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The best affordable small pickup trucks for 2022 come from a big variation of brands. There’s a lot new coming this year, from refreshes to brand new designs. The pickup truck has often been the victim of the age-old question “does size matter?” as owners lift their trucks 6 inches or buy the biggest one available. There’s a place for small pickups as well, and automakers know that. Here are the best affordable small pickup trucks for the 2022 model year.

The 2022 GMC Canyon performs like a full-size truck

The 2022 GMC Canyon midsize pickup truck parked on a grass field as the sun sets on rolling hills, it's one of the best affordable small pickup trucks of 2022.
2022 GMC Canyon | GMC Pressroom

The Canyon can tow up to 7,700 pounds when equipped with the diesel engine option. The four-cylinder allows it to tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is still decent for its size. The smaller engine gets 19 city and 25 highway miles per gallon. The Canyon gained the Denali Black Edition, which basically just changes the color of a lot of things to black.

The 2022 GMC Canyon starts at $27,995 for the base Elevation Standard model. CarAndDriver suggests purchasing the better-equipped Elevation trim, which starts at $31,495. From there, the price jump is pretty significant if you want the higher trims. The AT4 starts at $39,595, and the Denali $42,395.

The 2022 Chevrolet Colorado is a more affordable GMC Canyon

Orange 2022 Chevy Colorado driving down a street, it's one of the best affordable small pickup trucks of 2022.
2022 Chevrolet Colorado | Chevrolet

There’s a lot of the same with the Colorado and the Canyon, as the two trucks share a platform, amongst other things. This includes the four-cylinder and diesel engines, but the Colorado has a third option. A 3.6-liter V6 with 308-horsepower is also available and gives the Colorado an extra boost. New for the Colorado this model year is the Trail Boss package. It gives a 1.0-inch suspension lift and a few other off-road-focused upgrades.

The 2022 Chevrolet Colorado starts at $26,395 for the base Work Truck model. The next trim up is the LT which makes a small jump to $28,895. The two highest trims are massive leaps to $35,995 and $43,795 for the Z71 and ZR2, respectively. The top ZR2 trim does eclipse Canyon prices completely, but the other models are all quite a bit cheaper for similar equipment.

The 2022 Ford Ranger is cheaper than GMC and Chevrolet’s offerings

The 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor Lariat light pickup truck in red parked atop a hill of uneven terrain and rocks, it's one of the best affordable small pickup trucks of 2022.
2021 Ford Ranger Tremor Lariat | The Ford Motor Company

For 2022, the Ford Ranger gained the Splash trim adding graphics, wheels, and accents. Different colors of the Splash theme will launch exclusively only a few hundred at a time. The Splash Snow Edition is the first of the bunch, but a few more will follow.

The XL base trim starts at just $26,580, followed by the best bang-for-your-buck option, XLT for $30,630. The Splash trim is estimated to slot in next, starting at $32,000 according to CarAndDriver. Lariat moves up a bit more to $34,670 then makes a massive leap to the estimated Tremor pricing of $41,000.

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz might be the best small pickup truck deal

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz sport adventure vehicle truck model parked in the middle of a parking lot, it's one of the best affordable small pickup trucks of 2022.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai Motor America

Everything about the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is new for the 2022 model year since it is a new model. It’ll compete against the full segment of small pickup trucks for the first time ever, but it’s no pushover. The two available engines are a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The upgraded engine can produce up to 281-horsepower, and all-wheel drive is available with both engines.

The starting prices for the lower trims are quite affordable, though the higher trims can get steep. The base SE model starts at $25,215 and takes a small jump to $28,415 for the SEL trim. We then see an almost $8,500 price increase to the SEL Premium model at $36,905. The top of the line Limited model will run you $40,945, which is still cheaper than the top Ranger, Colorado, and Canyon trims.

The 2022 Ford Maverick looks like the best affordable small pickup truck

The 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid pulling a trailer, it's one of the best affordable small pickup trucks of 2022.
2022 Ford Maverick | Ford

Just like Hyundai’s new pickup truck offering, the Maverick is completely new for the 2022 model year. Ford’s new offering instantly becomes one of the best affordable small pickup trucks. It has a standard hybrid engine which gets 42 city and 33 highway mpg, and an available all-gas engine with all-wheel drive. Its biggest downfall is its lack of AWD with the hybrid engine, but the price makes up for it.

The 2022 Ford Maverick comes only in three different trim levels. The cheapest base model is the XL, which starts at an astonishing $19,995. The best value model for the Maverick is the middle trim, XLT, for $22,280. The highest available is the Lariat, which starts at just $25,490. Of course, plenty can be added to the truck to make it more expensive, but the Maverick offers a lot for the low price.

Each of these trucks is great in its own way and will look to shine during the 2022 model year. The best-selling truck in the segment, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma, is being redesigned for 2023. Usually, prices will dip down a bit as buyers wait for the new redesign. That gives trucks like these an opportunity to thrive for a bit, especially those new to the scene. With all the reservations on the Ford Maverick, we expect them to do pretty well. These are the best affordable small pickup trucks heading into the 2022 model year.


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