The 1999 to 2000 compact pickup trucks earned the best gas mileage among all truck-based vehicles. Traditionally, compact trucks are the best choices for owners concerned with fuel-efficiency because most are equipped with a base four-cylinder engine or with a V-6 -- more cylinders mean less fuel efficiency. Full-size trucks generally have V-6 engines, but many feature V-8s and even V-10 engines. A truck's weight also factors in fuel efficiency, with full-size, half-, three-quarter- and 1-ton pickups earning well below 20 mpg.
Full-Size Versus Compact
Full-size pickup trucks like the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado or the 2000 Ford F-150 are heavier and have larger engines than their compact counterparts -- the 2000 Chevy S10 and 2000 Ford Rangers. The compacts, with their small engines, have an advantage over the full-size trucks in fuel-efficiency. A 2000 full-size Chevrolet Silverado truck equipped with a 4.3-liter V-6 engine typically earned 16 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway. However, the compact 2000 Ford Ranger equipped with virtually the same size engine earns roughly same gas mileage. This has prompted truck buyers to opt for full-size trucks because they offer bigger bang for their buck. Yet, if fuel efficiency is the priority when buying a truck, then a compact truck equipped with a four-cylinder engine has a distinct advantage by earning more than 20 mpg.
The most fuel-efficient truck of 1999 and 2000 was the rear-wheel-drive 2000 Chevrolet S10 pickup because it featured the smallest four-cylinder engine of any compact truck. It was equipped with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission to transmit the engine's power to the wheels. It earned 20 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway for a combined fuel efficiency of 23 mpg.
The compact Toyota Tacoma pickup truck was one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles of the1999 and 2000 trucks. The Tacoma earned 19 mpg in city driving and 25 mpg in highway driving for a combined fuel efficiency of 21 mpg. This meant that it took about 1.19 gallons to drive 25 miles. The two-wheel-drive Tacoma had a 2.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Tacomas equipped with an automatic transmission or a four-wheel-drive system had lower gas mileage.
Mazda B2500 and Ford Ranger
The 1999 and 2000 rear-wheel-drive Mazda B2500 pickup equipped with a 2.5-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission obtained 19 mpg in urban driving and 24 mpg on the open road for a combined fuel efficiency of 21 mpg. The Mazda B2500's virtual clone, the 2000 Ford Ranger, was equipped with an identical engine, but earned slightly better gas mileage. The four-cylinder Ranger achieved 20 mpg on city streets and 24 mpg on country roads for a combined fuel efficiency of 22 mpg.
A 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine powered the rear-wheel-drive 2000 Nissan Frontier. A five-speed manual transmission matched the engine to help the Frontier earn 20 mpg on city streets and 24 on the highway. The combined fuel efficiency was 21 mpg.
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