Pickup trucks are known for their powerful capabilities and getting the tough jobs done. Although pickup trucks are powerfully useful vehicles, they consume a substantial amount of gas. Each year, car manufacturers compete to see which of their pickup trucks could take the minimal amount of gas. Engineering efficient gas mileage for pickup trucks usually involves using diesel fuel, building a hybrid, or implementing a specialized design. Each major car manufacturer has succeeded in making at least one gas-efficient pickup truck, revealing to us that the feat is quite possible. The highest miles per gallon (MPG) range for the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks from major car manufacturers is about 20-27 MPG.
However, car manufacturers don't make it a primary focus to build a pickup truck as fuel efficient. Out of about five to ten pickup trucks released each year from each major car manufacturer, about one or two are focused on being fuel efficient. Car manufacturers assume that consumers are aware of the low gas efficiency of pickup trucks and that consumers purchase them anyway, as the vehicle is direly needed for business or personal purposes.
Nevertheless, we believe that car enthusiasts who want to analyze the best and the worst of all trucks with regard to fuel efficiency deserve to have a list to guide them, hence this list of the 10 pickups that are surprisingly fuel efficient and 10 that are downright thirsty. Let's begin with some of the biggest gas guzzlers on the street, and move onto most fuel-efficient ones.
20 Thirsty: 2012 Ford F-350 Super Duty V10 (10 MPG)
The Ford F-350 Super Duty has a massive V10 engine and is notorious for devouring loads of fuel. Beyond that, the standard F-350 originally comes with a 5.8L V8 or a 7.3L V8 Diesel, but the Super Duty pushes a step further by packing a V10 engine. This monstrous truck, known for being among the best in hauling and towing, pushes 362 horsepower and uses a 6-speed transmission.
The power it distributes, along with its specialized transmission, holds this powerhouse to a mere 10 miles per gallon.
According to Car Scoops, the Super Duty utilizes compressed natural gas or propane to operate.
19 Thirsty: 2015 GMC Sierra 3500 6.0L V8 (10 MPG)
The 3500 series of most truck companies are known for burning an immeasurable amount of gas. However, the GMC Sierra stands out from the rest with a 6.0L V8 engine. Fuelly, a fuel-efficiency database website, reports that the 2015 GMC Sierra 3500 recorded 10.4 MPG during 76 fuel-ups and 19,476 miles. The website goes on to show us that the 2016 model is even less fuel efficient. The 2016 Sierra 3500, pushing just over 360 horsepower, recorded a lowly 8.8 miles while being tracked for fuel efficiency at a distance of 2,820 miles.
18 Thirsty: 2017 Ram 3500 6.4L V8 (11 MPG)
The Ram 3500 pushes more horsepower than the F-350 and the Sierra 3500. The legendary Detroit-based pickup truck boasts a 383-horsepower engine while outdoing its rivalled opponents. However, the powerful engine puts a strain on the fuel efficiency of the truck.
The Ram 3500 comes with a 6.4L V8 engine and can run about 11 miles per gallon.
Although the Ram 3500 6.4L V8 consumes a significant amount of fuel, it's well worth it. Ram Trucks points out that the truck "is the ideal gas engine for acceleration" for highway cruising and merging while performing "even under the heaviest loads."
17 Thirsty: 2016 Chevy Silverado 3500 6.0L V8 (11 MPG)
The Silverado 3500 isn't exempt from the same low fuel efficiency as the other 3500 series trucks, as the car registers at 11 MPG, according to Fuelly data. The Silverado produces a similar amount of power as the previous pickups at just about 360 horsepower, but the truck comes with a whopping 8-speed transmission. The Silverado 3500 uses its 6.0L V8 engine to tow over 14,000 pounds, as reported by the Chevrolet website, and this makes every drop of fuel worth it for consumers. For those who want a more fuel-efficient version of the Silverado 3500, there's the 6.6L V8 diesel edition, which registers fuel efficiency at about 14 miles per gallon.
16 Thirsty: 2010 F-250 Super Duty V10 (11 MPG)
Another Ford Super Duty edition of a pickup truck, and a similar result. The F-250 Super Duty doesn't perform any better than the F-350 Super Duty when it comes to fuel efficiency. The F-250 registers about 11 MPG, according to data registered on Fuelly. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the F-250 Super Duty comes with the same 6.8L v10 engine as its F-350 counterpart. Granted, the F-250 weighs less but not by a large margin. The F-250 pushes 362 horsepower and utilizes every bit of gas to get the tough jobs done. Consumers agree, as it received 8.2 out of 10 stars on Kelley Blue Book.
15 Thirsty: 2015 GMC Sierra 2500 6.0L V8 (11 MPG)
The GMC Sierra 2500 comes with a 6.0L V8 and consumes 11 MPG, according to Fuelly. Departing from the diesel option, consumers utilize every pound of torque from the 6.0L V8 engine of the Sierra 2500 despite inefficient gas mileage. Heavier work calls for it.
The 6.0L V8 can tow 13,000 pounds, according to Nada Guides.
GMC made efforts to adhere to consumers' needs for fuel efficiency by releasing the 6.6L V8 diesel version of the Sierra 2500, which registers at an impressive 15 miles per gallon. This poses a dilemma for potential buyers: more power or better fuel efficiency?
14 Thirsty: 2018 Ram 2500 6.4L V8 (12 MPG)
Similar to the F-250, this 2500 series truck from Ram registers an inefficient 12 miles per gallon. The 6.4L V8 engine of the revered pickup surprisingly pushes more power than the Ram 3500 at an incredible 410 horsepower, according to Car and Driver. This may not be much for your favourite sports car, but pickup trucks produce a tremendous amount of torque, which translates their power into towing and hauling, not speed. With 410 horsepower, consumers use the fuel of the Ram 2500 scarcely for heavy and beneficial work. For those who want less power and more fuel efficiency, there's a V6 diesel version of the Ram 2500.
13 Thirsty: 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500 6.0L V8 (12 MPG)
The 2015 Silverado 2500 comes with variety of options for engine types. The 6.0L V8 version consumes the most amount of fuel at just over 12 miles per gallon, according to Fuelly. The Chevy pickup narrowly performs better than the 2500 series trucks, as it produces just a hair over 12 miles per gallon. Additionally, the Silverado 2500 produces more power than most pickups at 397 horsepower, which only contributes to lower gas mileage. To please potential buyers, Chevy released a 6.6L V8 diesel to perform substantially better in fuel efficiency at just about 16 miles per gallon.
12 Thirsty: Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8 (13.5 MPG)
Japanese car manufacturers specialize in building fuel-efficient vehicles, so the Tundra gets more miles to the gallon in comparison to domestic pickups. Fuelly reports that the 5.7L V8 Tundra outputs 13.5 miles per gallon, which is 1.5 more miles than its domestic counterparts.
The larger 5.7L V8 version of the Tundra includes 80 more horsepower than the 4.6L V8 and consumes more gas.
Consumers must decide whether they want a sporty 4.6L Tundra or a 5.7L Tundra for heavy work. Overall, the Tundra is just as inefficient on gas as domestic pickups are, especially when utilized for heavy-duty services.
11 Thirsty: 2014 Nissan Titan (14 MPG)
The Nissan Titan is the among the sportiest large pickups but tows less weight. According to Nissan USA, the Titan has a 9,400-pound towing capacity, which is substantially less than large-engine domestic pickup trucks. The Titan may compete with a 4.6L F-150 in towing, but not a 5.7L. With a smaller set engine size of 5.6 liters, the Titan does better on fuel efficiency. Fuelly shows us that the Titan gets around 14-15 miles per gallon. The car is perfect for those who want a large pickup for pleasure and heavy-duty purposes.
Now, here are 10 surprisingly fuel-efficient pickups. If someone is looking to buy a powerful and fuel-efficient pickup, they should probably pick it off this list.
10 Fuel Efficient: 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 4.3L V6 (20 MPG)
The GMC Sierra 1500 brings all its power and glory to the fuel-efficient market with a 4.3L V6 engine. The respected pickup could tow up to 7,100 pounds and pushes just over 280 horsepower, according to Motor Trend. The Sierra 1500 V6 gets an even 20 miles per gallon.
Consumers could get the fuel efficiency they want and settle for its limited power.
The Sierra 1500 V6 provides a good option for those who want the look of a Sierra but don't want to burn 14 miles per gallon. The 4.3L engine provides enough power while flaunting the same monstrous look.
9 Fuel Efficient: 2018 Toyota Tacoma SR5 (21 MPG)
The Tacoma SR5 comes equipped with a 3.5-Liter V6 DOHC. The power enables the Japanese-made Tacoma SR5 to tow up to 6,400 pounds, according to the Toyota website. The SR5 gets 21 miles per gallon. According to the Toyota website, that could push up to 24 miles on the highway. The direct-injection Atkinson-cycle engine contributes to a low gas mileage of the sporty pickup truck. The Tacoma SR5 utilizes all 24 valves in its dual overhead cam engine, which pushes its power beyond the limits of a normal V6 pickup truck while boasting the same great fuel efficiency.
8 Fuel Efficient: 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid (22 MPG)
What's surprising about the Silverado 1500 getting over 22 miles per gallon is that it's a Silverado 1500. The Silverado 1500 is one of the most legendary pickup trucks of all time, and with 22 miles per gallon, this truck could do heavy-duty jobs for a reasonable amount of fuel efficiency. For the fans of the Silverado 1500 who are used to getting 15 miles a gallon (if they're lucky), the 22 MPG hybrid delivers with a 379-horsepower engine that could tow up to 6,100 pounds (via Edmunds). Although the Silverado Hybrid is fuel efficient, it doesn't hold back on power, as it boasts a 6.0L V8 engine.
7 Fuel Efficient: 2018 F-150 2.7L EcoBoost (22 MPG)
Ford has made a variety of fuel efficient F-150s, and one of them is the F-150 2.7L EcoBoost. The twin-turbo engine distributes 400 pounds of torque while recording just over 22 miles per gallon.
The F-150 stands by its reputation in towing by engineering a 2.7L V6 engine and towing an incredible 8,500 pounds.
Consumers receive unmatched engineering by Ford in the EcoBoost, a car that distributes 121 horsepower per liter (via WardsAuto). It utilizes its power to get mid-duty work done while providing a fuel-efficient option. Ford proves itself as one of the best in pickup trucks.
6 Fuel Efficient: 2018 Honda Ridgeline (23 MPG)
When Honda set out to build a pickup truck, we knew that the Japanese engineering would output decent fuel efficiency. The Honda Ridgeline gets 21 miles per gallon. Don't expect the Ridgeline to get a lot of heavy-duty work done, as it can only tow up to 5,000 pounds. However, the sporty look and abilities of the Ridgeline makes it an outdoors car as well as a productive one. The Ridgeline is often used to transport bikes, surfboards, and snowboards and do other outdoor activities. The Ridgeline is considered a mid-sized pickup with low power while pushing 280 horsepower, according to Motor Trend.
5 Fuel Efficient: 2018 Ford F-150 Lariat (23 MPG)
The Ford F-150 brings its talents to the fuel-efficiency market with the Lariat. The 2.7-liter V6 pickup gets an incredible 23 miles per gallon, which is hard to grasp, considering the powerhouse reputation of the F-150. The Lariat gains its power from an EcoBoost twin-turbo engine, as reported by Motor Trend. The Lariat may be good on gas, but it definitely doesn't skimp on power.
The coveted pickup pushes nearly 400 horsepower and could tow up to 7,000 pounds.
Consumers get nearly all the power and heavy-duty abilities of an F-150 with the same fuel efficiency of a 2007 Ford Taurus.
4 Fuel Efficient: Chevy Colorado 2.8L Diesel (24 MPG)
The Chevy Colorado makes this list with a 2.8 L4 diesel engine that produces 24 miles per gallon. The Duramax LWN diesel engine may have 4 cylinders, but it produces an unbelievable 369 pounds of torque. Don't be fooled by this fuel-efficient and small engine pickup—it has the capability to tow over to 7,000 pounds. According to Truck Trend, General Motors had to cut many corners to make this completely street legal to due emissions issues. After a few tweaks by the engineers, the Colorado 2.8L 4 cylinder diesel was ready to be driven in all 50 states.
3 Fuel Efficient: 2018 Dodge RAM 1500 Ecodiesel (24 MPG)
The Dodge Ram 1500 impresses with the Ecodiesel edition, a 3.0L V6 version of the revered Ram pickup. The Ram 1500 Ecodiesel gets 24 miles per gallon and could push up to 27 miles per gallon on the highway, according to Auto Blog. The Ecodiesiel gets good highway miles with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The rare Ram pickup boasts the fuel efficiency of an average sedan but is able to tow up 5,500 pounds and pushes over 400 pounds of torque. That makes this pickup a must for consumers who need light-duty work done but also want well-rounded fuel efficiency.
2 Fuel Efficient: 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel (25 MPG)
The Ford F-150 released the long-awaited 2018 diesel version. The 3.0-liter Power Stroke engine clocks in at 25 MPG. Ford say the F-150 diesel could get up to 30 miles per gallon on the freeway.
The F-150 comes with a whopping 10-speed automatic transmission, which makes it efficient on the highway.
The diesel engine boosts this fuel-efficient heavy-duty machine to over 12,000 pounds of hauling, making it both powerful and fuel efficient. According to Car and Driver, the F-150 diesel was truly long awaited. Ford announced its release a year early and left car enthusiasts to speculate.
1 Fuel Efficient: GMC Canyon Diesel (26 MPG)
The GMC Canyon is the king of fuel efficient pickups, and the Canyon Diesel gets the best gas mileage of all the engine options that the GMC Canyon comes with. Basically, it's the most fuel-efficient truck out there. The Canyon Diesel gets nearly 26 miles per gallon (even outdoing the Ford Ranger). The GMC Canyon Diesel generates over 390 pounds of torque on just four cylinders while providing the option to tow up to 7,700 pounds, as reported by the GMC website. The Canyon forces many consumers to choose between the glory of an F-150/Ram/Silverado or the incredible 26 miles per gallon of the Canyon.
Sources: fuelly.com; caranddriver.com; motortrend.com; autoblog.com; trucktrend.com