Kelley Blue Book: These midsize trucks get the best mileage

United States

Pickup trucks generally aren’t famous for great fuel economy, but the efficiency of some midsize trucks in 2021 may surprise you. There are multiple diesel options on the market, which combine impressive capability and torque ratings with better fuel economy than their gas-powered counterparts.

Here are the most efficient midsize trucks for 2021, based on EPA ratings.

6. 2020 Nissan Frontier 2WD

EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 18/24/20 mpg

The Nissan NSANY, +1.63% Frontier is a good truck if you’re looking for an affordable pickup that can get the job done, but its value proposition is worsened by its subpar efficiency. Like every other truck, there’s a fuel economy penalty if you decide to upgrade to four-wheel drive. 

See: Prepare to spend more on gas this year

5. 2021 Honda Ridgeline

EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 18/24/21 mpg

The Honda HMC, Ridgeline gets a pretty significant mid-cycle refresh for 2021 which gives it a rugged new look and an updated infotainment system. The Ridgeline’s carlike unibody construction makes it a smooth and comfortable family vehicle. However, the 2021 is no longer available as a two-wheel-drive truck, so fuel economy is lower. 

4. 2021 Toyota Tacoma 2WD

EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 19/24/21 mpg

The base inline-four and the optional V6 under the hood of the Toyota Tacoma return the same combined fuel economy rating of 21 mpg according to the EPA. The four-cylinder is a little more efficient in city driving (20 city/23 highway), while the more powerful V6 is slightly more efficient on the highway (19 city/21 highway). 

Also see: These electric trucks are coming soon—here’s prices, how far they’ll go and how much they’ll tow

3. 2021 Ford Ranger 2WD

EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 21/26/23 mpg

The most efficient non-diesel midsize pickup is the 2WD variant of the Ford F, -1.42% Ranger. Every Ranger is equipped with the same EcoBoost turbocharged inline-four engine. The Ranger has a best-in-class payload rating and can tow up to 7,500 pounds. For an efficient truck that’s not afraid of a little work, the Ranger is a well-rounded workhorse. 

2. 2021 GMC Canyon 2WD Duramax

EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 20/30/23 mpg

The GMC Canyon is mechanically identical to the next truck on this list, so it’s no surprise that its fuel economy ratings are the same. The Canyon is available with the impressive Duramax turbodiesel, which offers excellent highway efficiency. 

2. 2021 Chevrolet Colorado 2WD Duramax

EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 20/30/23 mpg

The Chevrolet Colorado has the best highway fuel economy in its class when equipped with two-wheel drive and the turbodiesel engine. This engine delivers plentiful torque and towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds. 

More: Here’s a rundown on 2021 midsize trucks

1. 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel

EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy: 22/28/24 mpg

The fuel economy king of midsize pickups is also one of the best off-roaders. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel not only returns best-in-class gas mileage, but it also comes standard with four-wheel drive and a four-door cab. The diesel V6 engine delivers 442 lb-ft of torque, but commands a $ 6,000 premium.

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