Time for a New Truck--MPG is a Priority


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I have decided it's is time for a new truck and just starting my research. MPG is probably a top priority for me as I take 2 cross country trips yearly and they are about 8K miles each. I have just used a fiberglass cap/topper in the past and may go that route again or maybe one of the popup campers like GFC/OVRLND/AT Atlas. A few must haves are 4x4 and crew cab. If I tow the max is 4K lbs.

I thought about the Ram 1500 Hemi, but running 89 Octane, puts me around the price of diesel. I have had a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in the past and that was great on fuel, but it was a 2015 and started to have issues. I hear they are better now. Also I could option out a Ram 2500 and it is close the same price as the 1500, but it is the Hemi 6.4 which is thirsty. My buddy is trying to tell me to get a bare bones Ram 2500 with the Cummins, as it would do great on those long trips and hold it's value.

Looking for suggestions or input on a full size truck that would be good for these cross country trips. I don't do much heavy off-roading, mostly gravel roads. I have a RZR when I want to play in Moab.


2.7L F-150. Keep it on P tires and avoid LT tires. 87 octane and can do 23mpg on the highway pretty consistently. If MPG's are the priority and you don't need a 2500 then you would be better served in the half ton market. If resale is more important then sure, go that route. 16k miles at 23mpg would make a big difference in the long run. If you want to put LT tires, a bunch of heavy crap, lift and oversize tires, then MPG's are not the priority and just get the cummins. The half ton diesels are pretty good too but you need to put a lot of miles on them to make up for the premium you paid and it is unlikely that they will hold their value like the 2500 cummin will.


Well-known member
If MPG is the top priority understand ever mod, lift, tire size bump, roof rack, canoe and kayak will KILL the priority for fuel economy.
Your past with a sleek canopy is a great option. Any popup, will disturb the aerodynamics killing the economy. An option once you kill the aerodynamics is to never exceed 55mph. Below 55, aerodynamics are a minor factor, hence the double nickel speed limit from the 1970s OPEC Crisis.

While I love 2500 series trucks, with a 4K# towing max, you'd be better in a 1500 series truck..... For what you say, I'd get a 1500 with an economical gas engine.... definitely not a thirsty Hemi. AND, I'd check out an F150 before buying.
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ignore button user
A new 2500 6.4 on stock size tires burns 87 octane and should get 17-18mpg easy. I get about that with 35's in a power wagon.IMG_20211114_154439347.jpg


ignore button user
thats the answer,,,, altho that looks like 16.8mpg and likely the result of an economy run
well 16.8 is pretty close to 17. yes it was mostly a 65-70mph road trip. This was on stock tires. These can good mpg as long as you are not feeling like you need your foot in it all the time. both these were same route and included 2 mountain passes. Missoula to Boise via hwy 12.


All midsized get about the same mpg as the full-size. I believe the Ram eco diesel got about the same MPG as the Colorado diesel.
Modern diesels are already sketchy, but that eco diesel has a history of being extra unreliable. Not sure if it's a different version now, but the motor that debuted in the Grand Cherokee was very very bad. I have heard of some issues with the colorado diesel, but not nearly as many as that eco diesel.


Well-known member
The diesel premium kills any diesel advantage. The world has changed.
On the full size, mid size choice. They are virtually identical. Do you want a compact rig? Or do you want more space.
But the modern diesel with DEF ETC ia a dead horse. GAS is soo much better unless you are towing 10,000#.... even then gas might be better.

If you are considering a 7.3L power stroke or a 5,9L 24 valve..... these are the holy grail but the EPA killed those advantages on a "modern" diesel.


I was going to say 2.7l F150 too... but really the 3.3l would do fine, and probably get better MPG, especially if you have a heavy foot or tow.

So 16k miles/year in 2 long trips. What about the rest of the time?


GM 1500 with the 3.0 Duramax. It gets Ecodiesel MPGs without Ecodiesel history?. Ma friend sees 30mpgs regularly. He cruises in the right lane.

2.7 F150 if you want to stick to gas.

What's the price difference between a Ram 2500 6.4 vs Cummins? Last time I looked it was $8k. That'll buy a lot of gas. The diesel might save $350 per 8000 mile trip.

Drive slower?

I just spent all driving in a headwind in Kansas. Don't get a Ford 6.2 if mpgs are a concern?


Active member
Long distance on a highway without a big towing load says IFS half ton to me. 2.7 Ecoboost F150, GM Duramax, Ram Ecodiesel, or potentially a new Tundra hybrid. Pick your favorite brand.

Also, why sweat gas mileage too much when the difference is maybe $1k/year in fuel cost on a 60k new truck? I'd go with whatever cab you think will be more comfortable on long drives and is reasonably available/reasonably priced in the current market.

Last thought, if you're putting a topper on it and looking at a lot of highway miles, have you considered a full size SUV?

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