Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Trucks for 2008

2008 Ford Ranger

2008 Ford Ranger 1
2008 Ford Ranger

What we think
This is a loveable little truck, not only for its stellar fuel economy, but its comfortable ride and powerful four cylinder engine as well. The Ranger is available in 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic, and both gear boxes are more than capable of carrying your toys without denting fuel economy. If the fuel-sipping four-banger isn’t your style, you can also opt for a stout V-6 with about 50 more horses. 

At a glance
MSRP: $14,330
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 143 horsepower, 154 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission
MPG: 21 city/26 highway (2.3 four-cylinder)

2008 Mazda B2300

2008 Mazda B-Series Truck 2
2008 Mazda B-Series Truck

What we think
The Ford Ranger’s cousin, the B2300 touts the same driveline and engine options as its domestic brethren. That means identical fuel economy and everything else we love about the Blue Oval. The Mazda’s steeper base price buys you a few more options, but it also means this little hauler lands just behind the Ford.

At a glance
MSRP: $16,185
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 143 horsepower, 154 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission
MPG: 21 city/26 highway (four-cylinder, manual), 19 city/24 highway (four-cylinder, auto)

2008 Toyota Tacoma

2008 Toyota Tacoma 3
2008 Toyota Tacoma

What we think
The Tacoma is the little tyke of the Toyota truck brand. It shares many of the same strong lines as its bigger brother, the Tundra, without all of the big truck’s drinking habits. While a bare-bones vehicle at the $14,280 base price, Toyota offers a number of options to turn this truck into a comfortable commuter, as well as capable hauler.

At a glance
MSRP: $14,280
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 159 horsepower, 180 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 4-speed automatic or 5-speed automatic transmission
MPG: 20 city/25 highway (four-cylinder, 5-speed manual, two-wheel drive), 19 city/ 25 highway (four-cylinder, 4-speed auto, two-wheel drive)



2008 Nissan Frontier

2008 Nissan Frontier 4
2008 Nissan Frontier

What we think
The Frontier boasts some of the best looks out of all small trucks. While the respectable 19 city/23 highway is a product of the Nissan’s four-cylinder, two-wheel drive set up, the Frontier is also available with a robust four-wheel drive system. Nissan has worked hard to beat the domestic bruisers at their own pick-up truck game, and the Frontier is a perfect example of the company’s efforts.

At a glance
MSRP: $16,530
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 152 horsepower, 171 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission
MPG: 19 city/23 highway (four-cylinder, 5-speed manual, two-wheel drive), 17 city/22 highway (four-cylinder, 5-speed automatic, two-wheel drive)

2008 Isuzu I290

2008 Isuzu i-290 5
2008 Isuzu i-290

What we think
Isuzu’s I290 shares bloodlines with General Motors’ Canyon, but this rig is only available with the super economical inline four cylinder engine and two-wheel drive set up. Though the slimmer choices may be a turn off for some buyers out there, it means a cost savings over similar trucks. The lower price tag also means less available options, but hey, it’s a truck.

At a glance
MSRP: $13,799
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.9-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 185 horsepower, 190 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic transmission
MPG: 18 city/24 highway (auto), 18 city/24 highway (manual)

2008 GMC Canyon

2008 GMC Canyon 6
2008 GMC Canyon

What we think
The GMC Canyon is the granddaddy of similar breeds like the Chevrolet Colorado and the Isuzu I290. The difference comes from the Canyon’s engine and drivetrain options. This little rig comes with the same super sipping 2.9-liter, but it’s also available with an inline five-cylinder and a part-time four-wheel drive system for folks who want a little more go out of their truck.

At a glance
MSRP: $15,570
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.9-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 185 horsepower, 190 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic transmission
MPG: 18 city/24 highway (four-cylinder, auto, two-wheel drive), 18 city/24 highway (four-cylinder, manual, two-wheel drive)

2008 Chevrolet Colorado

2008 Chevrolet Colorado 7
2008 Chevrolet Colorado

What we think
While the priciest of all the Canyon clones, the Colorado touts a distinctly Chevrolet front fascia and a few other tweaks you won’t find on the other models. If you’re looking for a little more traction in slippery conditions, but aren’t willing to shell out the extra dough for four-wheel drive, the Colorado is available with an optional locking rear differential to help keep you moving forward.

At a glance
MSRP: $16,050
Engine and Drivetrain: 2.9-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 185 horsepower, 190 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic transmission
MPG: 18 city/24 highway (four-cylinder, auto, two-wheel drive), 18 city/24 highway (four-cylinder, manual, two-wheel drive)

2008 Dodge Dakota

2008 Dodge Dakota 8
2008 Dodge Dakota

What we think
The perfect fit between full-size pickups and their smaller cousins, the Dakota boasts ample interior room and power. Only available in 3.7-liter V-6 and 4.7-liter V-8, this midsize truck has the power to tote anything you ask it to. Unfortunately, that also means fuel economy that can’t hold a candle to its four-cylinder competition.

At a glance
MSRP: $20,495
Engine and Drivetrain: 3.7-liter V-6 engine, 210 horsepower, 235 lb-ft of torque; 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
MPG: 16 city/20 highway (V-6, manual, two-wheel drive), 15 city/19 highway (V-6, manual, four-wheel drive)

2008 Honda Ridgeline

2008 Honda Ridgeline 9
2008 Honda Ridgeline

What we think
In typical Honda fashion, the Ridgeline is loaded with well thought out amenities, including a nifty dual-action tail gate, a lockable trunk beneath the bed and a power sliding rear window. This truck can seat five adults, and though it’s the most expensive on this list, you get what you pay for. The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that carries a ULEV-II CARB rating while putting out nearly as much power as its V-8 competition. Did we mention that automatic four-wheel drive is standard?

At a glance
MSRP: $28,000
Engine and Drivetrain: 3.5-liter V-6 engine, 247 horsepower, 245 lb-ft of torque; 5-speed automatic transmission; automatic four-wheel drive
MPG: 15 city/20 highway

2008 Chevrolet Silverado

2008 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 10
2008 Chevrolet Silverado
1500

What we think
If you’ve still got a hankering for a good ol’ American truck, the Silverado’s your horse. With proportions as big as Texas itself, this truck’s capable 4.3-liter V-6 does well to produce ample power while maintaining its 15 city/20 highway EPA rating. The expansive cargo area trumps the other competitors as well.

At a glance
MSRP: $18,425
Engine and Drivetrain: 4.3-liter V-6 engine, 195 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque; 4-speed automatic, or 6-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive with optional part-time four-wheel drive
MPG: 15 city/20 highway (V-6, two-wheel drive), 14 city/18 highway (V-6, four wheel drive)


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