When people talk about eco-friendly vehicles with better fuel efficiency, trucks are not usually the first thing that come to mind. Though these are definitely efficient vehicles in their own right, especially when it comes to recreation and maintenance, they usually are not the most economical of vehicles.
Recent years have seen some significant improvements as far as fuel economy in trucks is concerned. Some of the biggest changes are obvious with full size models, such as the Ford F-150 V6 and the 2013 Ram 1500 V6 model being among the top of these examples. There is also the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Hybrid from the GM factories that also comes with a fair amount of fuel economy.
Though Earth Day 2013 has already made its pass, now is still an excellent time to check out some of these eco-friendly trucks available in the United States.
2013 Ford F-150 V6 Engine
The EcoBoost is certainly the part of the Ford F-150 that tends to grab headlines, but its stablemate is still something worth looking at. Capable of delivering 278 pound-feet of torque and 302 horses through the 3.7-liter V6 engine, this vehicle is not only capable of towing quite a heavy load but also by bringing back a respectable miles per gallon rating. This was actually the main leader until the 2013 Ram reared its bumper around the corner. However, since the 2015 Ford F-150 is due not too far from now, Ram will not be able to hold that title for too long.
The base V6 engine is capable of bringing the vehicle from zero to 60 in just 8.2 seconds. The estimated fuel economy according to the EPA is 17 miles per gallon in the city, 23 miles per gallon on the highway and 19 miles per gallon when combined with rear wheel drive. Equipping the vehicle with four wheel drive lowers this to 16/21/18.
Moving up to the 5.0-liter V8 engine further increases the output to 380 lb-ft of torque and 360 horses. With rear wheel drive, the fuel economy returns at 15/21/17, and four wheel drive drops this to 14/19/16.
In addition, is also the 3.5-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine capable of delivering 420 pound-feet of torque and 365 horses while reaching 60 from a standstill in a rather impressive 6.5 seconds. According to the EPA, the fuel economy is much better than the V8 engine, returning an estimated 16/22/18. With four wheel drive, the mileage is a mile per gallon less across the board.
Finally, the 6.2-liter V8 engine can bring 411 horses and 434 lb-ft, getting the big bad truck to 60 in 7.1 seconds. The fuel economy with rear drive is 13/18/15.
2013 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra Hybrid
These are the only two full size trucks that are capable of matching the fuel economy of the Ram, and it even comes with V8 power. At first, there seems to be no real drawback to this bonus until the $42,000 price tag suddenly makes itself known. However, GM is currently rewarding customers with $4000 cash back to help clear out inventory for the 2014 trucks, which will not have a hybrid under its hood.
2013 Toyota Tacoma
As many expected, this champion is a midsize model that offers five speed manual transmission, but it is no less a true work horse with a great interior and enough power to tow quite a number of objects. With 180 pound-feet of torque and 159 horses, there are two ways that the Toyota Tacoma can be driven: with hate or relaxed. The latter offers more efficiency, and the former makes too much noise.
The Tacoma comes with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and the option to pick between four wheel drive and rear wheel drive. Most models have this engine, which comes with 180 lb-ft and 159 horses. PreRunner ACcess and Double Cabs will get the four speed automatic transmission, which is also an option on the Access Cab and Regular models.
The two wheel drive vehicle with a five speed manual and four cylinder engine returns 21 miles per gallon in the city, 25 miles per gallon on the highway and 23 when combined.