Best small pickup
2013 Toyota Tacoma
There hasn't been a major overhaul on this truck since 2005, and it really hasn't needed one. Toyota's truck sales are up 11% year-to-date with a lot of help from the Tacoma, which has all of two competitors in the small truck market and a large following among its quirky demographic that's been largely abandoned by the Detroit truck makers.
Basically, it's the favorite of old Ford Ranger drivers who love to beat the stuffing out of a small truck and have it come back for more. Durability is a big deal in the Tacoma's world, where car buyers who don't feel they need all the size and strength of a Ford F-Series or Chevy Silverado are drawn to its off-road agility, flexible cargo options and easy handling. At a combined 23 miles per gallon, the base model Tacoma gets the mileage of a small SUV without sacrificing any of its midsized truck power. When you're content with fetching big items from the hardware store or taking a yardfull of leaf litter to the dump without flashing chrome or flexing muscle, this is the understated truck to buy, even if it's secondhand.
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