Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient 2013 Pickup Trucks

2013 Toyota Tacoma reg cab II

According to the almost-complete Model Year 2013 Fuel Economy Guide, published by the Department of Energy and EPA each year at this time, there are plenty of fuel-efficient pickup trucks to choose from. Based on the EPA's calculations we've listed the top 10, and unsurprisingly, Toyota and the GM two-mode hybrid systems are, again, well-represented. Unfortunately, it looks like this will be the last year for the Chevy and GMC hybrid pickups.

During the recent reveals of both the 2014 Chevy Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra, officials continually reported they are not offering the advanced powertrain for 2014. Of course, that doesn't mean they can't bring a system out in the future to better combat the staggered and more aggressive federal fuel-economy mandates that take effect in 2016 and again in 2018. Our guess is we'll see more diesels make their way into our pickup truck choices around that same time. For now, here's what we have.   

The list below is broken down just as it is in the EPA's guide with cab configuration, drivetrain, powertrain, EPA-rated mileage listed as city/highway/combined and the average expected yearly fuel cost. We should note that there are some models and manufacturers not listed and wherever we had a tie, we made the highway mileage the tie-breaker. 

Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient 2013 Pickup Trucks

  1. Toyota Tacoma regular cab 2WD, 2.7L I-4, 5-spd manual, 21/25/23, $2,200
  2. Ram 1500 regular cab HFE 2WD, 3.6L V-6, 8-speed auto, 18/25/21, $2,400
  3. Toyota Tacoma regular cab 2WD, 2.7L I-4, 4-speed auto, 19/24/21, $2,400
  4. Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid crew cab 2WD, 6.0L V-8, electric transmission, 20/23/21, $2,400
  5. GMC Sierra Hybrid crew cab 2WD, 6.0L V-8, electric transmission, 20/23/21, $2,400
  6. Chevy Silverado Hybrid crew cab 4WD, 6.0L V-8, electric transmission, 20/23/21, $2,400
  7. GMC Sierra Hybrid crew cab 4WD, 6.0L V-8, electric transmission, 20/23/21, $2,400
  8. Ram 1500 regular cab 2WD, 3.6L V-6, 8-speed auto, 17/25/20, $2,550
  9. Ford F-150 regular cab 2WD FFV, 3.7L V-6, 6-speed auto, 17/23/19, $2,700
  10. Toyota Tacoma regular cab 4WD, 2.7L I-4, manual (5) or auto (4), 18/21/19, $2,700


Don't compare it to anything. (and don't pick & choose from different comparisons. Heard of scientific controls?)
Stock gearing, 4x2, is 2,000rpm@ 85mph.
The change, that would benefit the customer, changing rear axle from 3.21 to 3.55, raise the engine speed to just over 2,200rpm. That means there is an extra 10hp available at 85mph (10%+ below 2,000rpm). That means more fully locked up torque converter, and less downshifts (and maybe more of the transient state of torque converter clutch slip)
City mileage is unaffected (possibly marginally higher, like 0.1 mpg, due to more efficient upper gears of transmission)
The highway MPG number would be lower, which hurts the marketing department.
I am guessing that real world mileage would the SAME.

If the V6 doesn't "need" the correct axle ratio, why does the 5.7 V8 (yes with 8 speed automatic) have the 3.92 ring/pinion available?

If I am trying to improve the product, why are you attacking me? (The Pentastar 3.6 really should have the BW 44-44 transfer case, at least as an option)
(stopping distances is 99% tire dependent these days)
Ford really should have the 4.1 ring/pinion on order for 3.7 V6 4x4 models. They want the customer to pick the higher profit margin models with larger engine(s).

@TRX4 Tom
Diesels will work in a cold climate, I do think that Sweden is quite cold in comparison to some of the regions you pointed out.

Why do you keep on making asides about the size of our diesel utes? A tray back will carry more volume and weight than a normal 1/2 ton.

Our diesels will tow most anything a 1/2 ton will and will sit on highway speeds (and more).

Its amazing that in the US you need that extra power, for what? I've heard merging off freeway ramps (WTF?). Maybe if you learnt to drive you wouldn't need that "power".

I'm not saying not to have the power, but at least be honest about why you want it.

And that's to be little boy racers (small tockly syndrome). This is in most of us.

What I'm about to write isn't anti American, but the rest of the world can function effectively without the mega power in trucks because trucks (including utes) are viewed as trucks not sports cars. Powerful vehicles aren't uniquely American.

Additional taxation on fuel doesn't increase the cost of living like scare mongerers will try and make out, people will buy vehicles they can afford to operate, like you do right now.

38% of your economy is dependent on Government spending and it only collects 27% in tax. If you cut spending to much like the extremist want you will kill your economy. If you tax more you will kill your economy. If you don't stop spending you will end up like Greece and Spain.

The problem is Americans have to have a reduction in the standard of living ie food, fuel, transport has to increase in cost because you are living well beyond your means. So all of the above measures seem to be your future.

That is all Americans not just the rich or the poor. You need to adopt a user pay system not a subsidised system like I've been watching on the news here about your dairy farmers. If the subsidies stop milk will be $8 a gallon! Who is paying for this inefficiency.

The same goes for your oil/transport, financial, military and agri subsidised industrial complexes. This is what is killing the American economy. But these industries are the primary sponsors for the GOP and Dems (along with the unions).

@Phillyguy--I take the bus to work and they are well maintained and timely. You can even buy weekly or monthly passes online and there is an office in downtown Cincinnati where passes can be bought and route information can be gotten. I travel back and forth to Atlanta and their train system, MARTA, is good. I understand where you are coming from that your mass transit system provides poor service and is not accountable. I do not think Federal subsidies to transit systems will go away, but they need to have more accountability in order to continue with funding.

I think that the Government assumes that there should be few or no new roads are built and less roads will reduce the number of vehicles. That is an erroneous assumption with the US population projected to grow from a little over 300 million presently to over 500 million by 2050. The US is a big country and to develop a mass transit system to cover the whole country is probably unrealistic, also many will not give up their vehicles regardless of added costs. Don't get me wrong I am not against mass transit, I use it myself but it is not feasible to have a mass transit system everywhere, especially in rural and remote areas which the US has more than most countries with the exception of Canada, Australia, and South America.

Unfortunately the politicians and lobbyist call the shots and that is why the things that most of the taxpayers need are not being taken care of.

@TRX4 Tom --It is smart to drive easy. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there that drive like they are going to the fire and then complain when their car or truck does not get the promised mpgs. It is like everything else people do not want to take responsibility. If you need and want a large truck with a V8 then you should be able to have one, but if you don't want one then get something more efficient. I choose a small truck because that fits my needs but if I myself drive like I am going to a fire I will not get very good mpgs and I will cause premature wear and tear on my truck and increased costs. I am responsible for taking care of my car or truck just like anything else I own. Many want to blame others for their mistakes and lack of care.

Al, extra power for trailer towing, I can drive just fine, thanks.

I never said a diesel CAN'T get it done in the COLD, I said EXTRA COST, this is about the 4th time I said it. EXTRA COST, there, you get it? You seem to only see MPG, not cost per mile.

Not everybody wants a trayback, (how many times must I say this?) as it doesn't have the sides that come up as high, kinda hard to put a Backflip on it to keep the stuff you want secure and dry, and out of sight.
And did you ever think how having that weight (about 10-12 inches ) higher up as it will be with a trayback is going to change the way it goes around corners with a higher center of gravity? Do you like to have to lift heavy things even high to put them on a trayback? Oh wait, you have your own forklift? Sorry, we aint all so spoiled like you. Have you ever thought about the fact that most your weight with your toy trucks with big payload numbers, is BEHIND the rear axle? Yeah, Al, stand behind your payload ratings.
I was also talking about the little cab specs, can't hardly find them, but I guess if they can squeeze 5 people in one of those trucks, it qualifies as a 5 seater!

Your traybacks would be a good OPTION but they don't work well for ALL of us! But continue trying to force your crap on us, since you think you know so much about life over here, cause you watch the news once in awhile.

Apparently you don't know the typical Amercian too well.

heres what i dont get, my 1992 toyota pickup gets 27 in town. now why cant they get better in 2012? damn emission and safety bullshit.

George, I said it many times, the 8 speed Hemi doesn't need a 3.92 gear. It can be just fine with a 3.21, or even maybe a 4x2 shortbed can use a 2.94, if used with 17" wheels. Or smaller.

Sorry you don't like the gearing, but your "help" would only hurt the mileage, and if you need to tow something heavier, you might want to just get a v-8.

That's the whole point of the eight speed, you have seven lower gears for trailer tow or when you NEED rpm, yet one for freeway cruising. Maybe you should get with the times and see that most vehicles run alot lower rpm for MILEAGE when not towing, as most of these V-6 trucks will not be bought to tow 4,500 pounds constantly.

Who says the 3.92 IS THE CORRECT axle ratio? We need more horsepower at 85 FOR WHAT? Are you racing? How about more torque @65/70 mph when trailer towing, and it can be accomplished by just using 7th gear, as most Dodge tow hauls lock out the final gear. The eight speed downshifts will happen, but they won't be anything like as much of a jump in rpm as my 2006 Chevy 4x4 ext cab with 4 speed auto and 3.42 gears.

You called the 3.6 lackluster. Have you a driven a vehicle with one? I have.

If you are needing more power, just get a v-8. If you are wanting to tow at the max CONSTANTLY, you might want to rethink it. I have a friend that has a four door Wrangler with a 3.6, and oversize tires. He said it is just fine, until towing his boat it could be better. But a Bayliner boat weighs what? More then it's recommended to tow, and with big huge tires.

I do agree the on demand 4x4 gear box should be accross the board.

These trucks are made for people that don't need big power all the time, but want or need a truck.

@TRX4 Tom
Wait and see what the future holds, I think some of you guys will be surprised.

I'm not saying your small trucks are bad, but there are alternatives. We have had what you have and guess what? True market forces dictated the trucks we currently have. We even had Dodge, Chev and Ford pickups, but they died out during the 80s. GM even tried to sell Suburbans here but the build quality was inferior to the Japanese SUVs and they didn't sell.

A large proportion of pickup owner in the US wouldn't dream of being on this site, mainly diehards are, but with the diehards comes the attitude that the V8 half ton trucks are the only way to go, and I expect this.

But if you haven't experienced something it is hard for you to make an accurate assesment. You can only make a judgement on a Taco that is severely handicapped and old.

We have a similar crowd in Australia with the V8 ute crowd, only Australian V8 utes can only be the option. I view these guys like some of the contributors on PUTC, no vision and narrow minded.

There would be a large proportion of potential pickup owners in the US that would love to have what we have and would choose one over a half ton pickup.

Why do you think your protectionist trade barriers are in place to protect the Big 3.

I have never stated not to have your half ton trucks, but make it a level playing field.

Remember Tom there is an old adage that rings true here, "there is more than one way to skin a cat".

Also Tom somehow you have to reduce your standard of living and that means losing some "wants".

And yes, overall I do consider our mid sizers much more versitle than your 1/2 ton trucks.

I'm not Anti-American or anti-half ton, I'm a realist and so far what I've been saying has and is becoming reality.

I think if the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel eventuates, it will be a winner and it should be on the global market, especially with the 8 speed auto and air suspension. Let's hope the small diesel retains the 10,000 lb towing capacity.

@BIg Oz, the RHD Suburban was a lame effort. It sold through only two Holden dealers per state. The RHD dash was from a Blazer, which wasn't really designed for the Suburban and did not fit properly. It came from the Mexican factory, and at the time Holden released it, the body style was already 10 years old and in the process of being phased out in America. Ford did a little bit better job with the Brazilian-built F250, but the build quality was also sub-par to a US-built truck. No glovebox, the humungous handbrake lever next to the seat, and no real support when the 7.3 diesel stopped production. The F-series did sell well in Australia and some used ones sell for more than they did when they were new.

@Big Al from Oz --It is going to take the phasing in of the new fuel standards starting in 2015 thru 2025 to cause a change in the half ton truck market. This will be an evolutionary cycle similiar to the phasing out of the 70s large American sedan to what is presently the standard size American sedans like the Camry, Accord, Malibu, and Fusion. It will also take the next generation of truck buyers that will be entering the truck market in the next 10 to 20 years. As the next generation enters the market and those of us that are older either die or leave the market due to limited ability to drive then you will see more of a willingness to adopt the global trucks. Big Al what you say will happen but it will take time.

If you are going to be towing with the 3.6 V6 & ZF 8hp45, you will be using 6th gear, and dropping to 5th for slight grades, 4th for steep grades, and 3rd for the worst case scenario.
7th would be for coasting.

The 3.6 V6 could use direct injection, cylinder shutoff, and if they exhaust every alternative (say continuous intake valve lift adjustment) then use MultiAir.

The 3.6 V6 only outpowers the 4.7 V8 from 5900-6400rpm, and that isn't saying much seeing as the 4.7 is limited to 6000rpm.
and the Hemi makes 305hp@3925rpm (and is governed to 5800)

and speaking of 'getting with the times', modern engines have good volumetric efficiency, so that means flat-ish torque, which means linear power. Not constant power (because the VE dropped severely with increasing revs) that old engines had.

So, if the axle ratio isn't fixed, guess what is going to happen for '15, the V6 is dropped for the 2.4 I4 MultiAir turbo 270hp 300ft-lbs.

That's based on 15,000 miles at 3.25/gal. I just did 36,000 this year, the least in memory, I typically do about 45,000 and in 2009 i did 60,000 miles.

Interesting that Ram has come that close to the best but I see that package is not available with long bed.

Also interesting how relatively poor the base Toyota fuel economy is, there hasn't been a significant improvement there in a decade.

@Jeff S
I do agree with you completely. I read an interesting article about the transitioning of cultural changes within large institutions and they figure comprehensive change takes a minimum of 7 years. But this is through "enforcement" of policy.

I do know the picture I have painted seems unrealistic to some. I do feel the F-150, Chev/GMC 1500 and Rams will always be around, they will slowly become more of a luxury item.

The technologies (gas) required to improve your fuel economy will hit a brick wall. Using more exotic materials, cylinder deactivation, massive gear numbers has to impact cost sooner or later.

The other factor in determining how fast the transition will occur is the US's economic capacity to support your current pickup buying habits, hence what I wrote in the above posts.

The US dollar has been facing challenges lately from the renimbi, yen and Euro. Most commodities are traded in US dollars. As the US dollar loses its appeal, commodities will gradually be traded in other currencies. The trade in USD of commodities has been to the US's advantage industrially for a century.

What I've been talking about is the ability to produce affordable and economical pickups for the future of the US. This sort of relates to this article, the economy of owning a truck.

Ford F series stopped selling in Australia because it couldn't compete or they would have kept on selling. My father had a F-100 and got rid of it and bought a foward control (cab over) Nissan Cabstar. Why? Because as a business it was cheaper to operate, carried more both in weight and volume and was roughly the same size vehicle.

That's why I've been saying the Transit might be a bit of a surprise.

@TRX4 Tom
The fuel economy difference in operating a diesel outweigh the costs you are talking about. Especially when the cost of your pickup rise due to the technological changes required to meet CAFE and EPA standards.

I remember when I first started posting on PUTC I mentioned that your trucks will get diesels and diesel mid sizers would be coming to the US and quite a few challenged my predictions.

What I do write is subjective, but I have researched quite a bit of information and I'm a little bit more aware of the US than you can imagine.

I take mass transit in/out of Philadelphia every day (Septa) and I would have to disagree with (more) public funding for mass transit. Right now Septa is routinely rated as one of the most expensive and least efficient transit agencies, they have outdated equipment and refuse to have add ticket kiosks at each station despite this being standard practice all over the country. To ride Septa you have to find one of the few stations that sells tickets, or pay a conductor on a train to punch a ticket (yes, 1930's style). Septa is able to do such an abysmal job because their fares (rated as some of the highest in the country) only cover ONE THIRD of their operating budget. They don't care about responding to passengers, since the passengers' fares cover such a small slice of their budget. I end up with heavily subsidized train service that is (at times) fairly awful. Wouldn't it make more sense, be more efficient, and be more fair to stop forcing people all over the state of PA to subsidize my train tickets, and charge passengers the true costs of running the rail lines? This would require the train operator to better cater to the wants and needs of their passengers while not stealing from people who have never even heard of "Septa" to pay for its operation.

And I am aware that if this were to happen Septa would shut its doors overnight. Its infrastructure and equipment would be auctioned off and a new operator would take over. I am quite confident that it could be a nicely profitable enterprise once the proper cost structure was setup.

The subpar and not much better F250's imported after the Brazilian debacle, have now two purposes : to tow Caravans or 5th Wheelers. A Lot of the Brazilian F250's have become "Utes" with Utility trays.
That part of Ford Australia's history is not looked on fondly by people who were around the Company at the time.
The Taurus(absolutely disgusting), the Explorer, the warranty claims outlasted the vehicle and that Turkey The Brazilian F250. Maybe an East German Trabi could be worse.
Holden had the Suburban a SUV that could not go of Road and seemed to fall apart as you looked at it.
US Vehicles have IMPROVED MARKEDLY since then, but that was a black period.
No the F250 DOES NOT command more than when it was new.

@Jeff S.
A Lot of infrastructure was pretty run down when I visited the US in 2007. How it has changed I do not know. I went on that (very high)Minneapolis Bridge that collapsed soon after. So that really emphasized the state of the run down nature of some of the bridges and roads we went on. Detroit had some shocking secondary roads.

@Big Al, I beg to differ. Ford Australia told Cars Guide they wanted to keep selling the F-series but couldn't get them. I guess the Brazil plant stopped building the RHD models. Also, the Brazilian models have only a 3.9L I-6 diesel with a manual in the XL trim. Ford Australia wanted closer to the US-spec truck. Knox Ford in Melbourne did very well with the F-series trucks. There's a reason that low-volume importers do very well, even though they have to charge an arm and a leg. Performax, VDC, American Vehicle Sales, and Victorian American Imports, Harrisons in Melton (just to name a few).


Prices as new:

All these trucks below are over 5 years old and listed for more than the original price.

George, you really don't get it, do you?

You complain that the Ford should have the 4.10s for towing with the 3.7. The Fords tow in top gear, so you would tow in a 2.83 ratio. The Ram would be 2.7 ratio, with 3.21s. But what you have with the Ford IS 3.73 x .69 = 2.5737. So the Ram with 3.21s in tow-haul in 7th gear has more gear then the Ford with 3.73s. If the Ram had the optional 3.55, 7th gear is a 2.98, that's more gear then the Ford WOULD HAVE with 4.10s, but after reading your comments, you would probably tow in 5th with the Ford, right?

I have towed a more then a few times with 3.23 and 3.21 geared Rams, one truck was a 79 D-150 shortbed 4x2 318 2 barrel with a 727 3 speed, the other was an 83 W-150 longbed 4x4 with a 318 4 barrel 4 speed manual. With the 4 barrel 4x4 I towed my 3100 pound racecar on a 3,000 pound trailer with 1,000 pounds of equipment, from Colorado Springs to Salt Lake City. A couple places I used 3rd gear, but not often. By now George, you are thinking "those 318s were powerful v-8s" No, they were not really. That Pentastar makes more torque, at a slightly higher RPM. The Pentastar makes about 90% of it's torque from 1900 or so on up. The main differance is the trucks now weigh more and use taller tires. They are also alot more aero then those old bricks I drove.

Third gear is a 2.10, I never had any need for more gear then the 1.45 second gear on the auto, or the third gear with the 4 speed. 5.93 is the eight speed 4th gear ratio with 3.55s, and 2nd gear with a 727 3 speed is a 4.68. Wow, big differance George! Heck, even the 3.21 geared 8 speed has alot more gear in fourth, 5.37, then my old auto 727 in second gear, or my old 4 speed manual in third. I never needed to downshift to 2nd gear with the 4 speed, and it would be massive rpm if I did.

Dropping to 5th for slight grades? With a 3.55? That's 4.58. Or 4.14 with 3.21.

Keep in mind the 3.21 geared 3.6L 4x2 is rated at 4,350 pounds of towing, the 3.55 geared 4x2 crew 6,050 pounds. The 4x4 crew is 5,850. The Ram website shows another gear selection, but it doesn't say 3.21 or anything, but when you click it it says 4200. Keep in mind you get more options it slightly lowers the tow rating.

I have no idea why you are comparing the 3.6 to the 4.7, or even the Hemi. They are rated to tow alot more. Just the 4x4 4.7 crew can tow 6,050 with 3.55s and 7100 with 3.92s.

It's a transmission with alot more low gear. George, I picture you being the type that complains about a Ford with 3.73 gears having to be compared to a Tundra with 4.30s and crying about it. Truth be told, that Ford has alot lower (numerically higher) ratio then the Tundra. Only now the eight speed has 5 gears below 1 to 1, then 1 to 1, and two overdrives, only as opposed to the Ram 6 speed with 2 overdrives, the 1st overdrive, 7th gear is alot higher, .84 vs. the 6 speeds .75.

Somehow you seem to think it should tow like a 4.7, or even a Hemi, just keep gearing it up. Sorry George, it doesn't work that way. It was made to get good mileage, and still tow over 5,000 pounds, with the right combo of gears.

There need not be any axle ratio fixing, the thing that needs fixing is your understanding of gears.

If you plan to tow more then 70% of the ratings on a regular bases, maybe you need to step up to the Hemi. Which by the way, is 395 HP (I believe you made a typo) The TORQUE, more important, is 407@ 3950.

Yeah Al, they (the people buying fuel) will just have to get better mileage. To include school buses, because if the fuel cost goes up, so will the the amount they want to tax us to afford that. Then that guy that trimmed the tree branches frommy powerlines will raise his cost. Cause he can't just run right out and get a brand new truck, and if he had a brand new one, well they aren't making huge advantages in those kind of trucks. Can't say school buses are gonna get anywhere near 10% better mileage anytime soon as well.

Then the fire department and police depart, I guess you wouldhave them runningToyota Prius's to save fuel, while they get pushed off the road, and can't handle a wreck, or can't hold anybody in the back hardly.

Lets see, the garbage company will only raise their rate with the fuel prices, they aren't going to buy some new great fuel efficient new fleet of trucks. (like there are some) I know that first hand as I drove them, and they get crappy mileage from stop to stop when you do 500 stops a day@ 48,000 or so GVWR.

That's just a few examples.

Sure, alot of people that chose to drive Raptors and Power Wagons everyday might change their ways, but there are a bunch of folks that can't just do that, not easy to get a whole lot better mileage for big rigs. My friend that drives for Wal- Mart tells me how the govern the trucks, the APUs, and what they try to do the save money and burn less. Most everything gets delivered by a truck, and even with their new aero trucks that might only be 2 or 3 years old max, and the measures it takes to save fuel, they can only save so much.

But since you know it all, raise taxes and see how crappy it gets. The new Obama health care is making it harder on businesses. The crime rate is going on up. But you know it all, Al!

Oh, you will find parts for that diesel to be alot more expensive then a gas burner. But you aint done all the math cause you just bought your truck.

Man, Australia must be SOOOOOO PERFECT! Or not....

@TRX4, you keep talking about extra costs to run a diesel in the cold winter climates. I run diesel pick ups, there is no extra cost for running them in the winter here in Canada -30C and lower temps. With the new diesels we don't even plug them in , they start up immediatly, and we run no addititives in the fuel. Our 1 ton diesel trucks get the same fuel mileage as the much less capable gas engines reported in this article. But none of the posted engines can tow 23,000 lbs and get 15 mpg. Just to clarify , there is no extra cost to run a diesel in sub zero temperatures, and additives are only needed if you get water in the fuel at a bad fill station.

From 2003/2005 they range from $51,000 to $62,000. depending on condition. A Lot of these prices are inflated because there are virtually NO new ones available. Even so they only had 230 vehicles my estimate available.for sale Australia wide. The DEMAND is coming from the RV sector, that hands vehicles around as they sell an RV. As local RV's get bigger , the demand for larger tow vehicles increases. People do not want overkill, they want a car/truck that can be parked in a shopping centre with an RV. Not a Behemoth, that can pull the Titanic.

"I beg to differ. Ford Australia told Cars Guide they wanted to keep selling the F-series but couldn't get them. I guess the Brazil plant stopped building the RHD models."

They sure did ,as the Vehicles did not meet the then Australian Emission regulations as regards diesels.

"Also, the Brazilian models have only a 3.9L I-6 diesel with a manual in the XL trim"

The 3.9 Litre Cummins was one of the most"popular 'for want of a better word, engines for the F250 here.

" There's a reason that low-volume importers do very well, even though they have to charge an arm and a leg. Performax, VDC, American Vehicle Sales, and Victorian American Imports, Harrisons in Melton (just to name a few)."

Really not that well, most are branching out doing conversions of Muscle Cars. That "Arm and Leg" is forcing potential RV buyers to buy a lot of vehicles from dealers in the US and have the conversions done by more "price friendly" convertors in Australia knowing they are doing a "job lot" for a group of buyers. Vehicles are not new they are either the previous year or fairly new models with low mileage.

@Big Al from Oz--There is no way to get around cost increases on all vehicles to meet the new fuel and safety standards. In order to contain costs it will be necessary to tweak existing technologies. Turbocharging motors, direct injection, more mild hybrid systems that are not as complex and cheaper to produce, more gears in transmissions, some lighter materials, smaller engines, and a combination of a lot of other things. The manufacturers will use everything that is feasible but you are correct costs will go up. Maybe not everyone should drive a pickup. I still think there will be a market for light trucks, just not as big of one. Over the last decade sales have gone down and have leveled off which is not necessarily a bad thing.

@TRX4 Tom
Your spot on with your analysis of the costs rising, maybe a bit over the top, but in the right direction.

The police will operate more 4 cylinder vehicles etc. School buses will need to be changed. A reduction in the standard of living means the cost of goods and services will rise as you described.

The guy trimming your branches would have a diesel Transit (or something similar) and not a V8 half ton towing a trailer or a HD. The costs of moving goods around the country will rise.

But the changes don't occur over night.

It isn't Obama's health care that is the problem. Health care is more than double in cost in the US than its nearest rival. The US has a poor health system.

As for trucks Robert Ryan mentioned about LDT/MDT/HDT's, these trucks are a little different than some of your current truck fleet. Also most buses are built on these chasis's.

Like I have stated the OECD economies need to achieve what the US does, transportation in the US will evolve.

@Jeff S
Yes, the US pickup market is "tweaking" existing technologies to maintain the status quo. But it can't go on forever.

@TRX4 Tom,

So you admit you rarely use the power of the V8 like most folks out there?

I see too many big full-size pickups used as trophy's rather than work! In fact I laugh at the morons that pull those dinky single axle trailers to haul some small stuff because they are afraid to use their bed or do not know how to drop the tailgate or something...

My off-roader with a topper I still use as a pickup. When I haul the 24" snowthrower around, it goes in the bed me and the wife lift it up I close the tailgate and swingdoor with spare tire mounted on it and just leave the rear door of the topper open and off we go...

The majority of fullsize pickup owners buy those dinky single axle trailers because they are lazy to push or lift a snowthrower into their beds for some reason. These are the same folks that have toppers on their full-size but rarely use the bed!

I mean why buy the full-size with the large bed when they refuse to haul simple yard tools around and they opt for those trailers?

Again trophy's... and sure their idea of off-roading is pushing the button into 4wd when it snows, yippie!

@Big Al from Oz-Agree the current pickups we have cannot go on forever just as we cannot spend our way out of the economic realities. You will not eliminate light trucks and there are many that still need them but they will change and become more efficient and more expensive. Oxi is also correct when he said that most of the full size V8 trucks are more trophy. My Isuzu is just as he described that I push a button and I have 4 wheel drive for the snow, but with my job I travel mostly in the winter so I like having that ability. I also agree with you about the Tacoma, it needs to be updated and the fuel economy could be much better, but with little competition in the NA market and a protected market there is little incentive to make it more efficient. The full size crowd does have a valid argument about the V8s being close to the same mpgs as the I4s, but in a competitive market you would then see mpgs improve in the I4s and more diesels.

Farm subsidies are more of for the big corporations such as Monsanto because most of the farmers use Monsanto products such as Roundup and grow genetically engineered crops such as corn (Roundup ready corn seed). Also the big corporate farmers exercise a lot of political power. Again this all gets down to money and money buys political influence.

@Big Al from Oz--I agree with your assessments, the reality is that the light trucks that we have in NA will change and become more efficient just as we will eventually have to pay the piper and will not be able to postpone the inevitable forever when it comes to the US deficit and spending. Oxi is also correct that many of the full size V8 trucks are more trophy and less for work purposes. The need for light trucks will always be there but they will change. Oxi is also correct I am one of those that push the button on the dash of my Isuzu and have 4 wheel drive for the snow, but with most of my work travel in the winter I like having that option. The large V8 truck crowd also has a valid point about the mpgs on many V8s not being too different than the 4 cylinder Tacoma's. In a less protected, more competitive market Tacoma would be a more efficient and more up to date product. Don't get me wrong, Oxi, I am not bashing your Tacoma, I am just saying that competition would make it even better.

The issue of farm subsidies has more to do with large corporate farmers and corporations like Monsanto. Most farmers use Monsanto products such as Roundup and genetically engineered wheat and corn such as Roundup ready corn seed that is patented. You need to follow the money to get a clearer picture of why the subsidies exist.

Your assessments are correct but remember that "Denial" is more than just a river in Egypt.

Sorry for the double postings. My first posting did not show up until after I posted my second posting.

@TRX4 Tom
You need to learn humility. I know gearing far better than you, and I am trying to help, yet you keep hiding your ignorance through numbers.

Guess what else happens after the 3.6 V6 goes away, the 5.7 V8 hemi goes away. It is replaced with a twin-turbo 3 liter V6. (maybe 3.2, which should be a longer stroke)

The ZF 8 speed automatics only have 7:1 ratio spread, which really isn't that much, it is average. Toyota's first 6 speed automatic in the Lexus LS430-'04 MY had 6.6:1. [ZF had a stillborn 7 speed automatic with 7.28:1]
The current other 8 speed automatics run from 6.6:1 to 7.3:1. [The VW Touareg has 3 different gearset versions of the AW 8 speed]
ZF's transverse 9 speed automatic has just under 10:1 ratio spread, and Porsche's double clutch (in the Panamera) has OVER 10:1. So there is plenty of ratios to pick, but not that much ratio spread.

I did not make any typos. I was making a point, which you totally missed. @3925rpm the Hemi makes 305hp, which is the maximum power of the 3.6 V6.

and the Ram 1500 V8s don't have a 6 speed automatic. That is Chrysler's marketing department lying.

Ok Ford ladies.....I have one question for you!!! Where the crap is the better that sliced bread EGOBOOST POWERED F-150??? I thought it was supposed to be ultra fuel efficient??? Sounds more like a bunch of BS HYPE to me from our old pals at Ford.

@TRX4 Tom
I bought a new 3.2 litre diesel (non-turbo) Navara in 97. So I've owned diesels before. The only downfall back then was its lack of power.

But off road it was more than acceptable with massive torque off idle.

Yes, in Australia we are lucky at the moment, we just have to keep our fingers crossed. We are running a small deficit of $2 billion.

Up until the late 70s our economy was the second most protected/socialist in the OECD after Sweden. Since then we have become one of the most liberal open markets in the world.

Australia started making structural changes to our economy in the early 80s. Things like your payroll tax for retirement we don't have, as it is compulsory for us to put 10% of our pay into investment funds we call superannuation similar to 401k. So eventually the need for government assistance at retirement is minimal. Self funded retirement is a bonus.

The 6.5% payroll tax isn't enough for retirement, your social security at retirement will go broke eventually. In Austrlia there is talk in increasing our compulsory superannuation contributions to a total of 12.5%.

Back in the 80s when the changes were taking place business and unions predicted the country would fall apart.

We never had subsidised home loans (Freddy Mac/Fannie Mae). We always pay market rates for loans. Our farmers are the most efficient in the world because they don't recieve subsidies like the European/US/Japanes etc.

Because our currency is not a reserve curreny it's value gyrates quite a considerable amount.

But as of late after the USD, Euro the Aussie dollar is the third most traded currency in the world. Like the Canadian dollar/Swiss Franc/Singapore Dollar they figure our currencies will become sort of like reserve currencies as we are quite economically stable.

What Australia did was look at different models in different countries that was effective and adopted them. We didn't say we are Australian and different and it couldn't work here.

But it all of this comes at a cost, things are more expensive here, wages are higher, manufacturing is declining.

But manufacturing will continue to decline as the US, Europeans and now the Japanese try to devalue currencies to try and export themselves out of debt. The only problem is who will buy the exports? As they are the 3 biggest markets in the world and China has the global export market sown up.

The global economy (countries) have to realise room must be made for these new developing markets. So what there is to go around must be divided up differently. Supply and demand, basic economics.

I have always thought a smaller diesel in a truck would do well in the US, in particular if Ram brings out the VM 3.0 Diesel, but the spread between diesel and gas has become so wide I am not so sure anymore.

This Christmas I drove halfway across the country, through a variety of states, and Diesel was running 20%-25% more than gas all along the way. This seems quite a bit higher than it has been in the past. Does anyone know why?

Ok, real quick here George.

Why the hell are you comparing the v-6 to the Hemi or 4.7? Why George? Chrysler does not rate them to tow the same, so why is this such a big deal? I think somehow you just want to compare the Ecoboost to the 3.6, but NOT EVERYBODY WANTS TURBOS ON THEIR TRUCKS! Nore do they want to pay more for it! A 2.4 turbo in a truck? George, that's asking alot out of a little block. Yes, I like turbo 4 cylinders, I have had two and currently still have one. But towing alot of weight with one makes me wonder how they will last. I know turbo'd diesels make serious torque and canlast, they also use a much stiffer, heavier engine block and head/heads. They also do recomend premium gas too, for heavy towing. The Ford Fushion flat out needs premium. Saving lots of money there, right George? Maybe I will be a fan if Ford actually gets alot of CUSTOMER OWNED Ecoboosts to make it over 150,000 miles without serious issues? Don't get me wrong, I love the torque my turbos give/gave me, but kinda a differant application towing heavy weight.

Why don't you just compare the 3.6 to the competitions other non turbo'd engines, such as the Ford 3.7, Toyota 4.0 Tundra? Apples and oranges. That's great the Hemi does that at 3925, but some folks don't need a Hemi or a single or twin turbo. Why do I get the idea you work for some car company and you are just trying to sway folks to buy something else, with your "the v-6 needs 3.92s, so it's gas mileage will suck, so we can try to do what is easily down with a v-8, with a v-6 that is rated to tow about 55% as much??"

The Rams have had a 6 speed since they started using the 545-rfe, about 2003? Lets go through the gears and see if you can count, Geoerge: 3.00 1st, 1.67 2nd 1.5 prime 2nd (third gear, atleast when I use tow haul or manually shift) 1 to 1 4th gear, .75 overdrive 5th gear, and .67 overdrive 6th gear. It's been called a 5 speed since 2003 or so, but it always had 6 gears in it. Back in 2003 you could put it in tow haul, and that would lock out the top gear, the .67 overdrive, but it gives you that 1.5 gear to shift up or down through. Automatically. Until 2009 you could not access the 1.5 to one gear unless you either downshifted automatically, or in tow haul. 2009 and up you can put it in Electronic Range Select which you can access the lower 5 gears, then shift back into drive to access drive, meaning you have the .67 overdrive available. In 2011 they called it what it is, a 6 speed, but it really is no differant then my 2010. So they are not lying, but it is nothing new or differant. They just remaned it.

Now the gear ratios on other 6 speeds are more spread out, I've thought the Tundra one is well spaced, and the Ford and GM ones have alot more spacing, and neither of them have the two 2nd gears so close together, which is good for going that speed, if you need either of the 2nd gears, be it the 1.67 or 1.5, but it makes the 1.67 be alot further from 1st gear. So in this sites towing competition, it gets to second gear and bogs down some because 2nd gear is .56% of first, and not alot closer such as 70%. Neither of the other 6 speeds have the two overdrives so close either, but that's a good thing.

Actually a 7:1 spead is alot more then the other pickups do. Atleast the ones here. You pay what for that Porshe? Thank you. You start talking about spread, but before you were all about needing more gear. The eight speed has plenty.

Now if you want to talk about a mismatch in gears, GM will sell you an extended cab 4x4 with 8 foot bed, and the 5.3, and with 3.08 gears they rate it to pull about 6500. That is with a 6 speed, there is a good deal of differance between having more gears and and deeper ratios, then GM just slapping a 3.08 gear in it, and does it lock out 6th gear? I don't believe so! So you can opt for 3.42s and then they will tell you that combo pulls over 9,000 pounds. Now there is something to laugh about.

Once again no mention of 3/4 ton,1ton trucks Two of my nieghbors own and drive Ford F250 Powerstrokes(2011&12) .Both get 22+mpg in regular use and 14+ when towing. We live in north Georiga,so mostly rural driving.

If this was based on the hwy number,, EcoBoost would be up there. There are no non-hypbird GM trucks up there at all. At least F-150 has something.

How many Hybrid Silverados does Chevy sell? Do they sell any at all? I don't think I have ever seen on except at the auto show a few years ago. Chevy Hybrid pickups should be disqualified based on zero sales.

@Oxi: extra power for trailer towing, and getting up highway hills. Wi don't live in the flatlands here. I can't say I ever needed every last foot pound of 407 ft pounds torque, but I was sure glad I had it when I brought my race car and parts back from Colorado (about 7,000 plus pounds of extra weight) and when I was going up those hills between Springfield and Branson, Missouri. As we as other places. Heck, I couldn't even have done that with any midsizers, they wouldn't have the space, let alone torque. But when the trailer is not on it, it is nice to not have to downshift constantly, to make it up a hill.

But I actually use the bed. Car parts, recycling, I have put the 5700 watt generator and my 30 gallon compressor in the past, if needed. Matter of fact I had all 7 of my rv tires in the bed with the compressor and generator, along with tools, and a fullsize jack.

I have put a riding lawnmower in the back, but it can be a pain finding a place offload. I have a ditch out front that helps. Sure, I can buy longer ramps, that's just more $.

Not sure what a snowblower weighs as 30 years ago I left the part of the country that needs alot of snow removal, but I am guessing the folks you see might not want to lift them right to the bed? Or maybe they don't have their wife with them everywhere to help lift? Ever thought about that? I sure the hell wouldn't be lifting my mower into the back of my truck with help, and even with my 6 feet car trailer ramps, it's a bit steep. It would be even steeper if we did like Big Al from Oz and just put traybacks on there that the lowest spot is higher then the rear wheels. Meaning, 10-12 inches higher then my bed sits, and 13-15 inches higher then the new Rams with air suspension.

Maybe some don't buy them for OFFROADING, but if they NEED 4x4, then they push the button, it serves their needs, and they don't get stuck. Not everybody buys them to just play around in!

So glad you can fit the snowblower, now try a 3/4 ton front axle, a hood, a fender, and leaf springs, with a closed Backflip G2.

I dod see alot of trophy midsizers that don't do crap. They could buy an suv alot of the time, like the one the gal drives I put a battery in last week, 1990 Four Runner v-6. What can you put in those little trucks, maybe a dryer, or a shovel, or maybe just a snowblower? That's working it!

@RobertRyan, the Aus F250 used the 4.2L MWM diesel I-6, which Brazil later replaced with the 3.9 Cummins I-6 with common-rail injection. The 7.3 Power Stroke also ceased production (replaced by the 6.0 and 6.4 - also common-rail), so I do not believe the Australians emissions standards played a role (I know that's what the media reported, but it wasn't the reason for discontinuation), but the US diesel emissions laws are tougher than Australia's, which is why manufacturers have been struggling to offer diesels in the US.

@TRX4 Tom,

Mid-sizers may be little but they are easier to park, fit in the garage next to my wife's Subaru, just plain drive around town with and on the trail it saves you from many scratches and dents...

My pickup will spend more time driving on roads than off-roading and with 4.10 gears it will not be a highway speed demon so that is why I opted for the simplistic and reliable 2.7 liter with a 5-speed manuel...

It gets the job done around town and trust me in low range has plenty of guts to move the Tacoma around off-road because I know how to off-road with what I got, built into my project, ground clearance, wheel travel, improved payload, trail armor and strengthening key areas underneath...

If I wanted to pull something sure I would look into a solid V6 or V8 but sinch I do not pull anything, why bother with the trophey when the 2.7liter gets me around just fine...

The EGOBOOST couldn't acheive 21 mpg rolling DOWNHILL IN NEUTRAL WITH THE ENGINE TURNED OFF!!! This engine is nothing more than a pitchure full of FORD KOOL AID!!! Let it be written...let it be done!

@TRX4: Wrong again. When I was doing it, gas prices were in the low $1 range and people hated the Escort because it was an econobox. I-70 going up the Front Range has some pretty steep climbs. Those V8 drivers often had their foot just barely off the floor in top gear (automatics) with their engines loaded down. If they'd only bothered to downshift even one gear I probably couldn't have passed them. As it was, I was doing the speed limit while they crawled up the mountains between 40-45mph. Oh, and they certainly weren't concerned about gas mileage--the cars were being delivered to Vail, Co.

@TRX4 Tom
I am sorry you can't understand things.

Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat did upgrade things substantially, but is only marginally better than the rest. They could have done better.
The reason they didn't, is so they can trump themselves, with these new, 2.4 I4 & 3.0 V6 engines (and market the hell out of that)

They will be the ones pushing for the less cylinders + turbo/direct injection. That works for their CAFE more than it helps the customer.

The 545/65*rfe doesn't shift from 2nd to 2nd' in AUTOMATIC mode, ever. If it did, it would be pointless. A 10% drop in revs in the middle of the transmission's gears is next to useless

Oh, and TRX4 Tom: My '96 Camaro turned 2000 rpm with a V6 auto at 75 and still got 32mpg on the flat. Aerodynamics plays a big part as well--that Camaro weighed in at 3700 pounds. You want tall gears, seems to me like my old Camaro could have run your turbo Daytona into the ground everywhere except, perhaps, raw acceleration.

Mike Levine and Mark Williams got 25 mpg with EcoBoost without even trying.

GM was shut out last year and shut out this year from having a most fuel efficient half ton. I hope GM gets a real fuel efficient truck on this list next year, Bob, not these GIRLIEMAN hybrids! Have you ever seen one on the road? Tell us the truth. Nobody has ever seen one outside of the auto shows!

So 160,000 miles on a stock 3.8L V6 isn't long enough for you?

As I've said before, it's all in how you drive it. Know when to unload your engine and you can extend its life incredibly. Driving 'easy' all the time may mean that the power is still there when you finally do need it.

I remember a 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass 'S' one time with a Rocket 350 under the hood. A one-owner car at the time, when the second owner purchased it, he couldn't get that car to accelerate past 65 mph with his foot on the floor. Literally! It acted like it had a governor installed. It took months of pushing it to its limits, taking downhill highways at speed (well above the speed limit for some of those roads) and repeated hard acceleration before the engine finally freed up and began running normally again. Interesting thing about that car: 8 years later the owner sold that car to a college student who drove it from Tennessee to California and back several times and later thanked the man he bought it from for a remarkably reliable car.

I hope you know how to break in your truck because when you finally do need that power, you want it there.

"so I do not believe the Australians emissions standards played a role (I know that's what the media reported, but it wasn't the reason for discontinuation), but the US diesel emissions laws are tougher than Australia's, which is why manufacturers have been struggling to offer diesels in the US"

The Media was reporting Ford Australia, who said the Brazilian F250 could not meet the current regulations, which was Euro IV at the time.

" but the US diesel emissions laws are tougher than Australia's, which is why manufacturers have been struggling to offer diesels in the US"

No US emissions do not meet Euro IV to Euro V1. We have now introduced Euro V. The soon to be introduced Ford Transit has the 3.2 Duratorqu or now "Powerstroke", that engine could nor be upgraded to Euro V1, but it fine for use in the US.

@RR, not sure if it applies to current diesel emissions standards, but it was the case a few years ago with US Tier 2 Bin 5 vs Euro V (as Bob Lutz from GM at the time commented).

Bob Lutz said Tier 2 Bin 5 is far tougher than Euro V (Euro IV doesn't even compare). California's emissions standards were much tougher still.

2013 will be a big push for small diesels in the US, so perhaps the emissions standards are more in sync now between Euro VI and

In Europe, the tax on diesel is less than the tax on gasoline - so, diesel fuel is less expensive. In Europe, fuel is $7.00 a galllon. The only real reason people in Europe buy diesels is because they use less fuel, and their fuel is even cheaper. In other words, people drive diesels because they HAVE to due to ridiculously high gas prices.

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