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Is the Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid the Least Reliable Vehicle You Can Buy?

At least one consumer publication says yes, but how does that stack up against our ownership experience?

2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid front three-quarters view
  • Consumer Reports issues the F-150 Hybrid its lowest reliability score.
  • Our long-term F-150 Hybrid has been mostly trouble-free by comparison.
  • Read about our experiences, including one dealer repair, below.

If you’re about to buy a new vehicle, you want to know whether it’s reliable or not — right? Well, recently Consumer Reports released its annual list of the most and least reliable choices on the market, and it was with great interest that we noticed one of our own long-term test vehicles, the Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid, making an appearance. Not as one of the best, but one of the worst. In fact, CR named the F-150 Hybrid the least reliable vehicle you can buy.

But that hasn’t been our experience thus far. In fact, our long-term F-150 PowerBoost has been a peach. We’ve driven it over 15,000 miles in nearly a full year of ownership. It’s competed in drag races and endured countless road trips. We’ve loaded the bed with party supplies and mulch, and experimented with the innovative Pro Power Onboard exportable charging system. There have been minor hiccups but no catastrophic issues. So what gives?

Why did the F-150 Hybrid score low in reliability?

Consumer Reports bases its reliability predictions on many factors, mainly through a survey that sources the experiences of its national membership over the past 12 months. It requests information on 17 potential trouble spots throughout a vehicle, from driving components to technology features. That means that owners of the F-150 Hybrid were calling foul on their own vehicles. The result? An official reliability score of 4 out of a possible 100 on the CR scale (yikes!) and a 1 out of 5 in predicted reliability.

The F-150 Hybrid debuted in 2021, and CR cites issues reported for both the 2021 and 2022 model years. Compared with similar vehicles, the 2021 version scored worst in categories such as "Transmission Major," drive system, body integrity and power equipment. Meanwhile, the 2022 model saw its lowest scores in climate system, brakes and in-car electronics. Add up those issues over a two-year period and you have the lowest reliability score on the market.

Has the Edmunds long-term F-150 Hybrid been reliable?

Our long-term F-150 Hybrid is a 2021 model. It’s the midlevel XLT grade with the optional Pro Power Onboard system and other goodies. Generally the truck has been easy-breezy and a joy to drive. Our one major complaint is our average fuel economy is far lower than its EPA rating of 24 mpg overall, and the one maintenance issue was a malfunctioning touchscreen that required a new module (known as APIM) replaced under warranty.

But the F-150 Hybrid is a big, heavy, complicated machine. In short, it consists of (deep breath) a turbocharged V6 engine mated to a gasoline-electric hybrid system using a lithium-ion battery pack the size of a briefcase — all in a vehicle weighing in excess of 5,700 pounds. We were curious whether this would result in any difficulties and have been pleased that nothing has come up.

Edmunds says

Is it possible we got one of the good ones? Sure. Will we report back swiftly if we do experience reliability problems? Absolutely. But so far, the F-150 Hybrid has been great to own with plenty of benefits over a traditional gasoline-only full-size truck. For the duration of our test, this is one long-termer we’ll be watching with an eagle eye.