Life isn't easy in recent times. So if you can run your pick-up truck as efficiently as possible, save money on diesel and still enjoy the pleasures of driving a powerful, modern and capable truck - that's a good thing.
But which pick-up trucks promise the best economy? To find the most fuel efficient trucks, you’re going to need to do your research. Luckily for you, we’ve given you a bit of a kick-start here. We’ve trawled through a huge number of online fuel economy figures, to try to find the UK's most fuel-efficient used pick-up trucks on sale today.
So, how does our top 5 work?
We ranked trucks simply by the online figures available for combined-cycle fuel economy. That is, the official fuel economy that comes from a controlled mixture of urban driving and motoring on the open road. Put simply - the more miles-to-the-gallon a pick-up claimed for the combined cycle, the higher it ranked. Only when two or more vehicles had the same figure, did we then look at their performance in urban and extra-urban (i.e. open road) environments to decide which one would come out on top.
But first, there needs to be a level of understanding here. We're only looking at the official fuel economy figures provided to us - and not figures we've experienced ourselves over long-term use. So whilst these figures provide a useful starting point - and may indeed be very accurate - it's never going to be an exact science.
Your best fuel economy figures will also vary by how you're using your truck. If you're regularly carrying heavy loads, towing, travelling off-road or sitting in urban traffic jams - then your fuel economy will be hugely different compared to motorway miles with a comparatively small payload. As would be the case with any used vehicle.
For the purposes of making our investigation a little more manageable, we also laid down a few ground rules. We haven't included any pick-up trucks over about 12 years old, and have concentrated on the UK-market only - so there will be no imported or older vehicles included here. We've also concentrated on double-cab pick-ups only, and - where possible - have stuck with manual gearbox versions (although we had to make an exception for engines that were only available with an automatic).
But anyway, that's the ground rules set out. So, without further ado, here we go.
According to the online fuel figures, here are the top five UK used pick-up trucks that offer you the best fuel economy in 2021:
2.4 D-ID 151bhp
Urban: 37.2mpg; Extra-Urban: 49.6mpg; Combined: 44.1mpg
The most eco pick-up according to our research
2.3 dCi 158bhp and 2.3 dCi 187bhp
158bhp: Urban: 40.3mpg; Extra-Urban: 46.3mpg; Combined: 44.1mpg
187bhp: Urban: 38.2mpg; Extra-Urban: 47.9mpg; Combined: 44.1mpg
The pick-up with the strongest blend of power and economy according to our research
2.0 EcoBlue 170PS/168bhp
Urban: 39.2mpg; Extra-Urban: Figure not available; Combined: 40.9mpg
As you can see, the 2016-2019 Mitsubishi L200 and Fiat Fullback (which share the same platform and engine) come out on top for economy - just. They actually have the same combined fuel economy of 44.1mpg as the 2016 Nissan Navara, but their performance averages out across urban and extra-urban motoring slightly better. So this means they just pip the Nissans to the post on fuel economy alone.
But as we all know, it’s not quite as black and white as that - because we haven’t brought power into the equation.
With the Mitsubishi and Fiat, we’re talking about the lower-powered, 151bhp version of the engine here. This is a capable and efficient engine - but it won’t be found on the most popular and luxurious versions of these pick-ups, such as the L200 Barbarian and Fullback LX.
Let’s compare that to the Nissans. The Navaras may have ranked slightly lower according to economy - but we’re talking about very small differences, whilst the increase in power is quite substantial. For almost the same fuel economy, the Nissan offers a much larger 187bhp. And let’s not forget it still has the same combined fuel economy figure anyway, and figures that are actually better on the urban cycle. That’s a good all-round performance in our books.
In at third, the Ford Ranger has the newest engine of our top 5: Ford's 2-litre EcoBlue diesel, that's only found in the Ranger from 2019 onwards. Offering a stonking 40.9mpg with its combined economy figure, this is a modern and efficient engine. But as the newest vehicle in the bunch, this particular Ford Ranger is likely to remain the most expensive to buy out of our top 5 used pick-up trucks here. However, you may be interested to know that the older Ford Ranger - with the 2.2 TDCi 160PS engine - fared almost as well. It came sixth in our ranking, with a combined economy figure of 40.4mpg - and with good used examples available considerably cheaper than its younger 2.0 brother.
Meanwhile, finishing off the top 5 are the Isuzu D-Max and the Toyota Hilux. We’re talking about the facelifted D-Max from 2017 onwards here, with the 162bhp 1.9 litre engine - and the Hilux introduced in 2016, with the 2.4 D-4D engine that delivers 148bhp. Both of them achieve a thoroughly impressive 40.4mpg for combined economy - with the 4th-placed D-Max’s better urban economy figure placing it just above the Hilux in 5th. So yes, in fact, they both achieved exactly the same combined economy as the Ford Ranger in 6th - but the Ranger's slightly lower figures for urban and extra-urban motoring meant it missed out on a top 5 place by a hair's breadth.
Overall, if you’re in the market for an economical second-hand pick-up truck and eco fuel efficiency is your primary concern above all else, we reckon you’re most likely after a work vehicle - and aren’t going to mind so much about things like optional extras, top spec and leather trim. So a truck like the Mitsubishi L200 4Life or Fiat Fullback SX, both of which come with the 151bhp 2.4 diesel engine, could be your ideal choice. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for used pick-up trucks with a few more creature comforts and a bit more power, the news is also very good.
For starters, the Nissan Navaras which featured in our top 5 are easy pick-ups to live with as well as work with - combining refined, composed characteristics on the road with creature comforts to keep the family happy. And if your heart is set on the style and comfort of the Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian or Fiat Fullback LX, and therefore the more powerful version of their engine - it’s also good news. The faster 178bhp version still rewards you with an impressive 39.8mpg on the combined cycle. A high figure for its class, and one that’s so impressive it actually comes in as 8th best overall.
Well, there you go. A roundup of our top 5 cheapest used pick-up trucks to run in the UK, when it comes to fuel economy figures and getting the best miles per gallon from a pick-up truck. And maybe the best news it this: it seems the newest trucks are continuing to become more and more fuel efficient as time goes on.
So from the point of view of your wallet, as well as the planet - we can only see that as a good thing.
The Motor Company - TMC
We are high-quality used pick-up truck specialists based in Oakhanger, near Bordon, Hampshire - between Farnham and the A3, and within easy reach of London and the south coast.