Top Compact Pickup Trucks of 2019

For some drivers, full-size pickup trucks are simply too big and bulky for their taste. Not everyone needs a huge truck that can handle off-road driving or towing and hauling. A smaller, or compact, pickup truck can meet some drivers’ needs better. They’re better for trips around town and everyday driving.

Not only are compact trucks easier to maneuver, but they also typically have a significantly lower MSRP. You could get all the perks of a pickup truck without having to spend a significant amount of money. As such, let’s take a look at the top compact models of 2019.

2019 Ford Ranger


  • XL: $24,300
  • XLT: $27,940
  • Lariat: $32,390

The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger is the perfect replacement for the larger Ford F-150. Confident handling and strong fuel economy make it great for daily commuting. Plus, it’s priced just right for the average consumer.

No other pickup in the class comes standard with a more potent engine. Ford’s 2.3-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder engine generates an enjoyable 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission helps the Ranger to make the most of its muscle. Aside from delivering brisk acceleration, the Ranger is also strong enough to tow up to 7,500 pounds. In terms of fuel economy, expect to average around 21 mpg in traffic and 26 mpg on the open highway.

While the Ranger drives well on the street, it’s also a strong off-road performer. An optional FX4 package equips it with rugged upgrades like a terrain management system and off-road shocks.

Even the base model comes standard with popular features like a Wi-Fi hot spot. Ford’s highly regarded Sync 3 infotainment system is offered on the upper trims. While drivers will be thankful for the standard collision intervention system, blind-spot warning, and lane-keep assist are optional.

2019 Chevrolet Colorado


  • Base: $20,500
  • WT: $24,000
  • LT: $27,500
  • Z71: $30,600
  • ZR2: $40,900

Over the last few years, the Chevrolet Colorado has received some impressive accolades. Reviewers praise the Colorado for its car-like handling and ability to conquer challenging terrain. A soft ride also makes this compact pickup ideal for the day-to-day grind.

There are three engines in the Colorado’s lineup. While the standard four-cylinder is smooth and efficient, an optional V6 engine brings more fun to the table. It punches out a formidable 308 horsepower. Rated to return up to 30 mpg, the turbo-diesel engine gives up some quickness in exchange for standout fuel economy and effortless towing.

Although the Colorado doesn’t boast a spacious backseat, you will experience plenty of comfort up front. For 2019, Chevy has bolstered this pickup’s appeal by equipping it with an all-new Infotainment 3 interior. While a 7.0-inch touchscreen with full smartphone support comes standard, you can upgrade to a larger 8.0-inch display with built-in Wi-Fi.

If you’re a parent who’ll be sharing your vehicle with a teen, you’ll greatly appreciate the Colorado’s standard Teen Driver system. It uses software to compile a driving report card, which details bad habits like speeding and excessive braking. A high-definition backup camera now comes standard on most trims. Accident-prevention technologies, like forward collision alert and lane departure alert, are also offered.

2019 GMC Canyon


  • SL: $21,400
  • Base: $24,900
  • SLE: $28,900
  • SLT: $35,700
  • Denali: $40,300

There are only a few mechanically differences between the new 2019 GMC Canyon and the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado. In fact, the GMC Canyon’s engine lineup is identical to that of the Chevrolet Colorado. This means you’ll enjoy the same great fuel economy and towing capabilities. A capable off-road package is offered as well.

The biggest thing that separates these two trucks is the GMC Canyon’s more luxurious interior design. When riding in the Canyon, you’ll quickly notice its quieter cabin and better interior materials. Drivers seeking greater comfort should consider the Canyon’s range-topping Denali trim. It’s decked out with niceties like heated/ventilated leather seats and an upgraded Bose sound system.

2019 Toyota Tacoma


  • SR: $25,700
  • SR5: $27,475
  • TRD Sport: $32,395
  • TRD Off-Road: $33,650
  • Limited: $37,640
  • TRD Pro: $42,810

The 2019 Toyota Tacoma has several great qualities. Class-leading reliability and a standard accident-avoidance package make it a great buy. Of course, you certainly can’t overlook the Tacoma’s reputation for being a tough off-road machine.

While the Tacoma comes standard with an economical four-cylinder engine, performance suffers a bit when hauling stuff. Strongly consider upgrading to the more robust V6 engine, which increases max towing to 6,800 pounds. It cranks out a fulfilling 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Despite packing a lot more power, the V6 engine is actually just as good on gas. Expect to get a competitive 19 mpg in town and up to 24 mpg while cruising along the highway.

A lot of drivers enjoy the Tacoma’s hassle-free interior design. From the standard Entune touchscreen to the available navigation system, everything is simple to use. The only big features not offered on the Tacoma are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, adventure seekers will love the built-in GoPro camera mount. After attaching a camera to the mount, you’ll be able to record your entire outdoor experience.

Toyota Safety Sense is found on every new Tacoma. This driver-assist safety package includes pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure notification.

2019 Nissan Frontier


  • S: $18,990
  • SV: $23,860
  • Desert Runner: $26,300
  • Pro-4X: $33,140
  • SL: $34,000

Being the oldest compact truck on the market, the 2019 Nissan Frontier may lack some modern features. Nevertheless, it’s a dependable workhorse that gets the job done. Furthermore, this is the least expensive pickup for sale in America. Ageless styling also helps the Frontier to keep pace with the competition.

Nissan lets you choose between a standard four-cylinder engine and an available V6 engine. While the base engine develops 152 horsepower, the V6 generates a more muscular 261 horsepower. A maximum towing capacity of 6,720 pounds enables the Frontier to handle most tasks. If you plan to get dirty, take advantage of the trail-ready Pro-4X trim. It comes equipped with the mud tires, specially tuned shocks, and protective skid plates.

To save the most money on gas, pair the standard four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission. Anticipate getting 19 mpg in urban areas and 22 mpg on the highway. While the V6 engine is slightly more efficient on the highway, city fuel economy takes a big hit.

Despite the Frontier’s age, Nissan has updated the 2019 model with a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen. You also have some cool upgrades at your disposal, including a thunderous Rockford Fosgate stereo system. An eight-way power driver’s seat seeks to provide more comfort.

If you must have the latest safety technologies, they are not available on the new Frontier. However, optional parking sensors will help guide you around obstacles.

Final Thoughts

Today’s newest compact pickup trucks will satisfy your need for a versatile daily driver.

Because the segment has become so popular, automakers are now offering some great deals. Therefore, now is the ideal time to start your research.

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