3 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2022 and 2023, According to KBB

For the first time ever, it’s actually possible to buy a pickup truck with good fuel economy. A truck usually isn’t the best choice if you’re looking to save money at the pump. However, some pickups are far better options than others. In addition, electric vehicles don’t count, so if you really want to eliminate your fuel costs, buy an EV. Here are the three most fuel-efficient trucks for 2022 and 2023, according to KBB.

3. The 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz is surprisingly fuel-efficient

2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Night, one of the most fuel-efficient trucks for 2022 and 2023, according to KBB.
2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz Night | Hyundai

KBB says it starts at $25,450, so the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the one true Ford Maverick competitor. Primarily because of its size, which is small compared to typical midsize/compact trucks. Surprisingly, the Santa Cruz can tow up to 5,000 pounds, which is impressive for its stature. In addition, all-wheel drive isn’t standard but is available on all trim levels for just $1,500.

Thankfully, it’s one of the most fuel-efficient trucks available. Even with a versatile, robust engine, the size of the Santa Cruz allows it to outperform alternatives regarding fuel economy. It comes with one of two engines. Either the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder, making 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, or the optional turbocharged version, which produces 281 hp and 311 lb-ft. Lastly, its EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 city and 27 highway mpg for a 23 mpg combined rating.

2. 2022 Ford Ranger has underrated fuel economy

Blue Ford Ranger Towing a Boat, one of the most fuel-efficient trucks for 2022 and 2023, according to KBB.
Blue Ford Ranger Towing a Boat | Ford

If you’ve researched the most fuel-efficient trucks, you’ve read about all the same models. However, one that’s often forgotten is Ford’s midsize truck. Buying a 2022 Ford Ranger is the perfect middle ground between the burly F-150 and the tiny Maverick. It’s also surprisingly fuel-efficient compared to many rivals. More importantly, it starts at $25,285, which is more affordable than Hyundai’s tiny offering.

The Ranger is the best option if you’re looking for a little more size with your fuel-efficient truck. All-wheel drive isn’t standard but is available on most trims. Moreover, it comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four under the hood, producing 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. In addition, its towing maxes out at 7,500 pounds, which beats the other fuel-efficient trucks. Finally, using rear-wheel drive, the Ranger averages an EPA-estimated 21 city and 26 highway mpg. However, opting for all-wheel drive changes those numbers to 20/24.

1. Most fuel-efficient truck: 2022 Ford Maverick

Orange 2023 Ford Maverick pickup truck driving on a mountain road, one of the most fuel-efficient trucks for 2022 and 2023, according to KBB.
2022 Ford Maverick | Ford

RELATED: The 2022 Ford Maverick Has an Official Fuel Economy EPA Rating so Good, It Even Destroys Nearly Every Hybrid SUV

Knocking down the size again to match the Hyundai Santa Cruz is the compact Ford Maverick. Like its big brother, the Maverick comes standard without all-wheel drive. Unfortunately, the standard hybrid powertrain is unavailable with all-wheel drive, but we hope to see it added in the future. One of the Maverick’s most significant advantages is its price, which starts at $20,000. The upper trims, XLE and Lariat, don’t exceed $26,000. However, plenty of options are available that can quickly boost the price.

According to KBB, every Maverick comes with a 2.5-liter Atkinson inline-four combined with a 94-kW battery pack. Together, the powertrain produces 191 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. In addition, the front-wheel drive-only model has an insanely impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy of 42 city and 33 highway mpg. Although the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine comes with front-wheel drive, it’s the only way to get all-wheel drive.

The optional engine makes 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Its EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 city and 30 highway mpg. Alternatively, the upgraded AWD model drops to 22 city/29 highway mpg. Although the standard hybrid engine and front-wheel drive produce the most fuel-efficient truck, the upgraded 2022 Ford Maverick isn’t bad.

Most fuel-efficient trucks for 2022 and 2023

KBB does a lot of testing of just about every new vehicle available. As a result, it is one of the most trusted resources for everything car-related. One of those things is fuel efficiency, and these affordable pickups do surprisingly well at the pump. If you’re interested in a truck with capability that won’t hurt your wallet every time you drive, check out the 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz, 2022 Ford Ranger, and 2022 Ford Maverick.

RELATED: 2022 Ford Maverick Fuel Economy: 2,000 Miles Later