Trucks are inefficient by their very nature. Since the purpose of a truck is to be a “workhorse,” they need to be made extra sturdy and strong; sturdy and strong equals heavy. Heavy equals energy inefficient. With this in mind, several companies have worked to find solutions to this problem. With the rise of gas prices and increase in concern for the environment, the market for trucks has dropped in recent years, forcing car companies to re-think the efficiency of their vehicles. The primary solution at this time seems to be something called a flex fuel vehicle (FFV) which is able to run on any combination of regular gasoline and cleaner burning ethanol gasoline. The pros and cons to this method are that, while ethanol emits lower levels of pollutants, it also contains less energy than regular gasoline, thus decreasing fuel efficiency. Also, there are only a couple thousand ethanol gas stations currently operating across the country. Current 4-door models that offer this option are the Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra, and Chevy Avalanche. A second option in the works is a hybrid-electric drivetrain; an internal combustion engine with an electric motor. This concept is not new to the automotive industry, but the application of it on trucks is fairly new. Two companies that are looking into this method are Toyota and Ford.
It looks like the Chevy Silverado hybrid may be one of the best options for a fuel efficient four-door, full-size pickups, although it comes with a steep price tag at nearly $40k. In terms of full size pickups, the Silverado leads the way in milage with its 20 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Chevy bills it as a fully capable pickup truck that will give you the best fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance.
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