I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

While pickups keep getting bigger and bigger, plenty of people are going against the trend and looking for smaller and smaller pickups. These sub-compact, compact, and mid-size pickups are sometimes known as lifestyle pickups, as they are less about working hard and more about taking your kayaks out to the lake or giving you some utility on the city streets.

At the moment, the Ford Maverick is easily the best small pickup you can buy new today! That said, it isn’t the smallest, as that goes to the Hyundai Santa Cruz!

With that said, here is the complete list of smallest pickups, followed up by a complete list of trucks by their size!

1. Hyundai Santa Cruz

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Specifications:
  • External Dimensions: 195.7" L by 75" W by 66.7″ High
  • Wheel Base: 118.3″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 5,732 pounds
  • Curb Weight: 4,164 pounds
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Santa Cruz is by the smallest pickup truck sold on the USA market today, at only 195.7″ long! That is four inches shorter than the next size up (and that truck isn’t that big, either). The Santa Cruz is built on the same platform as the Tuscon, with similar styling as the Tuscon in the front and a 48″ pickup truck bed in the back.

This city truck can be chosen with either front-wheel-drive, which gets the best gas mileage, or all-wheel-drive, which will get you the best grip in the year’s winter months. As for the powertrain, you can choose from the base 2.5L naturally aspirated engine, which gets 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, or you can upgrade on higher trim levels to the turbo-charged version that gets 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque (this engine option also brings the 8-speed Wet Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) with paddle shifters).

The interior of the Santa Cruz is high-quality. It feels like you would expect from a crossover SUV rather than a pickup truck, making it ideal for people who aren’t quite ready to jump ship from an SUV but need the practicality.

The major downside to this pickup is that it lacks the pickup truck feel that many people want out of a truck and isn’t built to do truck things quite as well as its primary competitor (the Ford Maverick). Either way, Hyundai has done a great job at its first foray into the US pickup truck market with this compact pickup.

2. Ford Maverick

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Specifications:
  • External Dimensions: 199.7" L by 72.6″ W by 68.7″ High
  • Wheel Base: 121.1″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 5,205 pounds
  • Curb Weight: 3,693 pounds
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Ford left the compact pickup market in the USA back in 2012, when they pulled the Ford Ranger from production (it continued elswhere, and has since returned as a mid-size truck). Trucks were getting bigger, and the company thought it would need to sell more of them to justify continuing here. However, as trucks like the reintroduced Ranger have gotten larger, it has left a growing gap that only Ford can fill, and that is the Maverick.

As gas is getting more expensive and outdoor sports are becoming more popular, the Ford Maverick has been the perfect answer for those who have never owned a truck before but want to make that jump, which is why it is now the quickest-selling compact truck today.

This compact truck has a much more truck-like feel, with Ford truck design language throughout (especially with the announcement of the next generation Ranger), yet still has a sporty interior that feels modern and usable.

You can choose from the 2.5L Hybrid (the only one with AWD) or the 2.0L Ecoboost. If gas mileage is what you aim for, you should get the Hybrid, as it is the pickup truck with the best gas mileage on the market.

As you can tell, of all the trucks on this list, this is the one to get if you are in the market for a small pickup truck. It gives you the best price for the most usability, and they even have an off-road trim now (the Tremor), so it can about do it all.

3. Honda Ridgeline

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Specifications:
  • External Dimensions: 210.2″ L by 78.6″ W by 70.8″ High
  • Wheel Base: 125.2″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 6,019 pounds
  • Curb Weight: 4,510 pounds
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Honda Ridgeline is in its second generation and was one of the first modern pickup trucks to utilize a unibody design (rather than a body on frame). This has resulted in plenty of people making fun of it, yet it still is around and for a good reason. If you are looking for a more significant pickup that gets excellent gas mileage, has fantastic ride quality, and has the creature comforts of a family SUV . The Ridgeline looks like a great idea from that perspective.

The current second-generation Ridgeline just saw a significant refresh, which makes the front-end a bit more sporty, and gives it overall a bit more of a rugged (less city-truck) pickup than before, especially if you get Honda’s HDP Package, which provides you with plastic cladding, among a few other upgrades. 

The Ridgeline has a 280 horsepower (and 262 lb-ft of torque) V6 and can tow up to 5,000 pounds with some help from its 9-speed automatic transmission. This is all performed with an AWD system (not 4WD) to help you in those slick conditions on cold winter nights.

4. Ford Ranger

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Specifications:
  • External Dimensions: 210.9″ L by 79″ W by 75.9″ High
  • Wheel Base: 128.7″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 6,790 pounds
  • Curb Weight: 5,325 pounds
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. [Image courtesy of Ford]

As mentioned earlier in this article, you probably know that the Ford Range left the United States market for some time, only to re-arrive back on this pond in 2019. This time, rather than being a compact pickup (filled by the Maverick in Ford’s lineup), it came back as a mid-size lifestyle pickup truck (and shares its platform with the Bronco).

The Ford Ranger was already aging, as it had already been in Europe, so we are all thankful that an entirely new generation of Ranger was just announced and should be showing up on the streets soon. A 2.3L Ecoboost 4-cylinder will power this next-generation Ranger, or if you go for the Ranger Raptor (we finally have this now), you’ll get the upgraded 3.0L Ecoboost.

The thing I appreciate most, though, is its redesigned front-end styling. The last generation was always a bit too bland, and having pulled the design language from the Maverick, it looks even better on the Ranger. I wouldn’t hesitate one bit driving this pickup as a daily driver.

5. Chevy Colorado

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Specifications:
  • External Dimensions: 213.2″ L by 78.1″ W by 81.8″ High
  • Wheel Base: 131″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 6,250 pounds
  • Curb Weight: 4,940 pounds
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. [Image courtesy of GM]

The Colorado is that one pickup truck that I forget about; I think it is because it tends to be the middle ground of all categories. It has an off-road trim, but the Ranger Raptor is better for fast offroad driving, and the Tacoma TRD Pro is better for everything else. It isn’t the smallest pickup, and it also isn’t the biggest, either. Its price is also in the middle, not being a luxury vehicle, but also not the budget pick.

Regardless, the new Colorado is a great pickup but could be better at any one thing. The truck uses a 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine with 237 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque (the ZR2 gets ZR2 gets 310hp). This mid-size truck also shifts via an impressive 8-speed automatic transmission.

In the end, maybe I should spend some time with the Colorado to see its benefits and drawbacks, that is if I remember that it exists.

Complete List of Pickup Truck Sizes

MakeModelLength
HyundaiSanta Cruz195.7″
FordMaverick199.7″
HondaRidgeline210.2″
FordRanger210.9″
ChevroletColorado213.2″
GMCCanyon213.2″
GMCHummer EV216.8″
RivianR1T217.1″
JeepGladiator218″
TeslaCybertruck223.7″
NissanFrontier224.1″
ToyotaTacoma225.5″
NissanTitan229.5″
FordF-150 Lightning231.7″
GMCSierra 1500241.5″
Ram1500241.8″
ChevroletSilverado 1500242.4″
FordF-150250.3″
ToyotaTundra252.5″
Ram2500260.8″
Ram3500260.8″
GMCSierra 3500266″
ChevroletSilverado 2500266.1″
ChevroletSilverado 3500266.1″
FordF-250266.2″
FordF-350266.2″
GMCSierra 2500266.8″

Frequently Asked Questions

Which small truck is the best buy?

While the compact, small pickup truck market is constantly growing, the Ford Maverick is the best one to buy. It does a fantastic job of offering quality, capability, and gas mileage. Ford has been making the best-selling pickup for years in the F-150, and it shows in its little brother, the Maverick.

What is the smallest pickup truck made?

While the Hyundai Santa Cruz may be the smallest pickup sold in the USA, the smallest one globally is called the Changli Explorer. This small electric truck is 11′ 6″ long, has 12″ tires, and only has a payload capacity of just 880 pounds.

Why don’t they make small pickup trucks anymore?

The compact pickup truck segment died out for quite some time after Ford discontinued the Ranger back in 2012, which left us only with Mid-Size trucks in its place. This was due to popularity, as larger trucks were becoming more popular, as gas prices were lower. As gas prices start to rise again, compact truck demand is growing.

Conclusion

This article took me hours to put together, and I hope it helped you find the best small pickup trucks on the market today (in the USA market, anyways). Whether you are interested in the info or seriously looking to buy, I hope I have helped.