Trucks with Good Gas Mileage

March 18, 2013

Trucks are notorious for low gas mileage, but within their vehicle class there are exceptions. Learn about 7 popular trucks with good gas mileage.

Truck Gas Gauge

Getting good gas mileage in your truck can be a tough task. Most trucks are the biggest gas guzzlers out on the road. Many have mileage in the low teens. There are several things that cause trucks to have poor mileage. First, trucks are typically much heavier than regular cars, not to mention, most have powerful engines like V8's. They use up tons of gas to pump out high horsepower. Regardless of these issues, there are a few trucks out there that can get good gas mileage.

Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger has a 4-cylinder, 2.3-liter engine, with a five speed manual transmission. It has the best mileage on the list. It can get 22 miles per gallon in the city, and 27 miles per gallon on the highway. The Ranger comes with a 17 or 19.5 gallon tank. At an average tank size of 18.25 gallons, that means you can drive approximately 400+ miles to your tank. That is pretty good for a truck. At 27 miles per gallon on the highway, that rivals some regular cars. The Ranger starts at only $17,000, so you are getting a truck for a great price with good gas mileage.

Toyota Tacoma

The Tacoma ranks second on the list. It is slightly lower than the Ranger when it comes to gas mileage. It gets 20 miles per gallon in the city, and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. It comes with a larger fuel tank of 21 gallons. On average, drivers should be able to get 450 miles to a tank, and it would not be a surprise to eclipse 500 miles to a tank. The Tacoma has a 4-cylinder 2.7-liter engine and starts at a price of $15,000. You will spend more on gas than the Ford Ranger—about a few hundred dollars extra—however, the Tacoma prices out a couple of thousand cheaper than the Ranger, so the Tacoma may be the better deal.

Chevy Silverado Hybrid

The Silverado's gas mileage compared to the two above is slightly less. The Silverado is one of the first hybrid trucks out there though. In the future, hybrid trucks should get better when it comes to fuel economy. The Chevy Silverado gets around the same mileage on the highway or in the city, 22 miles per gallon. Even while in 4x4 mode, it is still around 22 miles per gallon. Models start at $20,000 but range upwards of $30,000.

GMC Sierra Hybrid

The Sierra is also a hybrid and gets similar fuel economy ratings to the Silverado. It also gets around 21 to 22 miles per gallon no matter where it is driving. You need to make sure you get the hybrid, since the regular Sierra gets around 12 to 13 miles per gallon. The Sierra will run over $35,000 as a hybrid. It also can use E85 ethanol fuel and save you some money there.

Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier and the Suzuki Equator are the next tier down on the best truck fuel economy list. The base models of these trucks can rival the Ranger and the Tacoma. However, the 6-cylinder model is much more popular, and with that comes sacrifices in the fuel economy. These trucks get 23 miles per gallon on the highway, and 19 miles per gallon in the city.

Chevy Colorado

The Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon also get about 25 miles per gallon on the highway and 18 miles per gallon in the city. Both are four wheel drive, and actually get similar numbers regardless of being four or two wheel drive (most of the list are two wheel drive). You can even add a fifth cylinder to these trucks, and you would still get about 23 miles per gallon on the highway.

How to Get Better Gas Mileage

If you want to get better gas mileage, there are some tips that you can use to help. Many people are wasting tons of gas just by the way they drive. There are many simple fixes you can do that can help you increase fuel economy.

Tighten Your Cap

Whenever you fill up, check your gas cap. Make sure it is on tight because if it isn't, you can be losing gas due to evaporation. Over 100 million gallons evaporate while in the tank every year.

Check Your Tires

Keep your tires inflated. Having tires low on air can decrease your fuel efficiency by three to five percent.

Lighten Your Load

Having a lighter car enables it to get better gas mileage. If you have an SUV, there may be a roof rack that you don't need. You also may have unwanted things in your trunk that can be weighing you down. It may seem small, but every bit helps.

Drive Even

One of the biggest reasons we waste so much gas is due to constant stopping and starting. This happens while city driving a lot, which is the reason why highway fuel economy ratings are higher than the city ratings. Plan around peak travel times and rush hour if possible. If you can drive unobstructed you will increase your gas mileage. Use your cruise control when you can.

Change Your Oil

Having the right motor oil for your engine is important. You should be using the recommended oil type from your manual, or a friction reducing oil. The more friction that is reduced, the more gas mileage your car will get. This can improve gas mileage over 10 percent.

Change Your Air Filters

Make sure your air filters are not clogged. Clogged air filters can decrease your gas mileage up to 20 percent. This should be checked constantly as it has a big effect.

Obey the Speed Limit

The speed limit is not just a made up number. 55 miles per hour actually is a great speed for fuel consumption. Anything faster, and your fuel efficiency goes down. Observing the speed limit is a way to get better gas mileage. You will be saving gas, as well as driving more efficiently with that gas.

Turn off Your Air Conditioner

Lastly, roll down your windows and turn off your air conditioner. The higher your air conditioner is on, the more power and gas you are using. Once you achieve highway speeds, put your windows back up and turn on the A/C if you need it. The greater drag of having the windows down at high speeds off sets the advantage of not using the air.

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