Skip to main content

Ford’s 2.7-litre V-6 EcoBoost engine is one of the available engines for its 2015 F-Series trucks.

Ford

For General Motors, the key to squeezing out fuel economy in its latest full-size pickups – GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado – has been cylinder deactivation and overall engine efficiencies. GM calls it "Active Fuel Management."

For Ford Motor, EcoBoost has become the centrepiece of a push to position the Dearborn, Mich. car company as a fuel economy leader for its F-Series rigs and all other models in its lineup.

For Chrysler, the Ram brand is the first to launch a light duty, full-size pickup with a diesel engine – a 3.0-litre diesel sourced from Fiat-owned VM Motori.

Story continues below advertisement

Who's right?

GM says its approach is a simple, cost-effective way to get real-world fuel economy gains. Ford says its EcoBoost delivers big-engine power only when needed, while offering real-world fuel economy in careful everyday driving. And Chrysler's small-displacement diesel gives pickup buyers the reliability, power and fuel economy they want.

Interestingly, Detroit's auto makers each are unwavering in a committed to a particular approach.

Ford has focused on EcoBoost engines with four valves per cylinder, turbocharging, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. These engines are complex, but Ford points out that almost all its EcoBoost engines are rated at 120 hp or more per litre.

GM says less complex overhead valve or pushrod engines are the best pickup choice for now, and that they are proven, inexpensive and low-tech compared to Ford's overhead valve approach.

But not entirely unsophisticated. Active Fuel Management shuts down two cylinders under light load conditions and at steady speeds. GM has been refining this technology for years. Better still, unlike EcoBoost, GM's approach does not add more than a $1,000 to the sticker price.

And the Ram diesel? Chrysler officials say it adds about $4,500 to the price of a Ram, but delivers the power, fuel economy and durability that is available only with a diesel.

Story continues below advertisement

Three different takes on pickup fuel economy.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

Follow us on Twitter @Globe_Drive.

Add us to your circles.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter