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6 Great Fuel-efficient Pickup Trucks for 2014

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author photo by Doug DeMuro July 2014

Interested in a capable new pickup that won't cost a fortune to fill up? You're not alone. Many shoppers are asking for fuel-efficient pickup trucks, and many manufacturers are delivering. To help you decide which ones to consider, we've listed today's top gas-saving trucks that still get the job done when it comes to towing, hauling or other truck-related chores.

Chevrolet Colorado

Yes, it's true that Chevrolet has not yet announced fuel economy numbers for its new midsize Colorado pickup, but if you're interested in a fuel-efficient new truck, the Colorado has a lot of promise. Part of the reason is its base-level 4-cylinder engine, which looks like the optimal combination of workhorse capability (at 200 horsepower) and efficiency (with just 2.5 liters). We're most excited about the Colorado's upcoming 2.8-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder, which will likely combine pickup-truck towing and hauling capabilities with traditionally excellent diesel fuel economy.

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Chevrolet Silverado

Although the full-size Chevrolet Silverado doesn't feature a diesel option (like RAM) or a turbocharged V6 (like Ford), its standard gasoline-powered engines are still fairly fuel efficient, especially for shoppers who are used to gas-guzzling pickups from years past. The best engine for fuel economy is the pickup's 4.3-liter V6, which manages 18 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway -- not too shabby considering its muscular 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. For drivers who want to add even more power, the Silverado's 5.3-liter V8 puts out 355 horses and 383 lb-ft of torque while still returning 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

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Ford F-150 EcoBoost

When it comes to fuel-efficient pickup trucks that can get the job done, the turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine in Ford's full-size F-150 pickup provides today's best compromise between power and fuel efficiency. On one hand, the EcoBoost is certainly powerful, offering 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, which is more than Ford's larger 5.0-liter V8. In spite of its muscle, the EcoBoost offers impressive efficiency, touting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-rated fuel economy as high as 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy. Best of all, the EcoBoost can out-tow and out-haul Ford's standard V6 and its 5.0-liter V8, proving that the turbocharged engine is probably the best bet for shoppers interested in the popular pickup.

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Honda Ridgeline

If you don't need all the towing and hauling capabilities of a full-size truck, you may want to consider the Ridgeline, a midsize 4-door pickup that borrows its engine and transmission from Honda's Pilot crossover. While the relatively small engine means that it's hardly a brawny tow vehicle, the Ridgeline's V6 powertrain also means that fuel economy is pretty good for a pickup. It earned EPA ratings of 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy. That's not bad for a truck with four full-size doors, a reasonably roomy back seat, and a long list of standard features that includes cruise control, a power-sliding rear window, a backup camera and a 6-speaker sound system -- all for around $30,500 with shipping.

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RAM 1500 EcoDiesel

The RAM 1500 EcoDiesel uses an impressive powertrain designed to offer strong fuel economy and excellent capabilities. While it's only a V6, the RAM 1500's EcoDiesel engine makes an impressive 420 lb-ft of torque, more than just about any powertrain in its class regardless of size or cylinders. Featuring a standard 8-speed automatic transmission, the EcoDiesel also offers excellent fuel economy, boasting 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy. That's far better than the F-150 EcoBoost or any Silverado powertrain. It even slots above the gas-saving RAM 1500 HFE, which boasts similarly impressive EPA ratings of 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.

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Toyota Tacoma

It's easy to be impressed with the Tacoma's well-rounded capabilities. For one thing, the truck boasts a brawny look and excellent sizing: not too big for city-dwelling truck shoppers but just right for those who need to haul large items when necessary. The Tacoma is famous for its durability and impressive reliability, but gas mileage is a huge benefit, too. Shoppers who opt for the 4-cylinder/5-speed manual combo can get up to 21 mpg city/25 mpg hwy. While that engine's 159 hp isn't especially capable, even the Tacoma's powerful V6 -- which makes 236 horses and 266 lb-ft -- yields up to 17 mpg city/21 mpg hwy.

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6 Great Fuel-efficient Pickup Trucks for 2014 - Autotrader