Numbers don't lie. In the world of gasoline-powered, light-duty, two-wheel-drive, full-size pickup trucks, the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid is the fuel economy champion. The beefy pickup scores an EPA-estimated 25 combined mpg, returning 25 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
Admittedly, that's a very specific category for which to narrow down a best-in-class claim. To be fair, Ford also cites the four-wheel-drive PowerBoost hybrid as the best gas-powered, light-duty, full-size truck in its category, though the combined rating is slightly lower at 24 mpg. We suspect most buyers will opt for four-wheel drive over two, but regardless of the driveline, the PowerBoost still isn't as miserly as half-ton diesel pickups from its crosstown rivals.
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A quick check at fueleconomy.gov shows the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 returns a combined 27 mpg in two-wheel-drive trim with the turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel under its hood. The city rating is lower than the F-150 at 23 mpg, but it achieves 33 mpg on the highway. Ram's turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel in a two-wheel-drive 1500 also outclasses the F-150 PowerBoost at 26 combined mpg. As with the Chevy, the Ram 1500 is worse in the city but reaches 32 mpg on the highway. Curiously, the GMC Sierra diesel also gets 26 combined mpg despite having the same powertrain as the Silverado. Aerodynamics matter.
Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150
It should be noted that the PowerBoost hybrid rating is an EPA estimate. It's not listed on the EPA's website as of this post on December 11, and to keep everything apples-to-apples in the driveline department, these are just two-wheel-drive comparisons. We even checked out the Honda Ridgeline in front-wheel-drive format, and its 3.5-liter V6 returns 22 combined mpg. The Nissan Titan shows 18 combined mpg, and well below the rest is the 2021 Toyota Tundra at just 15 combined mpg.
The two-wheel-drive F-150 PowerBoost may not be the overall champ, but if you're not a fan of diesel, it's your best bet. It also offers gobs of torque (570 pound-feet or 773 Newton-meters); it can tow 12,700 pounds, and its hybrid powertrain can be used to plug in all kinds of tools or toys for work or play. The hybrid setup also dishes out 430 horsepower (316 kilowatts) and as a result, it's considerably quicker than diesel competitors and can even beat the outgoing F-150 Raptor in a straight line. Given what we know about pickup truck buyers, these things might matter more than a few extra miles per gallon.