Trucks & SUVs

The Best Smaller Trucks for Towing You Shouldn’t Ignore

There’s no doubt that trucks can be incredibly useful tools — but they aren’t always the most convenient option for people who prefer smaller vehicles. Luckily, you don’t need to opt for a full-size truck to reap the hauling benefits. Some of the best trucks for towing are in the small-to-midsize range, perfect for transporting lighter loads. Here are the six best smaller trucks for towing, according to CarFax.

The best trucks for towing under 7,000 pounds

If you’re not planning on towing anything too big, you might choose the Toyota Tacoma or the Honda Ridgeline, both of which are great small trucks with just a little less towing power.

The Toyota Tacoma has a starting price of approximately $26,050 and a max towing capacity of 6,400 pounds. It has two engine options, but if you want to max out its towing power, you’ll need to go for the 3.5-liter V6. This engine makes 278 hp and has a combined fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon. Carfax points out that you can save quite a bit of money by opting for a used Tacoma, as the 2016-2020 models are all very similar.

Another of the best trucks for towing is the Honda Ridgeline, with a slightly lower max towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The Ridgeline has a starting price of approximately $33,900. Its 3.5-liter V6 makes 280 hp, and it has a combined fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon. As with the Tacoma, you can save money by buying used — you can go as far back as 2017 without seeing any significant styling differences.

The best trucks if you need a little more towing power

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If you need to haul some bigger loads, you’ve got plenty of options. According to CarFax, the best trucks for towing over 7,000 pounds are the Chevrolet Colorado, the GMC Canyon, the Jeep Gladiator, and the Ford Ranger.

The Chevy Colorado has an MSRP of $21,300, making it the most affordable truck on this list if you’re buying new. Its 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine has a max towing capacity of 7,700 pounds. 

The GMC Canyon starts at $22,200. It has a max towing capacity of 7,700 pounds with a 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that makes 181 hp. Its fuel economy is 23 miles per gallon combined. If you want more power, you could opt for the 3.6-liter V6 engine, which makes 308 hp. However, this will lower the Canyon’s towing capacity.

With its 3.6-liter V6 engine, the Jeep Gladiator has a max towing capacity of 7,650 pounds and a combined fuel economy of 19 miles per gallon. It makes 285 hp and starts at approximately $33,545.

Finally, the Ford Ranger starts at $24,110 and has a max towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. Its 2.3-liter turbocharged engine makes 270 hp and has a combined fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon.

Factors to consider when shopping

In addition to checking their max towing capacity, there are some other factors to consider when looking for the best trucks for towing. CarFax makes special note of the importance of torque. Trucks with higher levels of torque are able to tow more weight, which is why you’ll often find diesel engines in the trucks with the best towing abilities.

It’s also important to remember that some trucks require specific engines or other features in order to reach their max towing capacity. Make sure you speak to your dealer to ensure you’re getting the best truck for your needs.

The best trucks for towing don’t have to be huge. If you’re planning on hauling smaller items, there’s no reason you can’t find an amazing smaller truck to help.