Best Compact Pickup Trucks for 2024 and 2025

By: James Diaz | April 20, 2024

As the automotive landscape evolves, drivers turn to compact pickup trucks like the 2024 Ford Maverick and the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz, prized for their ideal form and function. The Maverick shines with its fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain and substantial payload capacity. The Santa Cruz, on the other hand, combines a sophisticated interior with the ability to handle city streets and light off-roading. These models rated highly with scores of 8.3 out of 10 on US News & World Report, exemplify the combination of performance, utility, and comfort that modern drivers seek.

Best Compact Pickup Trucks for 2024 and 2025

Looking ahead, the Jeep Gladiator and emerging electric vehicles (EVs) from startups such as Alpha Motors represent the compact truck market’s broadening horizons. This market diversification underscores the importance of considering fuel economy, price, and the practicality of new technologies when choosing a compact pickup.

2024 Ford Maverick

Starting at $23,815, the 2024 Ford Maverick revolutionizes the compact pickup segment by melding utility with comfort in a size perfect for city driving. It has a welcoming interior with ample space and style, accommodating up to five passengers. The cabin balances daily comfort and the practical demands of a truck, enhanced by a user-friendly 8” infotainment system for connectivity and convenience.

2024 Ford Maverick

The Maverick excels under the hood with a range of fuel-efficient engines producing 162 to 250 horsepower, boasting an estimated fuel economy of 23 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. Despite its smaller size, it competently manages a payload capacity of up to 1,500 pounds and features a versatile bed for diverse cargo needs. Offering both front-wheel drive (FWD) and an optional all-wheel drive (AWD) choice for enhanced traction, the 2024 Maverick combines the ease of a crossover with the utility of a pickup, backed by advanced technology to keep drivers connected, making it one of the top contenders in the compact truck market.

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Starting at $26,900, the 2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz stands out in the compact pickup market, blending the comfort of an SUV with the utility of a truck. It excels with an optional turbocharged engine that produces 281 horsepower, ensuring lively performance. The introduction of the XRT trim, replacing the SEL Premium for 2024, and advanced features in select trims like the Night highlight its versatility and appeal to a broad range of buyers.

2024 Hyundai Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz focuses on driver and passenger comfort with an ergonomically designed interior and intuitive technology, including an expansive 10.25” infotainment system. Though the bed may not be the largest, it is practical and flexible for various cargo needs. The vehicle offers FWD and AWD, with the base engine delivering 191 horsepower. Despite its stylish exterior and not being primed for off-road adventures, the Santa Cruz balances substance with style, offering respectable fuel efficiency of up to 27 MPG on the highway, making it a valued contender.

2023 GMC Canyon

The 2023 GMC Canyon, starting at $36,900, debuts fully redesigned, emphasizing robust performance and upscale comfort. This compact pickup truck marries capability with everyday practicality, standing out with the AT4 trim tailored for off-road adventures. The AT4X AEV Edition and the upcoming Trailhunter package enhance its versatility, making it adept on rugged terrains and smooth tarmac alike.

2023 GMC Canyon

Inside, the Canyon offers a spacious cabin for five, integrating a straightforward 11.3” infotainment system that ranks among the best for technology without overwhelming users. Its bold grille conceals a powerful 310-horsepower engine, providing strong acceleration and 7,700-lb. maximum towing. Despite its single-cab configuration and higher price point, the Canyon’s blend of luxury and utility sets a new standard in the compact pickup truck segment, justifying its cost for daily drivers and professionals.

2023 Honda Ridgeline

The 2023 Honda Ridgeline redefines the compact pickup truck segment with its unibody design, shared with the Honda Pilot SUV. It offers a refined on-road experience, unlike traditional body-on-frame vehicles. Priced between $38,800 and $46,230, it targets the premium market. Its interior includes an SUV’s spaciousness and upscale feel, comfortably seating five, and blending truck utility with luxury amenities like tri-zone automatic climate control.

2023 Honda Ridgeline

Equipped with AWD, the Ridgeline excels in ride quality and handling, ensuring a smooth and controlled driving experience. Its 280 horsepower V6 engine provides ample power for daily commutes and leisure activities, achieving a balanced 18 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway. While the 8” infotainment system may seem outdated, the Ridgeline compensates with a solid suite of technology features for safety and convenience, including a Collision Mitigation Braking System. Designed more for light off-roading than extreme adventures, it’s a versatile choice within its limitations.

2024 Chevrolet Colorado

Starting at $29,500, the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado stands out in the compact pickup truck market, skillfully balancing everyday commuting comfort with the capability for adventurous outings. Chevrolet’s introduction of the ZR2 Bison trim brings enhanced off-road capabilities, including notable ground clearance and robust 35-inch tires, for those seeking rugged terrain adventures.

2024 Chevrolet Colorado

Under the hood, the Colorado has a 2.7-liter turbocharged engine, offering power outputs from 237 to 310 horsepower. It features standard RWD, with the option for 4WD to improve traction under challenging conditions. Its towing capacity reaches up to 7,700 lbs. — demonstrating considerable utility. Inside, the Colorado boasts a massive 11.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ensuring connectivity and entertainment. Despite some critiques of cabin materials, the Colorado provides a comfortable interior for five passengers. It maintains a practical balance between passenger space and cargo capability with its standard four-door cab and five-foot bed.

2023 Jeep Gladiator

The 2023 Jeep Gladiator, now starting at $34,469, is a beacon for off-road enthusiasts. It offers significant ground clearance and robust underpinnings perfect for rough terrain. It impresses with a 7,700-lb. towing capacity and 1,710-lb. payload, catering to diverse adventure and work requirements. Power and efficiency are well-balanced in its engine lineup, which delivers between 260 and 285 horsepower. At the same time, the interior comfortably seats five and includes a 7” infotainment system for connectivity on all journeys.

2023 Jeep Gladiator

Despite its higher price point and the potential for cumbersome handling off the pavement, the Gladiator’s spacious interior prioritizes utility over comfort in some rivals. This year, Jeep expands its offerings with the Freedom edition, providing more options for personalization. Embodying the essence of Jeep’s ruggedness with the utility of a mid-size pickup, the Gladiator ensures a vehicle that excels in off-road capability while resonating with the adventurous spirit.

2024 Nissan Frontier

Starting at $30,030 and topping out at $39,900 for the Crew Cab SL trim, the 2024 Nissan Frontier is a commendable midsize truck for daily driving and light off-road adventures. It boasts a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces a solid 310 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic transmission, offering durability and reliability despite not leading in towing capabilities.

2024 Nissan Frontier

The Frontier enhances the driving experience with quality interior finishes and comfortable front seating, although its infotainment system may lag behind competitors in terms of modernity. This year, Nissan introduced the Hardbody Edition and updated SL trims, adding a blend of nostalgia and contemporary convenience. With fuel efficiency at 18 MPG in the city and 22-24 MPG on the highway, the Frontier effectively emphasizes power and efficiency. Its cargo space and its maximum 1,220-lb. payload capacity highlights the truck’s practicality and value, making it an attractive choice for those seeking a capable and affordable midsize pickup.

2023 Ford Ranger

Starting at $27,400, the 2023 Ford Ranger stands out for its 7,500-lb. towing and 1,905 max payload capabilities, powered by a 270-horsepower engine. This midsize truck also impresses with its fuel efficiency, offering 22-23 combined MPG, making it a practical choice for work and leisure.

2023 Ford Ranger

While the Ranger’s interior accommodates 4 to 5 passengers with ample room, the quality of materials may not align with expectations for its price. Options between RWD and 4WD allow customization to driving preferences. Despite critiques over its basic interior and uneven ride, the Ranger excels in utility, offering a versatile bed and robust towing and hauling capacities. This balance of performance and practicality establishes the Ranger as a reliable option in the midsize truck segment, albeit with a more no-frills approach than some competitors.

2023 Toyota Tacoma

Starting at $28,600, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma stands out for off-road enthusiasts with its TRD trims designed for rugged terrain, offering enhanced ground clearance and durability. It provides a range of features, including RWD and 4WD options, with engines delivering 159 to 278 horsepower, catering to everyday drivers and adventure seekers. However, the base 159 horsepower engine may feel underpowered for some, and rear cabin space could be tight for passengers.

2023 Toyota Tacoma

Despite a firmer ride suited for off-road durability, the Tacoma prioritizes utility with a sensible interior layout and new customization options like the SX and Chrome packages in 2023. Fuel efficiency is 18 MPG in the city to 22 MPG on the highway. The Tacoma’s compact size, available 8” infotainment system, and adequate cargo space ensure it remains a value-packed, manageable choice for those prioritizing capability and technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Explore the most common inquiries about the best compact pickup trucks for 2024 and 2025. From fuel efficiency to anticipated features, get specific insights to help guide your next truck purchase.

What are the best small pickup trucks for fuel efficiency in 2024?

The 2024 Ford Maverick impresses with its hybrid powertrain, achieving an estimated 30 mpg on highways.

What are the best small pickup trucks for fuel efficiency in 2024

Similarly, the Hyundai Santa Cruz boasts competitive fuel efficiency through its efficient engine options and aerodynamic design producing a 27 MPG highway rating.

Which compact pickup truck models lead the market in reliability for 2024 and 2025?

The 2024 Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are predicted to excel in reliability, backed by industry ratings and historical data. Their robust warranties and build quality underline this expectation, offering long-term assurance.

Which compact pickup truck models lead the market in reliability for 2024 and 2025

Both vehicles also offer AWD for greater peace of mind while driving through variable terrains.

How do the 2024 hybrid compact pickup trucks compare in terms of performance and economy?

A hybrid system merges electric motors with conventional engines. This boosts performance and cuts fuel use, offering substantial torque for nimble everyday driving and improved efficiency, especially in city environments prone to frequent stops.

How do the 2024 hybrid compact pickup trucks compare in terms of performance and economy

Hybrid compact trucks, exemplified by Ford’s Maverick, thrive in delivering responsive torque and fuel economy.

Can you provide a list of the top-rated compact pickup trucks for sale in 2024?

The 2024 Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz stand out as top-rated compact pickups, celebrated for their exceptional value, fuel efficiency, and ease of use.

Can you provide a list of the top-rated compact pickup trucks for sale in 2024

Meanwhile, the Honda Ridgeline continues to excel, offering a roomy interior and seamless driving experience, maintaining its competitive edge.

What are the most anticipated features in 2025 compact pickup truck models?

In 2025, look forward to more advanced driver-assist systems, a broader selection of electric and hybrid powertrains, and enhanced connectivity features. These advancements aim to elevate driving safety and integration with digital lifestyles.

What are the most anticipated features in 2025 compact pickup truck models

Additionally, improvements in comfort and utility will include innovative multifunctional tailgates and flexible cargo spaces, catering to diverse lifestyle requirements and enhancing vehicle versatility.