Like an old man who tells his grandkids how he used to walk 6 miles to school each day, uphill in both directions, the decade-old Ford Ranger goes farther on a gallon of gas than any of the whippersnappers on this list, and you could buy it for a nickel — practically.
Priced at just $14,330, the Ranger is the cheapest pickup on the market and, along with its nearly identical corporate cousin the Mazda B2300, gets 21 mpg city/26 highway to boot.
Unfortunately, in the highest mileage form it can tow just 1,580 pounds, the least on our list. A 2.3-liter 4-cylinder that makes a slight 153 horsepower is largely responsible, but the chassis could use a trip to the gym, too.
Before gasoline prices went through the roof, Ford was on the verge of putting the old coot out to pasture. Word is the company will be keeping it around for a few more years while it develops a new generation of small, efficient pickups for the next decade.
Grandpa may be frugal, but he’s seen better days.