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The year 2021 has been incredible for the automotive industry despite the challenges the world is currently facing. Automakers and the designers, engineers, and teams that build great automotive brands have unleashed groundbreaking new pickup trucks upon consumers. Here are the three biggest changes to pickup trucks in 2021.

2021 was the year of the small truck

One of the biggest changes to pickup trucks in 2021 was the arrival of two pickups that have changed the meaning of the compact truck segment. In fact, these tiny trucks can be considered subcompact. The Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz proved that pickup trucks aren’t one-dimensional and that they can evolve with time as well.

What do you think of when you hear the term “city truck?” Do you think of the mid-size Honda Ridgeline and its unique unibody design? The Ford Maverick Hybrid is a true city truck. American automaker Ford has released a truck even smaller than the Ford Ranger called the Ford Maverick. The Maverick is also the Blue Oval’s first standard hybrid pickup. It gets an astounding 42 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.

Ford has received thousands of Maverick orders from major cities like San Francisco and L.A. The Hyundai Santa Cruz has also made a huge impact on the industry and the compact truck segment in 2021. It is praised for its unique truck bed, great handling, and refined cabin.

The year 2021 has shown consumers that trucks don’t have to be giant gas guzzlers. They can also be affordable and provide plenty of utility in crowded cities as well.

2021 shocked us with plenty of electric pickups

Pickup trucks have come a long way in 2021. This year showed consumers that powerful trucks don’t need to have gas engines. The year 2021 will go down in history as the year that the first mass-produced electric pickup truck was sold in America. The 2022 Rivian R1T has already been delivered to consumers, and it’s no ordinary truck.

The 2022 Rivian R1T is an electric adventure vehicle that offers plenty of off-road capability. It makes a massive 835 horsepower using a quad-motor system. The electric pickup has a massive 14.5 inches of ground clearance thanks to its air suspension.

Rivian isn’t the only automaker that shocked the market with an electric truck announcement. The year 2021 has brought us the introduction of upcoming electric pickups like the Ford F-150 Lightning. It was the beginning of an entire new wave of trucks with electric powertrains, according to CNN. The future is electric, and the truck vehicle class’ best-selling brands are on board.

The year 2021 signaled the death of the V8

A gray 2022 Toyota Tundra is parked.
A gray 2022 Toyota Tundra is parked | Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

The V8 engine was once a staple for powerful pickup trucks, but more and more automakers are ditching eight-cylinder engines in favor of V6 engines. Toyota announced that the 2022 Toyota Tundra would be parting ways with the V8 engine this year.

The Toyota Tundra has been associated with the powerful V8 engine for years. Its new V6 and hybrid powertrain both produce more horses than the 2021 model year’s V8, and that says a lot about why the Japanese automaker felt the need to ditch it.

The year 2021 was a year of change for the entire automotive industry, but few vehicle classes have experienced as many radical shifts this year as the truck vehicle class. The year 2022 looks promising for truck lovers now that the foundation has been set for a dynamic new future.


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