Can You Actually Have Fuel Efficiency and Off-Road Capabilities in a Pickup Truck?

Traditionally, the most capable pickup trucks are those that sacrifice fuel mileage for the capability desired. In today’s market, you can enjoy the benefits of good fuel economy numbers in some of the best off-road pickup trucks. Trucks aren’t rated to give you the same fuel mileage numbers as sedans and SUVs, but some are made to come close.

Are we cheating if we tell you the most efficient off-road pickup trucks are EVs?

A white 2022 Hummer EV parked
2022 Hummer EV | GMC

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Three off-road pickups currently offered use all-electric powertrains. These three are easily the most efficient, although we have to look at the equivalency of miles per gallon to the electricity used. Gear Junkie tells us these three trucks and their efficiency numbers are:

  • Rivian R1T – 70 MPGe
  • GMC Hummer EV – 47 MPGe
  • Ford F-150 Lightning AWD – 68 MPGe

Of course, if you don’t want to sit and wait for the batteries to charge when you’re done on the trails, you’ll want to look at the gas and diesel-powered pickups for the most efficient off-road pickup trucks in the market.

Going small brings you the fuel economy desired

A 2023 Ford Maverick Tremor just before driving up a hill
2023 Ford Maverick Tremor | Ford

One of the smallest trucks in the market is the Ford Maverick, and the 2.0T AWD model of this little pickup is the most efficient truck you’ll find. This Maverick gives you 250 horsepower, 277 lb-ft of torque, and 25 mpg. The Maverick isn’t a lightweight in the towing arena, with a 4,000-pound towing capacity and 1,500 pounds of payload.

The next three efficient off-road pickup trucks all use diesel

Promo photo of several Ram 1500 pickup trucks with the EcoDiesel V6, a sunset over a pond visible in the background.
2022 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel trucks | Stellantis

Diesel engines have gotten a bad rap when small diesel engines were found to emit more harmful chemicals than automakers reported. Don’t be mad at diesel for this; these engines are still useful in trucks. When used in pickups, we don’t see the same emissions problems.

The next three most efficient off-roaders are:

  • Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel – 24 mpg
  • Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 3.0-liter Duramax Diesel – 24 mpg
  • Ram 1500 EcoDiesel – 24 mpg

Of these three trucks, the GM pair are the most useful. The Duramax diesel engine offers up to 13,000 pounds of towing and payload numbers that reach 2,210 pounds.

The next efficiency mark belongs to two extremely different pickups

A 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz with AWD parked in the woods. Does this pickup truck have all-wheel drive?
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Two off-road pickup trucks that reach 23 mpg combined. Strangely, these two are extremely different from each other. The smaller model is the Hyundai Santa Cruz AWD, which belongs in the same class as the Ford Maverick.

The other truck that hits this economy number is the Ford F-150 PowerBoost. The PowerBoost is a hybrid truck that brings enough power to tow up to 12,400 pounds making this F-150 one of the market’s most efficient and capable trucks.

Which of these efficient trucks should you drive?

Ford F-150 PowerBoost
Ford F-150 PowerBoost | Ford

If you want a pickup that returns good fuel mileage numbers and can tow a heavy load, the diesel GM trucks or the Ford F-150 PowerBoost are the strongest models. The efficiency ratings are within one mpg of each other for these pickups. The Ford Maverick is the right truck to drive when you want a small truck with excellent efficiency.

As you can see, there are several efficient off-road pickup trucks on this list to give you lots of ways to save money on fuel and head out to the trails.

Next, check out what organization loves the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, or watch the most and least efficient trucks in this video below:

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