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Americans love trucks. In 2020 alone, we bought over ten million of them. Trucks have handy beds we can use to carry anything we want. But which is the smallest truck bed, and is it useful? Compare the three smallest truck beds available: The Honda Ridgeline, Ford Maverick, and Hyundai Santa Cruz.

3rd Smallest Truck Bed: Honda Ridgeline

This is a publicity photo of a gray Honda Ridgeline carrying a pair of dirt bikes. The Ridgeline has the third smallest truck bed.
2021 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

The Honda company completely redesigned the Ridgeline for 2021. The new truck sports an aggressive look and more power than any Toyota Tacoma. The engineers also revamped the Ridgeline’s bed, the third smallest truck bed available. 

The new Ridgeline essentially has a two-tier bed: Between the wheels, this Honda features a lockable in-bed trunk. In addition, Honda fit this trunk with a drain so it can function as a large cooler.

The Ridgeline’s main bed begins above the wheel wells and is thus a broad, uninterrupted storage space. This is why a sheet of 4×8 plywood, or drywall, fits perfectly in the Ridgeline’s main bed.

 The Ridgeline also has a nifty dual-function tailgate: it can swing out to access the in-bed trunk, or it can fold down to extend your load deck. In addition, the Ridgeline offers eight tie-down hooks in various places. The resulting vehicle is one of the only trucks recommended by Consumer Reports.

Note: you can order several midsize pickup trucks with full cabs and beds shorter than the Ridgeline’s, but you can also option them with larger beds than the Ridgeline. This is why we ranked the Ridgeline as being the truck with the third smallest bed.

  • Length: 64 inches (5.3 feet)
  • Width: 50 inches
  • Bed Cargo Space: 33.9 cubic feet
  • Additional Space: 7.3 cubic feet (In-Bed Trunk)
  • Tailgate: Swing-out

2nd Smallest Truck Bed: Ford Maverick

2022 Ford Maverick 2L-EcoBoost AWD Lariat. Preproduction vehicle with optional equipment shown. Available fall 2021.
2022 Ford Maverick | Ford

The Ford Maverick’s truck bed is ten inches shorter than the Ridgeline, but the bed walls are taller. As a result, the Maverick has the second smallest truck bed.

The Maverick has no in-bed trunk; the bed begins below the wheel-wells. Ford has flattened the top of these wheel wells for loading wide items. In addition, the company engineered a tailgate you can secure at about 45 degrees to create a level surface to bridge a 4×8 piece of plywood or drywall across.

Ford also designed its new Maverick’s bed with ten available tie-downs. These include tie-downs in the tailgate, adjustable cleats on an in-bed rail, and tie-downs on the bottom of the load floor.

Finally, Ford engineered its bed with multiple slots for 2x4s and 2x6s so customers can shelve out their pickup bed however they want. This all-new truck is stronger than expected.

  • Length: 54.4 inches (4.5 feet)
  • Width: 53.3 inches
  • Bed Cargo Space: 33.3 cubic feets
  • Tailgate: Multi-Position 

1st Smallest Truck Bed: Hyundai Santa Cruz

This is a promotional photo of a light green Hyundai Santa Cruz with a bicycle in its truck bed. The Santa Cruz is a crossover truck with the smallest truck bed available.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

The smallest truck bed available in 2022 belongs to the new Hyundai Santa Cruz. This Hyundai bed is more than six inches shorter than the Ford Maverick’s bed. The Hyundai bed is 42.7-inches wide at the wheel wells and 53.9-inches wide overall. The bed is 19.2 inches tall, and its forward wall is slanted, so it is 48-inches long at the bed opening, but the bed floor is 52.1-inches long. 

Due to this unique shape, Hyundai is still listing the volume of its bed as TBD. However, depending on the angle of the slant of the bed’s front wall and the size of the wheel wells, the Hyundai Santa Cruz bed’s volume will fall between 29 cubic feet and 31 cubic feet.

What the Hyundai truck bed lacks in space, it makes up for in innovative utility. Hyundai has dampened the tailgate hinges, so it falls open slowly. In addition, the Santa Cruz features an in-bed trunk with a drain plug. This trunk is smaller than the Ridgeline’s but can easily fit a pair of backpacks or become a cooler. 

The Santa Cruz features two storage compartments, a bit bigger than an automotive battery, in the bed’s walls. The righthand compartment is wired with a twelve-volt outlet, though customers can opt for a 115-volt outlet instead.

Every Santa Cruz comes with a locking tonneau cover. Finally, Hyundai has even included steps in the corner of the rear bumper and mounted LED work lights in the Santa Cruz’s bed.

  • Length of bed floor: 52.1 inches (4.3 feet)
  • Length of bed opening: 48 inches
  • Width: 53.9 inches
  • Bed Cargo Space: TBD
  • Tailgate: Dampened opening

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