“One of those things doesn’t belong here, one of those things isn’t the same” comes from an old Sesame Street song. This line describes when one item doesn’t quite fit in with the rest. That’s part of what we’re dealing with when looking at the worst pickup truck on the market.
What counts as a pickup truck?
The world of pickup trucks is changing, but we can take a look at what 2022 has to offer and find trucks you might want to avoid driving. Currently, among the mid-size and compact trucks, we see nine different vehicles. Eventually we’ll have more compact models to create a class, but these trucks are bundled together for now.
Small and medium-sized trucks are ranked from worst to best
Related: What’s the worst full-size truck you can buy?
It’s easy to make a complete list of only nine models on the market for each of the two pickup categories. According to Consumer Reports, the ratings from lowest to highest are:
- Jeep Gladiator – 38
- GMC Canyon – 45
- Chevrolet Colorado – 45
- Toyota Tacoma – 51
- Nissan Frontier – 54
- Hyundai Santa Cruz – 59
- Ford Ranger – 62
- Ford Maverick – 74
- Honda Ridgeline – 82
The numbers represent each truck’s score of 100, which is how Consumer Reports reviews vehicles.
We found similar results if we looked at another expert publication, US News and World Report. The captures tested by US News were ranked from worst to best as follows:
- Toyota Tacoma – 7.3
- Ford Ranger – 7.7
- GMC Canyon – 7.8
- Chevrolet Colorado 7.8.0
- Honda Ridgeline – 8.3
The other four trucks in this rating haven’t been tested by US News yet. However, we can assume that the Jeep Gladiator will likely end up at the bottom of the list for a number of reasons.
Why is Jeep Gladiator the worst pickup truck you can buy?
The 2022 Gladiator gets a 38 rating from Consumer Reports, which is a very low score. Let’s dig in and see where this truck was below average. These areas are:
- Expected reliability – 2/5
- Emergency Handling – 2/5
- Noise – 2/5
- Fuel Economy – 2/5
- Greenhouse gases – 3/10
- Value – 40/100
These areas are the red flags that make it the worst truck in this class you can buy, but it does come with some redeeming qualities.
Could the gladiator be a good role model for some consumers?
Yes, even though this mid-size pickup truck from Jeep gets to the bottom of the rankings, it does well as an off-road vehicle that can tow a heavy load. Every Gladiator model includes standard all-wheel drive, an off-road package that can handle every trail, and an impressive 7,650 pounds of traction. Only Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon models with a diesel engine can pull more at 7,700 lbs.
Why Jeep Sesame Street theme song?
Not only does the Gladiator appear at the bottom of this list, but it’s also the only pickup that’s completely different from the others. The Maverick and Santa Cruz compete in the compact truck territory to be compact, efficient and relatively powerful trucks. Most models are smaller versions of their full-size counterparts in the midsize truck market. The exceptions are Jeep Gladiator and Honda Ridgeline. Ridgeline appears at the top of both lists, but the Gladiator is on the other end of the spectrum.
Which pickup truck should you buy?
This is a difficult question to answer based on the information provided.
The Honda Ridgeline is the obvious choice if you don’t need a high drag rating and want a one-piece pickup. This midsize truck is the top rated truck from both sources.
From there, things aren’t entirely clear.
If we only look at trucks rated by both sources, we see the Ford Ranger ranked second by Consumer Reports but fourth by US News. Similar problems arise with a pair of Toyota Tacoma and GM trucks.
When the Honda Ridgeline isn’t the right pickup for you to drive, you’ll want to consider your typical driving needs to find the right truck. It could be a Jeep Gladiator, but most likely, it will be one of the other mid-size or compact truck models.
Read on in the following article to find out the five cheapest new pickups you can buy.
Related: 4 Reasons Why Truck Owners Avoid the Honda Ridgeline?