A couple years ago, the battle of the pickup trucks was all about power and towing capabilities. Now, with volatile fuel prices and an increased focus on the environment, fuel efficiency is the new battleground. For the 2009 model year, the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado XFE took fuel economy up a notch by hitting 21 mpg in highway driving. Ford's new SFE F-150 matched the Silverado's 15/21 numbers. The Blue Oval dropped the SFE for 2010, but kept the improved fuel economy.

General Motors is firing the latest salvo in the new fuel economy war by upping the EPA numbers on the XFE Silverado and Sierra to 22 mpg in highway driving. The move also improves the combined fuel economy of the GMT900 trucks from 17 to 18 mpg. That number now matches the highway fuel economy of the Silverado hybrid, but without the really expensive battery pack.

Chevrolet spokesperson Brian Goebel told Pickuptrucks that the increased fuel economy is due several engineering improvements. The XFE's 5.3L V8 now has variable valve timing, optimized shift pattens in its 6-speed transmission, and Active Fuel Management, which enables the truck to run on four cylinders at cruising speeds.

[Source: Pickuptrucks]

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