine will shut off, and you’ll cruise a mile or two on the electrical motor. Shifting between gasoline and electrical propulsion is all however imperceptible, and the engine shuts off if you put the truck in park.

One different statement from behind the wheel: our check automobile was geared up with Co-Pilot360, Ford’s full suite of driver-assist tech. I’ve grown to understand this tech over the previous couple of years, because it makes lengthy stretches of freeway driving much less fatiguing. As applied within the F-150, although, the tech may use extra polish. Whereas the stop-and-go adaptive cruise management labored like a allure in heavy visitors, the lane-keep help misplaced observe of the street markings rather more often than different, equally geared up automobiles I’ve pushed. And Ford’s Lane Centering characteristic typically made me really feel prefer it was nonetheless engaged on its learner’s allow.

In the case of bells and whistles, Ford is aware of what its clients need, and it does not disappoint. The tailgate has a ruler (imperial and metric) imprinted on it, and there are two clamp holes alongside the tailgate. The tie-down cleats on the facet of the tailgate double as bottle openers for all your tailgating wants. And if you are going to be climbing out and in of the mattress, you possibly can slide out a step and handhold. Energy shops are positioned simply contained in the tailgate on the left facet.

The spacious and comfy cab is fantastically designed, and the usual, 10-way adjustable and totally reclinable energy seats make discovering the proper driving (or napping) place a snap.

Ford gives an non-compulsory 12-inch panorama show in the course of the sprint (8 inches is commonplace). It runs Sync 4, a serious enchancment over Sync 3, and it helps CarPlay and Android Auto. The show actually shines if you’re navigating tight areas: the left two-thirds exhibits the backup digital camera, whereas the appropriate has an overhead, 380° view with pointers displaying wheel orientation and route of journey. Local weather management knobs and switches reside beneath the show. Press the button subsequent to the shift lever and it’ll fold down into the console so you possibly can unfold an inside work floor large enough for a laptop computer, clipboard, or perhaps a candlelit dinner for 2.

The instrument panel has gone all-digital, with the customizable 12-inch show offering suggestions in your driving type to maximise gasoline mileage.

Annual gross sales figures clearly present the continued American obsession with giant automobiles, and in terms of efficiency, consolation, and options, Ford has given the folks what they need with the redesigned F-150. What the folks want is extra electrification and fewer fossil gas consumption. The F-150 PowerBoost hybrid is a step in the appropriate route, and Ford has positioned the automobile as your best option for the performance-obsessed.

Whereas the EPA’s 25 mpg score could not look that spectacular by itself, it is as much as 25 p.c higher than the remainder of the lineup. The F-150 4X4 SuperCrew Lariat begins at $50,980, and the MSRP of the truck we examined is $70,960. That is greater than you will pay for pure petrol energy, however it’s a practical choice for these in want of a brand new truck who both cannot anticipate the F-150 Lightning or aren’t prepared for the complete BEV expertise.

Itemizing picture by Eric Bangeman

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