Pickup trucks are light-duty trucks with a closed cab area and an open cargo area. It also has a low tailgate and sides. Though initially produced with utility in mind, the pickup has slowly wormed its way into popular perception as a family car. It is a versatile vehicle that currently accounts for 18% of the total automobile sales in the country.
Almost all pickups have an automatic transmission with an ultra-low first gear ratio for hauling heavy objects. While the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Chevrolet Colorado are available with a clutch, Ford pickup trucks only have automatic transmission.
Regular trucks come with a single set of doors, one on either side and a single row of seats. Extended or super pickup trucks have extra space behind the main seat, which may include small seats.
In 1957, International Harvester manufactured the first crew cab truck in the country followed by Dodge (1963), Ford (1965), and Chevrolet (1973). The crew cab, also known as the double cab, can seat five or six passengers, and it also has four full-sized doors that are front-hinged. In 1973, Chrysler introduced the first extended truck in the country which was then known as the Club Cab.
Any pickup truck that has four rear wheels (instead of just two) is known as a “dually.” A dually can carry much more weight over the rear axle and is mostly used to carry campers, heavy loads, and to support fifth-wheel trailers.
The primary use of small pickup trucks is for commercial and agricultural uses as well as for passenger transport. Many countries also use them in the military, law enforcement, and fire services.
Following are the best small pickup trucks currently available in the market:
- 2018 Toyota Tacoma: It is currently ranked number one in the small pickup truck category. It is a reliable off-roader and can haul a higher payload than most pickups. It is fitted with an easy to use infotainment system. However, it has a lower towing capability than its competitors and poor fuel economy (20-24 mph on highways and 17-20 mph in the city). The selling price is $25,400 to $43,720 approximately.
- 2019 Honda Ridgeline: It currently ranks second in the pickup truck category. It provides a reliable and smooth ride, and it has the best cabin compared to its competitors. However, its disadvantages are a confusing infotainment system, and a high base price. An advantage of this vehicle is that it offers better towing capabilities than its competitors. The fuel economy is 25-26 mph on highways and 18-19 mph in the city. The selling price is between $29,990 to $43,420 approximately.
- 2018 Chevrolet Colorado: It currently ranks third in the small pickup truck category. It has the most fuel efficient and powerful engine in this class with the best towing capacity. It also delivers a smooth ride. However, the infotainment system could be better. Even their crash test ratings are lower compared to its competitors. It gives a fuel economy of 15-30 mph on highways and 15-22 mph in the city. The selling price is $20,200 to $42,000 approximately.