The Best Compact Pickup Trucks of 2021 According to Consumer Guide

Although only one full-size pickup truck was named a 2021 Consumer Guide ‘Best Buy’ there are three in the compact pickup truck class that earned the title. GM‘s midsize trucks got the honor. In addition, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline made the cut as well. Together, these three midsize or compact pickup trucks are the best compact pickup trucks of 2021 according to Consumer Guide.

The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado

the front grille view of a bright orange Chevrolet Colorado on display at an auto show.
Chevrolet Colorado is on display | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

This is one of the most popular midsize trucks. The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado offers a wide range of options including various choices for the powertrain. In fact, the 2.8-Liter Turbodiesel 4-cylinder offers best-in-class fuel economy and tow up to 7,700 pounds. It’s stylish and capable, earning a ‘Best Buy’ badge and a place on the list of Consumer Guide’s list of the best compact pickup trucks of 2021.

So this midsizer is a great choice for those that want a smaller truck that can still handle relatively big jobs. There’s also a robust off-road trim called the ZR2, which lends itself to the buyers looking for something a little more adventurous. While the 2021 Chevy Colorado doesn’t have good predicted reliability scores from critics like Consumer Reports or J.D. Power, it remains a compelling option with starting prices in the mid $20s.

The 2021 GMC Canyon

a white 2021 GMC Canyon drives off-road on a gravel trail.
2021 GMC Canyon | General Motors

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Anyone who ranks the Chevrolet Colorado well, the 2021 GMC Canyon is also likely to impress. In the Denali trim, this compact pickup truck is one of the most luxurious in the class. It shares powertrain options with the Colorado, as are both GM’s small pickup trucks, and also offers an off-road trim––the AT4.

Like its Chevrolet brethren, the 2021 GMC Canyon didn’t excellent in terms of predicted reliability ratings this year. But a predicted reliability rating isn’t everything. These two midsize trucks are the only two in the segment to offer a diesel powertrain, making them the most desirable to those that don’t want to lose the diesel option just because they are shopping in the smaller truck segment.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline

A silver 2021 Honda Ridgeline splashes through a puddle.
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

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The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is without a doubt one of the most decorated trucks of the year. It’s at the top of most compact pickup trucks lists, and just received a stylish redesign. It now offers more rugged and “truckish” appeal, as well as standard all-wheel drive.

If a heavy duty work truck is what you’re searching for, this isn’t the one. However, it is versatile and able enough to handle nearly everything even the most avid weekender can throw at it. Plus, the 2021 Honda Ridgleline offers unrivaled on-road handling, as well as a quiet and comfortable cabin making it the best option for daily driving in the city.

The best compact pickup trucks of 2021

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According to Consumer Guide, you can’t go wrong with the 2021 Honda Ridgeline, the 2021 Chevy Colorado, or the 2021 GMC Canyon. GM’s smaller pickup trucks are good looking and offer several configurations. That includes the class-exclusive diesel powertrain.

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline sits on a unibody construction, sharing a platform with the Honda Pilot SUV. That makes this one of the most comfortable pickup trucks you can buy for daily driving. These three trucks are Consumer Guide’s best compact pickup trucks of 2021.