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Pickup trucks generally get terrible gas mileage. While some models strive for more fuel efficiency, others thumb their proverbial noses at the notion. So which two standard 2023 full-size pickup trucks have the most terrible fuel economy? And would you drive one anyway?

Raptor R
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R | Ford

Fuel economy woes

Volatile gas prices are nothing new and tend to rise and fall depending on global factors. Additionally, the rise of the electric vehicle (EV) and legislation encouraging EV adoption will likely push gas costs higher. 

People often blame high fuel prices for limiting the distance they drive from home for day trips and vacations. Unfortunately, anyone pulling a camping trailer with a gas-guzzling pickup truck knows the pain of rising gas costs all too well.

Fortunately, most pickup trucks offer improved fuel economy with each new model, but that’s not the case for the two with the worst fuel efficiency. Both of these trucks have other intended purposes. 

Two standard full-size pickups with terrible fuel efficiency identifies two standard full-size pickup trucks for having terrible fuel efficiency. The 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R and the 2023 Ram 1500 TRX each get an EPA-estimated 12 mpg combined city and highway.

However, while the Ram TRX gets 10 mpg in the city and 14 mpg on the highway, the Ford Raptor gets 10 mpg in town and 15 mpg on the open road. There’s no denying these numbers terrible, but it’s important to remember the intended purpose of these trucks.

Would you drive one anyway?


The Best Compact Pickup Trucks for Highway Fuel Economy in 2022

Few would disagree that those numbers indicate terrible fuel efficiency, but neither of these trucks aims to capture the fuel-conscious crowd. Instead, they’re designed to deliver astounding performance on the street and off-road.

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R

MotorTrend called the $109,740 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R “absolutely bonkerballs” after testing it late last year. At the heart of the Raptor R lies the 700-horsepower 5.2-liter supercharged V8 borrowed from the Mustang Shelby GT500.

In the GT500, the 5.2-liter makes 760 horsepower, but Ford engineers tweaked the tuning to deliver a “more truck-friendly torque curve.” 

With 640 lb-ft of torque, the Raptor R jumps into action, racing from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and completing the quarter-mile sprint in 12.7 seconds at 107.3 mph. For reference, the 2023 Mustang GT500 is 0.4 seconds quicker to 60 mph and 1.3 seconds and about 25 mph faster in the quarter mile. Impressive, yes, but the Raptor R isn’t all about pavement performance.

The 2023 Ford Raptor R finds its stride among rough two-track trails and makes new tracks if needed. While following in the tire tracks of the original Ford Raptor, the Raptor R’s primary mission lies in pummeling the 2023 Ram 1500 TRX.

Both trucks supply similar horsepower, and the Raptor R is over 700 pounds lighter, but its vague steering and oversized steering wheel make the Raptor R feel larger than it should. And any acceleration in two-wheel drive mode only amplifies the feeling. 

2023 Ram 1500 TRX

On the other hand, the 2023 Ram 1500 TRX starts at $86,450 and has 702 horsepower. The 6.2-liter Hemi V8, also known as the Hellcat engine, supplies the horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.

Although the TRX is heavier than the Raptor R, it posts the same 3.7-second zero-to-60 mph time and finishes the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds at 110 mph, a little quicker but with a slower top speed. 

The disparity in quarter-mile performance lies with the TRX’s full-time four-wheel drive that doesn’t offer a rear-wheel-drive-only option. However, like the Raptor R, pavement performance is cool, and the numbers provide a way to objectify performance, but the TRX is purpose-built for more.

Car and Driver says, “the TRX is meant to play in the mud, rocks, and sand too,” based on its 11.8-inch ground clearance, 13-inch suspension travel, and 35-inch all-terrain tires.