2022 Ford F-150 Hybrid Review
Ford’s F-150 pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for nearly half a century, and the upcoming all-electric Lightning addition to the range may pave the way for truck-loving Americans to use electric vehicles (EVs) en masse. Until then, the first 2022 Ford F-150 Hybrid ever ($ 60,545 tested) is a worthy alternative that delivers a lot of power. And apart from the fuel savings that the hybrid powertrain offers, it can provide power to tools and various appliances on the go via trunk outlets. It is also the first full-size pickup to support over-the-air software updates. So while we look forward to testing Lightning, the F-150 Hybrid is a promising start.
F-150 hybrid power and fuel economy
The F-150 Hybrid’s 3.5-liter PowerBoost V6 engine delivers 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque. An electric motor of 35 kW (47 horsepower) in the 10-speed automatic transmission amplifies the traditional engine and is powered by a 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery under the truck. The engine and a regenerative braking mechanism charge the battery.
All this gives a fuel economy of 24 miles per gallon (mpg) city / highway / combined with the 4×4 version. The rear-wheel drive model surpasses this slightly with 25 mpg city / combined and 26 mpg highway ratings. This compares with 20/26/22 city / highway / combined ratings for the second most fuel-efficient F-150 engine, which has a much less powerful 2.7-liter, six-cylinder that produces 300 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid drivetrain model in particular has a towing capacity of 12,700 pounds.
By comparison, the Dodge Ram 1500 is available with a “mild hybrid” 3.6-liter engine that replaces a traditional alternator with a 48-volt engine generator. It is good for 305 horsepower, 269 lb-ft of torque, 19/24 mpg for city / highway driving and a towing capacity of 7410 pounds.
Costs and features
We tested the XLT 4×4 Super Crew model, which starts at $ 43,805. Standard exterior features include 17-inch alloy wheels with 265/70 R17 off-road tires, automatic headlights with intermittent windscreen wiper activation, a black two-rod front grille with chrome surround, headlights, tailgate . fog and taillights, heated side mirrors that can be folded manually and sliding plates to protect the fuel tank, transfer box and front differential.
(Photo: Doug Newcomb)
Inside the cockpit you will find 40/20/40 manually adjustable front seats, a 60/40 flip-up split bench rear seat with an elongated seat cushion, color-coordinated carpet and floor mats, fabric upholstery, keyless ignition and entry, a folding console changer and a tilt / telescopic steering wheel .
You also get technical features such as an 8-inch touch screen with Ford Sync 4 infotainment system, an AM / FM HD radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth for calls and streaming. Automatic high beam, cruise control, frontal collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, post-collision braking, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera with dynamic clutch assist are all standard safety features.
(Photo: Doug Newcomb)
Our test vehicle came with options worth $ 17,000. Aside from the hybrid engine ($ 4,495), our vehicle included a package ($ 5,730) with a 12-inch touch screen, automatic climate control, LED bedside lighting, LED side mirror spotlights, remote start and satellite radio. Other high dollar options include trailer sleep ($ 1090), FX4 offroad ($ 1050) and Pro Power Onboard ($ 750). After including a $ 1,695 destination and delivery fee, plus various discounts, the total sticker was $ 60,545.
Exterior and interior design
Ford knows not to mess with success, and the 2022 F-150 does not look significantly different from the outgoing model. Subtle changes include a lower hood, modified LED daytime running lights, wheel arch flares and restyled taillights. As is the norm for a pickup, Ford allows buyers to fully customize the number of doors, the length of the bed, whether driven by two or four wheels, and choose from a variety of engine choices.
The cabin on the 2022 model is more refined to better compete with the increasingly plush interior of rival pickups. Our test unit even included the F-150’s optional new interior work surface; when you press a button, the gear switch folds into the center console to create a space suitable for a laptop, clipboard or other work-related items.
(Photo: Doug Newcomb)
Sync Sets the bar again
Ford’s Sync system set the standard for connectivity in the pre-smartphone days 15 years ago, and still has one of the best infotainment user interfaces. The 12-inch touch screen with the all-new Sync 4 system is intuitive, although it is a bit slow despite having twice as much computing power as previous generation systems.
Unlike most automakers, which have largely admitted connectivity to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Sync still has room for Ford’s AppLink platform, which integrates apps like Tidal, Waze and others. You can access and control compatible apps via the truck’s touch screen. In addition, the Ford + Alexa app (available for Android and iOS) extends voice control to the outside of the cab to enable smart home skills. If that’s not enough, Sync 4 also includes Android Android Auto and CarPlay.
The 2022 F-150’s over-the-air software update capabilities allow the company to update onboard technology and add features such as Ford’s Active Drive Assist, which enables hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of shared highways in the United States and Canada. Other connectivity options include SiriusXM’s subscription-based 360L satellite and streaming service, as well as the FordPass mobile app (also available on Android and iOS). The latter allows drivers to remotely start, lock and unlock their vehicle, as well as change the settings for the truck’s zone lights, trailer theft and Pro Power Onboard.
Pro Power Onboard is a top selling point: The electric battery can supply generator-like power at workplaces, campsites, tailgate scenes or even at home. The Pro Power Onboard option on our test unit provided 7.2 kW of power through either outlets in the cabin, four bed-mounted 120V, 20-amp outlets or a 240V, 30-amp outlet. The same feature is also available on the upcoming Lightning pickup, as well as the smaller, cheaper Ford Maverick hybrid pickup.
No lack of power
Although the 3.5-liter hybrid V6 is the most powerful engine available outside of the F-150 Raptor and Tremor, it is designed more for sipping gas than for acceleration with seats. It provides short shocks with only electric operation at low speeds, and the transition from gas to electric power as well as from regenerative to friction braking is smooth and almost seamless.
Ford fine-tuned the truck’s chassis and suspension for a quieter and more comfortable ride, although we noticed that it is a bit bouncy on rough roads due to the leaf-springing rear axle (common for pickups). We also experienced that some of the gear changes were a bit rough in stop-and-go traffic.
A half step to an electric future
While all eyes are on the F-150 Lightning – and its electric pickup competitors Chevy Silverado EV, Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck – truck buyers who are not ready to take the EV leap should consider the F-150 hybrid or alternatives that can not drive on battery power alone (like the Toyota Tundra Hybrid and Ram 1500 eTorque “mild hybrid”). Although a hybrid pickup will not completely get rid of expensive fossil fuels, the F-150 hybrid offers an approximately 20% improvement in fuel economy compared to non-hybrid siblings, which add up at the pump. The pickup also has a large and comfortable interior that can function as a makeshift mobile office. And while it may not quite keep the lights on at home when the power goes out (as Lightning can), it will still power tools and other devices at a workplace or campground in a pinch.
The bottom line
Although all eyes are on Ford Lightning all-electric trucks, the 2022 F-150 hybrid offers better fuel economy than other pickups, plus a host of useful features and technology.
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