30 miles per gallon in a full-size truck?

When’s the last time you got 30 miles to the gallon in a straight-off-the-lot, full-size pickup truck? With the advances in automotive technology, you might be getting that with your next truck. Especially if it’s a Ram HFE.

One of the coolest things I get to do for this radio show is to test the latest and greatest trucks and SUVs available. They’re usually four-wheel-drives, or occasionally all-wheel-drives. But a few weeks ago, I had a chance to test a two-wheel-drive truck. It’s not what I’d normally review for you hunters and anglers who listen to this show, but that’s one of the things I wanted to find out; if it had what it takes to get to those out-of-the-way hunting and fishing spots.

Ram 1500 HFEBut the big reason I wanted to drive it was to see if it actually could get the fuel economy Ram says it gets. The claim of 21 miles to the gallon in the city and 29 miles to the gallon on the highway seems like a far-fetched exaggeration for a full-size truck. Especially a full-size, Quad-Cab truck.

But the Ram 1500 HFE has a 3-liter diesel engine that churns out 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque (HFE stands for High Fuel Efficiency). It’s the perfect recipe for just enough power for light loads, and just enough economy to get high-20s when it comes to miles to the gallon. In fact, when I had it, I got even better than the EPA estimates. I got 23.6 miles to the gallon in the city and 30.1 miles to the gallon on the highway.

I will say the HFE is made for the highway. It’s a two-wheel-drive, because a four-wheel-drive system would drag down the fuel efficiency. And it was equipped with pretty smooth highway tires. But it did get up and down my driveway, which was still in really rough shape while I was driving the Ram HFE.

It would get you down well-maintained forest roads, and at 29 miles to the gallon, you’d have plenty of money left over after filling up to spend on more important things, like fly rods and elk rifles.