When it comes to pickups, more is usually better. More towing, more payload, and (especially) more power.
But with pump prices hitting record highs, we’re looking at trucks with the lowest numbers — ones that will use the least fuel while still giving you 4×4 or AWD for traction in all conditions.
The 10 Most Fuel-Efficient 2023 4×4/AWD Trucks
We’ve used the EPA’s official ratings to find the 10 new trucks that can send power to all four wheels — with the lowest fuel consumption on the market. Some of the results, or at least their places on the list, surprised us.
What didn’t surprise us was that these 4×4 fuel sippers come in almost every powertrain imaginable, from good old gas engines to diesel and hybrids to electric trucks.
If SUVs are more your thing, check out The 10 Most Fuel-Efficient 2023 4×4 SUVs.
Here they are, from number 10 to number one, using their official combined EPA fuel economy ratings.
10. Ford Ranger 4×4 (22 MPG)
The Ford Ranger combines an impressive mix of on-road dynamics and comfort without compromising its abilities as a daily work truck. Under the hood is a small-displacement turbocharged gas engine with plenty of gears.
The Ranger uses a 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission and the massive gear ratio spread that comes with it. The combination is good for 7,500 pounds of towing when equipped with 4WD and as much as 1,650 pounds of payload.
Ford’s little engine offers 270 horsepower, and the turbocharger helps it make 310 pound-feet of torque. The 2023 Ford Ranger 4WD is estimated to give you 20 mpg city, 24 highway, and 22 combined and starts from $31,045 for an extended cab XL. (Note: all prices exclude destination and handling charges.)
9. Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid 4×4 (23 MPG)
While hybrid powertrains are known for producing astounding fuel economy in small cars, Ford applied its hybrid knowledge to the F-150 PowerBoost. Instead of making less power than the 3.5L non-hybrid EcoBoost engine, the PowerBoost’s hybrid assist gives this pickup 30 horsepower more for a total of 430 horsepower. Torque is also boosted by 70 pound-feet thanks to the electric motor, for a total of 570 pound-feet.
For 2023, the PowerBoost hybrid V6 powertrain is available on every trim level from XL to Limited. The 4×4 PowerBoost can tow up to 12,700 pounds when properly equipped. Its peak payload is 1,830 pounds, on par with most of the full-size trucks on this list.
The Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid should return 23 mpg in combined driving, according to EPA estimates.
8. Hyundai Santa Cruz AWD (23 MPG)
The Hyundai Santa Cruz might be the most unique pickup on this list. Based on the Hyundai Tucson crossover, the compact pickup has a unibody design. It is much more like a crossover with its cargo cover removed than a traditional truck.
Hyundai offers the Santa Cruz with two different 2.5L engines. The naturally-aspirated (NA) option makes 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The turbocharged engine option comes in at 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet.
While both use an eight-speed automatic and offer available AWD, the turbo is a dual-clutch version, not a conventional torque converter automatic transmission. We’ve included both here because they get nearly identical fuel economy: 21 city, 27 highway, and 23 combined for the NA option and 19/27/22 mpg for the turbo.
The bigger difference comes into play when towing, where the 2.5L turbo can lug 5,000 pounds compared to the NA engine’s 3,500 pounds. The NA engine has a max payload of 1,753 pounds versus the turbo’s 1,609. More information lies in our review of the Hyundai Santa Cruz.
The Santa Cruz has an MSRP of $28,245 for the SE trim NA model and $39,045 for an SEL Premium 2.5T.
7. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax Diesel 4×4 (24 MPG)
Equipped with GM’s Duramax 3.0L I6 diesel engine and an eight-speed automatic, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD has a strong reliability history. It achieves the same 24 mpg in combined driving as the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, but the Mopar truck uses less fuel on the highway.
The GM Duramax turbodiesel engine produces 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque from just 1,500 rpm. With all that torque, the 4×4 Duramax can tow up to 13,000 pounds and has a maximum payload of 2,210 pounds when outfitted with the right equipment.
The EPA rates the diesel 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 at 22 in the city, 27 on the highway, and 24 mpg combined.
The build price for the Silverado 1500 LT 4WD double cab truck starts at $53,195.
6. RAM 1500 EcoDiesel 4×4 (24 MPG)
This isn’t the only time this turbocharged 3.0L V6 diesel engine will show up on this list. But the Ram 1500 pickup is the vehicle where the engine offers the most capability.
The turbodiesel engine makes 260 horsepower and offers a healthy 480 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm for towing and hauling. Speaking of which, the 4×4 truck offers a maximum towing capacity of 9,600 pounds when properly equipped and has a peak payload capacity of 1,780 pounds.
While its 21 mpg can’t match the city rating of the next truck on the list, it does offer 29 mpg on the highway. Paired with an available 33-gallon fuel tank, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel’s driving range exceeds 1,000 miles. If you do long highway hauls, this impressive powerplant might offer you the fuel efficiency and range you’re looking for.
5. Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel 4×4 (24 MPG)
The diesel-powered version of the Jeep Gladiator pickup is one of several trucks on this list that gets 24 mpg combined. But it moves up a slot thanks to a tiebreaker from the EPA’s bureaucrats and their sorting method.
Like the Ram 1500, the Jeep comes with the Stellantis EcoDiesel 3.0L turbocharged V6. The engineers tuned it for the Jeep to make 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque from 1,400 through 2,800 rpm.
Thanks to an eight-speed automatic, the 4×4 EcoDiesel Jeep Gladiator can tow up to 6,500 pounds and has a payload capacity of 1,325 pounds — though both figures decline as you climb through the trim range toward the Rubicon. On that truck, the payload is 1,075 pounds, while towing tops out at 6,000 pounds. The Rubicon’s off-road rubber and lift also drop city and highway mpg by one mpg each.
The remaining Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel models should get 22 mpg city and 28 highway. The diesel engine is offered on Willys Sport and up as a $4,000 option, plus $2,500 for the mandatory eight-speed automatic, which puts the starting price at $47,585 for a 4WD EcoDiesel Gladiator.
Discover what came to light after reviewing the Jeep Gladiator.
4. Ford Maverick 2.0T AWD (25 MPG)
The Ford Maverick is the best gas-powered truck on the list when it comes to fuel efficiency. The AWD version of Ford’s new small pickup comes with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine to help boost power and torque. The eight-speed automatic gives the Maverick plenty of gears so the truck can accelerate when loaded and keep rpm down on the highway.
The engine offers 250 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, impressive for such a small package. It’s enough power to give this small pickup a 4,000-pound tow capacity when equipped with the Max Tow Package and a peak payload of 1,500 pounds. While that tow rating can’t quite match larger pickups, the payload rating is competitive with even some full-size trucks.
One of our editors owns a 2022 Maverick. Click the link to find out if he still loves it after driving more than 3,000 miles.
EPA estimated fuel economy is 22 city and 29 highway for a total of 25 mpg combined. Unfortunately, Maverick configured with AWD isn’t available with the hybrid powertrain, which gets 37 mpg overall. (2022 EPA estimates.)
A 2023 Ford Maverick XL with a 2.0L engine and AWD starts from $24,415.
3. GMC Hummer EV (47 MPGe)
Official EPA numbers for GMC Hummer EV aren’t published because its excessive weight excluded it from the EPA fueleconomy.gov site. Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating — the maximum allowable weight of the truck, including the vehicle, passengers, cargo, and trailer tongue weight — of more than 8,500 pounds don’t have to list their economy figures. The curb weight of the Hummer EV empty is already just over 9,000 pounds. The obscene heft means that GMC isn’t required by law to publish MPGe figures on the window sticker.
It’s as heavy as an HD pickup, but it has the ability to tow 7,500 pounds and a maximum payload of 1,300 pounds. The 1,000-horsepower, $110,295 Hummer EV does truck work like a midsize. EPA documents show the Hummer EV has a range of 329 miles. MPGe estimates come in at 51 city, 43 highway, and 47 MPGe combined. That would put it unofficially third on the list.
Despite missing the 350-mile range, the Hummer EV can travel farther than the Rivian R1T (328 miles) and the F-150 Lightning (300 miles), thanks to the gigantic Ultium battery pack.
Read about our first drive with the Hummer EV.
2. Ford F-150 Lightning 4WD Extended Range (70 MPGe)
Ford’s standard range Lightning, starting from $55,974 with twin motors and AWD, makes 462 horsepower. The extended-range EV truck, available in the XLT and higher trims, makes 580 horsepower. Both configurations will produce an incorrigible 775 pound-feet of torque. The price for the bigger battery starts at $80,974 for the Lightning XLT.
According to EPA estimates, the standard range Lightning gets 68 MPGe, an EV range of 230 miles, and a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds with the optional Max Tow Package. The extended-range models can travel 320 miles on a single charge and clock 70 MPGe. Add the Max Tow Package and trailering capacity tops out to 10,000 pounds.
The F-150 Lightning Pro trim, which only has the standard-size battery, starts at $55,974 (excluding Ford’s power cable, destination, and acquisition fees). The XLT trim with the extended range battery checks in with an $80,974 MSRP before anything is added to the price. Ford charges an additional $1,395 for the Tow Technology package and $825 for the Max Trailer Tow package.
After spending several days behind the wheel of an F-150 Lightning, find out if our editor kept his pre-order with Ford.
1. Rivian R1T (73 MPGe)
At the top of the list is a pickup that is also one of the newest and certainly the most innovative on the list — the Rivian R1T. It is the first all-electric pickup to go on sale in the U.S. and is expected to outsell in far greater quantities over the R1S SUV.
The Rivian pickup gives you an estimated 328-mile range of electric power when equipped with the Large battery pack, while the four motors deliver 835 horsepower and 908 pound-feet of torque. That gives the R1T the highest figure on the list for both of those crucial truck measures.
And when it comes time to use the pickup truck bed, the R1T can hold up to 1,760 pounds of cargo, and max towing is an impressive 11,000 pounds. Rivian’s MPGe is 76 city, 69 highway, and 73 MPGe combined.
The 2023 Rivian R1T Explore, with dual motors, AWD, and a Large battery pack, starts at $79,000. With a bigger Max battery pack that’s good for a range in excess of 400 miles, the R1T Explore starts at $89,000. The quad motor version, which is only available with the Large pack, starts at $87,000.
We get truckin’ with Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV showdown. How do you think these monster EV trucks stack up when driven side by side?