Americans love pickup trucks. Of the nearly 17.5 million in cars sold in 2015, pickup trucks made up 9.7 million of those sales. Trucks are popular for a number of reasons, not the least of which is their versatility. What they offer in features, however, trucks often sacrifice in gas efficiency.
Despite that reality, some of the best gas mileage trucks manage to provide versatility at less of a cost to your monthly gas budget. Keep some of the following things in mind as you look for a fuel-efficient truck.
It's Not Always About Saving Money
A common criticism of buying a pickup truck is that they're not very fuel-efficient. Not only can this have an environmental impact, but it also has a direct impact on your finances. The more you spend on gas, the less you have for other items in your budget.
There are other factors to consider when it comes to buying a car. In some instances, it makes sense to buy a truck, despite its lower gas efficiency. Some of those cases are:
- When you have need to haul large items
- You have to tow trailers
- You drive on rough terrains
A pickup truck allows you to do things and go places a normal passenger car will not. In those instances, practicality and versatility are worth the cost of the extra gas.
5 Best Gas Mileage Trucks
The award for best gas mileage trucks tends to go to diesel trucks. Without a true hybrid alternative possible, diesel trucks take the top spots for fuel efficiency.
Another thing to consider when it comes to buying a truck is buying a two-wheel-drive versus a four-wheel-drive. Edmunds.com reports that a majority of truck buyers prefer the four-wheel-drive variety as they provide greater versatility.
With that in mind, below are the top gas mileage trucks, according to FuelEconomy.Gov, which provides both diesel as well as four-wheel-drive options.
Chevrolet Colorado 2WD: The Chevrolet Colorado is a smaller diesel-powered truck. The Colorado offers a combined 25 MPG and has a 2.8 Liter 4-cylinder engine.
GMC Canyon 2WD: Like the Colorado above, the Canyon is a smaller diesel-powered truck – with the same 25 MPG and 2.8 Liter 4-cylinder engine.
Ram 1500 HFE 2WD: Considered a standard sized diesel-powered pickup truck, the Ram offers a combined 24 MPG. The Ram also offers a larger 3.0 Liter 6-cylinder engine.
Ford F150 4WD: One of the foremost pickup trucks, the F150, offers a combined 20 MPG. The F150 offers a 2.7 Liter 6-cylinder engine, not to mention four-wheel-drive.
Chevrolet Silverado K15 4WD: The Silverado comes at the bottom of the best gas mileage trucks, offering 19 MPG. The Silverado comes with a 4.3 Liter 6-cylinder engine, along with four-wheel-drive.
There are many other options to consider, though these are rated as being the most fuel-efficient by the U.S. Department of Energy.
How to Save Money Buying a Truck
Lower gas efficiency aside, buying a pickup truck can be expensive – with higher end trucks costing over $50,000. For most, that will include taking out a car loan. There are many ways to save on your car loan, such as:
- Putting down a large down payment
- Having a good credit score when you apply for your loan
- Comparison shopping to find the best rates. You can use LendingTree to find the best available rates
There are many other ways to save money when buying a truck. The key is to balance your needs along with being financially responsible.
The Bottom Line
There are many options to consider when looking at the best gas mileage trucks. Do your due diligence to find the best one for your budget and needs.