Sometimes you just need a pickup truck to do the job right, and of course, you want the best fuel efficient trucks possible. When considering the fuel efficiency, however, you also need to keep in mind how you’ll use the truck. The bigger the payload, the larger size pickup truck engine displacement you’ll require. That cuts down on fuel economy. If only light loads are necessary, go for the more economical models in these best fuel efficient trucks.
Note that fuel economy numbers listed here come from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Two categories of best fuel efficient trucks, using EPA classification, are small and standard pickups, all in two-wheel drive (2WD).
- Ford Ranger 2WD – With its standard 2.3-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine mated to 5-speed manual transmission, the 2011 2WD achieves an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway. Opt for automatic transmission and it’s 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway. In production since 1983, the compact-size Ranger pickup is now dated in design, but still offers value and high fuel economy. Edmunds says, “Four-cylinder engine delivers decent fuel economy, smaller engines make for better maneuverability.”
- Nissan Frontier 2WD – The compact 2011 2WD in XE and SE trim in King Cab configuration only comes with a standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission that achieves an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway. Car and Driver says (of the 2009 model) it’s a “versatile pickup in a smart size, comfortable in a variety of environments.”
- Suzuki Equator 2WD – The 5-passenger compact 2011 2WD Extended Cab only achieves an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway (with 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission). With automatic, those numbers are 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway. Suzuki Equator is mechanically similar to the Nissan Frontier, with only minor cosmetic changes – but Equator carries a much longer warranty.
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid 2WD – The full-size 2011 Hybrid 2WD achieves EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway. Edmunds comments: “If you like the sound of dual-mode hybrid techology in a full-size pickup, the 2010 crew cab and its GMC Sierra twin are the only games in town…Superior city gas mileage for a big truck, can accelerate to 29 mph solely on electric power.”
- GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid 2WD – More expensive sibling to the Chevy Silverado, the 2011 2WD has the same EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway fuel economy.