There is a misconception that a truck cannot be a fuel-efficient option when you are in the market for a new vehicle. This does not necessarily have to be the case. While you are not likely to find Prius-level ratings for the fuel economy of any truck on the market any time soon, there are definitely some trucks that deconstruct the notion that every truck out there is a gas hog. You can find vehicles that are both conscious of fuel economy and have standard truck features.
In order to help you make an informed buying decision, here is an in-depth look at the most fuel-efficient trucks available on the market today whether you are looking for small, midsize, full-size, V8 or 4 x 4.
Fuel-Efficient Small & Midsize Trucks
If you’re looking for a small to midsize truck with impressive fuel efficiency, look no further than the Chevrolet Colorado. In its five model years, the Chevrolet Colorado has won the Truck of the Year award on more than one occasion from Motor Trend magazine. This diesel-powered truck is a fuel-economy champ, coming in with 20 city/30 highway mpg for the 2WD model and then 19/28 for the 4WD model. The Colorado comes standard with a 2.5-liter engine that reports 200 horsepower along with 191 lb-ft of torque. This enables a remarkable payload of over 1,400 lbs and a tow rating of 3,500 lbs.
If a non-diesel truck is preferred, the gas I-4 model is a viable option, with its fuel-efficiency coming not too far behind its diesel-powered sibling. The I-4 achieves 20 city/26 highway mpg with its 2WD model and 19/24 with the 4WD version.
The 2016 GMC Canyon is also a solid option for those looking for a small truck that provides a significant amount of fuel value. The truck comes in a couple of engine options that both feature the same towing capacity of 7,000 lbs, but for maximum fuel efficiency, you are going to want to look at the 2.5-liter inline-four engine version of the vehicle, which achieves up to 27 mpg on the highway.
After testing it for 40,000 miles, Car and Driver had lots of good things to say about the Honda Ridgeline. The truck’s consistent fuel efficiency was noteworthy, in particular. The truck is rated at 19 city/26 highway mpg and was found to average 20 mpg combined during its 40,000-mile test. High fuel efficiency was achieved even when towing and hauling considerably heavy loads. A brand-new Honda Ridgeline clocks 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds and actually saw an improvement of 0 to 60 in 6.5 seconds at the 40,000-mile mark of Car and Driver’s test.
Looking a few model years back, the 2013 Toyota Tacoma is a great midsize truck option when fuel efficiency is a consideration. This truck can achieve 21 city and 25 highway mpg and is a solid choice for basic trucking. The 2016 model of the truck also has an impressive amount of fuel efficiency while coming equipped with features such as an integrated backup camera, blind-spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alerting system.
Fuel-Efficient Full-Size Trucks
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is an example of a full-size fuel-efficient truck and achieves 23 city/33 highway mpg. It has 277 horsepower, a 10-speed automatic transmission and 460 lb-ft of torque.
If opting for a gas-powered truck, the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel RWD gets 22 city/32 highway with a 3-liter six-cylinder engine while the Ford F150 gets 20 city/26 highway with a 2.7 liter.
Another great choice for a full efficient full-size truck would be the 2013 Dodge RAM 1500 HFE. The HFE stands for High Fuel Efficiency which shows that this was a major consideration in the development of this truck. It is actually on the smaller side as far as full-size trucks go, with size and weight being kept at a minimum in order to maximize fuel efficiency. Its EPA-rating comes in at 18 city/25 highway mpg, but it has been reported to achieve an impressive 30 mpg on the highway.
Fuel-Efficient V8 Trucks
One might think that calling any V8 truck a fuel-efficient vehicle is a misnomer, yet there are some on the market that definitely get better mileage-per-gallon than others. Here are a few that won’t drain your wallet when you need to get some hauling done.
As far as trucks with a V8 engine that feature optimal fuel efficiency, either the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 or the GMC Sierra 1500 are the way to go. Each of these trucks, when paired with rear-wheel drive, gets 17 city/24 highway mpg. With either of these vehicles, you get a 5.3-liter V8 engine that brings 355 hp to the table with 383 lb-ft of torque. Both trucks come as an eight-speed automatic.
4×4 Trucks With the Best Gas Mileage
With 4×4 trucks that achieve the best fuel efficiency, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is once again on the list. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax 4WD gets you 23 city/33 highway mpg. The GMC Sierra 4WD, which gets 22/26 mpg, is also a notable option.
Optimal Full Efficiency and Power Truck
You might be surprised to find that some of the most fuel-efficient trucks are not necessarily the smallest. Carfax reports that one consistently fuel-efficient model of truck is the Ford F-150 V6 2.7TT. With this 2.7-liter V6 turbo engine, rear-wheel drive, regular gas version of the Ford 150, you will find the combination that offers the most fuel efficiency. You also receive a towing capability of 7,600 pounds as well as a variety of trim level options.
The F-150 is also known for being reliably durable, along with having several convenience features and a variety of trims to choose from. Since its introduction, the Ford F-150 has gone through several generations and continues to be a bestseller as well as being a cornerstone vehicle for the Ford brand.
Any one of these trucks would be a good choice for the fuel-conscious truck enthusiast. The most fuel-efficient non-hybrid trucks on the market tend to be those with diesel engines, but manufacturers have found ways to make gas-powered trucks that are money savers as well. Even when having fuel efficiency as your guide when choosing the truck for you, it does not mean you will have to compromise on other features. With you behind the wheel of any of these, you are showing the world that you can have a truck that can get the job done while also having fuel efficiency as a feature.