Let’s face it: gas mileage is not a pickup truck’s strong suit. We love our trucks because they have the power and torque to haul and tow. Most trucks can easily go offroad and still function as family transportation. What’s not lovable is the terrible fuel economy. It seems as manufacturers continue to produce heavier, more luxurious trucks, the gas mileage tends to drop even more.
Regardless of whether you decide to splurge on a gas guzzler or whether you seek out something more economical, truck gas mileage should be an important factor to consider. Here are three new trucks that are rated as having the worst fuel economy. For this list, fuel economy rankings are measured for city driving.
2019 Ford F-150 XL 4×4 SuperCab: 18 MPG
A standard 3.3-liter V6 engine, four-wheel drive, six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive power this Ford F-150 XL. The V6 produces 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, which is adequate for towing 5,000 pounds or hauling 1,730 pounds. It has a standard 6.5-foot truck bed. The starting MSRP for an F-150 with these specs is $52,390.
The 4WD system of this base-model F-150 lowers its gas mileage in two ways. First, when all four wheels of the truck are engaged, it requires the engine to work harder. Second, the system itself adds more weight to the truck.
More weight requires more fuel to move it. This option, along with the 6.5-foot bed, adds close to 300 pounds to this F-150’s total curb weight of 4,343 pounds.
An equivalent full-size truck that provides somewhat better mileage is the 2019 RAM 1500 Tradesman 4×4 Quad Cab. The Tradesman is Ram’s basic work truck and the Quad Cab style has a six-foot-four-inch bed.
This version is equipped with four-wheel drive. It has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Its eight-speed automatic transmission with overdrive might give the Ram a slight edge over the F-150’s six-speed automatic in getting better gas mileage.
The Ram is a heavier truck at 5,090 pounds, and its 4WD system and longer bed take some efficiency away from its gas mileage. Despite all of these factors, the Tradesman’s 19 MPG is a little better than the F-150’s. The starting MSRP for this truck is $35,545.
2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 4×4 Crew Cab: 18 MPG
Mid-size trucks often have better gas mileage than full-size models. But the offroad-ready Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is an exception to the rule. This version has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that delivers 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. Its drivetrain is an eight-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. It’s equipped with a five-foot bed. The starting price for the Chevy truck is $41,300.
As with the other 4X4 trucks we’ve looked at so far, the Colorado’s 4WD system shaves a few miles from the truck’s fuel economy. The 4WD system adds a few hundred more pounds to the ZR2’s surprising heft of 4,716 pounds. A mid-size truck carrying this kind of full-size curb weight translates into less-than-stellar gas mileage.
Just about any other mid-size truck, including a few other Colorado trim levels, surpasses the ZR2 in fuel economy. The Toyota Tacoma is a close rival of the Colorado and has a comparable version to the ZR2. The Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab has a 3.5-liter V6 that packs 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque.
It’s also equipped with a 4X4 drivetrain, a six-speed automatic transmission, and a six-foot bed. Although buyers sacrifice cab space with this configuration, this version of the TRD gets 20 MPG. The Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport has a starting price of $32,395.
2019 Toyota Tundra 4×2 Double Cab: 17 MPG
This year’s Toyota Tundra has an optional 5.7-liter V8 engine that develops 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. With an engine with such massive displacement, the Tundra can tow up to 10,200 pounds. This big engine is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. It is equipped with a standard 6.5-foot bed.
The SR is the base model Tundra that normally comes standard with a 4.6-liter V8 engine that makes 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. The upgraded engine not only chews up more fuel but it also brings this model’s starting price to $32,940.
If buyers want similar torque to the Tundra’s but are willing to trade some horsepower for better gas mileage, the Ford F-150 XL with a 2.7-liter V6 engine is a good alternative. This version of the F-150 produces 325 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Its drivetrain is an effective 10-speed automatic transmission.
This version of the F-150 gets 20 MPG, thanks to the more efficient transmission and EcoBoost engine. The SuperCab style, which is the equivalent of the Tundra’s Double Cab, has a 6.5-foot bed. Buyers should look for a starting price of $30,145 for this F-150 model.