Fuel Cost Comparison: Compact Trucks and Full-Size Trucks

Annual Operating Cost Breakdown of Some of Canada’s Most Popular Pickup Trucks

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Today’s buyer is increasingly reluctant to pay for capacity they don’t need, especially when it comes time to refuel. The auto industry has responded: In 2022, buyers are now being offered diesel and hybrid options in full-size trucks as well as a new breed of compact pickups that sees new-for-2022 models like the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick join a longtime favorite, the Honda Ridgeline, in the compact pickup segment.


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Referring to Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Fuel Consumption Guide 2022 (download it here), we can do an apples-to-apples comparison of how much money will go from your bank account into everyone’s fuel tank. of these trucks over a year. based.

Annual fuel costs are derived from each vehicle’s combined fuel consumption ratings (based on 55% city driving and 45% highway driving), and assumes a fuel price of $1.00 for regular gasoline and a distance covered of 20,000 kilometers per year. The result is a benchmark dollar value that buyers can use to help accurately compare the fuel economy and annual fuel costs of each vehicle they are considering.

Remember: your results may vary. Drivers who drive mainly on the highway will tend to consume less fuel, drivers who drive mainly in the city will tend to consume more. Fuel prices are unstable and may also vary over time and geographical area. Given that current prices hover around $1.50 in much of the country, it’s safe to estimate an additional 50% on top of each of these dollar figures.


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2022 Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz
2022 Ford Maverick vs. Hyundai Santa Cruz Photo by Elliot Alder

First up is the Ford Maverick, which is the only compact truck on our list available with two engine options. The first of these is a 2-liter four-cylinder hybrid that comes in a single front-wheel-drive configuration that’s meant to make it the most fuel-efficient pickup on the road.

The Maverick Hybrid is rated for 5.6 L/100 km of fuel in the city, 7.1 L/100 km on the highway and 6.3 L/100 km combined. Over 20,000 km, this translates to an approximate annual fuel cost of $1,260.

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Drivers who opt for the Maverick’s turbocharged two-liter four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive will nearly double that rating in city driving, hitting 10.7 L/100 km. On the highway, that’s 8.1 L/100 km from the non-hybrid Maverick, or one extra liter of gasoline consumed for every 100 kilometers of highway it travels. In combined consumption, it’s 9.6 L/100 km in the Maverick AWD, for an annual fuel cost of $1,920, some $660 more than the Maverick Hybrid.


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The larger Honda Ridgeline comes with the standard power of a proven 3.5-liter V6 engine. It drinks 12.8 L/100 km in the city, 9.9 L/100 km on the highway and 11.5 L/100 km combined. That’s an annual fuel cost of $2,300, or $380 per year more than the Ford Maverick.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz has the best-performing engine in this group, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo that consumes 12.1 L/100 km city, 8.6 L/100 km highway and 10.6 L/100 km 100 km combined. That puts it in the middle of the pack, with an annual fuel cost of $2,120, which is $200 more than the Maverick but $90 less than the Ridgeline.

Honda Ridgeline
Honda Ridgeline Photo by Jeff Van De Walle

To recap annual fuel costs so far:

Ford Maverick: $1,920
Ford Maverick Hybrid: $1,260
Honda Ridgeline: $2,300
Hyundai Santa Cruz: $2,120


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For comparison, the new Nissan Frontier 4×4 has an annual fuel cost of $2,460, just $160 more than the less powerful Ridgeline but nearly double that of the Maverick hybrid.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country Duramax
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country Duramax Photo by Matthew Guy

Do you need to buy a compact pickup truck for good fuel economy? Not necessarily – the advanced (and sometimes expensive) technologies available in various full-size models also help lower annual fuel costs.

For example, the full-size Ford F-150 Hybrid runs just $120 more per year than a Maverick, and some 4×4 versions of the Chevrolet Silverado are available with a 3-liter Duramax diesel engine that offers lower annual fuel costs. lower than those of a Maverick. Maverick, Santa Cruz or Ridgeline.

The new full-size Toyota Tundra 4×4 has a hybrid turbo V6 engine that offers an annual fuel cost of $2,440, which is less than $230 a year from the Ridgeline or Santa Cruz, in exchange for a great increase in power.

2022 Ford F-150 PowerBoost and Toyota Tundra iForce Max
2022 Ford F-150 PowerBoost and Toyota Tundra iForce Max Photo by Matthew Guy

It’s a good illustration of how far technology has come in full-size trucks. Change your 2021 Tundra with a 5.7-liter V8 to a 2022 with the new V6, for example, and annual fuel costs drop by $1,530!

It’s always nice to have choices, and if you’re shopping for a fuel-efficient pickup in 2022, you’ve got plenty to consider.


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