Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2004

Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2004

In the past, new truck shoppers were more concerned with power, cargo capacity and off-road ability than fuel economy. Now that gas prices are hitting all-time highs, however, fuel efficiency has become an important issue for buyers, even those who need a vehicle capable of hauling more than just a bag of groceries. With this in mind, we've compiled a list of the top 10 most fuel-efficient pickups and SUVs sold in the U.S. today, based on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) miles-per-gallon ratings for city and highway travel. We considered only those vehicles that you can refuel at a regular gas station, so there are no pure-electric or natural gas vehicles on this list. The only hybrid vehicle to make the list is the new Ford Escape, which offers stellar economy and relies on regular 87-octane fuel to feed its gasoline engine, which in turn recharges the batteries for its electric motor. The Escape Hybrid is listed as a 2005 model, but will be on sale by late summer 2004. Our hierarchy is based on the EPA's formula for combined fuel economy: 55 percent of city mpg rating plus 45 percent of highway mpg rating. The rating for each vehicle below is expressed in mpg as a city/highway ratio. With exceptions for the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda CR-V and Element and Toyota Highlander, all ratings apply to base models equipped with a manual transmission and two-wheel drive — and for pickups, a regular cab/standard bed configuration. You'll notice that Chrysler's PT Cruiser made this list, and that's because the EPA classifies it as an SUV — even though it's basically a station wagon.

  1. 1. Ford Escape Hybrid, 37/30

    (The Escape Hybrid is listed as a 2005, but will be on dealer lots by mid-summer 2004)

  2. 2. Toyota RAV4, 24/30

  3. 3. Saturn Vue, 24/29
    Ford Ranger, 24/29
    Mazda B2300, 24/29

  4. 4. Honda CR-V, 23/29

  5. 5. Mazda Tribute, 23/28

  6. 6. Chrysler PT Cruiser, 22/29

  7. 7. Toyota Tacoma, 22/27
    Toyota Highlander, 22/27

  8. 8. Honda Element, 22/26

  9. 9. Chevrolet Colorado, 21/27
    GMC Canyon, 21/27

  10. 10. Hyundai Santa Fe, 20/27

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