Even the most fuel efficient 4x4 trucks were petrol hogs compared to most cars and even comparable to most 4x2 trucks, so drivers of these vehicles had to get used to paying hefty gasoline expenditures. Manufacturers of trucks finally realised they needed to respond. Trucks are lighter and more fuel efficient than ever before. All 10 trucks that made our best ten list have remarkable fuel economy, with averages of 20 mpg or more. We included within a model variants based on engine, gearbox, and fuel economy after consulting the official site of the Environmental Protection Agency, FuelEconomy.gov, for our ratings.
It's a tricky issue to answer because there are so many different kinds of engines and transmissions available nowadays. Manufacturers sometimes tout their least powerful or smallest engine size pickups as the most fuel-efficient, but this is usually not the case. It's important that pickup vehicles actually perform like pickup trucks, so the tiniest engine isn't always the best option.
In recent years, Australia has shown an intense fascination with SUVs, and it's not hard to see why. SUVs are more accessible than sedans due to their greater ground clearance and vertical rooflines, and they also provide a better view of the highway without having to squint. Simple "two box" designs allow for more interior space than comparable passenger cars. Their roomy trunks are perfect for people with expanding families or for frequent visitors to the thrift store and otherwise antique mall.
These days, more and more people are opting for crossover vehicles, which are based on cars but offer more relaxed driving dynamics than the larger, more rugged SUVs that are built from trucks. More traction is provided by all-wheel drive as opposed to front-wheel drive on wet or snowy roads, and it is an option on most vehicles. Furthermore, gas/electric hybrid-powered crossover SUVs are far more fuel-efficient than their conventionally driven equivalents.
In addition to the more common uses for pickups, such as hauling and hauling, fuel economy may be an important consideration for some buyers. However, how efficiently can a pickup vehicle run on gas? We've done the math and compiled the top picks across the board, offering you the greatest options for midsize, full-size, and heavy-duty trucks, as well as several top-tier diesel options.
Every truck, from the simplest midsize work trucks to the most massive heavy-duty pickups, has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, especially when it concerns fuel economy. For instance, the payload and towing capacity of midsize pickups will be the lowest, but their fuel economy will be the best. Trucks with diesel engines have more hauling capacity and better fuel economy, but the expense of making the switch can be substantial.
You can pick from a number of competitors, each of which offers something unique. Join us as we explore the most fuel-efficient pickups of 2020, and be sure to peruse our continually updated expert Truck rankings to see how today's models compare to the best of the breed.
Midsize, full-size, heavy-duty, and diesel vehicles are included in this list. While diesel engines are available for all three pickup sizes, some shoppers may want to focus solely on diesel models, while others may would like to avoid diesel altogether.
Smaller vehicles, such as motorbikes or cars, can be towed by a midsize tractor. Full-size trucks have greater space inside and can tow larger trailers like those used for moving or transporting cars.
Then the really beefy machinery steps in. In certain situations, they can tow more than 30,000 pounds, and while this comes at a high cost at the gas station, it may be worthwhile. The main features and specifications are detailed below. However, the maximum towing & payload capacities we've provided are for the trucks' most fuel-efficient models. There is a separate list for the best vehicles for towing, and yet another for the best off-road trucks, which take advantage of all-wheel driving or 4-wheel drive for adventures off the beaten path.
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The 2017 Colorado four - wheel drive Crew Cab, along with the GMC Canyon, is a rarity also in midsize pickup category, and it's also the most fuel efficient truck in its class thanks to its turbo-charged 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine. Towing capacity is 7,600 pounds, and payload capacity is 1,477 pounds (nearly three-quarters of a tonne), all thanks to the direct injection technology used in the Duramax engine. For a midsize pickup, that was a lot of utility and efficiency. The diesel Chevrolets can be had in Z71 off-road specification, which adds an off-road suspension and other equipment.
The Chevrolet Colorado is a terrific option if you need a simple vehicle that can get the job done. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with the six-speed automated transmission is our prefered powertrain. More towing and carrying capacity can be had from other powertrains (such the available V6), but at the expense of Fuel economy.
Engineers at GM didn't just focus on the Colorado's diesel variant; they also made tremendous strides to ensure that the petrol 2017 Colorado 4WD could drive long distances on surprisingly little fuel. The 2.5L inline four-cylinder gas engine doesn't put out as much torque as that of the diesel, but it gets the job done just fine. For those who feel a crew cab is too similar to an SUV, the Colorado is available with an extended cab. Colorado's midsize appeal lies in its ability to serve as a light duty, fuel efficient work vehicle, maximising both fuel and feature efficiency.
2017 GMC Canyon
20 Mpg City/23 Mpg Combined/28 Mpg Highway
The 2017 GMC Canyon 4WD is available as a Crew Cab equipped with either a little (61.7-inch) or extended (74.0-inch) box with the same 2.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel as the Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Diesel, which places it in a tie for first position among the 10 most fuel-efficient 4x4 vehicles. Canyon's Denali grade level offers not only impressive fuel economy but also genuine luxury. It has the inside and exterior glitz of a luxury vehicle while getting 23 mpg on the highway. It is powered by a diesel engine and has four-wheel drive. Once a specialised variant of the Yukon, the Denali trim grade is now universally recognised as a mark of robust capability and distinctive style.
The GMC Canyon can be thought of as an upgraded version of the Chevy Colorado. The base model of both lines is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Canyon offers slightly greater in the way of basic and extra amenities, and it maintains identical EPA Fuel efficiency: an estimated 22 mpg combined.
A 2017 Canyon 4WD proves GMC's claim that their vehicles are "professional grade" with excellent gas mileage, a wealth of equipment, and class-leading capabilities. The Canyon's 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder gas engine provides comparable efficiency whether the vehicle is equipped with an extended cab and long (74.0-inch) and otherwise short (61.7-inch) box or a crew cab and short (61.7-inch) box. The engine produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque without the use of a turbocharger. The 2.5-liter gas engine is unavailable in the Denali trim level, leaving buyers to choice between the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel or the 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine, both of which are less efficient than the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder.
2017 Honda Ridgeline
18 Mpg City/21 Mpg Combined/25 Mpg Highway
There has never been another truck quite like the reimagined Ridgeline. The 2017 Ridgeline AWD is constructed on a unibody basis rather than the standard body-on-frame method used by its rivals. As a result, Honda is able to use a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine that generates 280 hp & 262 lb-ft torque while keeping the vehicle light and fuel efficient. In addition to its all-wheel drive, the Ridgeline's 4-wheel independent suspension makes it a more versatile vehicle in a variety of conditions. When prospective customers learn about the in-bed trunk, truck-bed sound system, and Honda Sensing passive and active safety features featured on the Ridgeline, the outlier in the class begins to appear rather unique.
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2017 Toyota Tacoma
19 Mpg City/20 Mpg Combined/22 Mpg Highway
This year, Toyota completely redesigned the Tacoma SR 4x4 6AT, the truck's entry-level trim. Its low fuel consumption is the result of its normally aspirated (non-turbo) 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine & 6-speed automated transmission. Tacoma's reputation for robust dependability has helped it maintain its position as the best-selling midsize pickup truck for many years. In order to get the best gas mileage, your tough as nails Tacoma SR must have an extended-cab and a 6-foot long bed. In the realm of off-roading, the Toyota Tacoma is widely used. There is a thriving aftermarket for suspension components, as well as a full suite of Toyota Race Development (TRD) upgrades.
The 2017 Tacoma SR 4 x 4 5MT provides drivers with a taste of the purest form of 4x4 truck driving. As opposed to the 6-speed automatic found in the SR 4x4 6AT, the SR 4x4 5MT is equipped with a more economical and environmentally friendly normally aspirated (non-turbo) 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine. On the highway, the manual transmission loses one mile per gallon of efficiency compared to the 6-speed automated. Still, it provides the authentic off-road experience sought by so many fans. Expert drivers frequently like the challenge and satisfaction of masterfully modulating all 3 pedals to overcome obstacles, as opposed to the less engagement required by an automated transmission in high-demand scenarios. The Toyota's well-mannered transmission makes it easy to operate on a daily basis, suggesting that the cost may be worth it.
2017 Ford EcoBoost
18 Mpg City/20 Mpg Combined/23 Mpg Highway
The 2017 F-150 4x4 2.7L EcoBoost is the first total pickup on our list, and it achieves its excellent fuel economy thanks to a small 2.7-liter supercharged V6 EcoBoost engines that is calibrated to deliver 325 hp and 375 lb-ft torque. This engine with 4x4 capacity is offered in a number of cab & bed combinations, including Regular Cab, SuperCab, and Crew Cab, with bed sizes of 5.5 ft, 6.5 feet, and 8 feet. Thanks to its innovative aluminium body design, the F-150 is a more fuel-efficient and rigid vehicle than ever before, making it ideal for 4x4 use. There is a good reason why the F-150 has dominated the U.S. truck market for four decades.
The 2017 F-150 EcoBoost can tow 12,200 pounds and carry 3,220 pounds, proving that you do not need to choose between utility and fuel economy. The EPA rating is better than all V8 pickups, while the 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft torque produced by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost supercharged V6 engine are superior than those of many large V8 engines. The widespread adoption of the EcoBoost engine has put an end to worries about turbo lag and durability. Thanks to its refined powertrain and massive reserve of torque, this vehicle excels in off-road conditions. Even the 2017 F-150 Raptor, among the most capable as well as wicked off-roaders on the globe, uses this powerplant.
2020 Toyota RAV4
28 Mpg City/35 Mpg Highway/Usn Overall Score: 8.4/10
The 2020 Toyota RAV4 ranks quite highly amongst compact crossover SUVs in U.S. News' rankings. Its spacious and well-finished interior, easy-going driving, and numerous standard equipment make it a great vehicle for households, singles, and empty nesters. Included in this category is Toyota's upgraded suite of driver-assist technologies called Safety Sense 2.0. It has a very high asking price for this category, but it is expected to be quite dependable over time.
The RAV4 is equipped with a 203hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that, although sufficient at lower speeds, gets noisy and rough at higher revs. There is no available turbocharged upgrade, unlike some competitors.
In 2020, Toyota will release a new AWD TRD model with a tuned suspension and specialised tyres to improve the vehicle's off-road capability compared to the standard model. Other new features include Android Auto integration, satellite radio, and an in-car Wi-Fi hot spot.
The 2020 RAV4 Hybrid is the best electric or hybrid SUV on the market, according to U.S. News.
The RAV4 Hybrid has excellent fuel economy and peppy acceleration to match. The dynamic equivalent of 219 hp is generated by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 2 electric motors. It offers a comfortable ride on most pavement types. It comes equipped with all-wheel drive.
The RAV4 Hybrid is just as roomy and luxurious inside as its gas-only sibling, and it also has a large trunk. In 2020, Android Auto will be available as part of the car's infotainment system.
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2020 Lexus UX Hybrid
43 Mpg City/41 Mpg Highway/Usn Overall Score: 7.5/10
The 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid, the luxury manufacturer's smallest gas/electric vehicle, achieves the best fuel efficiency amongst non-plug-in SUVs marketed in the United States. It provides a cabin that is adequate in size. There isn't much room for your stuff, and some of the interior materials are flimsy. The UX has all the bells and whistles you'd expect, such as the Lexus Safety-System+ 2.0 suite of cutting-edge safety features. It has features including adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.
Overall output of 181 horsepower from a 4-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors should be plenty for most drivers. It has been fine-tuned to provide a comfortable ride with lively handling. The UX's infotainment system, like those in previous Lexus vehicles, may be frustrating and irritating to use, but it does include most of the most recent advancements in smartphone integration.
In 2020, blind-spot monitoring and the Android Auto mobile interface will both be offered as options.
2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
44 Mpg City/ 37 Mpg Highway
For 2020, Ford revives the Escape Hybrid after an absence of eight years, and it boasts the greatest city fuel efficiency among our tested fuel-efficient SUVs. As of this writing, the Escape Hybrid's crashworthiness had not been assessed, hence it did not appear in any rankings. However, it has a solid 7.9 rating out of 10 from the critics.
The cabin is roomy and quiet enough, although it lacks a premium look and feel and could benefit from upgraded components. The entertainment system is easy to use and has numerous features.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine in the Escape Hybrid is paired with an electric motor to provide a total of 198 horsepower, which is more than enough to get the vehicle moving quickly. It's essentially a stock Escape in terms of its driving dynamics, with somewhat engaging steering and a compliant ride across most surfaces. Curve Control is only one of many driver-assist features that come standard on many modern vehicles. It helps the driver keep the vehicle at a safe pace when it approaches a curve.
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
36 Mpg City/35 Mpg Highway/Usn Overall Score: 8.1/10
When compared to other gas- and hybrid-powered midsize three-row SUVs, the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid achieves the best fuel economy. In 2020, it will have a brand new look and improved functionality because to the incorporation of technology like Carplay, Android-Auto, and the Amazon Alexa interface. Furthermore, several cutting-edge safety features designed to prevent accidents are now included as standard equipment.
Its 4-cylinder engine and two electric motors deliver a combined 243 hp to the road through a continuously variable transmission. It's quick around town, but it struggles to maintain interstate passing speeds. The suspension has been fine-tuned to smooth out the ride on rough pavement.
The problems with it are pointed out, but they aren't dealbreakers by any means. The third row of seats has limited legroom, and the SUV's handling isn't as sharp as some others in its class. Also, the price tag is pretty high.
2020 Nissan Kicks
31 Mpg City/36 Mpg Highway/Usn Overall Score: 7.8/10
The 2020 Nissan Kicks is one of the best examples of the growing subcompact crossover SUV segment. Its fuel economy is great, but its big cargo room, low starting price, and plenty of standard equipment are what really set it apart.
When compared to rivals, the Kicks' 122-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine performs better in city traffic than at highway speeds, and it could use quicker handling and sharper brakes. This vehicle does not have all-wheel drive, but its front-wheel-drive configuration should be enough for all but the most extreme snow climates.
In 2020, the Kicks will come standard with a number of driver assistance features, including automated emergency braking with walker recognition, automatic back braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot alerting, rear cross-traffic warning, and high beam assist.
2020 Lexus UX
29 Mpg City/37 Mpg Highway/Usn Overall Score: 7.6/10
The uniquely shaped compact 2020 Toyota Lexus UX gets excellent fuel economy without the increased expense of a hybrid propulsion system. Forward automated emergency braking is just one of many accident-prevention safety systems included in a comprehensive range of amenities. For 2020, a blind-spot monitor will be an optional extra. There's a chance you'll become flustered trying to figure out how to use the car's complicated entertainment system without getting distracted.
The UX provides a quiet cabin and accurate handling, but it isn't as much pleasure to ride than some of its competitors. This is due in large part to its underwhelming 169-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which makes the vehicle feel slow off the mark. On the bright side, the vehicle's CVT automatic transmission functions without any noticeable hiccups.
In 2020, not only will Apple CarPlay & Bluetooth still be standard, but the Android Auto system will also be available.
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2020 Honda CR-V
28 Mpg City/34 Mpg Highway/Usn Overall Score: 8.7/10
U.S. News ranks the 2020 CR-V as the top compact SUV, greatly outperforming its lesser sibling, the HR-V. There seems to be a lot to enjoy about this vehicle, including a roomy and tastefully decorated inside with ample cargo space to accommodate even the largest shopping trips for five people.
For 2020, Honda removed the 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produced 184 horsepower from the CR-engine V's lineup and replaced it with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. The CR-V has a more refined automatic transmission than others, and its ride and handling are nicely matched.
Minimal changes were made to the appearance for 2020, as well as the Honda Sensing array of advanced safety features became standard equipment.
The majority of these crossover SUVs are subcompact or tiny sizes, therefore they aren't designed for off-road use. Our new vehicle reviews can help you find the best sedan, coupe, or truck for your needs, whether you're shopping for a large family or need a three-row SUV with plenty of space for carpooling.
Today's trucks are more lightweight and efficient than before. To top it off, the average fuel efficiency of all ten trucks that made our top ten list is 20 mpg or higher. Sometimes the least powerful or smallest engine size pickups are promoted as the most fuel-efficient by manufacturers. All diesel, full-size, heavy-duty, and intermediate cars are covered here. The most fuel-efficient trucks have the highest towing and payload ratings.
There is an another set of recommendations for the finest towing vehicles, and yet another set for the best off-road pickups. If you're looking for a fuel-efficient pickup, go no further than the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado. There has a 7,600-pound towing capacity, and a 1,477-pound payload limit. The Duramax engine's direct injection technology ensures the truck's greatest practicality and efficiency for its class. Both the extended cab and long (74.0-inch) box and the crew cab and short (61.7-inch) box may achieve similar fuel economy when powered by the Canyon's 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder gas engine.
The 2018 Toyota Tacoma SR 4x4 6AT is an all-new vehicle. Its naturally aspirated (non-turbo) 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine contributes to its low fuel consumption. On our list, the 2017 Ford EcoBoost comes in as the first full-size pickup. You can tow 12,200 pounds with the 2017 F-150 EcoBoost, and load up to 3,220 pounds. Superior EPA rating compared to other V8 pickups.
It has a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which generates 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. The RAV4 Hybrid achieves remarkable efficiency for a vehicle of its size, and its quick acceleration is just as impressive. Among all U.S.-manufactured SUVs that don't require an electrical connection to operate, the Lexus UX Hybrid has the highest fuel economy. The interior is a good size, but it's built with some cheap materials that won't last. Though the infotainment system can be a pain to navigate, it is equipped with the latest innovations in smartphone connectivity.
One of the finest representatives of the rapidly expanding subcompact crossover SUV market is the 2020 Nissan Kicks. With no need for a more expensive hybrid drivetrain, the Toyota Lexus UX achieves exceptional fuel economy. Both the exterior and inside of the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid will be completely redesigned. In 2020, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder producing 184 hp was no longer an option for the CR-V engine. The CR-automatic V's transmission is smoother than that of rival vehicles, and the vehicle's ride quality and responsive steering are well-balanced. As before, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth are included, but now there's also an Android Auto option.
- Trucks are lighter and more fuel efficient than ever before.
- All 10 trucks that made our best ten list have remarkable fuel economy, with averages of 20 mpg or more.
- For instance, the payload and towing capacity of midsize pickups will be the lowest, but their fuel economy will be the best.
- Midsize, full-size, heavy-duty, and diesel vehicles are included in this list.
- The 2017 Colorado four - wheel drive Crew Cab, along with the GMC Canyon, is a rarity also in midsize pickup category, and it's also the most fuel efficient truck in its class thanks to its turbo-charged 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine.
- A 2017 Canyon 4WD proves GMC's claim that their vehicles are "professional grade" with excellent gas mileage, a wealth of equipment, and class-leading capabilities.
- This year, Toyota completely redesigned the Tacoma SR 4x4 6AT, the truck's entry-level trim.
- Its low fuel consumption is the result of its normally aspirated (non-turbo) 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine & 6-speed automated transmission.
- The 2017 F-150 EcoBoost can tow 12,200 pounds and carry 3,220 pounds, proving that you do not need to choose between utility and fuel economy.
- The 2020 Lexus UX Hybrid, the luxury manufacturer's smallest gas/electric vehicle, achieves the best fuel efficiency amongst non-plug-in SUVs marketed in the United States.
- When compared to other gas- and hybrid-powered midsize three-row SUVs, the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid achieves the best fuel economy.
- In 2020, the Kicks will come standard with a number of driver assistance features, including automated emergency braking with walker recognition, automatic back braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot alerting, rear cross-traffic warning, and high beam assist.2020 Lexus UX 29 Mpg City/37 Mpg Highway/Usn Overall Score: 7.6/10The uniquely shaped compact 2020 Toyota Lexus UX gets excellent fuel economy without the increased expense of a hybrid propulsion system.
- In 2020, not only will Apple CarPlay & Bluetooth still be standard, but the Android Auto system will also be available.
- For 2020, Honda removed the 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produced 184 horsepower from the CR-engine V's lineup and replaced it with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque.
- The CR-V has a more refined automatic transmission than others, and its ride and handling are nicely matched.
FAQs About 4x4 Trucks
A 4×4 truck or car, likewise called 4×4 (4WD) or 4-by-4, indicates a system in which an automobile's engine powers all 4 wheels evenly. Usually speaking, when it pertains to trucks and cars, there are only four options: rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive.
The first and foremost is that 4x4 vehicles have increased traction and stability which makes them great at handling adverse weather conditions. You'll have a much easier time in rain, snow or ice with a 4x4 vehicle. 4x4 SUVs are also much more capable of off-roading conditions.
Unfortunately, driving in 4WD uses more fuel than 2WD, simply because more components are used within a 4WD system. More components mean more fuel to power the drivetrain, which leads to increased fuel consumption.
4WD systems are good for dealing with very deep snow and for off-road driving. The low range makes it possible to crawl over boulders, up steep hills and through thick mud. Truck-type 4WD is the choice for drivers who live in remote or rural areas where roads are not plowed regularly.
4×4 vehicles have a higher starting price and they are slightly less fuel efficient than 4×2 vehicles, so they are a little more expensive to own. The extra drivetrain components make 4×4 vehicles a little more expensive to maintain and harder to drive.