Cars.com Top-Rated Pickup Trucks of 2022: Do You Agree?

What do you need pickup trucks to do? These vehicles have been around for more than a century handling the job of carrying heavy loads, taking products where you need to, and pulling trailers. Since the early days of these trucks, we’ve seen them get smaller, bigger, offer strange car/truck combinations, and then get bigger again. Compact trucks are returning to the market with two models added to the 2022 model year lineup. With several trucks of various sizes in the market, we wonder which ones are rated the best.

The trucks that were eligible for this distinction

Would it surprise you to know that Cars.com only considered three pickup trucks in its ranking of the top models? The only trucks eligible are new or significantly revised for the 2022 model year. Only the Ford Maverick, Hyundai Santa Cruz, and Toyota Tundra are eligible for this distinction.

The 2022 Ford Maverick wins the top rating

Red 2022 Ford Maverick at Chicago Auto Show
Red 2022 Ford Maverick at Chicago Auto Show | Getty Images

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Of the three eligible trucks, the Ford Maverick ranked highest. This compact Ford truck brings a lot to the table, giving you two powertrains and up to 4,000 pounds of towing. The base powertrain is a hybrid model, which is unique in the truck market. This truck brings a smooth, SUV-like drive to your experience while delivering the strength you need.

What puts the Maverick over the top is the unique items offered. This is the first truck in the market with configurable 3D accessories to give each owner unique storage solutions in the cab. The bed is also unique, with the Flexbed system that brings various rails and holds to the experience. The Ford Maverick works well for almost all small truck needs with these two cargo systems.

The starting price for the 2022 Maverick is $19,995, which is certainly another selling point.

The Hyundai Santa Cruz was in the running

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz in black
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz in black | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

One of the contenders considered this year is the Hyundai Santa Cruz. This little truck uses the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson, and it brings some impressive qualities to the market. Hyundai doesn’t advertise the Santa Cruz as a “truck” but a “sport adventure vehicle,” but it sure looks like a truck to us.

The Santa Cruz offers 5,000 pounds of towing and 1,753 pounds of payload, giving you plenty of power to handle the cargo you need to take on the road or trails. The ground clearance is more than eight inches, allowing this truck to head out on some trails for some fun.

The starting price for the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is $24,140.

The Toyota Tundra is the only revised truck on this list

2022 Toyota Tundra front shot around some mountains
2022 Toyota Tundra front shot around some mountains. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Two trucks qualify for this list, the Tundra and the Nissan Frontier, but the reviewers chose the Tundra. Toyota seriously improved its game with the new Tundra. This truck is big, powerful, and now has a luxury trim called Capstone. The engine bay presents you with one of the biggest changes to this truck. There isn’t a single V8 engine found in the 2022 Toyota Tundra lineup.

You won’t sacrifice capability or power with the V6 engines offered in the Tundra. These engines use twin-turbocharging and a hybrid drive system to give you the power and boost you want in a full-size pickup truck. It’s the first time in a long while that Toyota gives us a new version of the Tundra.

You can purchase a base model of the 2022 Toyota Tundra for $35,950.

Maybe another list of the top-rated pickup trucks would be better

If seeing only three trucks on the list when there are so many to choose from isn’t good enough for you, Edmunds also offers a list of trucks rated in different classes. These ratings give you a better view of which trucks rank higher than others. This rating system uses a score out of 10 possible points.

Small Trucks

  • Hyundai Santa Cruz 8.1/10
  • Ford Maverick 7.3/10

Midsize Trucks

  • Honda Ridgeline 8.5/10
  • Jeep Gladiator 7.9/10
  • Toyota Tacoma 7.7/10

Full-Size Trucks

  • Ford F-150 8.5/10
  • Ram 1500 8.4/10
  • Toyota Tundra 8.0/10

Heavy-Duty Trucks

  • Ram 2500 7.9/10
  • Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.7/10
  • GMC Sierra 2500HD 7.5/10

Which one of the pickup trucks should you drive?

If you’re interested in one of the newest trucks in the market and want a small truck, the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are the only trucks in their class. Both give you qualities you can admire during your drive.

When you want something new that’s larger than the small trucks, you can see the Toyota Tundra ranks high on both lists. Of course, it’s not hard to see that you might want one of the proven trucks from Ford, Ram, GMC, Honda, or Jeep, which all found their way to the top echelon of the Edmunds list.

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