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Myth BUSTED: Does a Big Engine Get Better Fuel Economy TOWING Than a Small Engine?

When it comes to purchasing a truck, a number of factors come into play and must be considered, and what constitutes the “best truck” varies from one consumer to another, depending on one’s specific needs. One of the most popular things to consider when analyzing a pickup truck purchase is how much weight it can haul and how efficiently it can do so.

While larger trucks with bigger engines are generally more powerful and can pull more weight, the question of whether a smaller truck with a smaller engine can achieve better fuel economy than a larger truck with a bigger engine when towing a trailer is an interesting one. While it may seem logical that a smaller, less powerful truck would achieve better fuel economy, it may require more effort to pull a loaded trailer, while a larger truck will be able to tow the same amount of weight more effortlessly.

To address this question, our hosts at The Fast Lane Truck hit the road with a 7500-pound trailer, testing a four-cylinder Ford Ranger and an eight-cylinder Ford Raptor R by subjecting them to the same exact path with the same exact trailer behind them. Despite the Ranger being closer to its maximum capacity than the larger Raptor R, the test will determine if the small but mighty machine can be more efficient at towing.

Of course, this is just one metric of many but could stand to sway some potential truck shoppers one way or the other.

Below, we find out once and for all if the small but mighty machines of the world are able to effectively swing above their weight class to chisel out a valuable role in the pickup truck landscape for themselves. Could the Ranger showcase more efficient muscle than a truck with twice the cylinders and considerably more weight? It’s time to find out just that!