If you’re in the market for a new-to-you vehicle, it seems like you’re all too often forced to make a decision between a vehicle that offers great performance with one that offers optimal savings via fuel economy. If you’re searching for a truck in particular, the ability to be choosy seemingly doesn’t exist, as most pickups don’t really offer the wide range of fuel efficient options compared to their sedan and compact car counterparts. Or so you thought. Below we compiled a list that incorporates the best of both worlds for the person looking for the perfect pickup that blends strength with savings.
2014 GMC Sierra 1500
- Depending on the trim, the Sierra 1500 averages between 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. On the 4.3-liter V6 models with rear-wheel drive, GMC estimates the Sierra 1500 to get a combined 20 mpg between city and freeway driving. Even the high-powered 6.2-liter V8 version gets respectable fuel economy at a combined 17 mpg.
- With a beefed up base V6 compared to earlier models, the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 is better equipped to provide the heavy lifting for demanding owners. Standard on all but the SLT trim is a 4.3-liter V6 with 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque. The SLT comes with a 5.3-liter V8 engine capable of towing up to 11,400 pounds.
- An improved interior also makes GMC’s 2014 edition of the Sierra 1500 a strong option for weekend busy bodies with families, as the truck serves a dual purpose as a quality family shuttle.
- A wide range of body styles, an overhauled interior and a lineup of powerful and fuel-efficient engines make the 2014 GMC Sierra a solid pick in the full-size pickup class. (Edmunds)
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- Much like the Sierra 1500, the Chevy Silverado offers impressive fuel economy for a truck known for its muscle. With a handful of trim options available, those eying the Silverado can reasonably expect it to average between 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
- The 2014 Chevy Silverado offers plenty of power with its brawny 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter engines, but the biggest improvement with this model is the upgraded 4.3-liter V6 that cranks out 285 horsepower, 305 lb-ft of torque and can tow up 7,200 pounds.
- In government crash tests, the Silverado was a top performer for safety, earning five stars for both frontal-impact safety and total side-impact safety.
- “Chevrolet overhauled its half-ton Silverado for the 2014 model year, bringing with it a green punch thanks to the impressive EPA ratings for both its six- and eight-cylinder models.”
2015 Ford F-150
- When it comes to pickups, few top the fuel efficiency found in the F-150. There are a number of trims available in the F-150, but the standard 3.5-liter V6 two-wheel drive versions are EPA rated at a combined 20 mpg. The same engine with four-wheel drive dips only slightly to a combined 19 mpg.
- Technology abounds on the 2015 version of the Ford F-150. The vehicle seemingly has video cameras in every nook and cranny, including a trailer hitch assist camera that features a dynamic guide line to make lining up the hitch ball and trailer a cinch. The truck also comes with an available top-down 360 degree camera view system that helps with navigating parking lots and job sites.
- The towing capacity available on the F-150 depends on the trim level you’re eying. Starting from 7,600 pounds with the base V6 engine, the F-150 can tow up 11,100 pounds with the 5.0-liter V8 and 12,200 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 (when properly equipped).
- “(Fuel) Efficiency is so good with the truck’s new 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that the two-wheel-drive F-150’s combined fuel economy rating of 22 mpg just misses the combined 23 mpg delivered by the more expensive diesel six-cylinder powering the class-leading Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.”
2012 Toyota Tacoma
- Going for the biggest, most powerful truck has always been in vogue, but if you’re looking for a pickup that’s a bit more practical, the 2012 Toyota Tacoma is a quality buy. With the ability to deliver on average 17 mpg city and 21 mpg highway across all available powertrains, the Tacoma stands out among other midsize pickups.
- In terms of performance, the Tacoma also delivers. In performance testing conducted by Edmunds, a V6-powered Tacoma Double Cab was clocked going 0-60-mph in 7.7 seconds; quick for a midsize pickup. The Tacoma is also capable of towing up to 6,500 pounds when properly equipped.
- Keeping an eye on safety, the 2012 Tacoma Double Cab received an overall rating of four stars (out of a possible five) in government crash testing, including three stars for frontal crashes and five stars for side impacts. In Edmunds brake testing, the Tacoma came to stop from 60 mph in an impressive 126 feet.
- “In an era where the price for a gallon of gasoline can be volatile, ditching your thirsty full-size pickup for something like the Tacoma makes a lot of sense.” (Edmunds)
2014 Ram Pickup 1500
- On the standard V6 engine, the 2014 Ram 1500 lays claim to an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg combined on two-wheel drive models. Equipped with four-wheel drive, the 1500 averages 19 mpg combined, making the Ram 1500 one of the more fuel efficient full-size pickups in its class.
- The Ram 1500 offers a variety of strong V6 and V8 options that add an element of versatility and power to its already impressive fuel economy. Properly equipped, a Ram 1500 V6 can tow up to 7,450 pounds, while the diesel Ram 1500 tops out at 9,200 pounds. The most powerful of the group is the 5.7-liter V8, which can tow over 10,400 pounds.
- The interior features inside the cabin of the Ram 1500 are regarded as some of the highest quality in its class. The driver and passenger side seats are soft, yet provide adequate support, while the crew cab’s rear seating offers comfortable seating to go along with ample legroom.
- “The 2014 Ram 1500 noses out the competition in most areas — whether you’re talking ride comfort or fuel efficiency — and remains our top pick for a light-duty full-size pickup.” (Edmunds)