• Top 5 Least & Most Fuel Efficient Trucks Counted Down [Video]


    2018 2017 pickup trucks mpg
    Most and least fuel efficient pickup trucks

    Fuel prices are on the rise and, with the hurricane that ravaged Texas, we expect to see a significant rise in prices around the country. Currently, according to AAA, prices are up about 30-cents nationally over last month with the highest priced fuel up 44-cents. Diesel is up as well.

    We used the official EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) numbers to gain the best mpg recorded in midsize and half-ton pickup trucks. Remarkably, we’ve found our test numbers to be pretty close to most of the EPA numbers in many tests. That’s not to say that either of us (TFL or the EPA) are perfect. There are several factors that can change a vehicle’s mpg; we can only do our best to reproduce the same conditions each time we test.

    If you are interested in any of these truck videos for a more in depth review, check out our TFLtruck channel on Youtube, or dig a little deeper on this website.

    In this video, Andre and Nathan go through a top five list for the most efficient trucks and the top five least efficient trucks. While the EPA does not require mpg numbers for heavy-duty trucks (3/4-ton and 1-ton), we have several mpg numbers we discovered by towing.

    With that being said, we opted to show you the worst mpg numbers of heavy-duty trucks towing maximum or near-maximum loads. The contrast between empty midsize, 2WD diesel trucks and heavy-duty 4WD duallys under load is fascinating. Not just because of the disparity between the two, but the reality of how fuel efficient all trucks have become.

    Best MPG

    5. 2018 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid 2WD – 20 mpg

    4. 2018 Ford F-150 EcoBoost 2.7-liter V6 – 21 mpg… which is the same as our tiny Nissan Frontier 4-cylinder manual!

    3. 2018 Honda Ridgeline FWD – 22 mpg

    2. 2017 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel V6 Diesel  – 23 mpg

    1. 2018 GMC Canyon/Chevrolet Colorado I4 2.8-liter Diesel – 25 mpg

    Worst MPG

    2017 Ford F-250 Gas towing 12,500 lbs – 8.6 mpg

    2017 Ram HD 2500 Gas towing 12,500 lbs – 7.3 mpg

    2017 Ram HD 3500 Diesel towing 22,800 lbs – 6.6 mpg

    2017 Chevrolet HD 3500 Diesel towing 22,800 lbs – 6.4 mpg

    2017 Ford F-350 Diesel towing 22,800 lbs – 5.7 mpg

    Check out our newest TFLnow video and don’t forget to comment!


    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

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    58 thoughts on “Top 5 Least & Most Fuel Efficient Trucks Counted Down [Video]

    1. So TFL said in the video that the 2.8 durmax got 32 MPG in the highway in a 4×4 double cab truck. Therefore, you will see 34 to 35 in a 4×2 shorter cab in the lowlands of Texas.

      The oil leaking 2.7 does not get close to that, though some here would like us to think so.

      Hook a trailer to both of them, and you will see an even bigger difference.

      But, it MPG doesn’t matter, right? People’s livings just depend on it.

        1. Yeah, multiply that out for the life of the vehicle, and you are loosing 10s of thousands of dollars. And if you are towing a lot, you might as well have bought two 2.8 Colorados.

            1. And if you drive 100000 miles at 25 mpg and diesel is $2.00 a gallon, that’s $8,000 in fuel. If you drive 100000 miles at 21 mpg and gas is $2.20 then you’d spend about $10,500. Are you serious? And yes, those little trucks are weak and slow.

            2. And if you use your truck like real men use trucks, your numbers are completely erroneous and yes, you save 10s of thousands of dollars over the life of the 2.8. But you have revealed you are grocery getter, who paid a lot of money for a truck.

            3. The 2.8 moves along pretty well. “Weak and slow” would not be an accurate description by any stretch of the imagination. It is no sports car however.
              I have no idea what The Jay is trying to say there. Apparently he has something against groceries.

            4. All I’m saying is fuel cost differences are minimal between the 2.7 and Duramax, let alone GMs outrageous sticker price. Oh, and, the 2.7 blows that Duramax away 0-60, towing, you name it. So, if putting along like a retired librarian is your style, by all means pal, get the little GMC.

            5. Oh yeah, and I’m heading up Fancy Gap this weekend with my groceries and coming back through WV with a load.

          1. No you are not losing 10’s of thousands of dollars, my word. You save about 30-40 a month by going to a duramax over a 2.7. to save just $10,000(not 10’s of thousand) would take 21 years. I dont see to many people owning any vehicles for that long.

        2. The 2.8 doesn’t have trouble keeping gthe speed limit even under full towing max, unless you are going up a very steep grade, and even then it makes about 55 fine, which is the optimal speed for aerodynamics.

          1. Sorry, but no. I have a jeep liberty with the 2.8 diesel tuned to more power than the duramax. It’s on shorter tires and shorter 3.73 gears and had a tough time maintaining speed with a 5000 lb boat in New Hampshire. Out here in the Rockies where I live now, forget it.

          1. No. I did have one tankful that was 33 MPG, so it is possible (I was driving highways at no more than 55 MPH). 33 MPG is not representative of what one can expect to get on a regular basis however.

      1. What is “an oil leaking 2.7L?” Are you referencing a Ford F-150 with the small EcoBoost? Our 2016 with 20k has had zero issues.

    2. Well, the 2.7 doesn’t have automatic engine brakes ether. That 2.8 is like buying a mini HD. But not even the HD Duramax is an in-line. And the 2.7 is of course a v6. Yuck, the worst configuration in the auto industry.

      1. Connect that 2.8 to a generator, take out the tranny and rear end, and drive an electric motor and you would be getting…

        40 MPG all day long in the midsize.

        1. For the HDs, for example, take the Cummins, take out the tranny and rear end, and connect it to a generator to drive an electric motor, and you will get…

          30 MPG all day long.

          And you have a built in automatic engine brake that regenerates.

          Its all coming, my friends.

          1. People crack me up! First off is the “automatic engine brake” next is the supposed use of one on a generator not physically connected to electric motors at each wheel. Apparantly people are sniffing the unicorn farts instead of allowing them to power their dream vehicles creation, thus slowing down their arrival on dealer lots. I think people should do a little research on how things work before they post nonsense.

          1. Nonsense? We have just witnessed on this site for the last several days one rollout after another of heavy duty electric trucks carrying up to 40,000 pounds, and you still don’t believe in electric engine brakes(regeneration).

            You can’t believe in what you don’t understand, and technology has passed you by a long time ago.

            You guys are stuck in the past. But that’s no revelation for most of us to see by the way your logic works.

            By the way, this technology has actually been around for many many decades, so you never did get it.

            1. I have not seen any rollout on this site or in reality of any electric heavy duty trucks. What I have seen are announcements (some from manufacturers and some from people who would like to be manufacturers) regarding possible future product. These announcements have as much credibility as announcements from politicians regarding future policy.

              Chris we can see from your posts that are very gullible. Please try not to get sucked in as you are setting yourself up for a big disappointment. It strikes me that had you been around around in the 1970’s you would have rushed out to buy a Dale.

            2. I’m not talking engine braking, I want to know how you are getting huge increases in fuel economy by taking a simple means of mechanically distributing power and converting it into a much more complex process of converting kinetic energy into electrical energy, processing that energy, transmitting it, then converting it back into kinetic energy.

              I don’t think I’M the one who doesn’t “get it”

            3. Jason Scott,
              What are you talking about Jason?
              Not only have we had many announcements of these technologies her on this site, there are even more on TFL Car. Announcements with dates for rollouts, not concepts. From Ford (yesterday), Honda (yesterday) Bollinger, Workhorse (one of the largest heavy duty truck makers in the U.S>), Cummins (don’t get much better than that) etcc. etc.

              And I went on a hike early this morning and decided to take a bus. Gus what? it was a very big and powerful bus with a huge payload and it was an electric hybrid with regeneration.

              What caves do some of the people on this site live in?

            4. Oh, and that does not even include all the vehicles that have been out on the road for a long time now. Do you guys ever get out?

        2. I appreciate the thorough analysis and clear, real world examples of such technology. I would dare say that those with any kind of engineering aptitude would have concluded that a maximum theoretical improvement one could make in replacing a drivetrain with about 10% loses would be, about 10%. But you have clearly shown that by replacing and existing drivetrain with a less efficient one that an improvement of 30%-60% (depending on what you believe to be the current FE) can easily be obtained. Incredible.
          Perhaps you should let the makers of hybrids know that by simply removing the batteries from their vehicles that not only will they save a lot of weight and money but that they can fully expect a phenomenal improvement in fuel economy to boot!
          Imagine what the world would be like if engineers would read more of these postings by random individuals; not hindered by math, physics or any of those other pesky laws of the physical world. It would be a very different world indeed.

      2. I’m still trying to find these “automatic engine brakes” you keep talking about. Love being able to set the exhaust brake on my truck but I’d imagine and automatic engine brake would be much better.

      3. Chris, 99% of all vehicles sold today (cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, sports cars) do not have “automatic engine brakes.” They have normal foot operated hydraulic brakes. They slow a vehicle down very well! Nothing wrong with towing a trailer and slowing the combination down by using the vehicle’s normal foot brakes and the trailer’s brakes. Trailer brakes have become very good…large trailers are using electric over hydraulic with disc brakes. We’ve had this conversation before, but it is the operator’s job to ensure the brakes of the towing vehicle and trailer are in good shape. By the way…an exhaust brake is very useful and nice…but those won’t slow you to a stop. They also do absolutely nothing in a panic stop situation. In fact, operating the exhaust brake and needing to stop quickly will slightly prolong stopping time because the transmission downshift logic will cause a slight jerk forward at each downshift.

      1. Better in what respect? It should get slightly better fuel economy but be slightly worse for towing. It depends on how you want to use your truck.

          1. 3.55 will be marginally better on hwy, marginally worse in town. Ratios are becoming less of a factory with more and more gears to choose from.

    3. Data, objectivity and reasoning are commodities in very short supply, now that this website has been overrun by the shills. It’s sad, TFL used to be fun reading.

    4. Fuelly data
      Midsized
      16-17 Colorado 2.8 D = 24.10
      12-17 Ranger 2.2 D* = 23.27
      12-17 Ranger 3.2 D* = 21.02
      12-17 Tacoma 2.7 = 20.85
      12-15 Ranger 2.5* = 19.80
      14-17 Colorado 3.6 = 19.47
      16-17 Tacoma 3.5 = 18.90
      12-14,17 Ridgeline 3.5 = 18.75
      12-15 Tacoma 4.0 = 17.48

      1/2 Ton
      18 Ford 3.0 D = ?
      14-16 Ram 3.0 ED = 22.50
      18 Ford 3.3 ?
      15-17 Ford 3.5 = 18.87
      13-17 Ram 3.6 = 18.74
      15-17 Ford 2.7 EB = 18.33
      12-14 Ford 3.7 = 17.50
      12-17 Chevy 4.3 = 16.67
      14-17 Chevy 6.2 = 16.13
      12-14 Tundra 4.0 = 16.07
      12-17 Ford 5.0 = 15.87
      12-17 Chevy 5.3 = 15.83
      12-17 Ford 3.5 EB = 15.78
      12-16 Tundra 4.6 = 15.72
      12-17 Ram 5.7 = 15.18
      12-17 Tundra 5.7 = 14.27
      12-17 Titan 5.6 = 13.32
      17 Titan 5.0 D = ?
      12-14 Ford 6.2 = 12.97

      3/4 Ton
      12-17 Ram 6.7 D = 15.27
      12-17 Chevy 6.6 D = 14.72
      12-17 Ford 6.7 D = 14.37
      14-17 Ram 6.4 = 11.98
      12-17 Ford 6.2 = 11.88
      12-16 Ram 5.7 = 11.76
      12-16 Chevy 6.0 = 11.40

      1. RustyDodge – Better check the rules here. I’m not sure hard data is allowed. You may need to revise that post with wild claims and accusations…

        1. Ha! You’re right…my friends buddy’s ecoboost gets over 20 mpg easy, he told him who told me that you just have to know how to drive it right. Better?

          1. I trust independent TFL data on video in front of my eyes for me to watch more than those figures that you don’t know exactly where they came from or who’s interests they serve.

            1. OK, so 1 vehicle in 1 scenario for TFL vs 100s of vehicles in all scenarios for Fuelly, which requires hand calculated data input (miles drive, gallons used) and no just EVIC reading. Fuelly is independent and is just a tool used by vehicle owners to figure out and record what they actually spend on fuel…the individuals (of which I am one) entering data on Fuelly have no advantage to cheat themselves…

        2. You mean the date presented by TFL in this video is not “hard data”. Harder than Fuelly, as well as my own experience. Don”t get harder than those two.

            1. I’d take the data from fuelly over a single reviewer any day. They also do a fair bit of statistical analysis of the data -you can get a better picture of how numbers vary user to user. TFLT does a great job but fuelly has a lot more data and better analysis.

            2. Pete, I’m not sure what your argument is or what you’re arguing against. The TFL tests and Fuelly data line up pretty well. If you look at the Colorado 2.8 for example, TFL got 25 and Fuelly has 126 vehicles reporting over 1.4 MILLION miles averaging 24.1…

            3. Pete, your logic is fantastic. Please buy your Colorado Dmax and stop bashing the Ecoboost. It really doesnt matter what you think because the Ecoboost motors will outsell the Duramax and Ecodiesel combine 10:1 because enough people have figured it out.

      2. @RustyDodge,

        Thanks for taking the time to compile this data. This is definitely real world.

        I do think (know) the EcoBoost engines can definitely achieve better than what is listed, particularly the 2.7L, if they are driven very gently. However, that would be true to a point in all engines, but particularly turbo engines.

    5. As for the fuel prices it is just a temporary increase it happens every time there is a hurricane , but yet when government increases it’s gas tax you don’t even get a blip on the radar. Sad sad sad. And it is permit. Fustraded over this nonsense.

      As for the video except the 1st part. One thing that no one talks about is the price for buying that dsl and it’s cost. That is something I’ll continue to remind everyone here. Me personally I just don’t see the justification in buying one.

    6. I drive a diesel for more reasons than fuel saved.
      I have a 03 tdi that I can easily get 50-60 mpg highway. My best tank was over 60.
      I have a 2012 2500 6.7 CTD. I am 100% sure there is no way I can justify the cost of owning a diesel. But I love mechanic and diesels. And there is no other truck that I can get the joy of driving a 6 cylinder turbo diesel with a manual transmision!! I pay more per gallon than gasoline, but I prolly get better mpg. More in oil changes. More in other maintenance. But I love the truck!
      Ok, not everyone is like me. But I for one have no need to justify to cost with the fun fact! But I’d buy another diesel!!

      “Keep those wheels turning!”

      1. Who said I didn’t like you?
        If you enjoy driving your dsl that is fine, but to buy one for fuel mileage the return will be a long time before you get it back.

        Don’t forget def cost.

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