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Old 07-08-2011, 09:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Pickup that gets best milage, need to buy 1

Ok, I need to buy a new truck, against everything I want to do. But to justify it a little with myself, I'd like to get the best milage. All I need right now is 1/2 ton, but jumping up to 3/4 ton is not out of the question if I can get better milage out of the diesels. Does anyone have any documented great gas milage and on what kind of truck. I'm not brand loyal to anything, I just need to be able to mod the thing for great milage for the 90% of the time I will be using it as a "haul my ass around" vehicle. I've heard of people getting 20-24 mpg with some of these and that is my goal. If there is a sticky some where with this already asked, please direct me there, I'm willing to read. I just really wish I could haul what I need with a Cruze... .

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Old 07-08-2011, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Can you use a trailer instead?
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh great, yet another empty pickup racking up the miles.

Yes, get a trailer. And get a Cruze, for that 90%.

If the loads are too great then maybe you are stuck.

For a reality check, look in the garage for people's pickup mpg. OK, these are people with an interest in the best mpg so they as a group are likely to get the best mpgs. So you can expect to get that or worse.

Last edited by Frank Lee; 07-08-2011 at 10:01 AM..
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you truly need a truck and a new one is what you're looking for, go with the F150 Ecoboost. With the V6 Turbo, it's almost like two different trucks - an efficient one when you're nice to it, and a powerful one when you need it. The engine setup is more efficient than the GM with cylinder disable because it''s not hauling and pumping those extra cylinders all the time.

Any of today's "1/2 ton" trucks are way more than that. I just configured an F150 Ecoboost at Ford.com with a max payload of 2070 lb.

11-mile commute: 100 mpg - - - Tank: 90.2 mpg / 1191 miles
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Drive a compact car 90% of the time, and keep a beater truck or rent one the other 10% of the time.

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Old 07-08-2011, 11:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll admit right up front that I'm biased. Nevertheless, here's my 2 cents worth.

In my opinion if you after FE you gotta go with diesel. Now, like you say, that will require going to 3/4 ton. I wish one of the manufactures would finally release a 1/2 ton with a diesel like they all said they were going to do a few years ago (Cummins still has a V8 5.6L engine just waiting for somebody to buy). The diesel all have 6+ liter engine so you'll have way more power/torque than you need, but if you learn how to drive it, you can still get good mileage. The diesels are also more expensive, but you get what you pay for. You can also find used ones pretty reasonalby, too. 5 years old can save you about 1/2 the cost of new. And that doesn't really matter much--average time to first overhaul on a good diesel is over 300,000 miles.

Obviously, I'm partial to the Cummins diesel. Both the 5.9 L (2007 & earlier) and the 6.7 L (2007 & later) are very good engines. Although, to get good FE with the 6.7 you pretty much have to get rid of the DPF (diesel particulate filter)--as you would with any of the post 2007 diesels. There's several guys on this site have Cummins diesels. Most of them run mpgs in the low to mid 20's. Since I've started focusing on FE I've been able to get mine up into the high 20's. Last tank was over 30 mpg and this current tank will be better than the last one.

There's a couple Ford diesel guys on this site that have gotten in the high 20's as well.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You might want to try:

Search by Class for Fuel Efficient Cars

Select the model year, say 2011, and "Pickup Trucks" and you'll get a listing in descending order of pickup trucks. The top three:
  • City/Hwy - make and model
  • 22/27 - Ford Ranger 2WD 4 cyl, 2.3L, Manual 5-spd
  • 21/25 - Toyota Tacoma 2WD 4 cyl, 2.7 L, manual 5-spd
  • 20/23 - Chevrolet Silverado 15 Hybrid 2WD, 8 cyl, 6.0 L, Automatic

Good luck!
Bob Wilson
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Realistically, you're better off having two vehicles, but if you are dead set on a full size truck, there are some options that you can realistically get over 20mpg in.

The difference in mileage between a V6 and the small V8s in most trucks is minimal, but you might get a little better by sticking to the V6 if it works for you. Especially since those were a little more likely to have manuals (No manuals offered in new 1500 trucks, only 2500 and up now). In my case, I needed more towing capacity, so a V6 was off the table.

When I was looking for a truck, I was able to find a decent number of '97-`03 F150s with 4.6L V8 and a manual. I decided against the Ford since everyone I talked to was dissappointed in the actual mpgs they were able to get out of them. That may or may not be accurate, but it was enough to steer me away at the time.

I ended up with a Silverado (see thread in sig) that I now regularly get over 20mpg when I'm not towing/hauling stuff. 4.8L/Auto 2wd. It's mostly stock with some minor tweaks.

Big Dave is getting high 20's (27 mpg?) with a 2WD F350 Diesel with a manual and airplane gears in the rear end. I think it would take some effort to replicate his results, but it could be done.

If you don't really need the full size truck, Ford Rangers come with a 4 cylinder and can get pretty good mileage stock. Same with S10s (I was getting over 30mpg in my old '98 S10 with no mods of hypermiling tricks).

I ride a motorcycle in the drier months which helps offset my fuel consumption, although, even that isn't as cost effective as I'd like. I've been considering a different bike or maybe a Civic instead for most of my commuting.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A $200 trailer hitch is much cheaper then a truck payment and almost any non hybrid car is going to be rated to tow at least 1,000 pounds, I've towed 1,000+ pounds with my Civic VX without any issue at all while averaging 40mpg and I just talked to a guy who towed a trailer with 1,000 pounds of lead acid batteries with his Honda Goldwing motorcycle.
I really like trailers, you can get nice small flat bed trailers that have a larger bed then a pickup truck and the bed is just over a foot off the ground where a pickup truck you need a step ladder to get up to the bed, of course the trailer is going to cost you something, but 3-6 months worth of truck payments and you'll have a nice trailer.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cgbjake View Post
Ok, I need to buy a new truck, against everything I want to do. But to justify it a little with myself, I'd like to get the best milage.
Be green recycle/rebuild/restore an old truck, the best fuel economy trucks are all antiques from the 40mpg 1970 Subaru Sambar pickup tuck tuck to the old Mazdas to the old Toyotas. Even the MT GM 6.2's would do mid 20's without much effort, few new trucks match the FE of antiques or you can wait for that one 30mpg Foreign diesel truck place to enter our market, if they ever do. You can buy one of their tractors though.

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