Six months have passed since we purchased a 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid. This is the fourth F-150 added to Edmunds’ extensive library of long-term test vehicles over the years. Now at 10,000 miles, its story is becoming clear. The hybrid’s real-world fuel economy is 5 mpg below EPA claims, a trend that reminds us of a 2.7-liter F-150 we tested for 42,000 miles in 2018. Yet this hybrid truck also handed an F-150 Raptor its lunch in a drag race. So what is the hybrid really good for?
Not 24 mpg
A window sticker sets expectations for a vehicle, but now we’re finding that the EPA’s fuel economy estimates can be just as unrealistic in real life as the MSRP. The EPA rates the F-150 Hybrid (this powertrain is also known as the PowerBoost) at 24 mpg combined (24 city/24 highway). But we aren’t getting that in our long-term truck. Not even close.
Our average fuel economy over 10,000 miles, six months and 30 fill-ups is a disappointing 19.3 miles per gallon (excluding towing and performance testing). If we averaged 19.3 mpg in any ordinary full-size pickup, we’d be thrilled. But this powertrain is a $4,000-plus line item, and this truck, to date, has hit an average of 24 mpg per tank just twice and 23 mpg twice. Most fills are in the high 18s. From this perspective, we only get what we paid for 13% of the time, and we really have to drive a particular way to get that. This engine is finicky in that sense, but the end result is clear: It’s not 24 mpg. We will admit that our pickup’s towing-optimized 3.73 axle puts us at a slight disadvantage with respect to achieving the best fuel economy, but the change shouldn’t amount to such a deficit.