Consumers Union wants fuel economy ratings for HD trucks made available to public

When most people look for a new automobile, the first thing they look at is the vehicle's price tag.

After that, buyers will consider a variety of factors, including the vehicle's safety features, storage space, engine type, and fuel economy, just to name a few.

While the U.S. government currently requires automakers to release fuel economy data for light-duty trucks and passenger cars, the same rules do not apply to heavy-duty pickups. In case you didn't already know, heavy-duty trucks are defined as those vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 8,501 pounds.

Consumer Reports recently tested four heavy-duty trucks so it could provide shoppers with fuel economy information for those vehicles. The trucks tested were the Silverado 2500HD, Ram 2500, Ford F-250, and Titan XD. Each vehicle was equipped with a turbodiesel engine and four-wheel drive.

Interesting, it was determined that all four diesel-powered HD models offered decreased efficiency when compared to their gasoline-powered, light-duty counterparts. For example, the Silverado 2500HD equipped with the available diesel motor returned 14 mpg overall, while the Silverado 1500 with a naturally-aspirated engine earned 16 mpg overall. In addition, the diesel-powered Ford F-150 Lariat provided overall fuel economy of 15 mpg, which fell short of the 17 mpg achieved by the Ford F-250 XLT equipped with the 2.7-liter turbocharged V6.

To put it even more clearly, this means the added fuel economy usually provided by diesel engines does not make up for the added bulk that accompany HD trucks.

Because Consumers Union wants this fuel economy information made available to the public--so people can make more informed buying decisions--the group is asking Congress to publish this data on and also require this information be printed on window stickers of new HD trucks.

The reason the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) does not currently offer fuel economy ratings for HD trucks is due to budgetary concerns, according to a report from Automotive News. That's why Consumers Union sent a letter to Congress on September 20th requesting that funds be made available to the EPA so it could pursue this project.

If this information is actually made available, it could have a major affect on U.S vehicle sales, as the three best-selling vehicles in the country are Ford, Chevrolet, and RAM pickup trucks.