Which truck consumes the most fuel when towing: hybrid or diesel?

Putting a Chevy Silverado 1500 with the Duramax diesel engine against a Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid is not a Ford versus Chevy contest. Instead, this contest is about a diesel truck versus a hybrid truck to see which uses the most fuel when towing. It’s long been thought that you need a diesel pickup if you want to tow the most weight, but is that still the case with the new hybrid options?

Check out the statistics of our battle between hybrid truck and diesel truck

Ford F-150 Powerboost

Ford F-150 2021 | Ford

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The Ford F-150 PowerBoost uses a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine and a hybrid electric motor. This power configuration provides 430 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque and offers 25 mpg city/26 mpg highway in 2WD models, while 4WD versions deliver 24 mpg city/24 mpg gal on road. The transmission used is a 10-speed automatic.

The curb weight of the Ford truck is 5,840 pounds. This hybrid truck can tow up to 12,400 pounds and carry 1,546 pounds of payload.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax Diesel

Is the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 the best pickup?
2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 | Chevy

The Chevy diesel truck is equipped with a powerful 3.0-liter Duramax turbocharged V6 diesel engine connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain produces 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The fuel consumption of this diesel pickup truck is 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway for RWD versions and 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway for 4WD models.

The Silverado, for this comparison, weighs 400 pounds less than the Ford, and it carries a payload of up to 1,709 pounds. The towing capacity of this Chevy truck is 9,000 pounds.

What is the size of the motorhome for this towing contest?

The motorhome used by the Pickup Truck and SUV Talk team to compare these two trucks is a 24-foot double-axle trailer that has a dry weight of 4,738 pounds. While driving, both trucks are held in a 2WD function to provide the most precise and accurate results.

Which truck had the best fuel economy results when towing?

Chevy Silverado towing a trailer
Chevrolet Silverado towing a trailer | Chevy

Did the diesel or hybrid truck achieve the best results in terms of fuel consumption? Let’s take a look:

Ford F-150 Powerboost

Fuel used: 9.119 gallons

Mileage traveled: 71.3

Calculated MPG: 7.8 mpg

Chevrolet Silverado Duramax Diesel

Fuel used: 5 gallons

Mileage traveled: 65.2

Calculated MPG: 13 mpg

It’s pretty clear that the diesel truck outperformed the hybrid truck when towing, but why did that happen?

What makes a hybrid truck use so much fuel while towing?

Essentially, when a hybrid truck tows a trailer, the hybrid portion of the powertrain is not engaged during the process. In this case, the Ford PowerBoost does not use the hybrid system in the first two gears. This means that the towing job is left to the gasoline engine, which consumes more fuel than a diesel truck.

Should you buy a hybrid truck or a diesel truck?

Ford 2023
2023 Ford F-150 Pickup Truck | Ford

If you tow a trailer often, you will need a diesel truck to do the job. These trucks deliver more low-end torque and deliver the desired towing capabilities. On the other hand, if you only tow occasionally (once a month or less), a hybrid truck could be ideal for you. Gasoline is cheaper than diesel, and you’ll enjoy the added benefits of the hybrid system, which increases your fuel consumption.

Then find out some special edition vansor watch the towing contest in the video below:

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