Best Small Pickup Trucks 2024 | Compact Truck Reviews
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Best Small Pickup Trucks 2024

If you’re in the market for a small pickup that packs a punch without hogging the road, then you’re in luck! The 2024 lineup of small pickup trucks is here, and it’s more versatile and vibrant than ever. Whether you’re navigating narrow city streets, towing gear for your weekend getaway, or just looking for a truck that doesn’t feel like you’re piloting a spaceship, these compact powerhouses have got you covered. Let’s dive into the world of the best small pickup trucks for 2024, where size meets capability, and discover which of these might just be your perfect match. Ready to find out which small pickup truck could be parking in your driveway next? Buckle up, because here we go!

Best Small Pickup Trucks 2024

#1 2024 Ford Maverick: $25 410

The small pickup truck segment is witnessing a revival, and leading the charge is the 2024 Ford Maverick. It鈥檚 not just making waves; it鈥檚 earning accolades, securing a spot on both the 10Best Trucks and SUVs and Editors’ Choice lists this year. The Maverick, built on the same mechanical foundations as the Ford Escape crossover, cleverly slots below the mid-size Ranger in Ford鈥檚 lineup.

Versatile Performance

Don鈥檛 let its crossover roots fool you鈥攖he Maverick is tough. The standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine offers robust performance, and while front-wheel drive comes standard, you have the option to upgrade to all-wheel drive. For those leaning towards efficiency, a hybrid powertrain is also available, which is not something many small pickups can boast.

Towing and Payload Capabilities

Equipped properly, the Maverick impresses with its ability to tow up to 4000 pounds and manage a payload of 1500 pounds in its compact bed. These figures put it on par with larger trucks and prove that size isn鈥檛 everything when it comes to capability.

Interior and Equipment: From Spartan to Sophisticated

Inside, the Maverick鈥檚 cabin is thoughtfully designed. Most models are kitted out with a generous list of features that lend an upscale feel, far exceeding expectations given its price point. However, the base XL trim keeps things simple, aimed more at fleets and work-site use, highlighting the Maverick鈥檚 range from functional to fairly fancy.

Current Competition

As of now, the Maverick stands in a unique position, directly competing with the Hyundai Santa Cruz in what could be described as a class of two. The Santa Cruz is the pricier option, but the Maverick holds its own with a compelling mix of affordability, practicality, and style.

#2 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz

For those who need the utility of a pickup without the bulk and expense of larger models like the Chevy Silverado or Ford F-150, the 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz is an excellent choice. This small pickup integrates the best features of a crossover with the practicality of a traditional truck. As a contender in the best small pickup trucks 2024, it’s built on the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson, offering a smooth ride that mirrors a well-equipped SUV.

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Utility Meets Urbanity

The Santa Cruz features a four-foot bed, perfect for hauling items like mountain bikes or garden supplies. This bed size strikes a balance between everyday vehicle functionality and weekend utility needs. Under the hood, a 191-hp four-cylinder engine is standard, available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive to suit different driving conditions and preferences.

Towing and Performance

For those who plan on heavier towing, the optional 281-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a must. Not only does it provide more spirited acceleration, but it also boosts the towing capacity to an impressive 5,000 pounds, making it a powerhouse in the compact pickup segment.

Comfort and Convenience

When it鈥檚 not performing typical truck duties, the Santa Cruz offers a refined and quiet ride, with a cabin that boasts handsome aesthetics and a plethora of tech and convenience features. It鈥檚 designed to be as comfortable and easy to live with as the Tucson SUV, making it an ideal choice for those who value both form and function.

Pricing Considerations

While the Hyundai Santa Cruz is a bit pricier than its primary competitor, the Ford Maverick, it justifies its cost with superior features and capabilities. For anyone evaluating the best small pickup trucks, the 2025 Santa Cruz presents a compelling blend of style, performance, and everyday usability, proving that great things indeed come in smaller packages.

#3 2024 Toyota Tacoma: $32 995

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma, affectionately known as the “Taco,” has undergone a significant transformation to match strides with modernized mid-size rivals like the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado. This all-new Tacoma not only sports brawny bodywork that commands attention but also steps into the current era with a much-needed interior revamp.

Contemporary Interior Design

Gone are the days of the Tacoma’s outdated interiors. The 2024 model ushers in a contemporary vibe with attractive aesthetics and crisp digital displays that bring it in line with the expectations of today’s truck buyers. This change is more than just skin deep, as it represents a broader commitment to enhancing the driver and passenger experience.

Enhanced Performance and Powertrain Options

Toyota hasn’t held back on performance enhancements. The power in the new Tacoma comes from a turbocharged four-cylinder engine available in various outputs. The crown jewel, however, is the 326-hp hybrid model, which is detailed in a separate review. This model highlights Toyota’s efforts to blend power with efficiency鈥攁 combo that’s becoming increasingly important to consumers.

Updated Suspension for Improved Ride Quality

The transition from the traditional leaf-spring rear suspension to more sophisticated coil springs in most models is another testament to the Tacoma’s evolution. This switch not only improves ride quality but also demonstrates Toyota’s dedication to making the Tacoma a top contender in its class.

A Platform for Adventure

With the 2024 redesign, the Tacoma is now based on the robust body-on-frame TNGA-F platform, which it shares with the redesigned Toyota Tundra. This platform underpins the Tacoma’s improved structural integrity and off-road capability. Additionally, the introduction of the Trailhunter trim, tailored for overlanding enthusiasts, underscores Toyota’s commitment to catering to the adventurous spirit of its drivers.

Broader Appeal with New Trim Levels

The Tacoma’s fourth generation does not shy away from variety. With an array of updated powertrains and a broader selection of trim levels鈥攊ncluding the adventure-ready Trailhunter鈥擳oyota aims to capture a more diverse audience. These options allow buyers to tailor the Tacoma to their specific needs and tastes, whether they’re city commuters or trail conquerors.

#4 2024 GMC Canyon: $37 595

2024 GMC Canyon

As the pickup truck market evolves, the 2024 GMC Canyon exemplifies the perfect blend of robust power and mid-size maneuverability, making it a significant contender among new small pickup trucks. Along with its mechanical twin, the Chevy Colorado, the Canyon delivers the performance typically expected from full-size counterparts, setting a high bar in the increasingly competitive segment.

Innovative Features from Full-Size Origins

Drawing from the technological and performance prowess of GMC’s larger trucks like the Sierra and Silverado 1500, the Canyon boasts a 310-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This powerhouse is paired with an exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission, differentiating it from other mid-size trucks like the Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma, which continue to offer manual transmissions for those who prefer a more traditional driving experience.

Luxury and Style Inside Out

The Canyon distinguishes itself from the Colorado with a uniquely designed interior that prioritizes comfort and luxury. The differences in the instrument panel design, superior materials, and elegant trim accents enhance the cabin, making the Canyon feel more upscale than many of its rivals in the new small pickup trucks category.

Leading Towing and Off-Road Abilities

Both GMC and Chevy boast the top towing capacity in this segment at 7700 pounds, showcasing the Canyon’s capability as a workhorse. The introduction of the AT4X AEV Edition underlines its prowess in off-road settings. This specialized trim features 17-inch AEV wheels, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT tires, and reinforced skid plates, providing 12.2 inches of ground clearance for superior off-road navigation.

Minimal Changes with a Focus on Special Editions

After its generational update in 2023, the Canyon has remained relatively stable in terms of its lineup, with the most notable addition being the AT4X AEV Edition. This focus on enhancing specific high-performance models shows GMC’s strategy of catering to both traditional truck users and adventure enthusiasts.

#5 2024 Nissan Frontier

While the Nissan Frontier might not have the sheer size and power of Nissan’s full-size Titan, it definitely holds its own in the mid-size category and comes with a much more appealing price tag. The Frontier rocks a robust 310-hp V-6 engine, outmuscling the Honda Ridgeline by a solid 30 horsepower. Plus, it鈥檚 paired with a smooth nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard rear-wheel drive keeps things traditional, but there’s also the option for four-wheel drive if you’re looking to take things off the beaten path.

Versatility in Size and Style

Unlike the Jeep Gladiator, which sticks to one cab style, the Frontier offers two choices: an extended King Cab and a roomier crew cab. This gives you the flexibility to choose based on your space needs or passenger priorities. Plus, while the standard bed size is 5.0 feet, Nissan offers a 6.0-foot bed option, something you won’t find on the newer Chevy Colorado.

Towing, Trims, and Tech

Now, it’s true鈥攖he Frontier doesn鈥檛 quite match the towing capacity of the Toyota Tacoma or Ford Ranger. But what it lacks in towing prowess, it makes up for with a competitive base price and a slew of standard features that really make it shine. Think of it like this: it’s got the essentials and more, without the sticker shock.

Stepping Up the Luxury with the SL Trim

For 2024, the Frontier is upping its game with the new plush SL trim. This isn’t just any upgrade; it comes decked out with leather upholstery, a booming 10-speaker Fender stereo system, and some seriously stylish LED lighting that could make night driving a new favorite activity.

A Nod to the 80s with the Hardbody Edition

But here鈥檚 the real kicker鈥攖he 1980s-inspired Hardbody Edition model. It鈥檚 a nostalgic nod to the iconic Nissan Hardbody, the very truck that set the stage for today’s Frontier. This edition isn鈥檛 just a name; it鈥檚 about style, featuring retro wheels, body decals, and a sport bar mounted on the bed that screams vintage cool.

#6 2024 Jeep Gladiator – A Standout in the Best Small Pickup Trucks 2024 Category

The 2024 Jeep Gladiator, while maintaining its core rugged character, introduces several upgrades, ensuring its spot among the best small pickup trucks. At first glance, the changes might not jump out, but they significantly enhance the Gladiator’s appeal and functionality.

Styling and Powertrain Updates

Starting with the exterior, the Gladiator sports a new, rounder grille that softens its hardy demeanor, drawing a parallel to the more compact Jeep Renegade. This year, Jeep has streamlined the engine options, phasing out the diesel V-6 and sticking with the reliable 3.6-liter V-6 gasoline engine. This move simplifies the lineup while maintaining strong performance credentials that Gladiator fans expect.

Tech and Comfort Improvements

Inside, the Gladiator leaps forward in technology. A standout feature for 2024 is the introduction of a massive 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now comes standard across all trims, including the base Sport level. This enhancement not only modernizes the cabin but also improves user interaction and connectivity, critical for today鈥檚 tech-savvy drivers.

Enhanced Features and Safety

Jeep hasn’t held back on new features either. The Gladiator rolls out with fresh wheel designs and a sleek, windshield-integrated antenna, enhancing both its functionality and aesthetics. New trim levels like the Mojave X and Rubicon X add exclusive touches such as steel bumpers and luxury 12-way power-adjustable leather seats, elevating the comfort and ruggedness.

#7 2023 Ford Ranger

2023 Ford Ranger

With the introduction of the compact Maverick, the Ford Ranger has stepped up from being the smallest truck in Ford’s lineup to a more substantial mid-size contender. It straddles the line between the nimble Maverick and the robust F-150, providing a sweet spot for those who need strong towing capabilities without the full-size truck footprint.

Power and Performance

Under the hood, the Ranger is equipped with a 270-hp turbocharged inline-four engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. While this setup delivers solid power, its fuel economy doesn’t quite hit the mark you might expect from a smaller turbocharged engine. However, it shines brightly in the towing department, boasting an impressive 7500-pound maximum capacity. Whether you’re pulling a trailer for work or hauling toys for a weekend getaway, the Ranger proves it can handle hefty loads with ease.

Drivetrain and Configurations

Standard rear-wheel drive keeps the Ranger grounded, but for those who venture off the beaten path or contend with challenging weather conditions, four-wheel drive is an available option. The truck’s design caters to various needs and preferences鈥攊t can be configured as a two-door SuperCab with a six-foot bed or a four-door SuperCrew with a five-foot bed, providing flexibility in both storage space and passenger accommodation.

Off-Road Readiness

For enthusiasts looking to dial up the adventure, Ford offers the Ranger with an optional Tremor equipment package, enhancing its off-road capabilities with upgraded suspension and added rugged features. Looking ahead, a more intense, mud-slinging Raptor model is expected to join the Ranger lineup in 2024, following the truck’s full redesign. This addition is set to satisfy those seeking extreme off-road action.

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