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The Best And The Worst Gas Guzzlers

Have you ever wondered which pickups have the best or the worst fuel mileage? The U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has the answer, and their website ( gives a shout out to the winners and losers, as they see them. Natural Resources Canada (NRC) has also selected its favourite truck to include in the ecoENERGY fuel mileage awards for 2011.

Transport Canada’s website says you should expect to add 15 to 20 per cent to fuel costs when making the jump from two-wheel to four-wheel drive, so it should be no surprise the most economical pickups only have power at the rear axle. And because it takes more power (hence more fuel) to move extra weight, the compact pickups fare better in the mileage department than their full-size brothers. With that in mind here’s a look at the picks for best and worst performers in the pickup world for this year.

The compact pickup with the EPA’s lowest measured fuel consumption rating goes to the two-wheel drive Ford Ranger equipped with a 2.3 litre, five-speed manual transmission combination. It gets an EPA rating of 22 MPG city and 27 MPG highway. The Toyota Tacoma two-wheel drive with a 2.7 litre engine and five-speed manual transmission combination gets honourable mention with 20 m.p.g. city and 23 m.p.g. highway.

But NRC sees things differently. That agency included the Toyota in its picks for a 2011 ecoENERGY award, giving it a slightly higher rating than the Ranger at 28 m.p.g. city and a whopping 37 highway. Maybe all this good, clean Canadian air makes it work better.

Under the process used by Transport Canada to determine fuel mileage ratings, the numbers always work out much more optimistically than those coming from the EPA, which accounts for the different numbers. The Ranger had almost identical performance in Canadian published data. It was so close, in fact, that it gets the same overall m.p.g. rating.

On the full-size pickup front, the two-wheel drive Chevrolet/ GMC Silverado hybrid K-15 with a 6.0 litre engine mated to a CVT transmission took the EPA’s top spot. It’s rated at 20 m.p.g. city and 23 m.p.g. highway. Using Transport Canada’s numbers, it comes out at 28 m.p.g. city and 34 m.p.g. highway.

Now, for those with the lowest mileage ratings.

In the compact-truck segment, Toyota, whose two-wheel drive version gives the Ford Ranger a run for its money for top spot, gets the EPA’s worst rating with its four-wheel drive, 4.0 litre, six-speed version, which makes only 14 m.p.g. city and 18 m.p.g. highway. Transport Canada gives it 19 and 26, respectively.

In the full-size segment, the Ford F-150 Raptor four-wheel drive, which comes with a 6.2 litre engine and six-speed electronic overdrive transmission, is only capable of a paltry 11 m.p.g. city and 14 highway. In Canada, it’s rated at 15 city, 20 highway. But looking at this truck and its features, Ford likely didn’t expect to attract any buyers with fuel economy high on their list of priorities. It’s one awesome truck. How I long for the days of cheap gas and environmental ignorance!



Expect to add 15 to 20 per cent to fuel costs when moving from two-wheel to

four-wheel drive

About the author


Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.



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