Consumer Reports and MotorTrend Disagree on Best Compact Pickup Trucks

Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted car critics right now, but it has some tough competition, especially from sites like MotorTrend. When it comes to the compact pickup truck segment, Consumer Reports and MotorTrend disagree about which compact pickup truck is the best. Here’s a look at what Consumer Reports and MotorTrend had to say about the best compact pickup truck on the market right now.

A look at how Consumer Reports and MotorTrend disagree

A yellow 2022 Ford Maverick in a room under a spotlight.
2022 Ford Maverick | Getty Images

At the core of this disagreement between the two car critics is a discussion about pickup truck segments. There’s no dispute between the two reviewers about full-size pickup trucks, but there’s a dispute about the smaller pickup truck segments. Consumer Reports does not have a category for midsize pickup trucks, and it only has two pickup truck categories, compact and full-size.

MotorTrend, on the other hand, divides the pickup truck segment into three sizes. There are the compact pickups, the midsize ones, and the full-size ones. Because of this disagreement oversizes, the two car critics have different views about the best compact pickup truck on the market.

Due to this disagreement, there’s also a different pool of trucks to look at. MotorTrend says that there are only two compact pickup trucks on the market. Consumer Reports, however, says that there are nine. 

What they say is the best compact pickup truck right now

Consumer Reports gave the top prize to the Honda Ridgeline. The Ridgeline has an overall score of 82 out of 100, and this was due to its strong performance on the road test and the fact that it’s a reliable and satisfying truck to own. It won’t be cheap, as the Ridgeline starts at about $37,000.

The Ridgeline comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which gets 280 hp. This engine gives the Honda a good payload capacity, but its max towing capacity of 5,000 pounds is not that impressive. The Ridgeline also gets about 20 mpg, which isn’t remarkable. MotorTrend didn’t even consider the Ridgeline to be a compact pickup truck.

Instead, the Ford Maverick won the top prize in the segment. MotorTrend gave the Maverick a score of 8.6 out of 10, and MotorTrend liked it for several reasons. Since the Maverick starts at about $20,000, it’s a very affordable pickup truck. However, one of the Ford’s most impressive features is its fuel economy. This is because the standard Maverick comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine. This engine gets 42 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on highways, for 38 mpg combined. 

This is their runner-up compact pickup truck

While the two critics disagreed on the best compact pickup truck, Consumer Reports enjoyed the Maverick a lot. The Maverick is the second-best compact pickup truck, according to Consumer Reports.

This Ford pickup truck has an overall score of 74 out of 100, and Consumer Reports enjoyed it for many of the same reasons that MotorTrend did. On top of Maverick’s affordable price tag and great fuel economy, Consumer Reports also liked how it drove.

On the other hand, MotorTrend’s runner-up choice is the Hyundai Santa Cruz. The Hyundai pickup truck was second place by default, as there are only two trucks in the segment, according to MotorTrend. But, it’s still a good option, as it has an overall score of 8 out of 10. Its $24,000 price tag is still cheap compared to other trucks. However, it will come with a standard gas-powered engine, so its fuel economy isn’t remarkable.

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