Looking to save some money without sacrificing power? Here are the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks available across the automotive industry in 2022.
While technology surrounding the automotive world has accelerated at a pace that’s hard to keep up with, pickup truck fuel economy hasn’t necessarily kept pace. That’s somewhat understandable though considering how heavy most modern trucks are. Despite that obvious physics problem, manufacturers have devised a number of ways to at least ease some of the pain at the pump for those who drive these work-oriented vehicles.
As we rank these trucks keep in mind that electric trucks like the Rivian R1T or the upcoming Silverado EV are left off of the list as we’re focused solely on combustion engine trucks. Additionally, while our ranking is purely determined by fuel economy scores and nothing else, we’ll talk a little bit about how each truck fits into the market too. Here’s a rundown of the most fuel-efficient pickups available right now.
Four different trucks deserve a nod to kick things off as they aren’t near the top of the leaderboard but they each offer above-average fuel efficiency. The Hyundai Santa Cruz with AWD is actually slightly more fuel efficient than its 2WD sibling. The EPA says that it should get about 21 mpg in the city, 27 on the highway, and 23 mpg overall. Frankly, we expected a lot more from this small pickup when it came on the scene but we’re hopeful that a hybrid will show up and blow us away at some time in the future.
Next up are the twins from General Motors. Both the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon get an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city, 30 on the highway, and 23 combined. Of course, that requires equipping them with 2WD and a 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine. Nevertheless, with 369 pound-feet of torque, this pair is one of the more capable in the segment and the penalty at the pump isn’t too punishing. Still, it’s not as balanced as the next truck in our lineup.
Our final honorable mention spot goes to the Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel. Not only is it equipped with four-wheel drive but it also gets 24 mpg combined according to the EPA. That includes an estimate of 22 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. The diesel under the hood makes 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. It’s quite a way from being near the top of this list but consider this… it might be the best combination of off-road capability, fuel efficiency, and truck practicality. It can also tow up to 6,500 pounds which is excellent.
One spot where technology has really demonstrated its abilities is in the Ford F-150 Hybrid. When equipped with 2WD and a towing package, it can haul around 12,700 pounds. Take the trailer off and it’ll get an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined. When it’s time to zip up to highway speeds or overtake another motorist, this Ford makes light work of that too with a total output of 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. No, it’s nowhere near our outright winner in terms of overall fuel economy but it’s literally one mpg away from the combined score held by our second-place truck. That might make it the most balanced and well-rounded of the entire bunch here.
Just missing out on the top spots are a pair of trucks that tie. They aren’t all that similar otherwise though. The first of which is the Ford Maverick with front-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Really, every Maverick on sale is pretty fuel efficient compared to the rest of the class and this version gets 23 mpg in the city, 30 on the highway, and 26 combined. We mention it first because the truck it tied with, the GMC Sierra 2WD diesel is unquestionably a lot more truck if all we’re comparing is fuel economy scores.
Bronze goes to the Chevrolet Silverado when equipped with rear-wheel drive and Chevy’s 3.0-liter diesel engine. Just like the GMC Sierra, this engine develops 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. You might think that the brand’s 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine would do better in this competition but it’s the diesel that actually comes out on top with EPA estimates of 23 mpg in the city, 31 on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. That’s almost good enough to snatch the silver but it falls short on the highway mileage. Still, as full-sized trucks go, it’s right near the very best.
Coming up in second place is the RAM 1500 HFE EcoDiesel. That HFE in the middle stands for High Fuel Efficiency and every truck equipped with the package is gently slimmed down compared to the normal 1500. The result is a bit better fuel economy. According to the EPA, this truck will get 23 mpg in the city, 33 on the highway, and 26 combined. In addition, it can tow over 12,000 pounds thanks to its 260 horsepower turbodiesel engine. Despite its second-place score, it’s worth noting that this truck misses out on some of the features that others offer like more power, more towing, or off-road capability.
Unquestionably the king of all pickup trucks when it comes to fuel economy is one of the smallest in terms of physical stature. That would be the 2022 Ford Maverick with its fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain. As mentioned in our intro, size and, more importantly, weight, play a huge role in fuel economy. And that’s exactly how the Ford Maverick Hybrid manages to snag a 37 mpg combined estimated from the EPA. Under the hood is a 2.5-liter mild hybrid engine which makes a big difference too. Other trucks here snag 30 mpg estimates on the highway but this truck does it everywhere including a city average of 40. Even on the highway, when the little gasoline engine is working full time it gets 33 mpg. Keep in mind though that towing capacity is rated at just 2,000 pounds.