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One of the most popular segments in America, the pickup truck has never been known for its fuel efficiency. Over the years, automakers have made more and more pickup trucks with improved fuel economy. Still, even in 2021, there are some trucks you’ll need to avoid if you want to save money on gas.

The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor gets terrible gas mileage

2201 Ford Raptor against a white background. It's one of the pickup trucks to avoid if you want to save money on gas.
2022 Ford Raptor | Ford

The Ford F-150 Raptor is one of the biggest names in the entire pickup truck segment. Though it is very expensive, it’s still viewed as the top-tier selection for off-road capability and power. However, with great power comes great fuel costs-or something like that. The Raptor gets an EPA-estimated 15 city and 16 highway miles per gallon. That’s why it’s one of our pickup trucks to avoid if you want to save money on gas.

The 2021 Raptor comes with a 36-gallon gas tank that can drive less than 500 miles. The twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 produces over 450 horsepower. Though an engine like that makes for some serious capability and a lot of fun, it will hurt your wallet badly.

The 2021 Toyota Tundra is a pickup truck to avoid

A gray 2022 Toyota Tundra is parked. It's one of the pickup trucks to avoid if you want to save money on gas.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup truck | Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

The 2021 Toyota Tundra needs to be avoided if you’re looking to save on fuel costs. Though it comes with either two- or four-wheel drive, the mpg only changes by one mile combined. Each of the two variants gets an EPA-estimated 13 city and 17 highway mpg. The 2WD version gets a combined 15 compared to the 4WD’s 14. That instantly makes it a pickup truck to avoid to save money on gas.

The 5.7-liter V8 engine is standard in every Toyota Tundra trim and doesn’t help at all with fuel efficiency. The powerful V8 produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. It’s perfect for towing and hauling, but you’ll be stopping at the gas station quite often.

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX gets the worst gas mileage

Red 2021 Ram 1500 TRX driving on sandy terrain. It's one of the pickup trucks to avoid if you want to save money on gas.
2021 Ram 1500 TRX | Ram

The poor fuel economy numbers for the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX should surprise no one. This thing comes equipped with a 705-horsepower supercharged V8 engine, giving it one of the worst EPA-estimated combined fuel economy ratings of all time. It gets an abysmal 10 city and 14 highway mpg for a combined 12 mpg, making it our least fuel-efficient pickup truck to avoid.

Though the supercharged V8 won’t help your bank account in terms of fuel costs, it is really fast. The Ram 1500 TRX isn’t just fast “for a pickup truck” it’s actually really fast. It can move from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds during CarAndDriver‘s testing. Any vehicle moving that quickly while weighing 6,866 pounds is going to burn a lot of fuel very quickly.

The three of these are great options for specific purposes, but fuel efficiency isn’t one of them. These are three pickup trucks you’ll want to avoid if you’re looking to save money on gas. Though trucks like the Raptor and TRX look cool and drive amazingly well, the fuel costs end up being the worst part of owning one. The Toyota Tundra is just a bit behind the eight ball for fuel efficiency, though it’s respectable that Toyota has still refused to ditch the standard V8.


2022 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2022 Ram 1500 TRX: Off-Road Truck Battle