On the lookout for a compact pickup delivering solid fuel economy in this era of rising gas prices?
Here are our top 5 picks for most efficient pickups.
2011 Ford Ranger
The Ranger is an excellent value at $18,000 with 22/27 mpg and not much else. The choice of two underpowered engines (2.3 liter 143HP and 4.0 liter 207HP V6), a missing V8 option (a trademark of others in its class), and less than average braking and handling make this nothing more than a simple utility truck.
2011 Toyota Tacoma
Cornering four out of ten compact pickups sold in the US, the Tacoma has long been No. 1 or No. 2 in the compact pickup rankings for its combination of value, number of trims, and fuel economy. It starts at $16,000 up to $27,000 with a four cylinder engine and automatic transmission delivering 19/25 mpg and the V6 17/21 mpg. Trims include regular, access and double cab along with the X-Runner.
2011 Nissan Frontier
The $17,000 Nissan Frontier clocks in at 19/23 mpg and is defined by a powerful optional V6 and a laundry list of options. It’s an agile on and off road performer available in two engines, a 2.5 liter four cylinder for 152HP and a 4.0 liter V6 with 261HP in two or four wheel drive. The knock on the Nissan is its pedestrian interior, consisting of cheap materials, uncomfortable rear seats, and limited passenger room. However, its higher trims deliver top class features such as iPod interfaces, Bluetooth, and heated leather seats that are not common in $25,000+ compact pickups. If you don't mind sacrificing comfort for features, the Frontier is a solid choice.
2011 Suzuki Equator
The Suzuki Equator is practically identical to the Nissan (Suzuki contracted Nissan for its design) with the same features minus Suzuki's longer warranty. It offers a solid mix of performance with a 2.5 liter four cylinder or 4.0 liter V6 for 19/23 mpg.
2011 Chevrolet Colorado
The Chevrolet Colorado is a middle of the pack performer, known for its powerful V8 offering 18/25 mpg but skimping out with average handling and class low fuel economy. Its best trait is its value at $18,000. Look out for deals as this is the Colorado's last year in the US market.