What Is The Best Used Small Truck To Buy? (Full Details!)


Whether you’re planning a work site or need a sleek pick-up, there’s no doubt that used trucks can be quite an option. The vehicles are usually in great shape, and the previous owner has already taken care of any maintenance concerns. 

When shopping for used trucks, the trick is to find one that suits your needs, and we will help expand your horizons on the many markets in which you might consider buying one. We have several makes and models that are worthy of your consideration. 

What Is The Best Used Small Truck To Buy?

The GMC Canyon, the Toyota Tacoma, and the Chevy Colorado stand out as among the best used small trucks. They hold up the best over time, but buyers should consider a few other options if you’re looking for specific features since all models hit different checkboxes. 

I’ve taken a deep dive into some of the best makes, models, and years of used small trucks to find out which one really is “the best” option to buy.  

Why Used Small trucks are A Great Deal for You?

Small Trucks are Fuel-Efficient

Small trucks are significantly different from big trucks in many different ways. Fuel efficiency is one of the most significant differences between a small truck and a big truck. If you are looking for a fuel-efficient truck, small trucks are your best choice.

If you live in hilly terrain, big trucks have to work harder to go over hills or up steep inclines, which is why they use more gas than small trucks.

More oversized vehicles also have less control on the road because it takes more turns of the wheel to get them around corners or stop them on hillsides.

Small Trucks are More Affordable

If you are looking for a pocket-friendly truck, smaller trucks are also more affordable. Smaller engines cost less for the manufacturer to purchase, and that is passed onto the consumer as a price deduction.

If you need a truck with a small luggage capacity, small trucks will give you the best value for your money.

Smaller trucks are cheaper per pound or liter because they don’t have to carry as much weight since they don’t need an engine.

Small Trucks are Easier to Maneuver

If you live in a city with many tight parking restrictions, small trucks are easier to maneuver around. Small trucks are easier to park in cramped locations because they are light and narrower.

In situations where you need to drive in narrow streets, small tucks are easier to maneuver. Small trucks don’t take up as much space on the road compared to large vehicles.

They also have a lower center of gravity, making them less likely to tip over. 

Small Trucks are Safer on the Road

If you are the type that likes to drive on bumpy roads, small trucks will make you more comfortable. Smaller trucks have high-quality shocks and suspensions.

They also have larger tires, which improve grip and stability. \

If you like driving smaller vehicles, especially in areas that can generate rough roads or potholes, small trucks are a great choice for your needs.

Small Trucks are Easy to Repair 

Small trucks suffer less wear and tear compared to big trucks. Less horsepower means less strain is placed on the engine, which means fuel consumption will be less. 

Also, small trucks are more streamlined than big trucks and can navigate city streets easily. Small trucks are easier to repair, thanks to their size with fewer parts that require maintenance. 

Small Trucks Are Easier to Maintain 

Smaller vehicles are easier to maintain because they have fewer parts.

Small engines, exhaust systems, and suspension components require less maintenance work than big engines and components.

Also, fewer parts mean less space in the shop, which means your mechanic already has enough room to work on other vehicles without you.

Smaller components in smaller vehicles also mean faster repairs.

5 Best Small Used Trucks

If you’re shopping for a used small truck, there are five models that we think stand out from the crowd. Let’s take a look at some of the best options on the market today.

GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon is an excellent option for used small truck buyers because of its superb performance ratings.

The Canyon has a robust build quality and exceptional interior quality, both from a cosmetic and functional standpoint. 

The cab-forward design also allows for easy entry and exit, which can be especially useful if you are shorter in stature.

Taking everything into account, the GMC Canyon is a vehicle that looks great and offers you a high-quality experience.

The best month to buy a used GMC Canyon is typically October and May. This can vary depending on the model year, but you can find a great deal on a regular model or even a newer one during those two months.

The best-used truck for gas mileage depends on the year of manufacture and the model. The older models take more gas to run and are also harder to find. Furthermore, trucks with larger engines can burn more gas.

However, the newer models are less likely to experience this since they use more advanced technology for fuel-efficiency. 

The best used truck for gas mileage depends on your specific driving experience, so it’s important to find out what’s most appropriate for you. 

Expertly Designed Interior of GMC Canyon Trucks

The interior design of a GMC Canyon truck is expertly crafted to give you a driving adventure in style. The interior design features a beautifully curved dash, which provides a classic look.

The steering wheel is also designed to be comfortable, and it’s covered in leather for added comfort. 

Seats are soft and plush, while the doors are designed with protection in mind. Each region of the truck is designed with an elegant style.

The roof and tailgate are both covered in chrome, which enhances the overall look of the truck. You will enjoy the luxurious feel of being in a GMC Canyon truck.

Modern Styling Exterior Design of GMC Canyon Trucks

The exterior design of the GMC Canyon truck matches its rough aptitude with a confident contemporary design with clear-cut details.

The front of the GMC Canyon truck features a unique grille with rugged machined surfaces and edges, distinctive chrome fixtures, and angular headlights.

At the rear, a wraparound tailgate with a GMC logo stamped into it is accented by LED lights that turn on when you open the gate.

GMC Canyon Performance 

The GMC Canyon delivers on all fronts when it comes to performance. It offers a capable engine and has impressive towing and hauling capacity.

The GMC Canyon is one of the best used small trucks for gas mileage. The Canyon offers a lot of performance features.

The Canyon provides many performance features and delivers a tremendous amount of power and performance compared to other small trucks. 

It is also equipped with many safety features.

It has a very high ground clearance and comes with a rear differential lock, which prevents wheel spin during tight turns, and it’s also backed by four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes that help the Canyon stop quickly in emergencies.

Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma provides you with affordable utility. 

It’s a strong pick if you want to get the most out of your budget, and it offers all-wheel drive as well as a light frame that allows for sturdier handling than similar vehicles in its class.

Moreover, Tacoma’s interior is a practical truck with ample storage.

Luxurious Interior Design of Toyota Tacoma Trucks

Tacoma’s interior design is known for its luxurious cabin with an amazing array of colors and materials. The interior is arguably the best in its class, with lots of technology applications.

It features a center console that folds down for easier access to areas in the middle of the cab, multiple USB ports, and an AM/FM/CD/Bluetooth stereo with six speakers. 

Tacoma provides enough room for multiple passengers with numerous seating configurations, from two-passenger bucket seats in the base model to five-passenger captain’s chairs in the Limited trim.

Despite its formidable appearance, Toyota Tacoma has an upscale interior with unexpected premium details such as gentle trim and metallic elements for an elevated look and feel.

Tacoma’s seating provides both comfort and durability, depending on the model grade.

A driver’s seat with movable lumbar support and four-way adjustable front passenger seats are standard on all trim levels.

Seating for higher trims, such as the TRD Sport and Off-Road, is unique, with embossed fabric that gives the vehicle a dynamic, rugged feel. The TRD Pro has heated front seats and leather-trimmed seats.

The seats of the Limited trim level are trimmed in luxurious leather.

Athletic and Stylish Exterior design of Toyota Tacoma Trucks

The appearance of the new-generation Tacoma is indisputably athletic and elegant, fusing daily usability with the toughness of weekend expedition.

The Tacoma’s high-lift look is inspired by Toyota’s famed desert race trucks, and it embodies the vehicle’s incredible go-anywhere potential.

A robust and hexagonal grille and a towering, muscular hood differentiate Tacoma’s look. 

You have nine bright and sporty exterior color options for the Toyota Tacoma to choose from, including:

  • Blazing Blue Pearl
  • Inferno
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Barcelona Red Metallic
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Silver Sky Metallic
  • Quicksand
  • Super White
  • Cement

Toyota Tacoma Performance 

Toyota Tacoma has an engine and transmission designed for performance in any environment and an aerodynamic design for comfort and fuel efficiency.

The Tacoma transmission is a solid and reliable option if you prefer to control your vehicle manually. 

The Tacoma comes with one of the most efficient and powerful braking systems that can be found in a small truck, and it gives you the ability to stop very quickly without much effort.

It also works well in any terrain, making it an excellent choice if you drive in different weather and environments. Toyota Tacoma has a rear-view camera that allows you to see objects approaching in their blind spots. 

Chevrolet Colorado

The Chevrolet Colorado is a value-packed small truck that offers you a decent performance in running and handling.

It also comes with a great warranty, allowing for peace of mind if something fails down the line. 

This vehicle also supports up to five occupants comfortably, thanks to its ample passenger space and impressive cargo capacity.

A Practical Interior Design of Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet Colorado has a practical interior design, less sophisticated, giving it a low-rent feel. The front seats are reasonable in comfort, but the back seats are a bit squeezed. 

Extended Cab versions seat four people, while Crew Cab variants seat five. Vinyl upholstery and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are included as standard equipment.

You have options for cloth upholstery, synthetic leather upholstery, genuine leather-appointed front seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

The front seats are spacious and comfy, with enough head and legroom. The driver is seated high in the vehicle, giving him a superb view of the road. The back seats are a little tighter. 

Colorado has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for fastening child safety seats in the rear outboard seats, while Crew Cab models feature an overhead tether for the rear center seat.

The system works fine; however, the tether anchors are difficult to reach.

The Exterior Design of Chevrolet Colorado

While Chevrolet Colorado is rugged and bold, it’s not without its beauties.

Drivers have the choice of selecting an extended cab or a more spacious crew cab, as well as a short or long box option to provide precisely the proper amount of cargo capacity for any active lifestyle. 

Thanks to an innovative standard rear bumper step, accessing the back of the truck is as simple as stepping up and into the wide cargo compartment.

With 16-, 17-, or 18-inch steel or cast-aluminum wheels, you may add a touch of their style to Colorado, giving it just the right amount of flair for any trip.

Chevrolet Colorado also offers you several features that make the truck easier and more convenient to use, including:

Bedliner

A spray-in or drop-in bed liner protects the rear cargo area from damage and makes cleaning the bed as simple as taking out a hose.

Chrome

For a little more beauty in Colorado, you can add chrome touches to the exhaust, tailgate, door handles, mirror caps, bumpers, and more.

EZ-Lift and Lower Tailgate

The EZ-Lift and lower tailgate require less effort than regular models, letting drivers readily access cargo while also keeping it secure with the optional locking system.

Gear-On

The Gear-On package allows you to personalize your truck’s cargo area with specialized equipment such as a bed rack, tiered cross rail storage, cargo tie-down rings, separators, utility rack, and other alternatives.

Off-Road Options

An off-road sports bar, lighting, side rails, and other features allow you to tailor Colorado for off-road adventures in even the most challenging terrain.

Outside heated power-adjustable mirrors

These are an option that improves your safety and convenience by allowing you to see the road ahead clearly in even the harshest weather.

Sliding Rear Window

A manual sliding rear window that gives you additional fresh air into the interior and allows you to access the cargo compartment easily.

Performance of Chevrolet Colorado

The performance of Chevrolet Colorado gives you a ton of benefits, including a powerful engine.

If you are looking for the best gas mileage small truck and want to spend less on gas, you need to choose 

Chevrolet Colorado Engine 

Transmission-wise, you have your choice of a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission in 2WD or 4WD models. One of the most notable features is a higher towing capacity.

Also, the suspension system has been refined to accommodate heavy loads and different road conditions with more excellent stability than earlier versions. The braking system of Colorado is also enhanced, with greater resistance to fade on mixed driving conditions.

The best months to buy a used truck are towards the end of March, June, September, and December. You will be offered a discount because most dealers are under pressure to meet their quarterly sales targets.

Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier is a solid choice if you are looking for a decent amount of utility. 

Its leading seating for four occupants is compatible with all-terrain journeys, while its robust build quality and value-packed performance make it one of the more durable small trucks on the market. 

Likewise, if you are looking for comfort, the Frontier’s interior is comfortable and spacious. 

Interior Design of Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier interior design is elegant, with a modern stance that includes rounded edges on many surfaces. 

The interior design makes for an immersive driving experience and a unique overall feel; the Frontier’s interior design is stylish, ergonomic, and functional.

Exterior Design of Nissan Frontier

The exterior design of the all-new Nissan Frontier benefits from a wide array of features and innovations designed to enhance its utility and versatility. 

The front of a Nissan Frontier includes an angled grill with halogen headlights and short front and back overhangs, suitable for climbing rocks and rugged terrains. 

Nissan Frontier offers several design solutions that help improve visibility and reduce curb appeal to provide owners with an uncluttered visual. 

The Frontier also features new technologies like high-tech bumpers designed to enhance safety by reducing damage from accidents, such as low-speed impacts. 

The exterior styling of the new Nissan Frontier features clean lines that blend seamlessly into the rest of the vehicle and enhanced aerodynamics.

Notable Features of Nissan Frontier

The Frontier comes with various modern enhancements to complement the truck’s robust build. The following are some notable interior and exterior features:

  • Locking tailgate and cargo bed light
  • Power-sliding glass moon-roof
  • Off-road performance shock absorbers
  • Fog lights
  • White contrast interior stitching
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • Heated side-view mirrors
  • Cloth or embroidered leather-appointed seats
  • Heated front seats

Performance of the Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier offers you an excellent choice of high-performance small trucks. It features a fuel-efficient engine and comes with model options for both manual and automatic transmission models. 

The Nissan Frontier’s transmission is designed to provide you with smooth shifting and a quick response every time you need it. 

It has excellent efficiency so that you can save on fuel costs, dependent on your driving habits. It features four gears for optimum performance in harsh conditions, especially off-road driving.

Other performance features include limited-slip differential, tow hitch, and heavy-duty suspension system. 

The Frontier’s braking system is highly efficient and responsive. You can stop with just a light touch on the pedal. This system is designed to use minimal maintenance and ensure a long life for your vehicle.

Honda Ridgeline

If you are a driving enthusiast, the Honda Ridgeline is an excellent option because of its balanced performance and decent space capacity. 

The latter is due to its cargo area, which is situated on top of the cab. This area can also be expanded to offer even more room if needed. 

If you are looking for a light, fuel-efficient truck with great comfort features, the Honda Ridgeline is a solid pick for you. The Ridgeline is a big step forward if you are looking to save money on your gas bill.

The Exterior Design of the Honda Ridgeline

Modern and practical, the Honda Ridgeline design is one that you will recognize as an instant classic. 

The robust shape of this truck comes from a strong familial resemblance to other Hondas, while the interior accents and exterior features are designed for outdoor adventure.

The Honda Ridgeline boasts a strong body that is easy on the eyes. One thing to note is how straight it is. 

The straighter and smoother your truck’s exterior, the better aerodynamics you have. That comes in handy when you are driving on the highway at any speed, making for much better fuel economy all around.

The Interior Design of Honda Ridgeline

Honda has always been known for its affordability, but it has become a top-of-the-line luxury automaker in recent years. 

This is primarily due to the release of the Honda Ridgeline. The interior design of the first all-new Honda truck in decades may be one of its best features. 

The Honda Ridgeline features a sleek and modern interior that gives the truck a premium look.

The cabin of the Ridgeline is specially designed for comfort. The interior is designed to be balanced, comfortable, and easy to use. 

If you are sitting in the back seat, you will also have a fantastic experience.

Performance of Honda Ridgeline

The engine performance of the Honda Ridgeline is one of the best in the used small truck market. 

It also has a unique transmission that keeps it from being an ordinary pick-up truck. The Ridgeline offers you premium specs at an affordable price while still looking and feeling more like a luxury car than most small trucks.

The braking system is uniquely designed to give you a lot of stopping power in situations such as towing trailers.

The front-drive handling gives you better traction on paved roads and is a great feature when driving a lot in the city during bad weather.

The suspension system of the Honda Ridgeline is one of the strongest among small trucks. This is great since it is raised off the ground to give you a feeling of being more secure on a rough road.

The rear drive provides better traction when driving through the dirt than some pick-ups and allows for easy slideways in parking lots and bad weather.

Best Mileage to Buy a Used Truck

Make and ModelMaximum Number of Total Miles*
GMC Canyon200,000
Toyota Tacoma200,000
Chevrolet Colorado 100,000
Nissan Frontier200,000
Honda Ridgeline300,000

*Numbers assume the vehicle has undergone regular maintenance.

The Best Used Small Truck

There are countless used small trucks on the market, and to help make it easier for you to find the right one, we have outlined some of our favorite models.

If you need even more guidance, refer to our used truck buyer’s guide for even more helpful tips. We are also here to answer any questions you might have about your search for a great used truck. 

Feel free to contact us anytime! Our team looks forward to guiding you as you choose the best used truck for your driving requirements. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best mileage to buy a used truck? 

The general rule that will guide you to decide the best mileage to buy a used truck is the fewer the miles, the better. 

If your truck is well maintained, it can last well into the 200,000-mile range. The best mileage should be below 200,000 miles. 

What is the best month to buy a used truck? 

The best month to buy a used truck is October. This is because people trade in their old truck at the end of the year for a new one.

The other best months are from May through September, which offers significantly better discounts. The least discounted period falls between January and April. 

What is the best age to buy a used truck? 

The best age to buy a used truck is when it’s two to three years old. The most crucial factor that you should consider is the cost of depreciation.

What is the best used truck for gas mileage? 

Honda Ridgeways, Toyota Tacoma, and GMC Canyon stand out as the best used trucks for gas mileage.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

Recent Posts