Photo by Ryan Peterson
Our fuel economy route took us over nearly 205 miles in and around Phoenix with relatively equal portions of city, freeway and desert two-lane highway sections. And in order to make this as challenging and punishing as true pickups deserve, we even included a nasty dirt road portion through a section aptly named the Apache Trail (Arizona Highway 88) northeast of the city.
All the trucks were driven on the same day, over the same route, with six different drivers rotating at six designated points to allow each driver's style to be included in each pickup's results. The temperature for the day was in the low 70s with clear skies and little wind. During the course of our route, we went from the desert basin near Phoenix, heading up several thousand feet toward Theodore Roosevelt Lake, then back down into the city once again.
We filled up each truck at the same gas station at the beginning and end of the route, at the same pump, in exactly the same way — allowing the pump to click itself off the first time, then slowly squeezing fuel in until we got a second click. Of course, we used a separate diesel fuel pump for the Ram 1500 but used the same procedure.
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