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


Bob Lutz was talking a load of Gobbledygook. You cannot sell US Diesel US Tier 2 Bin 5 compliance in Europe or any other country that has Euro V regulations. He probably did not know that, as GM was not selling US diesels to Europe.
Ford Australia knew that as the then and current F250's do not meet Euro IV and higher regulations. It is how they meet pollution targets and the emphasis on CO2 and particulates , Euro IV to V1 and NOxTier 2 regulations that are the problem. The Japanese regulations have an even tougher measure for NOx than even California.

Not quite. In some countries diesel is a lot more expensive. They drive diesels for the mileage they get, power for towing Caravans(they use sedans) , Ridiculous high prices affect both Petrol(Gas) and diesel in Europe

They drive it because they HAVE TO for the payback at the high prices of both gas and diesel.

Mike Levine sold his TDI that got 38 mpg hwy/33 mpg combined for a Fiesta that gets 39 hwy/33 combined.

The new TDI gets 42 mpg hwy/34 combined but costs $10k more than a Fiesta. The payback takes too long.

There aren't enough car buyers who tow here.

Who is going to add a $5000+ or more price tag to their F150 just to have a diesel? If that market truly existed, it would be in work trucks, and would have happened a long long time ago.

I believe there is a small market for diesel pickup, but EcoBoost meets those needs and then some. True, fuel econ would be better in a little better in a diesel but any financial savings are circumstantial - i.e. your payback period for more costly fuel, maintenance, urea garbage, and a more costly engine. The payback period on this option would be forever if ever.

Remember, Ford already had a diesel ready to drop into the F-150. They even put out press releases and had the sales brochures printed. It was killed because it could not pay for itself, nothing has changed.

"There aren't enough car buyers who tow here"

Everyone does it there. They have a staggering number of small to medium Caravans and small to medium sized Motorhomes 18-27ft on their roads in the summer. As far as manufacturing goes their RV industry is much bigger as regards these than the US. One company was turning out 140 Caravans and Motorhomes a day.

Flashback to 2008:

Diesel doesn't make "sense to the under 8,500 pounds (gross vehicle weight rating / light-duty) customer."

"If you constantly tow big loads, which is what most diesel buyers do," then it makes sense.

IE, which is why you only see diesels on the heavy duty trucks.


""If you constantly tow big loads, which is what most diesel buyers do,"

Agreed. You can use a 3.7 Litre V6 to use as a glorified station wagon. What the petrol option was here. Still Petrol engines have disappeared as options on the bulk of Global Pickups.

The Tacomas is the most fuel efficent truck and it costs a lot less than a diesel!

Unless you're towing big loads all of the time, keep your $8 a gallon diesels in Europe where they belong!

I heard that GM is hinting at a diesel pickup but the only reason they can do that is because....


Diesel or no diesel, as oxi wisely said, Government Motors should have went bankrupt. We are not supposed to be a communist/socialist nation where we bail out private industry and give them welfare checks to make diesels for their truck divisions and managment making bad decisions!

It was GM's fault they went bad, not the taxpayers so why the heck should we foot the bill for their diesels?

Obama should have been impeached for this and the bank bailouts but then again the current Congress has no backbone to do anything to the dictator in office!

Heres to hoping there is a new House Speaker elected with some backbone! But I won't hold my breath...

seriously, can't we ban idiots?

I agree with Jay and oxi...

I've had this discussion about costs of diesels previously, so I'll make it short and sharp.

Vehicle cost will not go up by $5 000 for a diesel. The 5 cylinder diesel that is going into the Transit costs the same as a V6 powered pickup. We have diesels here and that is the difference.

Also, the added costs of the technologies required for your future pickups will outstrip the incurred cost of a diesel.

And you don't only see diesels in large trucks, WTF?.

Diesel in Australia has about the same price difference as it does in the US and it is still more economical to run a diesel here.

Another issue that might come into play is the octane rating that will be required for future gasoline engines.

Just like the cost to refine low sulphur diesel the cost to refine premium unleaded fuel is higher. This will also reduce the price advantage of regular gasoline powered vehicles.

As of 2016 CAFE/EPA regulations will very similar to Euro VI. But there some EPA regulations that still treat diesel unfairly, 1. diesel has to meet stricter fuel consumption improvements. 2. EPA measure pollution by horsepower. When a 100hp diesel can achieve over 30% more work to a 100hp gasoline engine.

The government has used the EPA to create trade barriers which works against diesel imports. NOx levels are unfairly high for diesels. The same horsepower formula is used with diesels. Diesels should be allowed to produce at least 40% more NOx per hp than a gas engine.

Diesels are different engines and even as George has pointed out that modern direct injected gas engines have improved volumetric efficiency ie, Fiat multi-air and Ford ecoboost, diesels still have better volumetric efficiency (and thermal).

@TRX4 Tom
You are a intelligent person (layman), listen to people like George. I told you once before about gearing. it's not as simple as trying to run a 1/4 mile and finishing in top gear at peak rpms.

Gearing is becoming dictated by CAFE and EPA regulations.

Well said, oxi. If the diesel trucks were so much better they would have been here a long time ago. Mahindra came here promising the world and came up with a dissapointing 21 mpg.

The best diesel SUV in the United States today gets 23 mpg combined. The Tacoma on Mark Williams list gets 23 mpg combined on gas. These diesels just aren't worth it yet., Sport+Utility+Vehicles, Vans, Minivans&srchtyp=newDslTrks

You are a brain dead troll and F#%kwit. Read and research why you don't have diesel in the States.

Sorry for my language but WTF?

Very impressed by #5-6 for the GM mild hybrids. My old Silverado 4WD can barely manage 14 mpg.

But at the prices for new trucks overloaded with options I don't need...I'll keep beating the old dog until it dies, then move on to the sorts of smaller trucks I hope to see in a few years. Even then, I'd buy used. Why put the first dents and scratches into that pretty paint job?

sure would like to seea larger four cyn. w/ a six speed electronic trans.& two speed rear axel

After the energy crisis in 1973 and 1979, Manufactures responded by building and importing more fuel efficient cars. This included diesel powered cars to a large extent. With the 1980s oil glut, cheap fuel came back by the late 80’s. After that, most of the diesels sold in the U.S. disappeared. This article takes a brief look back at some of the diesel powered cars and trucks built to deal with the energy crisis.

@George: the 545-RFE indeed shifts from the 1.67 second gear to 1.5 second prime, or in tow haul, third gear,and it does it automatically, IN TOW HAUL. If you can't understand that get on some forum and ask, or heres an idea, actually drive one in tow haul.

You should get a clue, I have a truck with the trans, and you have what? Or, you are busy pushing something else?

Yes, the two second gears are a bit silly.

direct injection would be nice, but it's not mandatory.

Maybe someday you might actually drive a 3.6 car/truck, instead of just an opinion from your computer.

This is all fine and dandy, but, seriously, people don't buy a truck for fuel economy. They buy a truck for the utility it provides.

You can destroy the fuel economy of the Taco by keeping your foot in it and you can a enjoy decent fuel economy in any full-size pickup truck by driving sensibly. And if you've got to worry about fuel economy, don't buy any truck!

In case some of you guys have forgotten, Silverado and RAM both make extensive use of cylinder management and run on four out of eight cylinders much of the time, while a Taco runs on four cylinders all the time and doesn't provide near the utility nor the functionality of a fullsize truck.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here. There are several Tacos in my family that are owned by my grandkids, but I expect once they can afford to own one, they'll buy a fullsize truck and fuel economy will not be high on their list.

@DWFields: You crack me up! The old 3/4 speed autos downshifted just fine, 40-45 MPH for v-8 trucks? Let me guess DW, they had a HEAVY load on,and you were by yourself, otherwise those v-8s make just fine. Mine did. I myself don't mind downshifting a manual trns when it needs it, it's no biggie to me. Alot less shifting then thetrash trucks and 18 wheelers I drove needed.

Your Camaro will do what? Yeah, that's just like GM to gear it to run 2000 rpm at 75, then as soon as it hits barely an incline, it will downshift. There goes your mileage. No thanks, I live in the hills.

32 mpg, that's all? Not bad for a v-6, but not any better then the Daytona.

Interesting discussion:
1. As Big Al pointed out, Obamacare has little to do with the financial crisis facing the USA. Many countries have publically funded systems that per capita are 1/2 the cost of the USA system. The USA empire has past its zenith and no one really knows what the nadir will be. The USA does have barriers in place that protect companies. Chicken tax is the visible one. EPA emissions are a hidden barrier. The USA even uses national security as a trade barrier.
2. There are those that need to say that small trucks are superior to large or vice versa. Any truck that does not meet one's personal needs can be considered inferior. Truth be told - the vast majority of automobiles (including pickups) are luxury items. We could get by without one. Oxi's Tacoma is a luxury item for playing offroad (paranoid end of world scenario's notwithstanding). TRXTom's TRX4 is a luxury item used for his racing and mechanical pursuits. My F150 is a luxury used for getting to and from work, back country running, camping/fishing, packing toys etc. Unless it is a work truck that puts food on your table, it is a luxury.
@Oxi - your Taco therefore is no better or worse than anyone else's luxury items.

Want versus need.

We may yet hit that wall and might not be able to afford needs.
3. I'm not sure I should waste my time answering Michigan Bob, WTF - nothing ventured nothing gained.
We may yet see the demise of the V8, at least in displacements larger than 5 litres. I had a link to a site that stated it would be easier to make a lighter and more compact vehicle by restricting engine size. A vehicle made to fit only an I-4 will weigh less than one made to fit a V6 and I-4. Same goes for a V6 versus V8.
There is only "x" amount of energy in a gallon of gas, and that gallon only burns well at a fixed ratio with oxygen. Engines are very inefficient at converting fuel and oxygen to energy, and energy to motion. Adding turbo's improves efficiency by making a V6 work like a V8 at maxium power requirements - it still takes "x" amount of fuel and air to create power. A 400 hp V8 under a 10,000 load will consume similar amounts of fuel to a 400 hp V6 turbo under full boost at full load. Ford PR stated that the EB 3.5 is more fuel efficient, and it is. The problem is that we accept that to mean better mpg accross the board. A V6 that can work like a V8 is more energy efficient. That doesn't mean it will burn less fuel under load.
The V6 shines at part loads and light loads. It still works like a V6. A V8 is still a V8 at light to part loads. Cylinder deactivation is one way to change that V8 into a V4 under light loads.
4. Diesel has a 30% "energy" advantage to gas. The problem is that current emission technology sucks up at least 15 - 20% of that advantage. In some cases - all of that advantage. For those of use who remember the piss poor V8's of the '70's when emission standards hit the roads - that is where we are at with diesels. The only thing is that now, due to increasing fuel prices, increased pressures on fuel demand, and mpg rules,, it will not take 20 years for diesels to regain lost ground.
5. Interesting debate on transmission and rear end ratios. In many respects, the most efficient way for an engine to work would be to confine it to a very narrow RPM band. Most likely easier to do with 8 speeds.
Highway mpg is easier to gain because of the ability to confine an engine to a narrow rpm range. Aerodynamics come into play but conservative truck guys would refuse to buy a pickup that was truly aerodynamic. Having that big, open box is also a problem. City mpg has more to do with accellerating a large mass. Weight reduction and gearing will improve things. Weight reduction would make the biggest gains.

@Debinder: So, if you can get two trucks that can both do the job, why think about gas mileage? Kinda foolish, but if you like throwing money away, go ahead. You must be loaded with it.

Some people need a truck, but they care about how much gas goes through it. Some don't need to tow trailers like I do, and some just need something that will move something big, not always heavy.

Sounds like your grandkids will be sorta senseless like you.

Government Motors Bob,

Another reason "EgoBoost" didn't make the list is because of all the badge engineered products by GM. Two of the same trucks take up 4 spots because of the badge engineering and they are all hybrids with zero sales. GM is a joke.

Dave, I don't know what your problem is but it doesn't bother me. You're just jealous GM has the most trucks on the top 10 list. Just so you know, Ford will not have any trucks on the list for 2014. GM wins again!

Dave, Just so you know when the Colorado debuts GM will have at least 4 more trucks on the top 10 list. At least 8 of the top 10 will be GM trucks if not an all GM top 10l!!!

For the fuel economy shopper, GM plans to revive the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon to compete in the midsized market where trucks are traditionally powered by four-cylinder engines and get about 22 miles a gallon. GM stopped building the Colorado and Canyon earlier this year and didn’t have a ready replacement. Currently, no U.S. auto maker competes in that market leaving about 200,000 annual pickup trucks sales in that segment to be divvied up between Nissan Motor Co.’s Frontier and Toyota Motor Corp.’s Tacoma.

“About 59% pickup truck owners tow and 67% haul,” said GM pickup truck chief engineer Jeff Luke. “These trucks are purposeful and particle with no gimmicks. Customers have told us that other attributes — such as towing a payload — are important when they are making a purchase decision. They are looking for real trucks.”

GM plans a two-truck strategy betting pickup buyers are creatures of habit preferring a size that fits them with limited risk to engine performance. The auto maker has armed the Silverado and Sierra with overhauled six and eight cylinder engines designed to provide power rather than sip gas. For those who want fuel economy, GM intends to introduce a smaller truck in the midsized market in 2014 that is distinctly different from the Silverado and Sierra.

Sriiouussllly. I can't believe someone would actuaally waste their time to write about GM having all hybrids when they just unveiled their next gen which we don't know the fuel economy numbers for! Come on! GM needs time. How manny moths did it take Ford to release their EgoBoost numbers? It took them serveral months or more that was drawn out with drive challenge after drive challenge. What can you expect from GM when they just uveiled the next gens a minute ago? Cut GM some slack. Ford isn't too great on fuel econ either. I only see one Ford up there!

You said something I believe completely and that is their is no good reason for a V8 over 5.0L as Toyota could drop the 5.7L iforce (3UR-FE) and go with a turbo or twin turbo version of the Lexus 1UR-FSE (385 hp @ 6,400 rpm/369 lb ft @ 4,100 rpm) as the top engine for the Tundra and on less than 5 psi it should make more power than the 5.7L iforce (381 hp @ 5600 rpm/401 lb ft @ 3600 rpm).

I agree with Greg.

@5.3LOL - If one looks at European engines in a market where gasoline and diesel fuel is expensive, they have been downsizing.
We will see smaller, and more compact engines eventually.
Ford sales have proven that the market place will accept a normally aspirated V6 in a pickup, and a turbo V6 in a pickup. If Ford went with a turbo 5.0 as the top dog engine, they could save quite a bit of weight by downsizing the engine compartment. The front end suspension and frame could be made lighter because it would not need to support the weight of the 6.2. The truck could have a shorter snout making the truck overall length shorter but still maintain a large cab and box.

Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient 2014 Pickup Trucks

1.Chevy Colorado regular cab 2WD 2.5 ecotech
2.GMC Canyon regular cab 2WD 2.5 ecotech
3.Chevy Colorado crew cab 2WD diesel
4.GMC Canyon crew cab 2WD diesel
5.Chevy Colorado crew cab 2WD V6
6.GMC Canyon crew cab 2WD V6
7.Chevy Silverado 2WD 5.3
8.GMC Sierra 2WD 5.3
9.Chevy Silverado 4WD 5.3
10.GMC Sierra regular cab 4WD 5.3

All GM lineup!

I disagree with Lou and agree with Greg.

Im in edmonton Alberta. It's cold here -20c on average in winter up to -40c usually in late jan early feb and its not cheap to run a diesel. Diesel costs more than gas and now the god damn DEF on top of it and work trucks are always in the shop. In these temps there is no such thing as fuel economy. The way I look at it the bigger the engine the faster it warms up and the sooner you have heat. I don't know if a gear ratio of 4.71 in first is a good idea out here with all the ice. Just means you are gonna slip and spin more. I personally don't think fuel economy is that big of a deal for a truck. This fuel economy worry is going to forever ruin American trucks and pretty soon some Canadian company will have to supply our demand of work trucks if this trend continues because the unit price will only go up with each advancement. It's almost as if people are forgetting what a truck is.

all bull crap who makes these list, is this for trucks that dont haul? yeah looks liek it.

Guys just get what you need and be done with it. I don't think the V8 or the big pickups will go away completely, there will be just fewer of them. It could be in the future in you want a truck that will tow and haul heavy loads and has a V8 you will be forced to buy a 3/4 ton or HD. That might not be what a lot of you want to hear but at least that will be available. This will work for the manufacturers because there is more profit in the HDs than the half tons. There will always be options, but they will just cost more like everything else. Because of the upcoming fuel standards all manufacturers will be forced to downsize and put smaller engines in the full size half tons but then you always have the 3/4 ton and there are enough farmers, contractors, and businessmen to buy them and the manufacturers will have them available for those that want them.

I do concur with most of what you wrote.

But, I can see the demise of the V8 in all but the top of the line pickups.

I read an interesting article about how Fiat will manage its distribution of engines globally. This article was written prior to Sergio's recent comments on moving more manufacturing capacity to Europe to export to the US.

The article went - The US market will manufacture a 2.4 I-4, 3.6 V6, one Hemi and the US will manufacture a 2.7 multi air V6.

Europe will manufacture engines below 2 litres.

Gasoline engines will become much smaller and turbo'd globally.

The boxy shape of pickups and utes will change, it has to, unless someone can pluck an ingenious engine design out.

On average the SUV fleet is shrinking in size as well.

As I've always said it will be an interesting future.

I can see the large pickup market shrinking in size as well, which means a smaller ranges of pickups eventually.

The economic issues will affect the make up of the NA market. When disposable income drops, which what will happen in the US market the manufacturers have to adjust to the change.

@Anthony_D85: another reason why the 4.71 geared 8 speeds don't need 3.92 gears. The 4.71 when used with 3.21 gears is 15.12 but the Ford 6 speed used with 3.73s is 15.55 first gear ratio, but nobody complains about that either. 16.72 is the 4.71 x 3.55, and George is pouting caust we can't have a 3.92 x 4.71=18.46. Like we need that.

I do wonder if they can just start them out in second gear, any of them, Ford, Ram, Toyota, GM. Old Ford 3 speeds I believe could.

I would think a smaller engine would warm up quicker, but what do I know?

Cause and effect, boys, cause and effect. More than one of you has talked about towing and how anybody with a sense for towing buys a truck; that wasn't always true and you know it.

Many of you seem to forget that RVing meant, as the European and OZites put it--Caravanning: towing a travel trailer. As long as we here in America had body-on-frame automobiles, those people who were only part-time caravanners kept a large car with big engine for pulling those 5,000# travel trailers and otherwise used them as a typical family car. Quite literally, they had no other need for the capacity that a truck provides. Even now, only a relatively few of these travelers needs a truck that can pull 8,000 to 11,000 pounds, especially when you consider the cost of a travel trailer reaching that kind of size. A half-ton truck can easily pull a 5,000 pound trailer on average and there is a fair selection of 2,000-5,000 pound pop-up trailers that are far more aerodynamic and produce far less drag than the conventional travel trailer or fifth-wheel trailer.

The problem is that there simply are no more sedans capable of pulling these part-time homes on wheels. That alone is one reason why half-tons are as popular as they are; they meet the comfort level of a family car with the ability to pull the family camper. These people are going to be concerned with fuel mileage, too. As such, a V6 with 200-300hp and reasonable torque will meet these people's needs. How do I know? Back in 1972 a Ford Gran Torino with the 302 Windsor small-block rating only 175hp pulled a 5,000# travel trailer several times a year into the Smoky Mountain area as well as other campsites around the southeast with no difficulty. People on average simply don't NEED huge horsepower--especially when there's the high cost of fuel sucking away at the money they put aside for that 2 to 3 times a year when they take that camper out of storage.

The average pickup driver of today is hardly concerned about gross towing loads. They're even less concerned about gross carrying capacity by weight. The "Big Three" truck manufacturers have inherited the RVers/Caravanners by the simple fact of still offering towing capability for their campers and boats.

@Greg: Did you know you contradicted yourself? In one post you point out that GM is releasing the new Colorado/Canyon trucks and in the very next post you say, "GM stopped building the Colorado and Canyon earlier this year and didn’t have a ready replacement." Now which is it?

@TRX4 Tom
Germans have been starting out in 2nd gear on/off for the last 20 years with 5/6/7 speed automatics. More reason to have shorter gearing.

Tow/Haul is not the default mode, is it? No. That means it is not a 6 speed automatic. And no 6 speed automatic only has 4.5:1 ratio spread.
An upshift from 1.667 to 1.5 is basically pointless, not 'silly'.
The alternate gearset configuration in the 2500+ models would have been a better short term solution until Chrysler can start making the 8hp70 under license.

Heat to thermal mass determines how quickly an engine warms up.

@TRX4 Tom: "You crack me up! The old 3/4 speed autos downshifted just fine, 40-45 MPH for v-8 trucks? Let me guess DW, they had a HEAVY load on,and you were by yourself, otherwise those v-8s make just fine. Mine did. I myself don't mind downshifting a manual trns when it needs it, it's no biggie to me. Alot less shifting then thetrash trucks and 18 wheelers I drove needed.

Your Camaro will do what? Yeah, that's just like GM to gear it to run 2000 rpm at 75, then as soon as it hits barely an incline, it will downshift. There goes your mileage. No thanks, I live in the hills.

32 mpg, that's all? Not bad for a v-6, but not any better then the Daytona."

You really don't know how to read, do you? Or is it that you're purposely misreading what I write? When I was talking about delivering vehicles to Vail and referencing a Ford Escort, it should be obvious I was talking about CARS, not trucks, with no load on board but the driver--and the fact that the Escort, despite its tiny engine, could pass V8 powered cars by one simple driving technique that these other drivers ignored; they, like you, believed horsepower was the be-all, end-all of driving a car.

It's also obvious that you have no concept of how GM worked that Camaro/Firebird combo--the V6 was tied to the exact same heavy-duty transmission the V8 pushed, using a high-stall torque converter to provide quick response. At 75 mph driving through the Appalachian Mountains on I-81 it never--ever--downshifted from top gear. It might on steeper grades like those seen on I-40 passing through the same range, but if you don't know the roads, don't make assumptions--it only makes you look foolish. As for your, "... it's not any better than the Daytona," I have to ask, "which Daytona"? Are you talking about the '69 with the 440 6-pack? The late '70s Omni-based, Mitsubishi based 2.2Liter? Or maybe you're talking about the new Charger Daytona riding the Pentastar V6? There was no Daytona built in '96 when Chevy put the 3.8Liter 201hp V6 in the Camaro. And don't think that engine was wimpy--it wasn't until '07 or later that the V6 broke 300 hp and it still offered plenty of sporty performance.

Besides, as you said yourself automatic transmissions are designed to downshift based on engine loading and I can guarantee a truck with an automatic will downshift just as readily when it reaches that programmed load point--unless you reach that point so gradually that the system never really detects it--as I've seen many a time with the older rigs. My 1990 F-150 sometimes needs to be told when to shift. The interesting thing is that I've been reading of many of these new 6- and 8-speed automatics 'hunting' for the right gear at times where a manual or manually selecting a gear is more efficient and more reliable; you can't be hauling a load up a hill and have your tranny searching for a gear, losing speed until you're forced down into third or even second gear before grabbing. A manual transmission (or paddle shifter) becomes more efficient by letting you select the gear needed immediately.

It seems that unlike some on this board, I have driven more vehicle types over more of this country than any two or three of you combined. Driving conditions are quite different in each part of the country and how you drive in those conditions differ as well; don't claim to know something with which you have no experience.

@DW Fields
First, I'll give some definition/terms that we use in Australia for vehicle types that are frequently used on this site.

SUV/Soft Roader - An AWD vehicle generally a station wagon style vehicle.

4x4 - Any vehicle with a high and low range tranfer case.

4x4 Wagon - What you generally call an SUV ie Land Cruiser wagon, Nissan Patrol etc must have high and low range.

Ute - Any pickup style vehicle irrespective of traction.

4x4 Ute - Any ute with a high and low range.

The anomalie now is the new VW Amarok with AWD, at the moment its just a ute.

2WD SUV's are a relatively new concept here.

Your observations on how the motor car was used to tow caravans used to be the norm here in Australia. As front wheel drive vehicles became popular Holdens and Fords filled the gap.

As caravans grew in size and capability ie off roading, 4x4 wagons became popular as tow vehicles and replaced the "family" car.

4x4 utes have increase dramatically in popularity with the caravaners over the last decade or so.

As tow vehicles the larger Asian utes have improved their tow capacity to levels greater than the older 4x4 wagons had.

And now we have the new crop of utes that have equal capability as the 4x4 wagons. The difference is they cost about 60-75% the cost of a 4x4 wagon, are much more fuel efficient and have a high levels of refinement.

Over the past 2 years the new mid sizers are really grabbing a huge part of new vehicle sales. When you add the surge in what we call SUV's our vehicle market is completely different than it was a decade ago.

People also use our SUV's more and more as tow vehicles, especially diesel versions as they offer huge torque advantages and make ideal family wagons.

The Austrailians have always been a little differant, not mocking them but just a bit on the fufu side.

I'll keep this short for you, DWFields: The 88 Carrol Shelby Competition Series and 87 Shelby Z Daytonas I have are NOT BASED on an OMNI. The Omni is an L BODY. Differant car altogether from the K car based Chrysler of the 80s. Which mine is a G body. It is a 2.2, but it is NOT MITSUBISHI BASED. You got it all messed up. In stock form I get 174 hp, but 200 ft pounds torque, while your Camaro made 225 or so@ 4000 RPM. But a Turbo 2 Daytona 2.2 does not need revved near that high to get to max torque. I want to say 3200 rpm for max torque? Just for the hell of it, the Dodge turbo 1 (non intercooled, less boost) 2.5 Liter makes 210 ft pounds, at a lower engine speed. Now, that being said, it's pretty torquey for a 2800 pound car with no automatic to suck power. Now, mine isn't stock either, instead of 12 psi boost, it runs 15, a ported exhaust, and a few other goodies. There are also two transmission choices, the Getrag built A-555 with a higher cruise rpm, or I have the lower geared A-523, because when you have turbo torque, you don't need to spin the hell out of the wheels with the 555. The mileage ratings will be the higher geared 555 based, but the 523s do better. Lower rpm.

Lets see, I never rode in a 96 Camaro, but I have a friend with a Buick Park Ave, and it has that same 3.8. Maybe 150 pounds, tops 200 more then that Camaro, it it has the tall gearing, like a 3.05 or 2.95. With a 225/60R16. And the .75 or whatever 4th gear ratio GM has. That thing can't hardly stay in D gear. Maybe I am biased as my Chrysler LHS makes all it's torque 214 @ 2800 rpm from a smaller 3.5, and has a 3.65 gear x a .69 overdrive. It also puts out more horsepower, but I keep having to remind you, or maybe YOU CAN'T READ, torque is more important. It makes it because of twice as many valves, and 10.5 to one compression, requiring 89 octane. Which is the base gas at Casey's gas stations in Missouri. See where I am comming from? You had a .3 Liter bigger (about 18 more cubic inchs) and it makes a whopping 11 more ft pounds torque at a 1200 rpm higher, and GM throws such a low gear at it. Hech, my four door LHS weighs 3550, sounds like that's one obese Camaro if it fact it weighs that! My LHS is probably alot safer then a Camaro, certainly not rated at anything close to 30 mpg, but then, hard to get 30 mpg here with a GM that is constantly downshifting.

My Chevy 4 speed in the 2006 Ext Cab 4x4 310 hp engine would hunt gears at 45 mph. 4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd. With 3.42 gears and little 265/70 R17s.

No hunting for gears in my Ram with a Hemi, it will usually go from the top overdrive .67 gear to one to 1, on a steep hill, and not often, and if throttle pressure eases up, into the .75 overdrive. The eight speeds will downshift, but the amount of rpm change will not be as much as a 6 speed, and not near as much as the four speed autos. If you got something hunting gears at a heavy throttle, you got issues, most gear hunting is low throttle, low speed. But then, you probably haven't driven very many new vehiches, have you?

"It seems that unlike some on this board, I have driven more vehicle types over more of this country than any two or three of you combined. Driving conditions are quite different in each part of the country and how you drive in those conditions differ as well; don't claim to know something with which you have no experience."-DWFields, wow, pot calling kettle black? You don't know where I have driven, and the rest of the people on here have. So you drove a damn Escort over a mountain pass, BFD! I had a friend that had one in 86!

If you actually read what I told George, I TOWED plenty in Colorado with older trucks, and I don't remember my foot on the floor. I did floor my 83 W-150 4x4 longbed truck for maybe 15 seconds pulling about 7,000 pounds up a Wyoming mountain, because it was 2 or 3 AM and we had a race to get to in Salt Lake City, and we had battle damage from the last race that needed fixed before the race, so I was in a hurry. But I don't recall flooring it everywhere. Your little Escort was most likely injected and that helps when some v-8s running carbs are not tuned for the area.

Maybe you have dementia?

I wouldn't mind a manual trans.


Im not sure what heat to thermal mass means but if its an argument all i know is small engines take a really long time to warm up bigger ones not as long.

@trx4 Tom

As far as starting in second i havnt been able to figure it out in my 2012 fx4. I've tried on the slippery days where they close all the roads with a grade to them. Usually that weather I drive in manual mode so i can downshift earlier than it normally does and shift up earlier so my tires spin less. But if im at a light and i put it in 2nd in manual mode it feels like it starts in first and shifts almost immiedietly. Someone correct me if im wrong but as far as i can tell it doesn't start in 2nd.

Pentastar powered RAM is looking good! Excellent fuel economy...great V6 power. Much better than the competition!


DWForks, I have contradicted nothing. I said the Colorado is being released for 2014 8 months after the Silverado.

Jay, I stated several times that buy the brand of vehicle you like, but stop the GM bashing. Ram took a bailout. Ford, Toyota and Honda all took money.

I responded to posters here saying that GM's top fuel economy trucks mean nothing because they are hybrids and several other excuses from the Ford girliemen. ALL I SAID IS THAT GM WILL HAVE THE TOP 10 TRUCKS IN FUEL ECONOMY FOR 2014 and just wait. I never once told anyone here what truck to buy. The more you guys complain about my posts, the more you are going to read a lot more of my posts. Have a great day.

With the USA's T2B5 and Europe's Euro 6 requirements being virtually the same (yes I know they aren't completely the same but so close that manufacturers are making sure they can hit both standards) I have some hopes that there will be an increasing number of smaller diesels being offered in the US/Canada in the next year or two.

some of the 2.0-2.2 liter motors are likely too small for a 1/2 ton but could be suitable for a mid-size truck and a 3.0-3.3L size should be adequate for a 1/2 ton. I bet Ram is first since the VM 3.0 is already being federalized for the Jeep and larger Chrysler cars. GM as committed to a Cruze diesel (again too small for the new GM half tons but ok sized for the Colorado).

Diesel does cost more and there is likely no real net economic benefit when it comes to straight operating costs versus a gas motor but resale is higher and can recoup some costs plus I think there will be a big push for more diesel refining capacity which is what would really bring the fuel prices down to parity with say mid-grade gasoline. that is probably a 5-10 year window however.

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