The two best compact pickup trucks are the 2023 GMC Canyon and the 2023 Honda Ridgeline, both with an overall score of 8.4 out of 10 according to US News & World Report. 

However, the most affordable model among compact pickup trucks is the 2024 Ford Maverick, with a base price of $23,815, and the most fuel-efficient model with 20-42 MPG city and 24-33 MPG on the highway. 

Car and Driver’s rankings also put the 2024 Ford Maverick as the best compact pickup truck based on roughly 200 data points encompassing acceleration, handling, comfort, cargo space, fuel efficiency, value, and how enjoyable they are to drive.

Best Compact Pickup Trucks

2023 GMC Canyon

Score 8.4
MSRP $36,900 – $55,500
Fuel Economy N/A City / N/A Hwy

Overview

The 2023 GMC Canyon is a mid-size truck that comes in several trims, including the Elevation, AT4, Denali, and the first-ever rugged AT4X.

It features a 2.7L Turbo high-output engine with 310 horsepower, a best-in-class 430 lb.-ft. of torque, and a towing capacity of 5,500.

The Canyon also has advanced safety and technology features, such as OnStar and Connected Services Premium Plan, a Multicolor 6.3″ Diagonal Head-Up Display, and up to 10 available camera views, including segment-first front and rear underbody cameras.

Specification

Engine 3.0L Turbocharged V6
Horsepower 310 hp
Torque 430 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase 131.4 in
Length 213.2–217.9 in (depending on trim)
Width 72.4 in
Height 70.5–74.2 in (depending on trim)
Ground clearance 8.2–10.1 in (depending on trim)
0-60 mph 6.0–6.5 sec (estimated)
1/4-mile 13.0–14.0 sec (estimated)
Towing capacity 7,700 lbs (AT4X max towing is 6,000 lbs)
Fuel economy 18–20 mpg combined, 17–18 mpg city, 20–23 mpg highway

2023 Honda Ridgeline

Score 8.4
MSRP $38,800 – $46,230 
Fuel Economy 18 City / 24 Hwy

Overview

The 2023 Honda Ridgeline is a mid-size truck that offers a unique blend of comfort, practicality, and performance.

It is powered by a 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 262 lb-ft of torque, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. 

The Ridgeline is available in various trims, with the base price starting at $40,195 and going up to $47,625.

Specification

Category Specification
Engine 3.5L V6
Horsepower 280 hp
Torque 262 lb-ft
Transmission 9-speed automatic
Drivetrain All-wheel drive (standard)
Exterior  
Body style Crew cab
Bed length 5 feet
Wheelbase 121.2 inches
Length 210.1 inches
Width 74.5 inches
Height 71.5 inches
Ground clearance 9.4 inches
Curb weight 4,241–4,582 lbs (depending on trim)
Interior  
Seating capacity 5
Cargo space 15.8 cubic feet (bed) + 7.3 cubic feet (in-bed trunk)
Headroom 40.1 inches (front) / 38.5 inches (rear)
Legroom 45.7 inches (front) / 36.1 inches (rear)
Shoulder room 60.5 inches (front) / 59.2 inches (rear)
Performance  
0-60 mph 7.5–7.8 seconds (estimated)
Fuel economy 19–24 mpg combined, 18–21 mpg city, 22–28 mpg highway

2024 Ford Maverick

Score 8.1
MSRP $23,815 – $34,855 
Fuel Economy 20-42 City / 24-33 Hwy

Overview

The 2024 Ford Maverick is a compact workhorse that offers a unique blend of practicality, efficiency, and performance.

It is available in three trims: XL, XLT, and Lariat, with prices starting at $25,410 and going up to $39,945 depending on the trim.

Specification

Category Specification
Standard Engine 2.0L EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder
Horsepower 250 hp
Torque 277 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drivetrain Front-wheel drive (standard), All-wheel drive (optional)
Optional Hybrid Powertrain 2.5L four-cylinder engine + electric motor
Combined Horsepower 191 hp
Combined Torque 155 lb-ft
Transmission Continuously variable automatic (CVT)
Drivetrain Front-wheel drive only
Exterior  
Body style Crew cab with four-door access
Bed length 4.6 feet
Wheelbase 121.5 inches
Length 207.4 inches
Width 72.3 inches
Height 66.9 inches
Ground clearance 8.6 inches (standard), 9.7 inches (Tremor package)
Interior  
Seating capacity 5
Cargo space 15.8 cubic feet (bed)
Headroom 40.9 inches (front), 37.4 inches (rear)
Legroom 45.7 inches (front), 36.1 inches (rear)
Shoulder room 60.5 inches (front), 59.2 inches (rear)

2023 Jeep Gladiator

Score 8.1
MSRP $38,775 – $50,995 
Fuel Economy 16-22 City / 22-28 Hwy

Overview

The 2023 Jeep Gladiator is a midsize pickup truck that comes with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic transmission. 

It has a removable top and doors and comes with a 1000-pound added max towing capacity.

The Gladiator has a four-door cab, a 5.0-foot bed, and a capable four-wheel-drive system. It is available with a six-speed manual transmission and an optional turbodiesel powertrain. 

Specification

Category Specification
Standard Engine 3.6L Pentastar V6
Horsepower 285 hp
Torque 260 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drivetrain Standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), optional four-wheel drive (4WD)
Available Engine (last year for this option) 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
Horsepower 260 hp
Torque 442 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drivetrain Optional 4WD
Exterior  
Body style Crew cab with four-door access
Bed length Various options depending on trim: Sport S: 5 feet, Mojave and Rubicon: 5 feet 7 inches
Wheelbase 131.4 inches
Length 209.3 inches (Sport S), 211.5 inches (Mojave and Rubicon)
Width 78.9 inches (includes mirrors)
Height 74.2 inches (Sport S), 78.9 inches (Mojave and Rubicon)
Ground clearance 8.7 inches (Sport S), 10.9 inches (Mojave), 11.1 inches (Rubicon)
Interior  
Seating capacity 5
Cargo space 60.7 cubic feet (bed, Sport S), 57.4 cubic feet (bed, Mojave and Rubicon)
Headroom 40.1 inches (front), 38.5 inches (rear)
Legroom 45.7 inches (front), 36.1 inches (rear)
Shoulder room 60.5 inches (front), 59.2 inches (rear)

2024 Chevrolet Colorado

Score 7.9
MSRP $29,500 – $46,800 
Fuel Economy 17-20 City / 19-25 Hwy

Overview

The 2024 Chevrolet Colorado is a midsize pickup truck that offers a combination of performance, off-road capability, and versatility.

It is available in various trims, including the new ZR2 Bison, which is designed for off-road enthusiasts.

Specification

Category Specification
Type Turbocharged 2.7L I-4
Horsepower Base WT and LT trims: 237 hp, Z71 and ZR2 trims: 310 hp
Torque Base WT and LT trims: 260 lb-ft, Z71 and ZR2 trims: 391 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drivetrain Rear-wheel drive (standard) with optional four-wheel drive
Exterior  
Body style Crew cab with four-door access
Bed length 5 feet
Wheelbase 131.4 inches
Length 213.2–217.9 inches (depending on trim)
Width 72.4 inches
Height 70.5–74.2 inches (depending on trim)
Ground clearance 8.2–10.1 inches (depending on trim)
Performance  
0-60 mph 6.0–6.5 seconds (estimated)
Fuel economy Base WT and LT trims: 18–20 mpg combined, 17–18 mpg city, 20–23 mpg highway, Z71 and ZR2 trims: 16–19 mpg combined, 15–17 mpg city, 18–22 mpg highway
Towing capacity Base WT and LT trims: 7,700 lbs, ZR2: 3,500 lbs
Interior  
Seating capacity 5
Cargo space 15.8 cubic feet (bed)
Headroom 40.1 inches (front), 38.5 inches (rear)
Legroom 45.7 inches (front), 36.1 inches (rear)
Shoulder room 60.5 inches (front), 59.2 inches (rear)

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Score 7.9
MSRP $26,650 – $41,070 
Fuel Economy 19-22 City / 25-27 Hwy

Overview

The 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a unique Sport Adventure Vehicle that combines the comfort of an SUV with the open utility of a truck bed.

It is equipped with a turbocharged 2.7L I-4 engine, offering 237 hp for the base WT and LT trims, and 310 hp for the Z71 and ZR2 trims.

The torque is 260 lb-ft for the base WT and LT trims and 391 lb-ft for the Z71 and ZR2 trims. The Santa Cruz comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission and offers rear-wheel drive as standard, with optional all-wheel drive.

Specification

Category Specification
Standard Engine 2.5L Naturally-Aspirated 4-cylinder
Horsepower 191 hp
Torque 181 lb-ft
Optional Engine 2.5L Turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower 281 hp
Torque 311 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed Automatic
Drivetrain Front-wheel drive (standard), All-wheel drive (optional)

2024 Nissan Frontier

Score 7.6
MSRP $29,770 – $42,640 
Fuel Economy 17-18 City / 22-24 Hwy

Overview

The 2024 Nissan Frontier is the latest iteration of the Japanese automaker’s mid-size truck offering.

It boasts significant improvements over its predecessor, particularly in terms of design, technology, and performance.

Specification

Category Specification
Standard Engine 3.8L V6
Horsepower 310 hp
Torque 281 lb-ft
Transmission 9-speed automatic
Drivetrain Rear-wheel drive (standard), All-wheel drive (optional)
Exterior  
Body style Crew cab with four-door access
Bed length 5 feet (standard), 6 feet (Crew Cab Long Bed SV trim)
Wheelbase 126.0 inches
Length 207.4 inches (standard), 213.5 inches (Crew Cab Long Bed SV trim)
Width 72.3 inches
Height 66.9 inches
Ground clearance 8.6 inches (standard), 9.7 inches (Pro-4X trim)
Performance  
0-60 mph 7.3 seconds (estimated)
Fuel economy  
Rear-wheel drive 19 mpg combined, 17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway
All-wheel drive 18 mpg combined, 17 mpg city, 20 mpg highway
Towing capacity 6,640 lbs (maximum, with available tow package)
Interior  
Seating capacity 5
Cargo space 15.8 cubic feet (bed), 46.3 cubic feet (Crew Cab Long Bed SV trim, bed folded)
Headroom 40.9 inches (front), 37.4 inches (rear)
Legroom 45.7 inches (front), 36.1 inches (rear)
Shoulder room 60.5 inches (front), 59.2 inches (rear)

2023 Ford Ranger

Score 7.3
MSRP $27,400 – $40,945 
Fuel Economy 19-21 City / 19-26 Hwy

Overview

The 2023 Ford Ranger is a midsize pickup truck that offers a combination of performance, towing capacity, and advanced safety features.

The Ranger is equipped with a 3.8L V6 engine that produces 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

The Ranger comes with rear-wheel drive as standard, with optional all-wheel drive. The exterior features a crew cab with four-door access, a 5-foot bed (standard), and a wheelbase of 126.0 inches.

Specification

Engine and Drivetrain  
Standard Engine 2.3L EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower 270 hp
Torque 310 lb-ft
Optional Engine 3.0L EcoBoost V6 (no longer available for 2024)
Horsepower 270 hp
Torque 420 lb-ft
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Drivetrain Rear-wheel drive (standard), All-wheel drive (optional)
Exterior  
Body style Crew cab with four-door access
Bed length 5 feet or 6 feet
Wheelbase 121.5 inches
Length 207.4 inches (5’ bed), 210.7 inches (6’ bed)
Width 72.3 inches
Height 66.9 inches
Ground clearance 8.6 inches (standard), 9.7 inches (Tremor package)
Interior  
Seating capacity 5
Cargo space 15.8 cubic feet (5’ bed), 23.3 cubic feet (6’ bed)
Headroom 40.9 inches (front), 37.4 inches (rear)
Legroom 45.7 inches (front), 36.1 inches (rear)
Shoulder room 60.5 inches (front), 59.2 inches (rear)

2023 Toyota Tacoma

Score 7.2
MSRP $27,750 – $49,890 
Fuel Economy 17-20 City / 20-24 Hwy

Overview

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma is a mid-size pickup truck known for its off-road capability, reliability, and long lifespan.

While a new model for 2024 is on the horizon, the 2023 Tacoma remains a solid choice for truck enthusiasts.

Specification

Engine and Transmission  
2.7L I4  
Horsepower 159 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Torque 180 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Drivetrain Rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive
3.5L V6  
Horsepower 278 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 265 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual (TRD Pro only)
Drivetrain Rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive (various configurations)
Dimensions  
Wheelbase 105.5 inches (Double Cab), 127.4 inches (Crew Cab)
Length 208.3 inches (Double Cab), 220.7 inches (Crew Cab)
Width 70.0 inches (excluding mirrors)
Height 66.1 inches (SR), 67.1 inches (TRD Off-Road), 68.1 inches (TRD Sport)
Ground clearance 9.4 inches (SR), 10.5 inches (TRD Off-Road), 11.5 inches (TRD Pro)
Performance  
0-60 mph 8.9 seconds (2.7L I4), 6.4 seconds (3.5L V6)
Towing capacity up to 6,800 pounds (3.5L V6)
Fuel economy  
2.7L I4 20/23 mpg (city/highway)
3.5L V6 19/24 mpg (city/highway)

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