Gas prices are unpredictable. One day it cost $3 a gallon and a week later it’s $4. It gets worse when you own a truck with fuel economy that barely makes it into the teens. A $1 a gallon price swing can set you back a Ben Franklin every time you fill-up. And while some people think you can just trade your Super Duty for a Prius – well, they don’t know what they are talking about. Sometimes you just need a truck.
But even if you need a truck, there are plenty of options that offer reasonable gas mileage. Looking at the Ford lineup, four new models get at least 23 mpg combined. Likewise, a number of Ford trucks made in the past 10 years also get over 20 mpg. Using the combined mpg numbers, I found eight trucks with EPA averages over 20 mpg that are worth considering if you’re shopping for a new rig.
2011 Ford F-150 3.7-liter V6 – 20 mpg
It’s easy to dismiss the 3.7-liter V6. It wasn’t offered more than a few years in the F-150 and never developed much of a following. But if you look at the power numbers, it puts out more horsepower than the 4.6-liter V8. You can also get the 3.7-liter engine in just about any F-150 body style. Car and Driver reviewed the truck in 2011 and called it an eminently usable full-size truck. The only real drawback is the 5.0-liter V8 which offers more power and still gets 17 mpg.
2018 Ford F-150 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 – 22 mpg
2018 Ford F-150 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6
Drive an F-150 with a 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 and you almost forget you’re in a truck. The engine is smooth, quiet, and pairs nicely with the 10-speed transmission. With 325 hp on tap, you won’t miss the V8. When Cars Direct reviewed the 2018 F-150 they called the 2.7-liter a peach and highly recommended it. Like any Ecoboost, fuel economy drops in a hurry when you put your foot into it. But drive it sparingly and you’ll see mileage in the low 20s.
2018 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid – 23 mpg
2022 Ford Ranger 2.3-liter Ecoboost – 23 mpg
The current Ford Ranger is the Goldilocks of trucks – not too big, not too small, just right for most people. It also has decent tow ratings and is a very capable off-roader. There are several F-150s on this list that get better gas mileage than the Ranger, but as a new vehicle, the Ranger is significantly cheaper than the equivalent F-150. It’s also an old design, due to be replaced next year. That means you’re less likely to see dealer market adjustments (cough – price gouging) on the current Ranger.
2021 Ford F-150 Turbo Diesel – 23 mpg
Ford ended production of the 3.0-liter turbo diesel F-150 last year. However, if you still want to hear the clatter of an oil burner, there are a number of new and used diesel F-150s on the market. But for the same money, you can also find a used Super Duty with the Power Stroke diesel. Not only is it more truck, but some people claim to get gas mileage in the low 20s. That may be the biggest reason Ford canceled the F-150 diesel.
2011 Ford Ranger 2.3-liter – 24 mpg
I know three people who commute 60, 90, even 120 miles a day. What do they buy? One of them drives a Toyota Corolla, but the other two log miles on older Ford Rangers. Their method is simple, buy a used, low-mileage Ranger with the 2.3-liter four-cylinder and put 300,000 miles on it. Then rinse and repeat. Not only does the old Ranger get mileage in the mid-20s, but its running costs are stupid cheap. But unfortunately, the run-up in used car prices also caught the Ranger in its wake.
2022 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid – 25 mpg
Part of the demise of the F-150 Turbo Diesel is the Super Duty’s fault. It’s more truck at a comparable price. But some of it is due to the F-150 Hybrid. Not only does the Hybrid fit with Ford’s electric vehicle strategy, but it’s a better truck than the Turbo Diesel. It makes more power and has better tow ratings. And it gets better gas mileage, especially around town. If you need a full-sized truck, and you need good gas mileage, the F-150 Hybrid is the pick of the liter.
2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid – 37 mpg
It’s no secret I love me some Maverick truck. For me, and maybe 80% of other people, it’s the right mix of size and practicality. The 2.0-liter I4 Ecoboost engine gets 26 mpg combined. But if you don’t need the extra towing capacity, or don’t want to pay more for all-wheel drive, the 2.5-liter Hybrid gets 37 mpg. That’s Honda Civic fuel economy for something with a truck bed and a 2,000 lb. base tow rating.