Man Climbing Up Mountain Behind Parked Van

Most Fuel-Efficient Camper Vans

Key takeaways

Fuel cost is one of the largest expenses for long-term campervan travel so it’s no shock that fuel consumption is a primary concern for anyone shopping for an affordable camper.

In this article, we ranked the 24 most popular vans available today by mileage and discussed 3 no-cost ways to increase the fuel economy of whichever vehicle you choose.

Best Large Van Fuel Economy

The Vauxhall Movano is the most fuel-efficient camper of any large van. The Movano averages 18 miles per gallon in the city, 28 miles per gallon on the highway, and 23 miles per gallon combined.

Ranking Van City Highway Combined
5 Ram ProMaster 13 18 15.5
4 Ford Transit 12 18 15
3 Mercedes Sprinter 15 21 18
2 Renault Master 17 26 21.5
1 Vauxhall Movano 18 28 23

 

Best Mid-Size Van Fuel Economy

The Renault Trafic gets the best fuel mileage of any modern mid-sized van. The Trafic averages 26 miles per gallon in the city, 34 miles per gallon on the highway, and 30 miles per gallon combined.

Ranking Van City Highway Combined
6 VW California 21 25 23
5 Mercedes Metris 21 26 23.5
4 Nissan NV200 21 27 24
3 Ram ProMaster City 21 28 24.5
2 Ford Transit Connect 22 28 25
1 Renault Trafic 26 34 30

 

Best Budget Van Fuel Economy

The Chevy Astro gets the best fuel mileage of any budget van. The Astro averages 12 miles per gallon in the city, 18 miles per gallon on the highway, and 15 miles per gallon combined.

Ranking Van City Highway Combined
5 Ford Econoline (E-Series) 9 14 11.5
4 Dodge Ram van 11 15 13
3 GMC Savana 12 16 14
2 Chevy Express (G-Series) 12 17 14.5
1 Chevy Astro 12 18 15

 

Best Minivan Fuel Economy

The Toyota Sienna gets the best fuel mileage of any minivan. The Sienna averages 18 miles per gallon in the city, 24 miles per gallon on the highway, and 21 miles per gallon combined.

Ranking Van City Highway Combined
4 Dodge Caravan 15 21 18
3 Kia Sedona 18 23 20.5
2 Honda Odyssey 18 24 21
1 Toyota Sienna 18 24 21

 

Best Classic Van Fuel Economy

The Nissan Urvan gets the best fuel mileage of any throwback van. The Urvan averages 18 miles per gallon in the city, 26 miles per gallon on the highway, and 22 miles per gallon combined.

Ranking Van City Highway Combined
4 VW Van 12 18 15
3 Mitsubishi Delica 15 20 17.5
2 Toyota HiAce 16 22 19
1 Nissan Urvan 18 26 22

 

Most Popular Vans Ranked by Fuel Economy

Ranking Van Category City Highway Combined
24 Ford Econoline (E-Series) Budget Americana 9 14 11.5
23 Dodge Ram van Budget Americana 11 15 13
22 GMC Savana Budget Americana 12 16 14
21 Chevy Express (G-Series) Budget Americana 12 17 14.5
20 Chevy Astro Budget Americana 12 18 15
19 VW Van Throwback 12 18 15
18 Ford Transit Modern 12 18 15
17 Ram ProMaster Modern 13 18 15.5
16 Toyota HiAce Throwback 16 22 19
15 Dodge Caravan Minivan 15 21 18
14 Mercedes Sprinter Modern 15 21 18
13 Mitsubishi Delica Throwback 15 20 17.5
12 Kia Sedona Minivan 18 23 20.5
11 Honda Odyssey Minivan 18 24 21
10 Toyota Sienna Minivan 18 24 21
9 Nissan Urvan Throwback 18 26 22
8 Renault Master Modern 17 26 21.5
7 VW California Modern Mid-Sized 21 25 23
6 Mercedes Metris Modern Mid-Sized 21 26 23.5
5 Nissan NV200 Modern Mid-Sized 21 27 24
4 Ram ProMaster City Modern Mid-Sized 21 28 24.5
3 Ford Transit Connect Modern Mid-Sized 22 28 25
2 Vauxhall Movano Modern 18 28 23
1 Renault Trafic Modern Mid-Sized 26 34 30

 

#24 – Ford Econoline (E-Series) Gas Mileage

City: 9 MPG
Highway: 14 MPG
Combined: 11.5 MPG

The Ford Econoline (E-Series) averages 9 miles per gallon in the city, 14 miles per gallon on the highway, and 11.5 miles per gallon combined.

#23 – Dodge Ram van Gas Mileage

City: 11 MPG
Highway: 15 MPG
Combined: 13 MPG

The Dodge Ram van averages 11 miles per gallon in the city, 15 miles per gallon on the highway, and 13 miles per gallon combined.

#22 – GMC Savana Gas Mileage

City: 12 MPG
Highway: 16 MPG
Combined: 14 MPG

The GMC Savana averages 12 miles per gallon in the city, 16 miles per gallon on the highway, and 14 miles per gallon combined.

#21 – Chevy Express (G-Series) Gas Mileage

City: 12 MPG
Highway: 17 MPG
Combined: 14.5 MPG

The Chevy Express (G-Series) averages 12 miles per gallon in the city, 17 miles per gallon on the highway, and 14.5 miles per gallon combined.

#20 – Chevy Astro Gas Mileage

City: 12 MPG
Highway: 18 MPG
Combined: 15 MPG

The Chevy Astro averages 12 miles per gallon in the city, 18 miles per gallon on the highway, and 15 miles per gallon combined.

#19 – VW Van Gas Mileage

City: 12 MPG
Highway: 18 MPG
Combined: 15 MPG

The VW Van averages 12 miles per gallon in the city, 18 miles per gallon on the highway, and 15 miles per gallon combined.

#18 – Ford Transit Gas Mileage

City: 12 MPG
Highway: 18 MPG
Combined: 15 MPG

The Ford Transit averages 12 miles per gallon in the city, 18 miles per gallon on the highway, and 15 miles per gallon combined.

#17 – Ram ProMaster Gas Mileage

City: 13 MPG
Highway: 18 MPG
Combined: 15.5 MPG

The Ram ProMaster averages 13 miles per gallon in the city, 18 miles per gallon on the highway, and 15.5 miles per gallon combined.

#16 – Toyota HiAce Gas Mileage

City: 16 MPG
Highway: 22 MPG
Combined: 19 MPG

The Toyota HiAce averages 16 miles per gallon in the city, 22 miles per gallon on the highway, and 19 miles per gallon combined.

#15 – Dodge Caravan Gas Mileage

City: 15 MPG
Highway: 21 MPG
Combined: 18 MPG

The Dodge Caravan averages 15 miles per gallon in the city, 21 miles per gallon on the highway, and 18 miles per gallon combined.

#14 – Mercedes Sprinter Gas Mileage

City: 15 MPG
Highway: 21 MPG
Combined: 18 MPG

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter averages 15 miles per gallon in the city, 21 miles per gallon on the highway, and 18 miles per gallon combined.

#13 – Mitsubishi Delica Gas Mileage

City: 15 MPG
Highway: 20 MPG
Combined: 17.5 MPG

The Mitsubishi Delica averages 15 miles per gallon in the city, 20 miles per gallon on the highway, and 17.5 miles per gallon combined.

#12 – Kia Sedona Gas Mileage

City: 18 MPG
Highway: 23 MPG
Combined: 20.5 MPG

The Kia Sedona’s mileage per gallon averages 18 in the city, 23 on the highway, and 20.5 miles per gallon combined.

#11 – Honda Odyssey Gas Mileage

City: 18 MPG
Highway: 24 MPG
Combined: 21 MPG

The Honda Odyssey averages 18 miles per gallon in the city, 24 miles per gallon on the highway, and 21 miles per gallon combined.

#10 – Toyota Sienna Gas Mileage

City: 18 MPG
Highway: 24 MPG
Combined: 21 MPG

The Toyota Sienna averages 18 miles per gallon in the city, 24 miles per gallon on the highway, and 21 miles per gallon combined.

#9 – Nissan Urvan Gas Mileage

City: 18 MPG
Highway: 26 MPG
Combined: 22 MPG

The Nissan Urvan averages 18 miles per gallon in the city, 26 miles per gallon on the highway, and 22 miles per gallon combined.

#8 – Renault Master Gas Mileage

City: 17 MPG
Highway: 26 MPG
Combined: 21.5 MPG

The Renault Master’s average gas mileage is 17 miles per gallon in the city, 26 miles per gallon on the highway, and 21.5 miles per gallon combined.

#7 – VW California Gas Mileage

City: 21 MPG
Highway: 25 MPG
Combined: 23 MPG

The VW California averages 21 miles per gallon in the city, 25 miles per gallon on the highway, and 23 miles per gallon combined.

#6 – Mercedes Metris Gas Mileage

City: 21 MPG
Highway: 26 MPG
Combined: 23.5 MPG

The Mercedes Metris averages 21 miles per gallon in the city, 26 miles per gallon on the highway, and 23.5 miles per gallon combined.

#5 – Nissan NV200 Gas Mileage

City: 21 MPG
Highway: 27 MPG
Combined: 24 MPG

The Nissan NV200’s average mileage is 21 miles per gallon in the city, 27 miles per gallon on the highway, and 24 miles per gallon combined.

#4 – Ram ProMaster City Gas Mileage

City: 21 MPG
Highway: 28 MPG
Combined: 24.5 MPG

The Ram ProMaster City’s average gas mileage is 21 miles per gallon in the city, 28 miles per gallon on the highway, and 24.5 miles per gallon combined.

#3 – Ford Transit Connect Gas Mileage

City: 22 MPG
Highway: 28 MPG
Combined: 25 MPG

The Ford Transit Connect’s average mileage 22 miles per gallon in the city, 28 miles per gallon on the highway, and 25 miles per gallon combined.

#2 – Vauxhall Movano Gas Mileage

City: 18 MPG
Highway: 28 MPG
Combined: 23 MPG

The Vauxhall Movano’s average gas mileage is 18 miles per gallon in the city, 28 miles per gallon on the highway, and 23 miles per gallon combined.

#1 – Renault Trafic Gas Mileage

City: 26 MPG
Highway: 34 MPG
Combined: 30 MPG

The Renault Trafic gets excellent gas mileage and averages 26 miles per gallon in the city, 34 miles per gallon on the highway, and 30 miles per gallon combined.

Diesel vs. Gas Camper Van Fuel Efficiency

Why Choose a Gas Camper Van?

Gasoline engines are popular for camper vans due to their widespread availability and lower initial cost. Gasoline-powered engines also tend to be quieter and smoother, which provides a more comfortable ride. Additionally, gasoline engines emit fewer nitrogen oxides and particulates, making them cleaner burning. On the downside, they are generally less fuel-efficient than diesel vehicles.

Just how much emissions does this fuel type output? Check out this article to learn more.

Why Choose a Diesel Camper Van?

Diesel engines offer several advantages, particularly in terms of efficiency. Diesel engines can go about 20% to 35% farther on a gallon of fuel than gasoline engines. Additionally, diesel engines benefit from increased power and torque, which is beneficial for towing and carrying heavy loads. On the downside, diesel emits more particulates and smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx), though new “clean” burning diesel fuels and advances in emission control systems reduce these pollutants.

Just how much emissions does this fuel type output? Check out this article to learn more.

3 Ways to Get Better Fuel Economy in Your Camper Van and Overland Vehicle

When searching for ways to improve the fuel economy of your van, you’ll probably hear about the importance of changing your oil regularly, not leaving your engine running, keeping your tires inflated, or using cruise control. Although these methods can help, they offer marginal improvements at best. Here are the 3 best ways to make a notable difference (1 MPG+) in the fuel efficiency of your camper van:

1. Reduce Weight

Reducing the weight of your vehicle can have a direct impact on fuel efficiency. It’s been estimated that for every 100 pounds of vehicle weight, a loss of up to 1% in fuel efficiency can occur. When building a camper van, an additional 1000 pounds of weight could further reduce the fuel efficiency of your van by up to 10%. This can really add up in terms of cost when considering the cost per gallon of fuel.

2. Reduce Drag (exterior accessories)

Aerodynamics plays a more significant role in fuel consumption than many people realize. Hauling cargo on your roof rack or adding after-market lights can increase aerodynamic drag (wind resistance) and lowers fuel economy by as much as 2% to 8% in city driving, 6% to 17% on the highway, and 10% to 25% at Interstate speeds (65 mph to 75 mph).

3. Reduce Speed

Speed is an important factor in fuel efficiency. Each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at different speeds, but gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can save between 7% to 14% on fuel costs by reducing overall speed, and between 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic by avoiding rapid acceleration and braking.


If you have decided that the idea of living life on the road and on your own terms is what you want to do, the next question is- what comes next? One of the most impactful decisions that you can make when embarking on your van life journey is choosing the vehicle you are going to live in. You need to consider how affordable it will be to operate your new home, which is why fuel economy and the cost of fuel are so important.

Fuel savings is the equivalent of reducing your rent. You’ll need to make fuel stops anywhere you go while living on the road. So, making the most out of every drop in your fuel tank will allow you to travel for longer and lower your cost of van life. Here are some fuel-efficient cargo vans that make great campers.

Dodge Ram ProMaster Van Gas Mileage

Dodge RAM ProMaster in the Woods
@therobertsroadmap on IG | Photo

The ProMaster is an affordable camper that’s designed to be a workhorse and is one of the leading vans on the market for commercial use. This means that it will be perfect for conversion into a home on wheels. Its cargo space comes in at 462 cubic feet and it provides decent mileage. If you are going to spend most of your time driving in cities, its gasoline engine offers up to 25 miles per gallon, but it is far less efficient on the highway at 19 miles per gallon. You can choose between a four-cylinder and six-cylinder gas engine and there’s also a diesel option for earlier models.

Related: Ram ProMaster Van Gas Mileage (more in-depth stats by model)

Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van Gas Mileage

Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van During Fall
@kermavans on IG | Photo

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter comes in four and six-cylinder options that provide plenty of power and its diesel engine makes it one of the most of the most fuel-efficient options in its class, with a combined mileage range of 18-22 mpg. It performs a little bit better on the highway than the ProMaster, so that’s something to consider if you’re planning to spend time traveling long distances.

Related: Mercedes Sprinter Van Gas Mileage (more in-depth stats by model)

Ford Transit Van Gas Mileage

Ford Transit Van in Parking Lot
@latribuvan on IG | Photo

Ford’s EcoBoost gasoline engines are powerful and fuel-efficient. If you purchase a Transit Connect model, you could benefit from a combined fuel economy of over 25 miles per gallon. For city driving, the auto-shutoff feature turns the engine off while you’re not moving and immediately fires it up when you release the brake. This helps you make the most out of each tank of gas. For more power, the Ford Transit comes with an optional 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 engine, which has a combined fuel rating of 21 miles per gallon.

Related: Ford Transit Van Gas Mileage (more in-depth stats by model)

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