Which one is the most fuel-efficient truck for highway towing? This is precisely the question we answer in this 2017 Gold Hitch awards towing MPG test. This time the two contenders are: 2017 Ford F-150 with the 2nd-generation 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and the new 10-speed automatic transmission, and a 2016 Ram 1500 with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 and a 8-speed automatic transmission. Why are we testing a 2016 Ram truck in 2017? It’s because there is a stop sale on 2017 model year Ram EcoDiesel trucks due to an emissions investigation by the EPA.
Both of these trucks are designed with efficiency in mind.
Ford set out to build the second-generation 3.5L EcoBoost and the 10-speed transmission in order to improve acceleration performance and fuel efficiency. The got more power out of the engine: 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. They also got a better EPA fuel efficiency rating. The truck you see here is a crew cab 4×4 Platinum model. Turns out, it’s also the quickest 0-60 MPH we have ever tested at a mile above sea level! It registered a blistering 6.23 seconds acceleration.
For reference, here is the highway towing MPG video and the results for the 2016 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with the 6-speed automatic transmission. We used the identical trailer and weight for these highway loops. The 2016 F-150 got 8.5 MPG on this test.
The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is the only half-ton truck to offer a turbo-diesel engine option. Actually, it’s not on sale currently, but it is the only manufacturer to offer a diesel in 2014-2016. It is the most fuel efficient truck of the bunch. This crew cab 4×4 Laramie truck is EPA rated at 27 MPG on the highway. The engine is rated at 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
Check out all of the towing fun and the record-setting 0-60 MPH acceleration run by the F-150 in the video below.
[Spoiler Alert]: 2017 Ford F-150 3.5TT 10-speed got 9.1 MPG on this loop. 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel got 13.3 MPG on this loop. This Ram EcoDiesel is now the most efficient highway towing truck we have ever tested.