Real-World Fuel Economy: 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid Vs. 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid

toyota-tundra-capstone-2022-04-exterior-gas-station-rear-angle 2022 Toyota Tundra | photo by Christian Lantry

Hybrid drivetrains have become relatively common in most vehicle classes, but if you wanted a new full-size pickup truck with a gas-electric drivetrain, you didn’t have any choices until recently. Now, however, Ford offers a hybrid drivetrain in its F-150, and Toyota debuted a hybrid powertrain in its redesigned 2022 Tundra.

Related: 2022 Toyota Tundra Capstone: The Nicest Toyota Pickup You Can Buy

The Rides

Combined EPA fuel economy for four-wheel-drive versions of the Tundra hybrid and F-150 hybrid is 20 and 24 mpg, respectively, but when we had the chance to test the Tundra’s top Capstone trim level, which comes exclusively with the hybrid drivetrain, we thought it would be interesting to see how the truck’s real-world gas mileage compares with our 2021 F-150 Limited hybrid, which has owned since giving the truck our Best of 2021 award.

The F-150 hybrid and Tundra hybrid drivetrains share a number of design similarities. Both trucks are powered by twin-turbocharged V-6 engines that work with 10-speed automatic transmissions with an integrated electric motor between the engine and transmission. They do, however, take different approaches with their hybrid battery technology, with the F-150 hybrid having a 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery versus the Tundra hybrid’s 1.87-kWh nickel-metal-hydride battery. Even so, total system output is similar: The F-150 hybrid makes 430 horsepower and 570 pounds-feet of torque, while the Tundra hybrid is rated at 437 hp and 583 pounds-feet.

The Route

For this test, we drove both trucks on a 200-mile route through northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The drive consisted of a mix of interstate highways, rural two-lane roads and suburban streets. We encountered some stop-and-go driving conditions during our trip, but traffic was moving most of the time, with the average speed for the entire trip coming in at 35 mph.

toyota-tundra-capstone-2022-01-exterior-dynamic-front 2022 Toyota Tundra | photo by Christian Lantry

To keep things as consistent as possible, we put the trucks in their Normal drive mode, used their climate control system’s Auto air-conditioning setting, kept the windows and moonroof closed, and put their drivelines in rear-wheel drive. We also switched drivers midway through the trip in order to balance driving styles. Our F-150 did suffer some minor damage from road debris at the beginning of the drive, but more on that in a bit.

The Results

So how did each truck do? At the end of our drive, both trucks had surpassed their EPA estimates by a few mpg, with the Tundra hybrid’s trip computer showing an average of 21.8 mpg and the F-150 hybrid’s reading 25.9 mpg. We’ve been tracking our F-150’s fuel economy over the course of our ownership, and this trip-computer estimate was close to the best fuel economy the truck has registered and considerably better than some of our mpg readings.

ford-f-150-hybrid-supercrew-limited-2021-05-exterior-dynamic-profile 2021 Ford F-150 | photo by Christian Lantry

Looking at gas-pump-based fuel economy, the F-150 hybrid’s 25.5 mpg calculation was close to its trip-computer estimate, but the Tundra hybrid’s fuel economy jumped to 24.1 mpg. The F-150 used 7.75 gallons of gas, while the Tundra hybrid used 8.26 gallons.

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F-150 Active Air Dam Damaged … Again

Our F-150’s active air dam was damaged early in our drive after coming into contact with some unavoidable highway debris. Normally, the air dam lowers at higher speeds to improve aerodynamic efficiency and retracts when you slow down, but when we reached our driver-change point, we noticed it was stuck in its lowered position. When we stopped for lunch and checked it again, the air dam had partially retracted, with the passenger-side portion still lowered and the driver’s side now up, leaving the air dam at an uneven angle. This is how it stayed for the remainder of the drive. This meant the F-150 wasn’t getting the full benefit of the air dam, which Ford says can improve aerodynamic efficiency by up to 4%, but it outperformed its EPA combined mpg estimate nonetheless.

ford-f150-hybrid-supercrew-limited-2021-01 2021 Ford F-150 | photo by Mike Hanley

When we replaced our F-150’s active air dam previously, it cost more than $1,000. In that instance, however, the air dam was completely gone, so we had to replace it and two actuators. Our current air dam doesn’t seem salvageable, but it’s possible the actuators might be; we’ll know more when we get an estimate for the repair and will report on the cost when we have it.


When you consider the overall size, power and capability these full-size trucks offer, the gas mileage we observed is respectable. We like how Ford uses the F-150’s hybrid system to do interesting things, like power high-draw items via its available 7.2-kilowatt Pro Power Onboard generator. We see this as a missed opportunity for the Tundra hybrid, which is only fitted with household power outlets meant for low-draw electronics. It’ll be interesting to see whether Toyota revisits its decision in the future.

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Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Research section. Email Mike Hanley

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