Pickup trucks have ranked among the most popular vehicle segments in the United States for decades. No longer defined by barebones practicality, today’s trucks offer luxury interiors, high-tech infotainment systems, and plenty of backseat legroom. Combining the capability and versatility of a work vehicle with the comforts and conveniences of a family car or daily driver, pickup trucks sacrifice little – with one glaring exception: fuel efficiency.
Among the more than 100 pickup truck configurations available in the 2023 model year, the median combined fuel economy is just 19 miles per gallon, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency. For context, the average fuel economy of the U.S. vehicle fleets was 36 mpg in 2021, a number the Department of Transportation mandated to rise to 49 mpg by 2026.
With U.S. gas prices topping $5 a gallon last year – an all-time high – many pickup truck owners are feeling the pinch. For cost-conscious drivers in the market for a new truck, however, some options are better than others. (Here is a look at America’s favorite pickup trucks.)
Using data from the EPA, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks. We ranked the 15 non-electric pickup trucks on the market by combined fuel economy, considering all available engine and drivetrain packages.
For any vehicle, fuel efficiency is subject to a number of factors. Some of them are contingent on driving habits, but those related directly to the vehicle itself include weight, ground clearance, aerodynamics, drivetrain, and engine size.
Several of the most fuel efficient new trucks on the market have been recently updated or are all-new nameplates. The Ford Maverick, for example, which is capable of a segment-leading combined 37 mpg, was first introduced in 2021 and is available with a hybrid engine. Meanwhile, the Toyota Tacoma, while classified as a small pickup, has not been meaningfully updated since 2016 and gets a maximum of 24 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg combined. (Here is a look at the cars that have been completely redesigned for 2023.)