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Best New Diesel Truck Fuel Economy

Miles per gallon are what it’s all about

Sep 23, 2020
For most diesel pickup trucks, horsepower and torque are the engine attributes that enthusiasts have the most interest in. Of course, "capability" is a major concern, but the overall amount of steam and grunt an oil-burner produces is usually the hot topic in diesel discussions.
Although performance is important, fuel economy is another criteria that diesel enthusiasts are very concerned about. When it comes to miles per gallon (mpg), especially with new rigs of 2017 and beyond, having the ability to cover great distances without consuming ridiculous amount of fuel is a highly desired trait. At the end of the day, follow the money. The less cash spent on fuel, the better.
For every new model or powertrain update, truck manufacturers conduct controlled tests to measure mpg statistics. The evaluations are performed in accordance with federal law, and results are reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA reviews and confirms the data through its own tests at the National Vehicles and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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The EPA's numbers are recognized by truck buyers as gospel for the most part. However, it's very important to note that the estimates are based on what the agency considers to be "typical" driving conditions, which are baked into the simulated driving test it conducts.
So, consider the EPA's ratings only as solid data for comparing fuel economy between different trucks. It is not information that can or will definitively confirm the average mpg for any rig.
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What Impacts Diesel Fuel Economy?

Here are a few of the things that can impact an oil-burner's fuel economy:
  • Condition of the vehicle
  • Adherence to maintenance
  • Where the vehicle is driven
  • How the vehicle is driven
  • Variations in fuel source
  • Engine break-in
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Calculating Diesel Fuel Economy

Almost all new trucks are equipped with logic programmed into the ECM that calculates estimated average fuel economy, which is measured in miles per gallon. The data is typically presented numerically through the driver information center in the instrument cluster or center console screen, and it is helpful for determining the total distance that can be driven until refueling is warranted.
There are two standard practices for determining a truck's average fuel economy. Here are all of the steps for both procedures, which only require basic math calculations to complete:
Step 1. Filling the vehicle's gas tank completely and resetting the trip odometer. Note: Sometimes it's easy to get the main odometer and trip odometer readings confused, especially if the vehicle is new.
Step 2. When it's time to refuel

Filling the tank completely

Writing down the number of gallons it took to fill the tank

Writing down the mileage on the trip odometer

Resetting the trip odometer

Example: It took 9.5 gallons to completely fill the tank, and the trip odometer reads 335 miles.
Step 3. Dividing the number of miles driven by the number of gallons it took to fill the tank. The result is the vehicle's mpg for that driving period. Example: 335 miles divided by 9.5 gallons equals 35.5 miles per gallon.
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Step 1. Filling the vehicle's gas tank completely and writing down the vehicle's odometer reading (mileage). Example: The last time the tank was filled, the odometer reading was 32,645.1 miles.
Step 2. When it's time to refuel, filling the tank completely and writing down the number of gallons it took to fill the tank and the vehicle's new odometer reading. Once two odometer readings are taken, mpg can be calculated. Example: The next time the tank was filled, the odometer reading was 33,001.3. It took 13.5 gallons to fill the tank.
Step 3. Calculating the distance driven by subtracting the previous odometer reading from the new one. Example: The distance driven would be 33,001.3 minus 32,645.1, or 356.2 miles.
Step 4. Dividing the number of miles driven by the number of gallons it took to fill the tank. The result is the vehicle's mpg for that driving period. Example: 356.2 miles divided by 13.5 gallons equals 26.4 miles per gallon.

The mpg for that driving period would be 26.4.

 

Best New Diesel Truck Fuel Economy

One thing that has puzzled us for many years is the fact that the EPA does not require manufacturers to report fuel economy information for their heavy-duty truck lines (Ford Super Duty and GM and Ram 2500 and 3500 rigs/trucks with a GVWR of 8,500 pounds or better). With this being the case, our rundown of the best new diesel truck fuel economy—per EPA statistics—covers midsize and light-duty 2020 pickups exclusively, two- and four-wheel drive.
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Source

U.S. Department of Energy
https://www.fueleconomy.gov

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