• Ford's full-size F-150 and Toyota's midsize Tacoma named most eco-friendly pickups
  • 3.7-liter F-150 earned the title among full-size trucks
  • Tacoma topped midsize trucks when equipped with its 4-cylinder engine

The Ford F-150 and the Toyota Tacoma are the most eco-friendly trucks on the market. So says the Automotive Science Group (ASG), which recently released the results of a study that measured which pickups are the most environmentally friendly.

According to ASG, Ford's full-size F-150 pickup is the most eco-friendly of any large truck, a group that numbers well over 150 models when each one is considered individually based on bed size, cab length, engine choice and other factors. That makes it even more impressive that the F-150 was able to earn ASG's "Best All-Around Performance" title for both regular and crew cab pickups.

Interestingly, however, the F-150 that took home ASG's title wasn't the 3.5-liter EcoBoost model touted by Ford as its most environmentally friendly option. Instead, the award went to F-150 pickups equipped with the brand's base-level 3.7-liter V6, which boasts 302 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. That engine is rated at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive, or 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy with 4-wheel drive.

In the world of the midsize pickup, the Toyota Tacoma is king. ASG's study found that the 2014 Tacoma Access Cab, equipped with the brand's 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine, boasts the smallest environmental footprint of any 2014 pickup sold in the U.S. As a result, the Tacoma beat out rivals to earn top honors among midsize pickups in ASG's study.

Beyond the Tacoma and the F-150, the Chevrolet Silverado also scored highly in the ASG study. When equipped with its new 4.3-liter V6 engine, the newly redesigned pickup took home top honors among full-size extended cab trucks, beating out rivals from Toyota, Nissan, RAM and Ford.

According to ASG, its study took several factors into consideration, including conventional data -- such as fuel economy numbers -- and financial considerations, such as the added cost of upgrading to more efficient engines. According to the organization, this added cost is one of the reasons why the fuel-sipping new RAM 1500 EcoDiesel, which adds nearly $3,000 to the base price of a V8-powered RAM 1500, didn't score higher.

What it means to you: Choose a 3.7-liter Ford F-150 or a 4-cylinder Toyota Tacoma, and you'll be driving one of the most eco-friendly pickups around.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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