If you want a four-wheel-drive pickup truck, you should be aware that it will not provide the same level of fuel economy as a small light-duty crossover.
The fuel economy of your truck will suffer if it has a large and sturdy frame that can support heavy payloads and large trailers; a suspension that is particularly robust to handle difficult off-road conditions; and power that is sent to all four wheels.
In addition, the majority of today's true four-wheel-drive vehicles are large, which presents yet another challenge in terms of their fuel efficiency.
The good news is that today's advanced powertrains are making it possible for even some 4x4 pickup trucks to have a low fuel consumption rate. Diesel engines, which offer the dual benefit of excellent fuel efficiency and towing-friendly torque, are being utilised in an increasing number of trucks despite the fact that the promised electric trucks have not yet been made available.
Others have improved their gas mileage by reducing their vehicle's overall weight, increasing the number of gears in their transmissions, and making adjustments to the efficiency of their gasoline engines. For the purpose of this article, we have compiled a list of the ten 4x4 trucks that are the most efficient in terms of fuel consumption. This list includes six pickup trucks and four highly capable SUVs with four-wheel drive. Let's get started.
How many times has someone told you that the maximum range of their four-wheel-drive vehicle is only 500 kilometres per tank of fuel? In your opinion, what does that imply?
How big of a fuel tank do they have, and how low are they letting it get before they refill it? What kind of engine do they have, how do their tyres look, and how do they drive? Were they going 90 kilometres per hour on level ground, or were they coasting at 110 kilometres per hour up and down hills while on cruise control?
Where you drive and how you drive can have a significant impact on your vehicle's fuel economy. Every time you get gas, you can quickly and easily check how efficiently your vehicle is using fuel; the process only takes a few seconds.
Maintaining a close eye on your fuel economy allows you to plan your fuel stops for upcoming 4WD trips, verify that the vehicle is operating as it should, and gain an understanding of how different driving conditions can affect your fuel consumption. All of these things are very useful.
Is Your Speedometer Correct?
Your first order of business should be to check that the speedometer on your vehicle is accurate. There is a good chance that it won't be if you have changed the size of your tyres. If the speedometer in your vehicle is inaccurate, the trip metre won't be accurate either.
You have the option of doing this in one of two ways: either driving with a GPS while going 100 kilometres per hour on the speedometer and seeing what the GPS says (which will be less accurate), or driving 100 kilometres per hour on the trip metre of the vehicle and seeing how many kilometres you have travelled according to the GPS.
If you have changed the size of the tyres on your vehicle, you will notice a difference because the larger the tyre, the fewer revolutions per kilometre it will do in comparison to the tyres that came factory installed on the vehicle. This slows down your speedometer.
For drivers whose speeds have increased from 265 to 285 (or from 31 to 33), the speedometer is likely to be inaccurate by 5 to 10 percent. When larger tyres are installed on a 4WD vehicle, the fuel economy typically suffers as a result. The exact amount is determined by a number of different factors; follow the link for more information.
Due to the larger diameter of the tyres, the trip metre on our 80 series vehicles reads approximately 105 kilometres when it should read 100 kilometres.
When you have a better understanding of the differences in your speedo, you will be able to calculate your fuel economy each time you get gas. You can easily obtain an accurate figure for your fuel economy if you just make sure to remember to add 5 percent of your trip metre to the reading.
Buying A Diesel Vs Petrol For Your Next 4wd
When it comes to purchasing your next four-wheel drive vehicle, one of the most important questions you'll need to answer is... Petrol or Diesel? There is a lot of urban legend surrounding four-wheel driving that claims a "real" four-wheel drive vehicle must have a diesel engine.
There are a number of compelling reasons to consider purchasing a gasoline-powered vehicle before you rush in and part with your hard-earned money. Let's look at some comparisons that aren't biassed and talk about the benefits and drawbacks of the age-old debate between gasoline and diesel fuel...
There are benefits and drawbacks associated with the use of either gasoline or diesel, despite the fact that many dedicated off-roaders and diesel vehicle owners will disagree with this statement.
The question of which option is superior cannot be answered with absolute certainty; however, after reading this article, you will be better able to decide which option is most suitable for both your needs and your financial situation.
Purchasing A 4wd
When comparing diesel 4wds to petrol 4wds, the first thing you will notice is that the diesel will typically cost you an additional $1,000 to $3,000 on top of the regular price of the petrol model. This is referred to as the premium price.
This is before a model with a turbocharger is introduced into the competition! On the used car market as well as the new car market, there is a significant price gap, with the gasoline engine being consistently sold at a lower price. This is because diesel engines have additional costs associated with their production.
The increased complexity of turbocharger systems contributes additionally to the increased cost of the purchase. There is a general tendency for diesel models to maintain their value for a longer period of time in the used car market; taking this into consideration is important for the long term.
Power & Performance
People frequently have the misconception that the diesel model will be considerably slower than the gasoline-powered vehicle. This holds true the majority of the time when the two vehicles are compared to one another while travelling in a straight line.
The performance of a vehicle equipped with a turbocharger will be significantly improved; however, it is important to keep in mind that turbo lag can sometimes cause a vehicle to feel sluggish when being driven in urban environments.
It is important to keep in mind that modern turbo engines are gaining more power and can often keep up with the performance of gasoline-powered vehicles. This is something that should be taken into consideration.
Off-roading presents the greatest opportunity for advantage. You will have an abundance of torque available at low engine revs when driving a diesel vehicle. Because of this, it is extremely difficult to stall while you are squeezing through narrow spaces between rocks and other obstructions. When travelling uphill or over obstacles, a gasoline-powered vehicle typically needs significantly higher revs in order to keep its momentum.
When driving on sand and beaches, these differences frequently disappear, and the performance of both kinds of vehicles is approximately the same.
Another obvious benefit of using a diesel engine off-road is its fuel efficiency. Because of the way it is constructed, a diesel engine is able to take in unrestricted amounts of air at all times. What determines the amount of power and rpm that an engine produces is the quantity of fuel that is injected into the engine.
A consistent ratio of fuel to air must be maintained in a gasoline engine, and the amount of air that is taken in is controlled by a throttle butterfly plate.
When utilising engine compression to help with downhill braking, the compression ratio of 20:1 for most types of diesel compared to 9:1 for most gasoline engines means that the diesel offers a significantly greater degree of resistance to an increase in RPM.
The large quantities of air that are drawn in by the diesel engine while it is idling/crawling down a hill or descent are the cause of this resistance.
During downhill engine braking, the intake butterfly on the gasoline engine will be closed, and the engine will not draw in a significant amount of air. When compared to diesel engines, gasoline ones have a greater propensity to speed up unexpectedly.
The maintenance schedule for diesel-powered vehicles is significantly more rigors than that of gasoline-powered automobiles. The oil in diesel vehicles should typically be changed every 5,000 kilometres, and the oil filter should be changed every 10,000 kilometres.
When components of a diesel engine, such as turbocharger seals, develop leaks or when the diesel fuel pump in the engine needs to be replaced, the cost of its maintenance and repair can skyrocket.
In the end, the cost of these more frequent services will win out over the cost of the less frequent gasoline services.
Off-road, the diesel engine's more complex design increases the number of moving parts that are susceptible to damage or failure. A petrol engine requires fewer spare parts to be carried, and it can frequently be repaired sufficiently to allow the vehicle to be driven to the closest service centre for more extensive maintenance.
In light of this, it is important to note that if the alternator in a fuel-injected gasoline engine fails, you won't be able to drive very far with just the battery. Even if its alternator is removed, a diesel engine can still function normally.
In this particular competition, the diesel came out on top with flying colours. Because it has an improved fuel economy of between 20 and 50 percent, it can easily travel further on a single tank of gas.
In the outback of Australia, where it may be a long drive between gas stations, having a vehicle with a range like this may come in handy for you.
Diesel is a safer fuel, given its lower volatility. For instance, due to the vapour trail that it leaves behind, gasoline can be ignited almost twenty metres away from a tank that has been left uncapped. When refuelling a vehicle next to a campfire, this could present a number of challenges.
Again, this is due to the design of the diesel engine, which results in a temperature that is approximately 200 degrees Celsius lower than that of a gasoline engine. While this isn't much of an issue when driving on the road, it's been the cause of some major disasters when driving off-road.
The dry spinifex-like grass that grows in the middle of tracks is a common obstacle for four-wheel drive drivers in the outback of Australia.
This has been the cause of many fires and it is something that gets caught in all of the areas, especially the exhausts. Many four-wheel drives have been wrecked in this manner. Even diesel vehicles are susceptible to this issue; however, due to the higher exhaust temperature of gasoline engines, the danger is significantly greater.
It should come as no surprise that a diesel excels once more given the close relationship between 4WDs and fording bodies of water.
Underwater, a diesel engine can function normally as long as water does not enter the air intake or fuel tank. When put through such a gruelling ordeal, a gasoline-powered vehicle's electrical system will invariably fail, causing the vehicle to be rendered inoperable. In most cases, either the distributor or the sparkplug leads will become electrically corroded and fail.
If water gets into the air intake of a diesel engine, however, the engine will suffer significant internal damage while a gasoline engine is more likely to stall before any damage is done.
A diesel engine's compression ratio of 20:1 means that even a negligible amount of water can result in a catastrophic failure of the engine.
Because it only has a 9:1 compression ratio and does not draw in as much air (and therefore less water), gasoline is not as susceptible to this problem. Therefore, any water that is drawn in is not subjected to the same level of compression as the rest of the water.
In actuality, a diesel engine is able to traverse the majority of water crossings without much difficulty, whereas a gasoline engine will typically sputter its way through the water and experience intermittent shorting of the electrics. This will be reduced by a gasoline engine that has been meticulously prepared, but it will not be eliminated entirely.
Most Fuel-efficient 4x4 Trucks And Suvs
For the next most fuel-efficient pickup truck, which happens to be the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado, diesel power is once again in play (and its mechanical twin, the GMC Canyon).
When equipped with the available 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, the Colorado achieves EPA ratings of 19 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined when equipped with four-wheel drive. The engine generates 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, its maximum towing capacity of 7,600 pounds places it ahead of the competing Ford Ranger in this category (again, with four-wheel-drive).
The conventional gas-powered engines offered by the Colorado, which include a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-litre V6 engine, do not excel in fuel economy but are still competitive in the class of mid-size pickup trucks. When equipped with 4WD, the EPA estimates that they will achieve 21 and 19 miles per gallon, respectively. The Colorado's inviting cabin and refined driving experience are two additional selling points.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (and its mechanical twin, the GMC Sierra 1500) is the most fuel-efficient 4x4 pickup truck in the United States when it is outfitted with its optional Duramax turbodiesel inline six-cylinder engine. This is true for both of these pickup trucks.
On a four-wheel-drive Silverado, this engine produces 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, and the EPA estimates that it gets 23 miles per gallon in the city, 29 miles per gallon on the highway, and 25 miles per gallon overall.
That's better than Chevrolet's Impala sedan or the more powerful version of its Equinox compact crossover, and it comes from a full-size pickup truck that can tow more than 9,000 pounds and comfortably seat five adults in spacious and roomy cabins.
Other Silverado engines are fairly frugal as well, thanks to the eight- and 10-speed automatic transmissions and significant weight loss that occurred during the most recent redesign.
With its available turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, the 4WD Silverado achieves a still-impressive 20 miles per gallon in mixed driving conditions. Even more impressively, it achieves up to 19 miles per gallon with its 5.3-liter V8.
The third big name in our roundup of the most fuel-efficient four-wheel-drive pickup trucks comes from the full-size half-ton class of full-size pickups.
The Ford F-150 is a member of the highly successful F-Series line of pickup trucks. In addition to that, it is obtainable with a turbodiesel V6 engine that has a capacity of 3.0 litres, which enables it to achieve remarkable efficiency in relation to its size. With four-wheel drive, the F-150's 3.0-liter Power Stroke engine generates 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, and it gets up to 21 miles per gallon in the city, 28 miles per gallon on the highway, and 24 miles per gallon overall.
In addition to the diesel engine, the legendary F-150 was the first full-size pickup to feature aluminium body panels and small-displacement turbocharged engines. This innovation made the F-150 an industry pioneer. These "EcoBoost" motors include a 2.7-liter V6 that can achieve 20 miles per gallon in mixed driving while equipped with 4WD and a 3.5-liter V6 that can achieve up to 19 miles per gallon in mixed driving while equipped with 4WD.
Another EcoBoost offering from Ford, the mid-size Ranger is available with only a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making it the most efficient four-wheel-drive pickup truck available that does not use a diesel engine.
This engine generates a robust 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, and it achieves EPA ratings of 20 miles per gallon in the city, 24 miles per gallon on the highway, and 22 miles per gallon combined with four-wheel drive. It does all of this on regular-grade gasoline, which is inexpensive and simple to locate.
A maximum payload of up to 1,860 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of up to 7,500 pounds are both possible, depending on the configuration of the vehicle.
Although it is much smaller than an F-150 or any of its other half-ton competitors, the Ranger just recently made its long-awaited comeback to the market in the United States after a seven-year absence. Compared to its predecessor, the Ranger is larger, more capable, and more technologically advanced.
Even though it is more expensive than its predecessor and does not have the class's smoothest on-road driving manners, the new Ranger stands out from the competition thanks to its engine, which is both powerful and economical.
On the sheet of comparative specifications, the 2020 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel lands in second place, just behind the competing Silverado. This 3.0-liter V6 engine generates 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, and according to the EPA, it achieves 21 miles per gallon in the city, 29 miles per gallon on the highway, and 24 miles per gallon overall with four-wheel drive.
The additional mass of the Ram, in comparison to that of the Silverado, is to blame, but it was put to good use by contributing to an exceptionally refined ride and an exceptionally plush cabin.
The Ram EcoDiesel can also out-tow its competitors, at least when configured properly, with impressive ratings of up to 12,560 pounds of trailer weight capacity. (The highest possible price for the majority of trim levels is somewhere in the impressive 9,000 range.)
If you'd rather stick to regular gasoline, you can also get the 4x4 Ram with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that gets 21 miles per gallon or a 5.7-liter V8 engine that gets up to 19 miles per gallon in mixed driving conditions.
There is a common misconception that driving in 4x4 high range on a slippery surface is safer. Not only will this result in a significant increase in fuel consumption, but it is also harmful to the vehicle to continue driving at the slower speeds that are only possible when driving in low range. The only time this would be a good idea is if the road was extremely slick and the speed limit had been significantly lowered.
The pressure in the tyres plays a significant part in the amount of fuel that is consumed, and drivers should pay special attention to ensure that the pressures are appropriate for the tasks that the vehicle is performing. If the tyres are too soft, the rolling resistance will be higher, which can increase fuel consumption by up to 10 percent.
Although a roof rack may enhance the visual appeal of your vehicle, it is extremely detrimental to your gas mileage and should be avoided at all costs. If you were travelling at a fast speed and tried to hold a plank that was the same size as the leading edge of the roof rack out the window, it would be ripped right out of your hands.
Because each crossbar adds a resistance that is squared, the total resistance is increased by a factor of four whenever the speed is doubled. Instead, you should always remember the golden rule: "If you do not need one, do not fit one!"
When travelling with a vehicle that is fully loaded, the tyre pressures once again come into play. It is essential to ensure that the tyres are correctly inflated, and that you are in the appropriate gear for the terrain, in order to minimise fuel consumption as much as possible.
Add-ons that increase the mass of the vehicle, such as winches, bull bars, or roll bars, all have an effect on fuel consumption because they change the vehicle's aerodynamics and increase the amount of wind resistance. Keep in mind that the load capacity of your 4x4 will decrease by the same amount for every kilogramme of weight that you add to the vehicle.
Your loading capacity must account for the weight of all accessories, such as the weight of larger tyres than those that were initially specified, as well as the weight of passengers, equipment, fuel, and water. It is against the law to overload your vehicle, and doing so could create complications for you in the event that you make a claim on your insurance.
It is the driver's responsibility to make a conscientious decision to achieve the best possible fuel economy while operating a 4x4, and that decision must be backed up by the driver's successful completion of a series of basic tasks each time the vehicle is started. The amount of money that can be saved may not be immediately apparent, but it will certainly add up over time.
You must now decide whether it is more important to make modifications to your vehicle, the places in which you drive, or your average fuel economy. It's either going to be a fully-loaded four-wheel drive or the best possible fuel economy for your vehicle; you can't have both.
How and where you drive can have a major effect on gas mileage. Ten of the most economical four-wheel-drive pickups are listed below. You can better prepare for future 4WD trips by keeping a close eye on your fuel economy. The trip metre will not be correct if the speedometer is not functioning properly. The fuel economy of a 4WD vehicle usually decreases when larger tyres are installed.
Some say that a diesel engine is required for a "real" four-wheel drive vehicle, but this is just a myth. Each, gasoline and diesel, have their advantages and disadvantages. With any luck, this article will help you zero in on the best course of action for your specific situation. The best chance for success is found in off-roading. When driving a diesel vehicle, you will have a great deal of torque available at low engine speeds.
Constant and unrestricted airflow is available to a diesel engine. Diesel-powered vehicles require much more stringent upkeep than their gas-powered counterparts. Due to the diesel engine's enhanced fuel economy of 20% - 50%, significantly more distance can be covered on a single tank of gas. Having a vehicle equipped with a diesel could be useful in the Australian outback, where it can be quite a distance from one gas station to the next. A diesel engine can easily cross most bodies of water while submerged.
An intermittent electrical short causes the gasoline engine to sputter as it moves through the water. When compared to other pickup trucks in its class, the Chevrolet Colorado has the best fuel economy. When it comes to fuel economy, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4x4 is unrivalled in the United States. A 3.0 litre Power Stroke engine puts out 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque in the Ford F-150. Pickup trucks that can carry a half tonne of cargo can get 20 mpg in a variety of conditions.
To date, the 2020 Ford Ranger has proven to be the most economical four-wheel-drive pickup truck on the market. Just behind the leading Silverado, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel takes second place. Both trucks have an EPA-approved maximum trailer weight of 12,560 pounds. On a wet and slippery road, driving in 4x4 high range is not always the safest option. The amount of fuel used is significantly affected by the tyre pressure.
Fuel economy can be negatively impacted by as much as 10% if the tyres are too soft due to increased rolling resistance. With each additional kilogramme of weight, a 4x4's load capacity drops by the same amount. Fuel efficiency is affected by accessories like winches, bull bars, and roll bars that add weight to the vehicle.
- If you want a four-wheel-drive pickup truck, you should be aware that it will not provide the same level of fuel economy as a small light-duty crossover.
- For the purpose of this article, we have compiled a list of the ten 4x4 trucks that are the most efficient in terms of fuel consumption.
- This list includes six pickup trucks and four highly capable SUVs with four-wheel drive.
- If the speedometer in your vehicle is inaccurate, the trip metre won't be accurate either.
- This slows down your speedometer.
- When you have a better understanding of the differences in your speedo, you will be able to calculate your fuel economy each time you get gas.
- Another obvious benefit of using a diesel engine off-road is its fuel efficiency.
- Off-road, the diesel engine's more complex design increases the number of moving parts that are susceptible to damage or failure.
- The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (and its mechanical twin, the GMC Sierra 1500) is the most fuel-efficient 4x4 pickup truck in the United States when it is outfitted with its optional Duramax turbodiesel inline six-cylinder engine.
- Boost offering from Ford, the mid-size Ranger is available with only a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making it the most efficient four-wheel-drive pickup truck available that does not use a diesel engine.
- Compared to its predecessor, the Ranger is larger, more capable, and more technologically advanced.
- Ram 1500On the sheet of comparative specifications, the 2020 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel lands in second place, just behind the competing Silverado.
- There is a common misconception that driving in 4x4 high range on a slippery surface is safer.
- Although a roof rack may enhance the visual appeal of your vehicle, it is extremely detrimental to your gas mileage and should be avoided at all costs.
- If you were travelling at a fast speed and tried to hold a plank that was the same size as the leading edge of the roof rack out the window, it would be ripped right out of your hands.
- Keep in mind that the load capacity of your 4x4 will decrease by the same amount for every kilogramme of weight that you add to the vehicle.
- It's either going to be a fully-loaded four-wheel drive or the best possible fuel economy for your vehicle; you can't have both.
FAQs About 4X4 Vehicles
- Nissan Qashqai 4WD - 50.0 mpg.
- Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion - 44.1 mpg.
- Audi Q3 Quattro - 42.2 mpg.
- Land Rover Range Rover Evoque - 42.0 mpg.
- Land Rover Discovery Sport - 40.9 mpg.
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV AWD - 141 mpg.
Unfortunately, driving in 4WD uses more gas than in 2WD because more components are used within a 4WD system. More components mean more fuel to power the drivetrain, which leads to increased gas consumption.
Vehicles equipped with AWD or 4WD generally suffer a fuel economy penalty due to the equipment's extra weight and mechanical resistance needed to turn all four wheels. In some cases, the reduction in gas mileage is slight but can add up over time.
AWD and 4WD drive systems can add hundreds of pounds to a car's curb weight, and that extra bulk can significantly impact fuel economy. That's because an engine has to work harder to move a heavier car, which means more fuel is used to move an AWD car the same distance as one with 2WD.
Generally, 4WD and AWD are only necessary if you live in a climate where it snows and rains a lot. Driving on dirt roads that are frequently muddy can provide more confidence when it matters most.