November 1, 2012 3:51 PM | By Steve Mertl for MSN Autos
What to drive if you faint at the sight of high fuel prices

Pickup trucks: Toyota Tacoma

Pickup trucks: Toyota Tacoma (© Photo: Toyota)
  • Subcompacts: Ford Fiesta SFE (© Photo: Ford)
  • Compacts: Honda Civic Hybrid (© Photo: Honda)
  • Mid-sizes: Toyota Prius (© Photo: Toyota)
  • Large sedans: Hyundai Sonata (© Photo: Hyundai)
  • Minivans: Toyota Sienna (© Photo: Toyota)
  • Special Purpose Vehicles: Ford Escape Hybrid (© Photo: Ford)
  • Pickup trucks: Toyota Tacoma (© Photo: Toyota)
  • Two-seaters: Honda CR-Z (© Photo: Honda)
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An economical pickup truck might seem oxymoronic but fuel economy matters to many buyers who use their pickups for business. Toyota's base Tacoma (around $22,000), with the same 2.7-litre four-cylinder as in the Sienna and a five-speed manual, is rated at 10/7.7 city-highway economy, costing $1,869 for a year's gas. But it's a light-duty pickup at best.

Detroit's V8 and diesel models still rule this category and have worked to improve mileage by adding hybrids and turbo V6s. For instance, Ford's F-150, when equipped with the 3.5-litre EcoBoost (turbocharged) V6 has power and torque ratings comparable to some V8s, with a fuel-economy rating of 12.9/8.9 in two-wheel-drive form.

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