9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016 | Edmunds

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016


Trucks are designed to offer loads of power and ample room for hauling your stuff, and these traits don't exactly lend themselves to fuel economy. Still, you can find pickups on the market that are fuel-efficient enough to deliver mileage that doesn't flatten your finances.

Our list is dedicated to these champions at the pump: the pickups that lead the pack when it comes to fuel economy. Our rankings are based on EPA ratings garnered by the most fuel-efficient choice in each model's lineup.

Two-wheel-drive pickups get the best mileage, which means our list is based on EPA ratings for each model's two-wheel-drive variant. Still, we recognize that most trucks purchased in this country are four-wheel-drive (74 percent nationally this year). If you're one of those buyers, check the EPA rating of each model's most frugal four-wheel-drive variant.

Our nine picks are ranked from best to worst in combined two-wheel-drive fuel economy.

1. 2016 Chevrolet Colorado (tie)

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016

Midsize truck fans rejoiced when the new-generation Chevrolet Colorado arrived on the scene last year. Compared with older rivals in this class, it was more pleasant to drive, nicer on the inside and thriftier at the pump. Yet history may judge 2016 as an even more momentous year for midsize trucks. That's because the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado is the first modern example to offer a diesel engine. It's a pricey add-on, to be sure, but the diesel provides a highly desirable combination of performance and fuel economy.

  • Most fuel-efficient 2WD variant (2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder): 25 mpg combined, 22 city/31 highway.
  • Most fuel-efficient 4WD variant ((2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder): 23 mpg combined, 20 city/29 highway.

1. 2016 GMC Canyon (tie)

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016

Everything we said about the Colorado also applies to the 2016 GMC Canyon. It's the same basic truck under the skin, and it shares the Colorado's 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder and 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engines as well as the new-for-2016 Duramax 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. The main difference between the two GM trucks is that the GMC version has its own styling with a more formal look.

  • Most fuel-efficient 2WD variant (2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder): 25 mpg combined, 22 city/31 highway.
  • Most fuel-efficient 4WD variant highway (2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder): 23 mpg combined, 20 city/29 highway.

2. 2016 Ram 1500

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016

Although its last full redesign was in 2009, you wouldn't know it from the way the 2016 Ram 1500 handles itself. From its high-quality cabin materials to its easy-to-use infotainment system and remarkably supple ride, there's plenty here to make up for the relative lack of newness. All the major players in this segment have been overhauled more recently, but the Ram's refined manners belie its age. It's still a great choice if you're looking for a full-size truck.

  • Most fuel-efficient 2WD variant (3.0-liter turbodiesel V6): 23 mpg combined, 20 city/28 highway.
  • Most fuel-efficient 4WD variant (3.0-liter turbodiesel V6): 22 mpg combined, 19 city/27 highway.

3. 2016 Ford F-150

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016

The 2016 Ford F-150 stands apart from its competitors thanks to its use of lighter aluminum body panels instead of steel. As a result, the truck weighs less, which benefits both fuel economy and payload capacity. The panels are also surprisingly resilient. They're more expensive to repair, though, and while we're nitpicking, the F-150's ride quality is a bit too firm to make it the best in its class. But this Ford truck has so much else going for it that many shoppers will likely forgive such minor shortcomings.

  • Most fuel-efficient 2WD variant (2.7-liter turbocharged V6): 22 mpg combined, 19 city/26 highway.
  • Most fuel-efficient 4WD variant (2.7-liter turbocharged V6): 20 mpg combined, 18 city/23 highway.

4. 2016 Toyota Tacoma (tie)

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016

For more than 20 years now, the Toyota Tacoma has been a very popular alternative for shoppers who feel that regular full-size trucks are just too big or too expensive. It's no surprise then that the redesigned 2016 Toyota Tacoma hasn't drifted far from its proven formula. Capable off-road performance is more central to the Tacoma's identity than ever, yet this is also a highly civilized truck if you're just rolling around town. Extraordinarily strong resale value is another reason to put a 2016 Tacoma in your driveway.

  • Most fuel-efficient 2WD variant (3.5-liter V6): 21 mpg combined, 19 city/24 highway.
  • Most fuel-efficient 4WD variant (2.7-liter four-cylinder): 20 mpg combined, 19 city/22 highway.

4. 2016 Nissan Frontier (tie)

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016

The Nissan Frontier has long been a popular choice with people who don't need the greater towing and hauling abilities of a full-size pickup. Since its debut, the Frontier has offered multiple cab configurations and both four-cylinder and V6 engines, with availability varying from year to year. Modern Nissan Frontiers are bigger and more powerful than the early versions, and this Nissan has evolved into more of a midsize pickup than a compact truck.

  • Most fuel-efficient 2WD variant (2.5-liter four-cylinder): 21 mpg combined, 19 city/23 highway.
  • Most fuel-efficient 4WD variant (4.0-liter V6): 18 mpg combined, 16 city/21 highway.

5. 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (tie)

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016

Full-size pickup trucks are highly diverse: Each one can be configured as a bare-bones workhorse or a luxury family hauler. The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado is no exception. It's available in three cab configurations, three bed lengths, three engines, eight trim levels, and a multitude of appearance packages and options. The number of permutations is dizzying, and so is the price tag as you start checking off boxes on the order form. But the good news is that, however you tailor it, you'll be getting an extremely capable pickup that is quiet, roomy and powerful.

  • Most fuel-efficient 2WD variant (4.3-liter V6): 20 mpg combined, 18 city/24 highway.
  • Most fuel-efficient 4WD variant (4.3-liter V6): 19 mpg combined, 17 city/22 highway.

5. 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 (tie)

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016

Just like its Chevrolet Silverado cousin, the 2016 GMC Sierra boasts a comfortable and quiet cabin and fuel-efficient engines that make it a compelling choice among half-ton pickup trucks. It also has a tremendous variety of cab, box and drive configurations. Most of the differences between the Silverado and Sierra are just cosmetic, but the Sierra offers a few extra features and is available in the flashy Denali trim level. It has unique styling features, more luxurious cabin trimmings and a standard 6.2-liter V8.

  • Most fuel-efficient 2WD variant (4.3-liter V6): 20 mpg combined, 18 city/24 highway.
  • Most fuel-efficient 4WD variant (4.3-liter V6): 19 mpg combined, 17 city/22 highway.

6. 2016 Toyota Tundra

9 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2016

When the Toyota Tundra debuted at the turn of the 21st century, many people considered it to be the first imported full-size pickup truck that could truly go head to head against the trucks from the domestic carmakers. When properly equipped, Toyota's full-size truck matches the tow ratings of its American-brand competition. Inside, the Tundra has spacious, comfortable accommodations for passengers and mostly simple controls.

  • Most fuel-efficient 2WD variant (4.6-liter V8): 16 mpg combined, 15 city/19 highway.
  • Most fuel-efficient 4WD variant (4.6-liter V8): 16 mpg combined, 14 city/18 highway.

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