Top Compact Pickup Trucks

Tips for researching small pickup trucks

The best small pickup trucks pack a powerful punch into a compact package. As you compare compact pickup trucks, remember that this vehicle class has a lot of clones. In the auto industry, “cloning” refers to vehicles sold under two different brand names which are virtually identical. One example of this is the Chevrolet Colorado, which is one of our picks for the market’s best compact pickup trucks. The GMC Canyon is a clone of the Chevy Colorado. Similarly, the Suzuki Equator is a clone of the Nissan Frontier.

What New Truck Should You Buy?

In addition to factors like safety and performance, here are three key factors to consider when you buy a new truck:

  • Payload. When you compare compact pickup trucks, payload is a term that will come up over and over again. Payload refers to the total amount of weight, including both passengers and cargo, that a given truck is capable of transporting.
  • Towing capacity. Many people who use trucks for work have to tow extensions and trailers. The vehicle’s towing capacity rating refers to the maximum amount of weight that can be safely towed by a given truck.
  • Fuel economy. You’re constantly on the go when you’re working, so fuel economy is a very important factor to consider. While vehicles in this class inherently get better fuel economy than their full-sized counterparts, the best compact pickup trucks have higher MPG ratings than you might expect.

Carefully consider the intended application of the vehicle, too. If you have a regular need for ample cargo space and often find yourself transporting heavy and bulky goods, it might be a better idea to consider a mid-size or full-size pickup. However, if your transport needs are relatively light, you can save some money (on both price and fuel) by opting for a compact model.