Skip to main content

Big trucks are like big bricks moving through the air. They’re the least efficient shape for getting good gas mileage. Then, when you add the weight of the truck and the weight of a complex 4×4 system, they’re some of the thirstiest vehicles on the road. But nothing beats a full-size truck with 4×4 for getting into and out of the tough stuff, and for hauling and towing. Many of us need a big truck that can do it all, but which full-sized 4×4 truck has the best gas mileage?

Engines and tires make a difference in mpg

A red Ford Big Raptor truck.
Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford Media Center

Each full-size truck on the market today gets better gas mileage than similar trucks from just a few years ago, thanks to new turbochargers, hybrid power, or better transmissions. These full-sized trucks come with a wide variety of engine choices, and each has a different mpg figure according to the EPA’s site. Beyond the weight and complexity of a 4×4 system, the other aspect that hurts mileage is the tires. Giant mud tires may look awesome, but they’re super inefficient and do make a big difference in the mileage.

All of these figures are for four-wheel-drive-equipped trucks. Two-wheel drive versions get slightly better mileage across the board.

The V6 surprises in the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado

GMC Sierra AT4X, one of the best pickup trucks for 2022
2022 GMC Sierra AT4X | GMC

The 4×4 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra is a bit of a surprise. General Motors moved to a new 2.7-liter turbocharged motor for the base engine that was supposed to be more efficient to these twins. It does make gobs of power, up to 310 horsepower, but it doesn’t beat the V6 for fuel economy. Of course the lifted ZR2 or AT4X models with mud tires gets the worst gas mileage.

According to the EPA, 4×4 Silverados achieve:

3.0-liter V6: 22 mpg city, and 27 mpg highway.

2.7-liter 4-cylinder: 18 mpg city, 21 mpg highway

5.3-liter V8: 16 mpg city, 20 mpg highway

6.2-liter V8: 16 mpg city, 20 mpg highway

ZR2 6.2-liter V8: 14 mpg city, 17 mpg highway

Ford F-150 EcoBoost engines live up to their names

Ford F-150 full-size pickup trucks are parked outdoors.
Ford F-150 full-size pickup trucks are parked outdoors | Ford

Ford’s suite of EcoBoost engines on paper certainly are the most efficient in the F-150. The 2.7-liter is the winner at the Blue Oval for fuel efficiency. Though we love the power of the 5.0 V8, it’s thirsty. But no truck on Ford’s list is as thirsty as the new Ford Raptor R with its 700-horsepower 5.2-liter V8.

According to the EPA:

2.7-liter V6: 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway

3.5-liter V6: 23 mpg city, 23 mpg highway

3.3-liter V6: 19 mpg city, 22 mpg highway

5.0-liter V8: 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway

Tremor 3.5-liter: 16 mpg city, 20 mpg highway

Raptor 3.5-liter V6: 15 mpg city, 16 mpg highway

Raptor R 5.2-liter V8: 10 mpg city, 15 mpg highway

Even with modern tech, Ram trucks are thirsty

A red 2023 Ram 1500 Limited full-size pickup truck model parked on a dirt gravel trail near farmland
2023 Ram 1500 Limited | FCA

Ram’s added several gas-saving measures to its big thirsty V8 over the years. Ram uses clever tricks like a cylinder deactivation system and even a 48-volt mild hybrid system to save fuel. Compared to the 12 years ago, it’s better, but the V8 can’t bet the trusty V6 for mileage. The TRX , however, takes the cake on this list as the thirstiest truck of all.

According to the EPA:

3.0-liter V6: 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway

5.7-liter V8: 17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway

TRX 6.2-liter V8: 10 mpg city, 14 mpg highway

Every Nissan Titan has a 400-horsepower V8

All Nissan Titans come with one option, a 400-horsepower V8. There are two versions of the Titan, the regular and the PRO4X. Like the others, the off-road tires on the dirt focused PRO4X hurt mileage.

According to the EPA:

5.6-liter V8: 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway

PRO4X 5.6-liter V8: 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway

2023 Toyota Tundras have a hybrid V6

Tundra showing the 2023 Toyota Tundra's towing capacity.
2023 Toyota Tundra towing | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Related 4 Cylinder Silverado and Sierra Beat the V8 in One Key Way

4 Cylinder Silverado and Sierra Beat the V8 in One Key Way

Toyota is trying to differentiate itself in the full-sized truck and SUV world by dropping its venerable V8 and instead making its new 2022 Toyota Tundra pickups and the new Sequoia SUV all V6-powered. But they aren’t regular V6s. With an available hybrid system, they can pack a punch. But, they’re still more thirsty than Fords.

According to the EPA:

3.4-liter V6: 19 mpg city, 22 mpg highway

TRD Pro 3.4-liter V6: 18 mpg city, 20 mpg highway