Ideal for towing, hauling, meandering through city streets, and the occasional bit of off-roading, compact trucks make sturdy, dependable companions. The problem is, there's hardly any around. Like our waistlines and our TV screens, trucks have been getting steadily bigger and bigger for years.
The smallest pickups around these days, like the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, are actually midsize. But things seem to be changing. Next year sees the release of several trucks that are nothing short of petite. In fairness, there's only a couple, but if the demand is there, we might soon see more manufacturers latch onto the concept. In the meantime, here are the 10 best compact pickup trucks (or the nearest you're going to come to one) for 2022.
10. Jeep Gladiator
2022 won't see any major changes to the Jeep Gladiator. Considering it arrived as an all-new model as recently as 2020, that's hardly surprising. Boasting excellent off-road performance, a spacious, comfortable interior, and some high-end safety and infotainment features, it's a solid option that offers great value.
9. Toyota Tacoma
For 2022, Toyota is leading their truck offering with two new Tacomas. The 2022 Tacoma TRD Pro will feature an advanced, heightened suspension lift for advanced off-roading. The Tacoma Trail Edition returns in a sleek, economical 4×4-only package. Both boast great prowess both on the road and off, and come with the full complement of safety and infotainment features.
8. GMC Canyon
The Canyon has always appealed more to the recreational market than the commercial one, and despite a slight refresh, the 2022 GMC Canyon is the same. Capable, with a good range of user-friendly features and some great off-roading capabilities for those who want them, it's an economical truck with a very reasonable starting price of $26,800.
7. Chevrolet Colorado
The Chevrolet Colorado has been pretty consistent for the past couple of years. It underwent a light refresh for 2021, and it's getting one again for 2022, but there are no dramatic changes to expect. The minimal updates consist of a few package alterations and the introduction of the Trail Boss model as an available option. Overall, it's a very decent truck, with a spacious cabin, ample storage space, heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and Bose sound system as standard.
6. Ford Ranger
With comfortable seats, a good towing rating, and plenty of easy-to-use features, the Ford Ranger has always ranked near the top of the list when it comes to compact pick-up trucks. Next year things are set to get even better thanks to a testosterone-fueled revamp that, as Motor Biscuit says, will see it get both a little bigger and a little smaller.
Single and Suber cab versions will be available, with the single cab tapping into some serious nostalgic vibes. It's expected to hit in the first quarter of 2022. Prices haven't yet been announced but are expected to start at around $26,000.
5. Honda Ridgeline
The US market isn't exactly bursting at the seams with compact pickup trucks. In fact, there are hardly any real, honest-to-goodness compacts left anymore, with the result that most people end up settling for a mid-size option instead. Fortunately, there are enough small, mid-size options on the market that fit the brief of a compact that it doesn't really matter.
The Honda Ridgeline is one of them. For 2022, it's had a few little tweaks, but nothing too aggressive. Which is fortunate - the Ridgeline has been one of the strongest contenders in the mid-size market for years, and there's no point fixing something if it ain't broke.
4. Chevrolet Montana
As thedrive.com says, what was once a teeny unibody pickup designed for emerging markets is now getting a major redesign that will see it move to a new platform, get a bunch of new features, and take on a new face that's said to be inspired by Chevy's hot-selling Blazer and Trailblazer crossovers. Tipped for release in the US sometime in the first half of 2022, it's set to shake up the market in a way that hasn't been done for years.
3. Nissan Frontier King
With a starting price of $30,000, the Nissan Frontier King isn't cheap. But it's not an overpriced toy either. Up till now, the Frontier has been a decent but unremarkable workhouse that does the job well enough but doesn't exactly get you excited. It's all change for 2022, though, with an all-new interior color scheme, 8-inch infotainment system, full LED headlamps and tail lamps as standard, and a part digital gauge cluster. After years of mediocrity, the Frontier has finally pulled ahead of the pack.
2. Hyundai Santa Cruz
Measuring a full 17 inches shorter than the shortest truck on the road, and four inches lower than the lowest, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz represents one of the very first new compact trucks to hit the market in the US for years. Not that Hyundai actually calls it a truck. To them, it's a “Sport Adventure Vehicle.”
But if it looks like a truck and drives like a truck, it's a truck, and a mighty fine one it is at that. Named by usnews.com as one of the best new pickup trucks arriving in 2021 and beyond, it features a unibody construction, a small bed, and an extended crew cab design with four traditional doors. As to the price and rollout dates, you'll need to keep your ear to the ground and wait for Hyundai to make the announcement.
1. Ford Maverick Hybrid
If you're in the market for a hybrid pickup with a very reasonable price, hang around for a few months for the 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid, the very first compact Crew-cab from the auto giant. As carhp.com notes, the track is pitched at people who want truck functionality in a compact and versatile framework - something that till now, has been like finding a needle in a haystack.
Priced at a very affordable $19995, it offers a boatload of features, along with a fuel efficiency that would put its competitor to shame. If you're happy to pay a little extra for a little more, it's worth stumping up the additional $1,495 for the special edition trim, which features 18-inch black wheels, a power moonroof, lower door graphics, and a black roof.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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