- We bought a Ford F-150 with the new hybrid powertrain.
- This well-equipped XLT model cost us over $65,000, including a $4,000 dealer markup.
- Fuel economy is disappointing in these early months.
Given the immense popularity of the Ford F-150, we try to buy one for our long-term fleet every time there's a redesign or substantial update. So when the all-new 2021 Ford F-150 debuted, there was no doubt we'd purchase one for long-term testing. And the new hybrid powertrain was an obvious must-have. Here's the story of our new F-150 XLT Hybrid pickup, which cost over $65,000 — including a $4,000 dealer markup.
The Ford F-150 was completely overhauled for the 2021 model year. While the look of the exterior didn't stray too far from the design language of the previous F-150, the interior was another story. Dressed up with a large new touchscreen, a fold-flat electronic shifter and upgraded materials throughout, the cabin looks spiffier than before, while a plethora of useful physical buttons ensures this isn't just a pickup for Silicon Valley tech bros.
That said, the powertrain that excited us the most was the new PowerBoost hybrid. It consists of a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with an electric motor; total output stands at a formidable 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque. For context, the almighty Raptor makes an extra 20 hp but is down 60 lb-ft. Not only is the Hybrid powertrain one of the most potent in the F-150 arsenal, it's also the most efficient, according to the EPA. The four-wheel-drive Hybrid is rated at 24 mpg in the EPA's combined, city and highway tests — a trifecta of 24s. The Raptor tops out at a meager 16 mpg combined.
Clearly, the new hybrid was a no-brainer. So was the crew cab — or SuperCrew, in Fordspeak — configuration for maximum rear passenger room. Throw in 4WD and the Lariat trim level, and our ideal F-150 would be equipped similarly to our previous 2015 Ford F-150 and 2018 Ford F-150 long-termers.
Turns out the topsy-turvy new car market had other plans.
Most of the new long-term vehicles that we've purchased recently have been factory orders. We peruse an options list, spec out a vehicle exactly the way we want it, and then wait a few months to receive it (or, in the case of our Bronco First Edition, twiddle thumbs for over a year). But although the current inventory shortage has made factory orders more commonplace than they were pre-shortage, a lot of shoppers still go to a dealership and buy a vehicle right off the lot. We decided to take this approach with our F-150 Hybrid.
News flash: It's bad out there, especially if you're in the market for a popular vehicle with a hot new engine. We found that F-150s with PowerBoost in Lariat spec were absolutely loaded with options that pushed them well above our budget. At the same time, we still wanted a pickup with a useful set of features so it didn't feel like a work truck and would let us make the most of the unique powertrain.
After searching across multiple states, we settled on the 2021 Ford F-150 XLT Hybrid you see here. It doesn't have as many features as a Lariat, but our test truck's comprehensive 302A package has a lot of great stuff. This $5,730 package includes a 12-inch touchscreen, power-adjustable and heated front seats, LED headlights and more. We also scored the $750 Pro Power Onboard package with 7.2 kW of juice, a gotta-have-it extra that lets you use the hybrid as a generator to power serious electrical equipment, like your appliances during a power outage. Also on our truck's options list are a built-in navigation system ($795), the Trailer Tow package ($1,090), the FX4 Off-Road package ($1,005), an eight-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system ($610), 20-inch wheels ($1,395), a surround-view camera ($765), the Sport Appearance package ($300), tailgate step ($430), spray-in bedliner ($595), a Rapid Red paint job ($395) and the Boxlink cleat system ($80). Destination and handling charges added another $1,695.
The total for all this kit? An eye-watering $64,285. Luckily, Ford was running a discount for F-150s equipped with the Sport Appearance package, so we saved $2,000. The total MSRP on our Monroney window sticker is $62,285.
But that's not what we paid. Like I said, the new vehicle market is crazy right now, and we had to pay a $4,000 dealer markup. All told, we paid $66,285 for our F-150 XLT Hybrid. Oof.
The good news is that the F-150 Hybrid's power output doesn't disappoint. We measured its 0-60 mph sprint time at 5.7 seconds, which is quite rapid for a full-size truck. That's a tenth quicker than both a previously tested Raptor and an F-150 with the non-hybrid turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. But theoretically, the Hybrid's substantial power should just be icing on the cake. The real benefit is to fuel economy, right?
Well, as of this writing, we've put about 3,000 miles on our F-150 and our average fuel economy stands at 18.4 mpg, with our best tank registering just 19.7 mpg. Both figures are well below the EPA's estimated consumption of 24 mpg across the board. We're still early on in our test and haven't really stretched the F-150's legs on the highway, but these aren't encouraging results right off the bat.
We added a 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid to our long-term fleet and learned the hard way that options are limited — in terms of both negotiating power and equipment choices — if you don't custom-order your new vehicle. Early data shows the F-150 Hybrid is far thirstier than its EPA sticker suggests, but keep it locked on our long-term F-150 Hybrid page and let's see if that changes.