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What Are the Best MPG Pickup Trucks for 2022?

ford-maverick-lariat-2022-01-exterior-front-angle-grey-truck 2022 Ford Maverick | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Fuel economy isn’t typically the first concern for pickup shoppers. People look at trucks first for what they can do — towing capability, tech features and off-road chops. But with no end in sight for higher gasoline and diesel prices, better mileage might carry more weight for many shoppers. Here is a look at the best and the rest among 2022 pickup trucks for fuel economy.

Related: 2022 Ford Maverick Review: The True 21st Century Mustang

Not surprisingly, the mileage leaders are hybrid and light-diesel trucks. Those powertrains generally — though not always — require some compromise on payload, tow ratings or other capabilities, and carry a price premium over the conventional gasoline versions of the same truck. Before you buy, you should do the math on how long it would take you to make back in fuel savings the extra you paid out for the truck. That will vary based on how and where you’ll use the truck, your annual mileage and the price of gasoline or diesel fuel.

Below is a list of the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks for the 2022 model year, ranked by the configuration of the truck with the highest EPA-estimated combined mileage rating. The trucks are categorized by size — a rough measure of overall capability as well as price for a comparably equipped truck. For the hybrids and diesels, we note the best-rated conventional gasoline engine offered.

Compact Trucks

hyundai-santa-cruz-2022-03-blue-exterior-rear-angle 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Cars.com photo by Mike Hanley

The Best: Ford Maverick, 37 mpg combined, front-wheel drive

The new Maverick compact pickup with its standard gas-electric hybrid powertrain and 2WD is easily the most fuel-efficient pickup of any size that you can buy in the U.S. And it has enough capability to satisfy a lot of truck users — so many, in fact, that Ford had to close orders for them through the summer. The hybrid system, based on a 2.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine, actually gets its best mileage (a whopping 42 mpg) in city driving, while it scored 33 mpg on the highway. Total output is 191 horsepower and 155 pounds-feet of torque.

The Maverick’s conventional gasoline engine — the only other powertrain and the only one offering four-wheel drive — is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It is EPA-rated at 26 mpg (2WD) or 25 mpg (4WD) and puts out 250 hp and 277 pounds-feet of torque. Cars.com editors not only named the Maverick the Best Pickup Truck of 2022, it also earned the overall Best of the Year 2022 award among new or fully redesigned vehicles.

The Rest

  • Hyundai Santa Cruz, 23 mpg, FWD or all-wheel drive: Hyundai’s new compact pickup comes with a choice of two 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines; the base, naturally aspirated engine makes the list and puts out 191 hp and 181 pounds-feet of torque.

Mid-Size Trucks

2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Manufacturer image

The Best: Jeep Gladiator, 24 mpg, 4WD

Now in its third model year, the Gladiator is a unique mid-size pickup with a standard soft top and notable capability for off-roading that also tops the category with the mileage rating for its optional turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel that puts out 260 hp and 442 pounds-feet of torque. It’s still a Jeep, however, and more traditional pickup shoppers might be inclined to give up an mpg or two for a more traditional truck. The Gladiator’s cheaper gasoline engine alternative — a 3.6-liter V-6 putting out 285 hp and 260 pounds-feet of torque — is EPA-rated at 19 mpg combined. In his complete review, Cars.com Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman says, “If you need a capable mid-size pickup that goes off-road or a four-season convertible with a utility bed, the Gladiator is hard to beat — but unless you want those things, other trucks are more comfortable on-road, handle better, are quieter and are far less expensive.”

The Rest

  • Chevrolet Colorado, 23 mpg, 2WD: 181-hp, turbo-diesel 2.8-liter four-cylinder with 369 pounds-feet of torque. The next best conventional gasoline engine is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder putting out 200 hp and 191 pounds-feet of torque.
  • GMC Canyon, 23 mpg, 2WD: 181-hp, turbo-diesel 2.8-liter four-cylinder with 369 pounds-feet of torque. The next best conventional gasoline engine is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder putting out 200 hp and 191 pounds-feet of torque.
  • Ford Ranger, 23 mpg, 2WD: 270-hp, turbocharged 2.3-liter gasoline four-cylinder with 310 pounds-feet of torque
  • Honda Ridgeline, 21 mpg, AWD: 280-hp, 3.5-liter gasoline V-6 with 262 pounds-feet of torque
  • Toyota Tacoma, 21 mpg, 2WD: 159-hp, 2.7-liter gasoline four-cylinder with 180 pounds-feet of torque
  • Nissan Frontier, 20 mpg, 2WD: 310-hp, 3.8-liter gasoline V-6 with 281 pounds-feet of torque

Full-Size Trucks

2022 Ram 1500 Limited 10th Edition front three-quarters 2022 Ram 1500 Limited 10th Anniversary Edition | Manufacturer image

The Best: Ram 1500, 26 mpg, 2WD

While the Ram’s combined mileage is equaled by GM’s Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra diesels, the Ram diesel gets the edge with a better 33-mpg highway rating, along with its 23 mpg in city driving; the Silverado gets 31/23 highway/city, and the Sierra gets 30/23. Ram’s signature 1500 full-size pickup truck enters the 2022 model year with a significant multimedia update and high-end versions with interiors that rival the best luxury cars and SUVs. The top powertrain for fuel economy is the turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, which is optional on almost all versions of the truck; it puts out 260 hp and 480 pounds-feet of torque. The best-rated gasoline alternative among four choices is a 3.6-liter V-6 with eTorque (Ram’s mild-hybrid system) that puts out 305 hp and 269 pounds-feet of torque.

The Rest

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 26 mpg, 2WD: 277-hp, turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six with 460 pounds-feet of torque. The next-best conventional gasoline engine is a 310-hp, turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 430 pounds-feet of torque.
  • GMC Sierra 1500, 26 mpg, 2WD: 277-hp, turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six with 460 pounds-feet of torque. The next best conventional gasoline engine is a 310-hp, turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 430 pounds-feet of torque.
  • Ford F-150, 25 mpg, 2WD: The gas-electric hybrid is based on a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 with total output of 430 hp and 570 pounds-feet of torque. The next best conventional gasoline engine is a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder putting out 325 hp and 400 pounds-feet of torque.
  • Toyota Tundra, 20 mpg, 2WD: 389-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 with 479 pounds-feet of torque. Note that a new i-Force Max twin-turbocharged V-6 gas-electric hybrid system putting out 437 hp and 583 pounds-feet of torque now is available for some versions of the Tundra. It is estimated by Toyota at 21 mpg combined, but the official EPA estimate has not been posted as of this writing.
  • Nissan Titan, 18 mpg, 2WD or 4WD: 400-hp, 5.6-liter V-8 with 413 pounds-feet of torque

What About Electric Vehicles?

gmc-hummer-ev-2022-01-badge-exterior-front-grille-headlights-truck-white 2022 GMC Hummer EV | Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

Electric trucks will be a bigger factor over the next five years, but for now, they are rare and expensive. Rivian’s R1T, GMC’s Hummer and Ford’s F-150 Lightning are among those starting deliveries now or later this year, but launch runs are largely sold out. More EV trucks from Chevrolet, GMC, Tesla, Ram and others are coming but won’t be around until next year or later.

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