What is the Smallest Pickup Truck?
Pickup trucks are the most popular automobiles in the U.S. According to Car and Driver, the most popular automobile is the Ford F-Series, and the Ram pickup and the Chevrolet Silverado were the second and third most popular vehicles in 2021.
Some buyers want the heft and power of the pickup but don’t want to navigate the larger size of this body style. Smaller pickup trucks are available, and these models also are less expensive than the larger most popular models. What is the smallest pickup truck?
The smallest trucks include:
- Hyundai Santa Cruz
- Chevrolet Colorado
- Honda Ridgeline
- GMC Canyon
- Ford Maverick
- Nissan Frontier
The Hyundai Santa Cruz
MotorBiscuit dubbed the Santa Cruz as the smallest pickup truck of all, and it sits lower to the ground than others on the market. The Cruz is a unique design and features a shorter bed than most would expect from the standard pickup truck.
Yet, it’s still capable of going to work for its owner. The Santa Cruz can tow between 3,500 and 5,000 pounds. It’s also moderately priced at $24,140 and can get up to 27 MPG.
How small is Santa Cruz? Here’s how the measurements stack up for the most basic model (the SE):
- Length: 195.7 inches
- Width: 75 inches (not including the mirrors)
- Wheel Base: 118.3 inches
- Height: 67 inches
In comparison, the Ford F-150 measures between 209 and 250 inches in length, 80 to 87 inches in width and has a height between 75 and 80 inches (depending on the model).
While MotorBiscuit didn’t include the Colorado among its list of smaller trucks, the Colorado is one of the smaller pickups available (although it’s noted as a mid-size option). It has a base price of $25,435 and a towing capacity of 3,500 to 7,000 pounds. Its fuel efficiency is decent; it can get 20 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.
The Chevrolet Colorado measures 212-225 inches in length, 74-77 inches in width, and stands 70 to 73 inches high.
The Ridgeline is comparable to the Colorado in measurements, but it’s quite a bit more expensive with a base price of $37,640. The Ridgeline also offers a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.
It measures 210 inches in length, 79 inches in width and stands 71 inches high (four inches higher than the Santa Cruz). The Ridgeline gets 18 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway.
Technically classified by GMC as a mid-size pickup, the Canyon is a mid-priced option with a base price of $26,800. It has a towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds.
The GMC Canyon measures 212-225 inches in length, 74 inches in width and stands 70 to 71 inches high. Its measurements are extremely similar to the Colorado, and the truck’s fuel efficiency is identical to the Colorado.
The F-Series might be Ford’s most popular vehicles, but buyers who don’t want a large pickup can choose the Maverick—a standalone compact option. This small truck also was mentioned by MotorBiscuit among its list of the smallest trucks.
The Maverick is budget-friendly, priced at only $19,995. The hybrid pickup can get up to 42 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway for a combined 37 MPG. The smaller pickup can only tow a maximum of 2,000 pounds, though.
For those who aren’t interested in navigating a massive truck, the Ford Maverick is fairly diminutive. It measures 200 inches in length, 73 inches wide and stands 69 inches high. It’s about a foot shorter in length than the Canyon or the Colorado.
The Nissan Frontier also is noted as another smaller mid-size option, but it’s still significantly smaller than the typical half-ton options that dominate the market. The Frontier has a base price of $28,340 and a towing capacity of 6,260 to 6,720 pounds.
The Frontier’s dimensions are comparable to other mid-size pickups. It measures 210-224 inches in length, 73 inches in width and stands 72 inches high.
Why Choose a Smaller Pickup Truck?
A pickup truck is a heavier automobile, and the larger design makes it a favorite for those who just feel safer in a larger vehicle. Another key feature of the pickup that buyers like is the open bed in the back.
While SUVs are built on a truck chassis, they don’t offer the classic open bed in the back. Those who gravitate to pickup trucks might use the bed for hauling or other work needs. Others just like the design and appearance of the pickup.
Yet, the massive size of many of the popular half-ton models doesn’t always make them easy to drive. Their size can make them tricky to park or navigate in tight spaces. Some buyers want the offerings of the pickup but not the cumbersome mass of the truck.
For these buyers, compact or midsize pickup trucks can be an ideal choice. These smaller pickup trucks also might be less expensive than half-ton or larger models, too. Although smaller trucks don’t have the same towing capacity as larger trucks, smaller models are still capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds.
Are Hybrid and Electric Trucks Smaller Options?
Many truck manufacturers are beginning to offer hybrid or even electric trucks. These alternative engine designs maximize the energy efficiency to the once gas-guzzling reputation that often was linked to the pickup.
The Rivian R1T and the Ford F-150 Lightning are electric pickup trucks, but neither model is compact. The Rivian R1T is comparable to the F-150 in size; the RT measures 217 inches in length and stands 78 inches high. The Rivian R1T also comes with a higher price tag–$67,500.
However, the Maverick is one of the smallest hybrid models available. Buyers who want a small truck with maximum fuel efficiency might opt for this model.
Is the Tesla Cybertruck Small or Compact?
Tesla’s automobiles are not known for their massive size. Buyers with a larger budget might wonder if Tesla’s Cybertruck is considered a compact or midsize model.
The Cybertruck is comparable in size to the half-ton models. The truck measures 231.7 inches in length, is nearly 80 inches wide and stands 75 inches high. However, the Cybertruck offers maximum energy efficiency and has an estimated range of 500 miles. It also can tow up more than 14,000 pounds.
The price of the Cybertruck isn’t so out of the ballpark for many pickup truck buyers and enthusiasts; the Cybertruck has a base price of $39,900.
Want the Smallest Truck? Search for the Subaru BRAT
In the early ‘80s, Subaru released a very small vehicle called the BRAT. Sites refer to the BRAT as a ‘trucklet,’ and it did look like a very small mini truck. BRAT was an acronym for Bi-Drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter.
The BRAT featured a small bed like a pickup, but MotorTrend explains that it was actually built on the same body as a station wagon. The site also reported that Ronald Reagan owned one of these vehicles! Finding a BRAT on the used market might be quite a search, and these models could be snatched up by collectors.
Use Carzing to Find the Best Pickup
For buyers who are looking for small trucks, Carzing can help simplify the search. Buyers can search by body style or just enter in the make/model that they really want. Carzing will show all the nearby results.
Buyers can use Carzing to get pre-qualified for financing for their truck, too. Find the best loans and compare monthly payments. Getting pre-qualified won’t affect an individual’s credit score. Carzing can help car buyers find the smallest trucks, the most affordable trucks and it might even help buyers locate the vintage BRAT, too.