2012 Pickups With Best Fuel Economy

Gas pump 2

It looks like gas prices will continue to rise for the next several months, so here's a list of the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks sold in the U.S. for 2012, grouped by their combined fuel economy as determined by the U.S Department of Energy.

Of course, you can find all sorts of global platforms that use smart and powerful four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines outside the U.S., but four our purposes we're sticking with those two- and four-wheel-drive pickup trucks sold in within our borders.

The gas mileage numbers listed are the EPA's combined fuel economy numbers (average of city and highway driving). W have also listed the predicted annuel fuel cost for these vehicles based on 15,000 miles driven at a cost of $3.70 per gallon of fuel. Your exact fuel costs are likely to vary.

In decending order of average combined miles per gallon, the results are as follows:





Where is EcoBoost 16/22...

Forgot a couple:
F-150 4x2 3.5L EB - 16/22 - 18 combined
F-150 4x4 3.7L V6 - 16/21 - 18 combined

none of them as good as my 2004 mazda 2wd with manual transmission

The canyon and the tacoma have 4speed autos. Welcome to the stone age. Even the ranger had a 5speed auto.

chevy full size on top again like i said i got 23 out of my 5.3 6speed ext cab 4wd

@Mark Williams
You just had to go and stir up the Ecoboost vs 5.3L rivalry didnt you. Here we go again everyone.

Toyota, overall winner again...

Nothing touches GMs fuel economy, not 20 years ago, not today either - they are the best

None of these numbers really matter. There are days when I'm driving mad and I'll get 14-15 avg. Other days, when I'm nice and happy, easly I'll get 19 avg.
Chevy 5.3L CrewCab Z71 4X4
It really depands on driving habbits, don't you think?

Greg J - agreed. I can get highway 18-20.4 with my 5.4 Supercrew 4x4 with 3.55 gears. In town 12 - 15. My wife is impatient and is a jack rabbit driver. When she drives, the gas tank is empty in 1/2 the time it takes me. The thing most guys forget is that new pickups have gotten heavier,and are much more capable than old ones, and get better mpg to boot. I had a 1990 F250 5.0 5sp, 3.55 gears and the best I could ever get was 15-16 highway. Even my friends with the 5.8's were similar. My truck has over 100 hp more than that old 5.0. Even the new 5.0 slaughters the old one in mpg and performance. I don't know anyone that in the real world will quibble over 1-2 mpg difference.
The only truck that in my mind is a loosing proposition is the hybrid Chev. 10K worth of batteries for a slight highway advantage. City mpg is better but not if you tow. The 5.3 is better deal.

Chevrolet 5.3: the lowest (numerically) geared, the least rolling resistance lightweight tires (non traction), and they lean it out so much. No thanks!

If people have to worry about the price of fuel they oughtn't buy a truck.

Most people drive their trucks as a status symbol rarely using them for anything that resembles hauling or work.

Maybe if more people owned up to the fact that they choose to drive a truck because they want to, we'd have a lot less whining about the price of gas.

Everyone has the option not to buy a truck and/or not to buy the gas. But most people will continue to buy the gas no matter what it costs. It's a matter of choice. Get over it!

I drive what I drive because I choose to drive what I drive. No denying that. And if I only get 12mpg because that 5.7 guzzles gas through a funnel every time I put my foot in it, that's my punishment. If I can't handle it, I should not have bought a truck.

Highdesertcat, my thoughts exactly.

Apologies for the omissions of the Ford EcoBoost and 3.7L V-6 4WD. On our first run through the EPA material, we didn't notice they didn't have all the Ford data. We've tracked the appropriate configurations down now and we believe we have the Ford models represented where applicable.

umm the ram w/ a hemi and 2wd should be up there and so should the ecoboost this is very lacking....


RAM 1500 2wd 14 city/20 highway----16 combined

Doesn't seem like the Ram should be up there, unless I'm missing something?

Without axle ratios, this is meaningless.

The Ford Ranger had a 3 speed + overdrive, where Ford ran overdrive on 1st gear for its newly found 5th gear. There was no increase in ratio spread over a 4 speed auto, heck it had less ratio spread than typical 4 speed autos.

The canyon and the tacoma have 4speed autos. Welcome to the stone age. Even the ranger had a 5speed auto.

Posted by: mike | Feb 27, 2012 7:42:28 PM

That is about the only thing concerning the Ranger that was not in the stone age. It is a fossil just like it's big brother the Super Dooty

I noticed that Ford had the Ego Boost car on the racetrack in Daytona last night and couldn't help but laugh when I saw it.

Most fuel efficient V6 is the fullsize F-150 at 17/23 19 combined.

I think there's something funny about the number averaging though, doesn't 17+23=40/2=20mpg average?

And to the 5.3 vs EB - 16/22 & 365hp beats 15/22 & 315hp.

Nobody should be bragging about their favorite truck being on that list (or not being on that list)


16-20-something MPG is a joke. It's terrible.
I can't afford to drive any of these trucks with $3.70 a gallon gas.

I'm not planning on buying another truck until they do something major about MPG. It's not like they can't do it. More efficient trucks exist.

I urge everyone else to do the same. The only way you're going to get these auto companies to do something is to vote with your wallet. They keep making the trucks bigger and more expensive and more and more impractical for people who need to drive them.

Bob did you see who won the race?

This Just in from Mike Levine... "So we're clear: Ford F-150 3.7L V6 has unsurpassed or better city/highway fuel economy ratings than Toyota Tacoma V6 and Nissan Frontier V6."

Great point, Mike!

I don't think the numbers matter either, I have a Titan rated one of the worst for MPG's but I routinly get 19 MPG on the highway at 75 MPH.

Where is the Raptor with... 12MPG. LOL

Bob did you see who won the race?

Posted by: FoMoCo | Feb 28, 2012 8:18:43 AM

Yes I did. Jr would have given him a run for his money if he had one more lap. I do not have anything against Kenseth, tough. BTW, who has won the last several MFG's championships? Answer: CHEVROLET. Ford LOSES AGAIN.

@toycrusher84 -- The way the EPA averages the combined fuel economy number is weighted: 55% city and 45% hwy. That's why the actual added numbers don't come out just right when you divide by 2.

Another one you forgot.


Via motors may not survive, But it DOES exist.

@ Highdesertcat - I agree that for most truck owners MPG is not a primary consideration. The price of fuel, as it climbs higher and higher will become a factor. I own a truck to meet my lyfestyle needs (hunting, fishing, camping etc) but if I really looked at things I could get by with something less versatile that costs less to run.
Work guys have no choice but to bite the bullet, but if they have less money to spend on other things, that hurts the economy. Companies will start to increase their fees for services offered. That also hurts the economy.
Right now, a 1 -2 mpg difference isn't huge but at 5-8 dollars a gallon or more (I hope not) it will become a factor.

The 5.3 is a joke. I guess this is what you mean "5.3 LOL"
It's nothing but a grocery getter. Guttless, no wonder it's a bit better on gas.

Ford's 5.4 was able to run with GM's 6 liter because Ford nows how to deliver torque. Torque is what moves the load.
Now Ford's 5.0 specs is identical to GM's 6 liter.

Ford and RAM leads the way... why buy a boring GM? I don't get it.

Highdesertcat is the reason America is so loved across the globe and also the reason modestly equipped full size trucks cost $35k & up.

When I bought my last truck, gas had gone up to $1.55 a gallon and all the analysts on TV said, "it's just temporary, because of the war".

That was 8 and a half years ago. I've pretty much eliminated going anywhere unless I absolutely have to. The oil cartels got me prisoner in my own home. (Which I cannot sell to move closer to customers/job sites)

But just as long as highdesertcat and the rest of you are are willing just to charge it on your credit card no matter what it costs, I had better get used to it.

@ Mark Williams

the 2wd Tundra HP is wrong. 236HP is the 4.0 single VVT-i engine. the Tundra has the dual VVT-i engine and is 270HP/278lb. ft.


Ford has ALWAYS been the WORST at delivering torque. It's always been way up the RPM scale where they make torque, stop touching yourself. the GM 5.3 is a MUCH better engine than the 5.4 triton, it'll pull 7k just fine (so will the 5.4) the the 5.3 will run away from a 5.4 and get better fuel economy to boot. I should also mention they dont blow spark plugs out of the poorly designed heads like the triton either.

Also you should rethink your comment about the 5.4 making the same power that the 6.0 does. 5.4 was 310Hp/365lb.ft. the 6.0 was 367hp/375lb. ft. so the 6.0 was 57hp better and 10lb. ft. of torque better than the 5.4 triton the 6.0 MOPS the floor with a 5.4 bud.

Next you should consider that the 5.0 (WAY BETTER ENGINE) than it was before and a huge step in the right direction for Ford is 360/380. You compared it to the 6.0 but they dont use that engine in the 1500 anymore its the 6.2 that makes 403/417 and again MOPS the floor with a 5.0 ford. the 5.0 on the other hand MOPS the floor with a 5.3 and that would have been a much better argument for your sake. give credit where credit is due thats all i'm saying.

Last, consider this.... power means NOTHING if you cant get it to the payment efficiently. example: the 6.2 ford that (supposedly) makes 417/434 will get its butt handed to it by the 5.7 Tundra that makes 381/401. and they weigh about the same, the stupid cast iron block of the 6.2 makes it slightly heavier but it should be able to overcome that difference with all the extra ponies it makes but it doesnt.

I'm more put off by the $35k+ initial cost for a new truck. I'm trying to find a decent, used, 5-8 year old truck with low miles. Can I afford a new truck? Yep, no problem. Regardless, I'm not willing to spend $20k over the cost of a used truck for somewhat better gas mileage and whatever the latest gadget is. I can purchase high quality gadgets in the aftermarket much cheaper.

Even if it costs me $1k year more in gas I'll get 15 years or more to break even...and I'm presuming I wouldn't keep it that long anyway. Combine that with reduced insurance cost, licensing fees and the break even is even further out.

My quick Excel calculation says a Ford EB @ 17.8 mpg combined is going to cost ~$3,118/year at $3.70 gallon gas. A 2004 Chevy 2500HD Diesel is going to run ~$4,200/year at 15 mpg combined and $4.20 gallon diesel. I read you can get better mpg out of the Duramax but I want to estimate conservatively.

Any way, the numbers don't really favor the added cost of the new trucks. This is in no way definitive...just the numbers as I see them right now. I could be swayed...maybe by a $30k Ford Crew Cab EB 5.0l 4x4 ;-)

BTW - yes, I have no brand loyalty, may the best spec'd truck win!

hemi lol

yea i don't thinks so my 5.4 runs circles around the 5.3 towing and gets better FE, the reason i say this my co-worker has one i run circles around him all the time, the 5.3 might have a better motor but his has 80,000 miles on it and he is having trouble with his rears whining and is having problems with sensors, mine has 112,000 miles on and all i have done is regular maintenance, spark plugs maybe a problem Ford has never experienced it or have talked to anybody that had a problem with them, now read about it on here and forums, but i think that is minor to the piston slap the 5.3's have, as far as running with the 6.0's i think you have point, what i have learned over the years off pulling is Tq is more important than HP, nothing against a 5.3 it has stood the test of time, when i bought my truck thing that sold me on the 5.4 is the TQ and in '05 it was top of the line for towing, JMHO

@hemilol - a 5.3 will run away from a 5.4? Really. The only direct comparison test I've ever seen between the 5.4 and 5.3 was a car magazine test. A SuperCrew 4x4 shortbox 4x4 versus a Chevy crew 4x4. The Chevy was 0.1 seconds faster. The F150 had roughly 200 lb. greater curb weight. Higher front bumper, and slightly bigger overall. Doesn't seem like a run away to me? Guess which one was picked as being better overall? hint - the one with the blue oval. My neighbour has owned both - he isn't a fan of his new Sierra 5.3 when it comes to pulling his camper trailer.
If you want to bring up old problems, I'm sure the anti-Toyota guys can fill a page for you, same goes for the anti-Chevy guys.
I agree that it is a bit of a stretch saying the 5.4 will take the 6.0. The 6.0 doesn't have a huge advantage. One of my friend's has one. My brother drives one. I can tell you that my friend's teenage kids like the interior comfort of my truck over his. One a long trip, he is going to need that "run away" "mop the floor power" to reduce the time his kids spend in his uncomfortable cab.

Any one that says a 5.4 can run with Chevys 6 liter is obviously never driven either!!! The 5.4 is a extreamly gutless engine, not to mention they can't keep a transmission behind it.

I retract my statement, the 5.4 isn't a gutless engine but it doesn't compare to the Chevy 5.3. Nothing can generally touch the Chevy small block

@ hemi lol - As has been pointed out, you are somewhat mistaken. Ford's have traditionally always built more torque lower in the rpm range. As such they were always rated lower horsepower than others in their classes but they were typically preferred for towing applications. The 5.0 and 6.2 are a big turn-around for Ford. They are Rev-happy and more fun to drive, but they aren't as well suited for towing as previous Ford engines.

Back to your argument, yes, the 5.3 could drive circles around the 5.4, but only if the 5.4 ran out of fuel due to it's insatiable thirst...

my pickup is rated 21/27 and I've gotten 29. Mazda b2300. Basically a ranger. Great pickup with a really nice interior. And I bought the truck for $4200. If all you need is a pickup bed and to haul small loads and you really care about MPG then it's the only way to go. Much much more economical than the other full-size trucks I drive.

@Hemi lol- Better torque out of a 5.3 than a 5.4? My 02 5.4 makes 350 ft lbs at 2500 rpm. A 2012 5.3 doesnt make that much torque at its much higher rpm peak. 338 ft lbs at like 5000 rpm or something close to that isnt it? lol and thats 10 years newer.

the last 5.4 had 310 hp and 365 lb ft of torque. the latest 5.3 has 315 hp and 335 lb ft of torque. 6 speed auto behind both (2010 f 150 and 2012 silverado 1500) and if get comparable configurations reg cab short bed 2wd with 3.55 and 3.42 rear ends, i doubt the extra 5 hp the chevy has is going out run the ford because the ford has 30 lb ft more of torque and a rear end that better puts it power down. the only thing the chevy has is 5 more hp. the only time a 5.3 out runs a 5.4 is if you compare the first 5.4 230 hp 330 lb ft torque to the first 5.3 270 hp 315 lb ft torque.

I don't see a 4x4 chevy with a 5.3 on the list... but I see 4x4 fords with 3.5 on the list...

Kudos to Ford.

@ Hemilol and Evan K - wrong, Ford has best torque @ lower RPM (5.4 and 6.8)
The 5.3 is a good engine no doubt but is weak. I had Fords 5.4, 6.8 and GM's 5.3, 6.0 and 8.1. My 6.0 and 5.4 were 2002 and I couln't tell the difference between the two pulling are work trailers.

I know GM is coming around with something to sell (I hope)
GM's 5.3 v8 = Ford's 3.7 v6
GM's 6.0 v8 = Ford's 5.0 v8
Gm's 6.2 v8 < Ford's 6.2 v8

MOP the floors? Ask your mom what those dreams mean.

Nice diversion Chevy guys. You have more of a case in the 5.3 vs 5.4 argument than you do the 5.3 vs EcoBoost. Way to change the subject!

Nice diversion??? The only way the full sized GM trucks made the list is because they have a hybrid, and a 2wd truck...

The only fullsize that isn't a hybrid that has 4wd is a ford. Win? Win!

You guys are all going on paper facts...I have personally driven the 5.3 and 5.4....the 5.4 was a 2008 and the 5.3 is my truck a 2005....the 5.3 feels alot stronger then the 5.4 in all situations...wile I do like the interior better on the ford...it does not change the fact that the 5.4 feels alot slowing with towing and unloaded...just my two cents....the 6.0 was a half ton 2006 that I drove and it out ran a 5.7 hemi, 2007...we were both transporting IDENTICAL boats for a company and we both pinned it out of a light and the 6.0 outran the 5.7....wile I like the looks and interiors of the other trucks...they just don't perform like the Chevys do...

My 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 Q.C / 4x4 / HEMI / 3.92 axle/20" wheels gets 18.6 average mpg in a 60/40 mix driving 60 % city 40% hwy !

Furthermore the Dodge Ram is as hot as I am !

My co-worker cant get more than 11.5 mpg out of his 6 cyl Tundra,what a joke !

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