The Ford F-150 is iconic, with legions of die-hard fans who will buy no other truck. Despite its reputation among brand-loyal fans, truck enthusiasts, and automotive critics, it’s not known for having the best fuel economy. But even with unimpressive numbers, the Ford F-150 is still more fuel-efficient than every other full-size truck in the segment.
How the rest of the competition stacks up
Even though there are about half a dozen other full-size pickup trucks in this segment, none have a great fuel economy. Consumer Reports scores the F-150’s competitors with a 1 out of 5 on overall mileage.
This rating includes its “Recommend” pick, the Ram 1500. It gets a combined 17 mpg, which Consumer Reports’ reviewers note is a 2 mpg improvement over the previous version they evaluated. Consumer Reports also note the GMC Sierra 1500 gets a combined 17 mpg, which jumps up to 23 mpg if you opt for its diesel variant. That mileage figure is shared by the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which Consumer Reports noted was an improvement over earlier models.
The Nissan Titan and the Ram 1500 Classic are distinguished by even worse fuel economy, a combined 16 mpg and 15 mpg, respectively. Consumer Reports reviewers weren’t particularly surprised by Titan’s middling fuel economy number. However, Ram 1500 Classic buyers looking for a clean version will be in for a pleasant surprise. Consumer Reports notes the EcoDiesel version gets a combined 20 mpg.
The Ford F-150’s fuel economy and features
But if you’re looking for a conventional gas-powered engine, the Ford F-150 is the full-size pickup truck to buy. Earning a 2 out of 5 from Consumer Reports, it offers more fuel efficiency than the competition. If you opt for its hybrid version, the EcoBoost, you’ll get a combined 20 mpg. That’s less than its combined 24 mpg EPA rating but enough to match the Ram Classic’s potentially segment beating mileage.
The F-150 brings more to the table than relatively better fuel efficiency. Power and towing capacity are also on the table. If you’re looking for the former, the F150 offers the XLT trim with a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine generating 430 hp (among other less powerful options).
This version also provides an impressive 12,400 pounds of towing capacity. And more generally, the F150 provides good handling, little cabin noise, and advanced solid safety tech.
And while most F150 drivers aren’t looking for luxury interiors, the new F-150 has improved its interior styling. The materials are a bit more refined than in previous versions, providing drivers and passengers with a more comfortable riding experience. The tech, such as a 12-inch infotainment screen and climate controls, is nice too.
Is the Ford F-150 really the most fuel-efficient?
Despite its combined 19 mpg number, the Ford F-150 can’t definitively be declared the best in mileage in its class. At least, not yet. Consumer Reports is still testing the Toyota Tundra, which means there’s a possibility the F-150 could be knocked off its perch.
However, if the Tundra outperforms the F-150, Toyota would have made a massive improvement over previous versions. The 2020 Toyota Tundra could only push out 13 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway. If Toyota hasn’t spent time and resources on the 2022 model’s fuel economy, the Tundra might be a strong contender for worst in class.
So, even though full-size pickup truck owners will be spending a lot on gas, prospective buyers are best off with a Ford F-150. It’s a reliable, well-known model whose relative fuel efficiency can keep your total ownership costs as low as possible.