What Are The Smallest Pickup Trucks?

Pickups have transitioned into a combination of utility and family vehicles. The trend towards smaller trucks may be attributed to the vehicle’s compact style yet versatile performance. We have researched which trucks are the smallest and included their relative features.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz is the smallest pickup truck available on the market today. Other new models include the 2022 Ford Maverick and Honda Ridgeline. But the Subaru BRAT holds the distinction as "technically" the smallest pickup ever manufactured (now, no longer available).

The article focuses on the three compact trucks to serve as a reference point to familiarize you with the general features of smaller pickups.

4 images of the smallest pickup trucks and size differences, What Are The Smallest Pickup Trucks?

Hyundai Santa Cruz

Hyundai Santa Cruz is one of the most compact yet versatile pickup trucks on the market. It has been released this year as an all-new model along with its notable features including fuel efficiency, smooth handling, and a high-end cabin interior.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz concept vehicle on display January 15th, 2015 at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit

Dimensions And Mileage

  • Length: 195.7 inches (16 feet and 4 inches)
  • Width (without mirror): 75 inches (6 feet and 3 inches)
  • Height: 66.7 inches (5 feet and 6 inches)
  • MPG
  • City: 19 to 21 mpg
  • Highway: 26 to 27


The Santa Cruz features a crew cabin that can accommodate up to five people. The front seat is designed with ample head and leg room while the rear seat appears to have less space and may be fairly small for adults.

The backrest seats are also positioned a little upright but they can be folded or flipped to provide ample space for additional cargo. While the interior might seem quite inconvenient during long road trips, it can certainly be adequate during short vacations.

Cargo Space And Towing Capacity

The Santa Cruz offers the smallest bed as compared to other compact trucks available today. The vehicle has a 4-foot bed that has a payload capacity between 1,521 pounds to 1,753 pounds.

While it may not have the most cargo space, the manufacturer made up for its lack of features by augmenting the bed. It is designed with a waterproof base compartment that includes a drainage system which will make it possible to bring ice, drinks, and coolers without damaging the surface.

Apart from this, the bedsides also feature outlets for appliances, LED lighting for night illumination, lockable cubbies, and tie-down cleats to secure items and materials properly.

The Santa Cruz can tow up to 3,500 pounds. However, if installed with a four-wheel transmission and turbocharged engine, the truck is capable of towing 5,000 pounds. The figures fall slightly short of other types of compact vehicles.

Ford Maverick

The new 2022 Ford Maverick pickup truck the Motor Bella Autoshow

The Ford Maverick is more affordable than the Santa Cruz. It is designed with a functional infotainment system, has a relatively good mileage, and has a stylish interior.

Dimensions And Mileage

  • Length: 199.7 inches (16 feet and 8 inches)
  • Width (mirrors included): 83.5 inches (6 feet and 11.5 inches)
  • Height: 68.7 inches (5 feet and 9 inches)
  • MPG
  • City: 23 to 42 mpg
  • Highway: 22 to 33 mpg


The Maverick is a Crew Cab that accommodates five people. It has a spacious front seat and a relatively adequate rear seat. Although the interior is made of plastic – which is actually reasonable due to its affordable pricing – it has a stylish design.

The interior hosts several cabbies which are useful for organizing and storage. Other available features include a standard infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and USB ports power outlets.

Cargo Space And Towing Capacity

The cargo space is designed with a 4 feet and 6 inches bed that can hold a payload of up to 1,500 pounds. Additionally, the bed includes power outlets for appliances, tie-down cleats for holding and supporting equipment that requires transport, and ample compartments for storage.

The truck’s towing capacity ranges between 2,000 to 4,000 pounds which is a relatively low figure when compared to other trucks, but is adequate for hauling small-sized equipment and trailers.

Honda Ridgeline

2016 Canadian International AutoShow, 2017 Honda Ridgeline features an ACE body structure and industry first 400-watt AC power invert

The Honda Ridgeline is notable for its roomy and luxurious interior, smooth and easy maneuvering, and a six-cylinder engine that gives the truck a better acceleration and power.

Dimensions And Mileage

  • Length: 210.2 inches (17 feet and 6 inches)
  • Width (with mirrors): 78.6 inches ( 6 feet and 6 inches)
  • Height: 70.8 inches (5 feet and 11 inches)
  • MPG
  • City: 18 mpg
  • Highway: 24 mpg


The Ridgeline is a Crew Cab that can accommodate five people. As compared to other compact pickups, the rear seat is a little inclined and fairly comfortable for two adults. The front seat has plenty of legroom and height clearance, making it an easy drive.

Cargo Space And Towing Capacity

The Ridgeline is designed with a 5-foot and 2 inches bed which is relatively larger than the Santa Cruz and Maverick. The cargo space has a payload capacity between 1,509 to 1,583 pounds.

Apart from this, the bed is wide enough to transport a sheet of 4 by 8 plywood, and the base has a waterproof compartment good for storing beverages, groceries, backpacks, and other similar items.

Subaru BRAT

Motor car Subaru MV in the city street

The Subaru BRAT (Bi-Drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter) holds the distinction of being the smallest pickup truck ever manufactured. It was first released in 1971 and was in circulation for 10 years before being pulled off the market. 


  • Length: 157.3 inches
  • Width: 59.1 inches
  • Height: 54.5 inches 
  • Weight: 1,709 pounds (775 kg)

Benefits of Small Pickups

Generally, small pickups combine the utility of a truck with the convenience and fuel economy of a more compact vehicle. That could be the main reason why these versatile vehicles are gaining popularity.

How Much Can a Small Pickup Tow?

Pickup trucks are noted for their power and feature an advantage over sedans or even some SUVs. Their capacity exceeds other vehicles in terms of hauling or towing.

The smaller models are equipped with considerable power. The average towing capacity of compact pickup trucks exceeds 4,000 pounds.

What is a Good Ground Clearance for a Truck?

The body of the vehicle is closer to the ground making the cab and the bed more accessible. But more importantly, it eliminates blind spots that make taller trucks more difficult to handle.

You won't lose the ground clearance on these smaller truck models, either. Good truck ground clearance is typically 8 to 10 inches, which you'll find on these pickups:

  • Hyundai Santa Cruz - 8.6 inches
  • Ford Maverick - 8.6 inches
  • Honda Ridgeline - 7-7.8 inches (model year dependent)

The compact version of trucks is easier to maneuver especially in traffic and they are more convenient to park. Smaller pickups can navigate narrow lanes and curves better than standard-sized trucks when used off-road. 

Do Smaller Vehicles Get Better Fuel Efficiency?

Lighter vehicles consume less fuel and feature more gas mileage which translates into reduced expense. A difference of up to 10 miles per gallon on trucks made by the same company is demonstrated depending on the size of the vehicle. 

To illustrate, a 2022 Ford Maverick, which is a more compact model has an MPG (miles per gallon) rating of 36, while the Ford F-150, which is a standard sized truck, produced the same year, only tops at 26 MPG.

Can a Pickup be a Family Vehicle? 

Small-sized trucks function well as a family vehicles to drive to and from work, bring the kids to school, and all other commutes that feature the convenience of a standard car.

Yet the bed allows you to haul materials such as construction equipment, sports and entertainment gear, and other items that would be restricted by a vehicle roof.

Camping, off-road adventures, and long trips are more convenient since the truck provides room for passengers separate from the luggage or cargo.

Are Compact Trucks More Affordable?

The average cost of a full-sized pickup in 2021 rose to around $40,000 from $38,000 the previous year. The 2023 Ford Maverick, which is a compact truck, is sold at a basic price of $22,000.

Given the same function and utility, that is a huge difference! Some cost a little higher because of additional features but are still more affordable compared to their bigger counterparts.

In Closing

4 images of a smalles truck and size differences

The trend towards smaller trucks is rapidly gaining popularity due to the advantages of having one. A combination of utility, convenience, cost, and mileage are among its featured benefits. We hope the article has been informative.

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