Few vehicles outshone the Ford Ranger when it comes to hauling, errands and weekend adventures. Offering ample power and towing capacity as well as an ergonomic seating position and 10 inches of ground clearance for comfortable maneuverability – it makes tackling any task an enjoyable experience.
Honda Ridgeline’s revamp is unique; yet, its unibody construction, impressive payload capacity and off-road capability earn it a place among the best small truck rankings.
1. Honda Ridgeline
The 2021 Honda Ridgeline makes picking out a pickup an effortless experience, with its reliable 280 horsepower V-6 that emits an attractive noise when pushed hard. Even when fully laden up with gear and trailer, the Ridgeline feels strong and agile.
The Ridgeline’s unibody construction also contributes to its superior driving comfort, unlike competing trucks which drive more like SUVs than vehicles capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds.
The Honda Ridgeline stands out as an excellent family truck, thanks to its intelligent small-item storage and spacious rear seat, as well as its safety features, which include top-of-the-line driver aids. However, some driver aids may be too eager to issue alerts. Overall though, it provides a refreshingly straightforward option in an expanding sea of truck choices.
2. Toyota Tacoma
Toyota’s Tacoma remains an exceptional midsize truck option. Offering multiple models and configurations to meet every taste and need, its rugged off-road abilities and strong towing capacities set it apart from rivals; plus its generous ground clearance makes weekend off-road adventures hassle free.
Toyota provides its Tacoma model lineup with modern safety technology such as Pre-Collision System with pedestrian detection, Lane Departure Alert and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Its cabin is functional yet comfortable enough for long journeys.
The current Tacoma has entered its third generation, yet still enjoys an outstanding reputation for durability and reliability, with one of the highest predicted resale values among similar vehicles in its class.
3. Chevrolet Colorado
No matter whether your driving needs require urban exploration or weekend off-road adventures, the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado offers all of the capabilities and features to make life easy. As one of the most competitive pickup models in its segment, with class-leading maximum towing capacity and an intelligent tailgate which doubles up as measuring tool; plus three powertrain options including its base 2.7-liter turbo engine which produces 237 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque; Turbo Plus version that boosts that to 310 horsepower with 430 lb-ft of torque; while top ZR2 trim boasts maximum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds!
Driver assistance features come standard, including automatic emergency braking, high-beam assist, forward collision alerts and lane departure warnings. A new infotainment system with a 11.3-inch touchscreen display is optional; in addition to this there’s also a shallow 45″ wide storage box in the tailgate providing extra utility.
4. Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road
The Tacoma may not have all of the flashy tech or comfort options of other midsize trucks, but it still provides plenty of advantages for drivers looking beyond pavement. Features like panoramic cameras with bird’s-eye views allow drivers to take in their surroundings; TRD Pro versions even come equipped with Fox brand shocks for additional ground clearance and lower risk of mechanical failure compared with its peers. In addition, this vehicle boasts one of the highest predicted reliability ratings among its peers.
Our test truck featured a six-speed automatic that effortlessly covered highway miles while returning around 24 mpg on the freeway. For greater adventure, two-wheel drive or four-cylinder powerplant with manual transmission options may provide more thrilling driving. Both versions also boast slightly taller suspension for improved approach, breakover, and departure angles when taking your Tacoma off-road.
5. Hyundai Santa Cruz
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz makes an eye-catching statement, blurring the boundaries between truck, SUV, and sedan. Its design is truly eye-catching; moreover, its outstanding ownership benefits package makes this model stand out.
Though shorter and lower than its competitors, the Santa Cruz remains steady and capable on long highway stretches as well as tight coastal bends. Furthermore, it features an ingenious pickup bed design featuring under-bed storage space as well as lockable tonneau covers for additional security.
Turbocharged power from its engine provides plenty of speed, enabling the Santa Cruz to tow up to 5,000 pounds when equipped with suitable options. Standard safety features include forward collision avoidance assist, blind spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and rear cross traffic collision avoidance assist – in addition to its contemporary infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.