Small pickup trucks have been around for a long time. Over the years, Consumer Reports recommended quite a few of them. In fact, two small pickup trucks are recommended for the 2021 model year. However, Consumer Reports didn’t recommend any small pickup trucks in 2018.
If you are on the hunt for a small used pickup truck––also known as a compact or mid-size pickup––then you may find this fact interesting. Does that mean there weren’t any good compact trucks in 2018? Of course not. Still, there’s no harm in keeping yourself informed and understanding what various sources have to say about the product you’re shopping for. Here’s what Consumer Reports said about small pickup trucks in 2018.
Buying a used truck
There are good reasons to buy a used compact pickup truck instead of a brand new one. Perhaps the primary reason most people turn to older model years is for the price drop. Buying a used truck is obviously going to save some cash over the option of buying the latest model.
Often, buyers don’t even have to sacrifice that much in the way of features and tech if they only go back two or three model years. But when you decide that buying a used truck is right for you, extensive research will undoubtedly proceed. One thing that really stood out to me when researching 2018 compact pickup trucks is the fact that Consumer Reports didn’t recommend any of them when they were new.
The best compact pickups of 2018
The Jeep Gladiator, one of this year’s top compact pickup trucks according to Consumer Reports, released for the first time in the 2020 model year. That means it’s out of the running if you are looking at buying a used truck from 2018. The Honda Ridgeline, this year’s best compact pickup, also topped the charts in 2018. However, it wasn’t recommended in 2018.
For that matter, the 2018 Toyota Tacoma ranked only a bit lower than the Honda Ridgeline. It’s not recommended in the 2018 model year either. Consumer Reports didn’t recommend any small pickup trucks in 2018.
“While full-sized pickup trucks increasingly adopt luxury trappings, compact trucks remain utilitarian workhorses. The Tacoma is a down-and-dirty example of function trumping form.”Consumer Reports
The worst small pickup truck in 2018
The Ford Ranger, which ranks in the lower half among other 2021 midsize trucks, also misses the list. Ford didn’t debut this generation of the Ranger until the 2019 model year. So that leaves us with the GM compact trucks in the lower end of the Consumer Reports rankings.
“Sure, this truck is far more refined than the rough-and-tumble Toyota Tacoma that perennially tops the sales charts in this class. But ultimately the Canyon/Colorado breaks little new ground, beyond offering an extremely efficient diesel engine, the only one in this segment.”Consumer Reports
Keep in mind that just because these GM models are scored the worst in their class doesn’t mean they are terrible trucks. The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado and the 2018 GMC Canyon are recommended by Consumer Reports. Then again––Consumer Reports didn’t recommend any small pickup trucks in 2018. The 2018 Nissan Frontier also scored low. But it’s still a tough little truck that serves its utilitarian purpose.
Other model years
There aren’t any recommended compact pickup trucks in the 2018 model year. However, in 2017, 2019, and 2020 there are some that Consumer Reports recommends. The Honda Ridgeline is recommended every year since 2018––including 2021.
The Toyota Tacoma was recommended in 2017 and 2020. And even the trucks that didn’t score as high––like the Canyon, Colorado, and Frontier––that are still going to feel right for plenty of truck buyers. That said, ratings and recommendations can at least lend a little direction to your buying research.