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Historically, pickup trucks were associated with construction workers and off-road enthusiasts. But these vehicles have recently become a viable choice for families with children.

Here are the best compact pickup trucks for families, in descending rank order, as assessed by US News.

1: Honda Ridgeline

The 2023 Honda Ridgeline off-roading in mud
2023 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

The Ridgeline takes first place with an overall score of 8.6 and a safety score of 9.7. Its predicted reliability score is 3.5/5.

Its price tag of $29,900 makes the Ridgeline the priciest; the second-costliest truck in this list is cheaper by more than $4000. At 33.9 cu ft, Ridgeline’s cargo volume is closer to the lower end.

But it makes up for these shortcomings with a roomy cabin that easily accommodates five passengers in large and comfortable seats. The cabin also has more storage space than other trucks. This is beneficial for families with small kids who need a lot of things within arm’s reach while on the road.

When it comes to safety and cabin space, it’s hard to beat the Ridgeline as a truck for your family.

2: GMC Canyon

The 2023 GMC Canyon off-roading in sand
2023 GMC Canyon | GMC

The overall score for the GMC Canyon is 8.3, and its safety score is 8.2. Its cargo space of 49.9 cu ft is the highest on this list. It has the same predicted reliability as the #1 ranked Ridgeline, 3.5/5. But at $21,300, it is more than $8000 cheaper than the Ridgeline.

The standard Extended cab model seats four passengers, and the Crew Cab version seats five. The Crew Cab model has the option of a smaller 5′ 2″ bed as opposed to the standard 6′ 2″ one.

All models come with the Teen Driving safety setting system, which is an attractive feature for families with teenagers. The GMC Canyon is one of the best trucks on the market.

3: Chevrolet Colorado

The 2023 Chevy Colorado off-roading in sand
2023 Chevy Colorado | Chevrolet

The Chevy Colorado is closely related to the #2 ranked GMC Canyon, so its features, price, and scores are virtually the same as the Canyon: $21,300, 8.3 overall score, 8.2 for safety, and 49.9 cu ft cargo volume. Its score of 3/5 for predicted reliability is the lowest in class.

Just like the GMC Canyon, the Chevy Colorado has standard and Crew Cab configurations. Its Crew Cab version can seat five passengers, but the standard cab can seat only two, with an option to include folding seats in the back for two more passengers.

Both models have the Teen Driving safety setting system. This added safety for teens means this truck will be great for your family for years to come.

4: Ford Ranger

The 2023 Ford Ranger off-roading in the open desert.
2023 Ford Ranger | Ford

The Ford Ranger gets 8.3 for overall satisfaction, 3/5 for predicted reliability, and has a decent cargo space of 43.3 cu ft for the SuperCab model.

The SuperCab model can take four passengers but full-size adults will feel cramped in the rear two seats. The SuperCrew model has a larger cabin with room for five adult passengers but has a shorter cargo bed. Despite the jury still being out in regards to its safety rating, this is still a solid truck for your family.

5: Toyota Tacoma

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma parked in the desert at dusk
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Even though it has a low rank, people keep the Toyota Tacoma forever. Its predicted reliability and overall scores of 4.5/5 and 8.4 are only behind the #1 Ridgeline’s scores. Tacoma’s cargo space is only 33.8 cu ft.

The Tacoma can seat four passengers in its Access Cab model, but the two back seats are not comfortable for adults. Its Double Cab model can comfortably accommodate five adult passengers.

6: Nissan Frontier

The 2023 Nissan Frontier off-roading over rocky terrain
2023 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

Though it is last on the list, the Nissan Frontier offers a lot of truck for its price of only $18,900, the lowest in this list. Its cargo volume of 33.5 cu ft is also the lowest on the list. The overall safety and predicted reliability scores are 7.4, 7.9, and 3.5/5.   

The Frontier can seat only four passengers in its standard configuration called the King Cab. The Crew Cab version can accommodate five passengers. In both models, the back seats are a tight fit for adults, even though the Crew Cab is roomier in the back than the King Cab.

While its scores are a little lower than some of the other trucks on this list, the Frontier provides great value in a truck for your family.