In Alberta, there tends to be a correlation between gas prices and truck sales. When gas prices drop, truck sales soar. Along with low interest rates and longer-term car loans, low gas prices have helped propel pickup sales to record numbers.
But consumers are prone to short-term memory loss. We forget that low gas prices are only temporary, and that they can shoot right back up at the drop of a dime, or at any instance of disruption (severe weather disasters, refinery breakdowns, etc.). However, that doesn’t change the fact that many of us need trucks to accomplish our day-to-day tasks, nor will it deter people from going out and buying what they love. And as we know, Albertans love trucks.
In light of these realities, we’ve decided to put together a list together of our favourite, most-fuel efficient trucks. Hopefully, this will help you make the most sensible decision when picking out your next set of wheels. From compact to full-sized, each truck on this list will fit that sweet spot in between utility and fuel efficiency. We’re confident that each of these will provide you the power you need to get the tough jobs done. They’ll also be easy on the environment and your wallet.
Let’s get started!
#1 2018 Ram 1500
10.2 L/100 KM combined
This is the most fuel-efficient full-sized pickup on the market today. To boot, the 2018 Ram 1500 is a dependable machine with confident towing capacity and endless advanced features. It’s also the only pickup on the market that offers a diesel option. The 2018 Ram 1500’s 3.0-litre turbodiesel V-6 pays big dividends in terms of fuel economy.
With all-wheel drive, the Ram’s turbodiesel manages 13.5 L/100 KM in the city, 10.9 L/100 KM on the highway, and a combined 10.2 L/100 KM. With 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft, it may not be as powerful as its 3.6-litre V-6 and 5.7-litre Hemi V-8 siblings, but the 2018 Ram 1500’s turbodiesel engine sets the golden standard for fuel efficiency in the full-sized pickup segment (and that’s a healthy amount of torque too).
Fuel efficiency isn’t the only category in which the Ram 1500 ranks highest, either. With an advanced multilink coil-spring rear suspension system and an available self-levelling air suspension system, this pickup offers a car-like drive that adds to the brand’s reputation of providing famously smooth rides.
Added comfort comes from the suite of modern tech innovations found in the Ram 1500’s stylish and well-built interior. An intuitive 8.4-inch touchscreen Uconnect infotainment system with upgraded resolution is now compatible with Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto, and supports 4G LTE mobile hotspot and HD radio. Moreover, with quality materials used on all trims, it’s no wonder this pickup scored a 4.5/5 rating from Edmunds.
- Standard rear-view backup cameras
- Built-in Parking Assist Technology for the front and rear of the vehicle
- Available Trailer Brake Control
- Roadside Assistance
- Fleet Telematics Module for vehicle tracking
To sum up, this is a solid, dependable workhorse that’s capable of getting the grunt work done at a better rate of fuel efficiency than its rivals. Take this truck for a test drive if you just need a reliable family friendly vehicle. You won’t be disappointed.
For more information, check out our detailed 2018 RAM 1500 review on our blog.
#2 2018 Ford F-150
10.6 L/100 KM combined
Canada’s best-selling truck for over 50 years, the Ford F-series has been sitting near or at the top of its class in nearly every category, fuel economy included. Named MotorTrend’s Truck of the Year for 2018, the 2018 Ford F-150 manages 11.9 L/100 km in the city, and 9.0 L/100 km on the highway for a combined 10.6 L/100 km.
This is achieved with the twin-turbo 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6 that produces V-8 level performance without burning as much gas. It delivers 325 horsepower and an uncompromising 400 lb-ft of torque. Its combination of jaw-dropping power and fuel economy ratings are rare.
Moreover, come this spring and summertime this article may need some updating. The Ford F-150 will be joining the Ram 1500 with its first diesel engine. As of now, details surrounding horsepower, torque and fuel-consumption remain limited, but we do know that the engine will be a 3.0-litre PowerStroke diesel V-6.
Stepping away from fuel economy and performance, the Ford F-150 excels in all the other categories truck drivers care about: interior design, high-tech features, and safety. With two interactive screens (an 8-inch touchscreen and a 4.5-inch screen at the centre of the dash), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and an exceptional B&O sound system that places subwoofers in the backseats, the driving experience is elevated to luxury status. That’s only amplified by such features as heated and cooling seats, a heated steering wheel, and all the spaciousness five passengers will ever need.
Driver Assist Features
- Pro Trailer Backup Assist
- Adaptive cruise control
- Pre-collision warning system
- Massage seats for front passengers
#3 2018 Honda Ridgeline
10.7 L/100 KM combined
Don’t let anyone tell you the Ridgeline isn’t a real truck. Named of one Car and Driver’s 10 Best Trucks and SUVs for 2018, the 2018 Honda Ridgeline can tow and haul with the best of them. Being a truly unique mid-size pickup with the driving style that resembles a larger SUV, it comes as no surprise that the Ridgeline also has a fuel economy rating that also stands out.
Delivering a segment-leading EPA rated 12.4 L/100km in the city, 9.0 L/100km on the highway, and a combined 10.7 L/100 KM, the 2018 Ridgeline has the most fuel efficient 6-cylinder engine in its class (a 3.5-litre V-6). Behind the wheel of this mid-size pickup, you can drive confidently past more gas stations than the competition. Plus, while fuel efficiency normally comes to the detriment of speed, that isn’t the case for the Ridgeline. It took Edmunds reviewers only 7 seconds to go from 0-60 MPH .This means the Ridgeline boasts the best acceleration in its class.
Producing 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, this pickup has plenty of spunk for the average joe’s towing and hauling needs. Its wide bed and clever storage options makes packing a snap. However, if you plan on loading a ton of gravel in the bed, you should look to the Ram 1500 or the Ford F-150.
Like most Hondas, there’s no shortage of advanced safety features and driving enhancers, too.
- 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Truck-Bed Audio System (a first in this industry)
- LaneWatch blind spot display
- Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System
- 60/40 lift-up rear seat
- Heated front and available heated rear seats
- Available heated steering wheel
- Available tri-zone automatic climate control
Oh, and it scored a five-star overall safety rating (out of a possible five stars) from the NHTSA, making this truck as safe as it is good-looking and fuel efficient.
#4 2018 Toyota Tacoma
11.2 L/100 KM combined
The utility and off-roading capabilities of the 2018 Tacoma are complemented by segment competitive fuel economy: 12.4 L/100km in the city, 9.8 L/100km on the highway, and 11.2 L/100km combined. It packs a 278 horsepower 3.5-litre V-6 paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.
A midsize pickup with a reputation as an off-roading tycoon, the 2018 Tacoma is a good match for anyone with an adventurous personality and a desire for the practicality of a full-sized pickup packed into a smaller bundle.
What truly sets the Tacoma apart from other trucks, though, is its long list of active safety and driver assist features. Better yet, they’re standard.
Standard Features Include
- Forward-collision warning
- Lane departure alert system
- Adaptive cruise control
- Automatic high beam headlights
- Automated emergency braking system
Considering all it has going for it, it comes as no surprise that the Tacoma has a history of having excellent resale value. As the reviewers at Kelley Blue Book put it, for “as long they’ve had Best Resale Value Awards for compact and midsize trucks, the Toyota Tacoma has been best in its class.”
With performance and capability standards that flirt with the big leaguer full-sized trucks, and all the perks offered by a larger SUV (including improved fuel consumption rates), the Tacoma will fit the bill of just about any truck lover’s checklist.
You’ll buy one for its off-roading abilities and high tech features, but you’ll come to appreciate it for its conservative fuel economy ratings and ruggedly handsome looks.
#5 2018 Nissan Frontier
11.2 L/100 KM combined
Clinching the fifth spot in our list, the Nissan Frontier hasn’t undergone any major changes in recent years. However, the Frontier has always been a solid, dependable workhorse for both tradesmen and adventurers.
In terms of fuel efficiency, the 2018 Frontier is solid. The base 2.5-litre DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine delivers 13.6 L/100km in the city, 10.7 L/100km on the highway, and a combined 11.2 L/100km.
While the Frontier may not match up to the other trucks in this list in terms of fuel economy, performance, or even advanced safety features for that matter, it wins in one department: price.
The new Frontier retails from around $27,500 to $38,800. This is well below the other four trucks on the list. So if you’re looking for a truck that’s easier on gas–and your wallet–the Frontier might be the way to go.
The bed of the Frontier is extremely versatile, with all manner of useful cleats and tie-downs. Plus, the ride is smooth enough to get a four-and-a-half star out of five rating from Edmunds.
- Sliding Bed Extender
- Step Rails
- Bed Tent
- Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS)
- Hill Start Assist & Hill Descent Control
- Electronic Locking Rear Differential
- Bilstein Off-road Performance Shocks
- Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System
- RearView Monitor
- Nissan Connect with Navigation
- Rockford Fosgate Audio System
Fuel economy and trucks don’t have to be mutually exclusive concepts. Follow this guide and consult your friendly neighbourhood Go Auto dealership to find a happy middle between utility and fuel efficiency to maximize your next pickup experience.