Pickup truck owners have always been at odds with each other – comparing payload capacities, towing abilities and engine torque with each other like weight-lifters comparing bench press amounts.
But recently pickup-one-upmanship has taken a turn in a completely different direction: Fuel economy.
With every new generation of fullsize pickup introduced, its fuel economy becomes a major marketing point and truckmakers often tout it more than a truck’s ability to pull tree stumps out.
It’s a welcome change, as we look forward to a fullsize pickup that one day reaches 30 mpg down the road.
Here’s a current look at where fullsize pickups rank with their fuel economy.
MSRP: $22,595 - $42,440
Invoice: $21,691 - $39,469
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg City, 20 mpg Highway
The long-in-the-bed Silverado currently looks and acts like its from a different time – in fact, it is. The Silverado is due for an overhaul next year and we expect its mileage to improve drastically when it arrives.
But until then, its mileage lags behind all of the major competition – even though General Motors is the only truckmaker to offer a fullsize pickup hybrid (which manages to get 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.)
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MSRP: $25,355 - $48,070
Invoice: $23,580 - $44,460
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg City, 20 mpg Highway
When the new Tundra arrived, many predicted the end of American pickup domination. However, the Japanese invasion of pickups never happened. Now the Tundra ranks third in mileage of its big pickups and fourth in sales.
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MSRP: $23,670 - $52,455
Invoice: $21,953 - $47,605
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 23 mpg Highway
The top selling Ford F-150 raised the fuel economy standard a few years ago when it introduced the 3.5-liter V6 with twin turbochargers as its most powerful fullsize pickup and as its most fuel efficient model. The Blue Oval brand also reintroduced a second V6 offering – a model with Ford’s 3.7-liter V6.
At the time, it was a calculated risk, as many experts thought truck buyers would not want a V6 model when so many more powerful and dependable V8 offerings were around. But once again, the critics were wrong and Ford was right.
Since then, more than half of all fullsize pickups sold by Ford are V6 models.
And Ford isn’t stopping there. It is already beginning to test new weight reduction methods such as making more of future trucks with aluminum in order to improve mileage.
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MSRP: $22,590 - $47,420
Invoice: $21,202 - $43,487
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 25 mpg Highway
Ram 1500 engineers showed what a truck can do when they focused so heavily on fuel economy. Mating Chrysler Group’s 3.6-lter V6 with a new 8-speed transmission, creating numerous ways to make the new Ram lighter and more aerodynamic, helped create the first fullsize pickup that achieved 25 mpg on the highway.
More importantly, the new Ram sets a higher standard for everyone to meet.
Pickup owners have shown, that they may not want to lose capability with their next pickup, but they expect better performance – and that now includes high mileage.
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