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Battle of the 1986 Compact Trucks!

Fire up the time machine and travel back to the year 1986, when compact trucks were all the rage. Let’s stage an epic battle to determine which small truck is the best!

Illustration for article titled Battle of the 1986 Compact Trucks!
Photo: Hello Road

Eight trucks enter the ring, only one will remain. Which compact truck will win 1986’s truckmania? Will it be the Ford Ranger? The Chevrolet S-10? The Nissan Hardbody? The Toyota Pickup? The Mazda B2000? The Mitsubishi Mighty Max? The Isuzu P’up? Or the Jeep Comanche?

The rise of compact trucks in the ’80s was a reaction to the oil crisis of the ’70s, and an answer to the economic woes of the early ’80s. Fuel efficiency became much more important—and many of these small trucks delivered on that promise.


Since then, trucks in the United States have grown significantly in size, capability, and luxury. Even modern day mid-size trucks would dwarf these in comparison. The simple, honest trucks from the ’80s are a throwback. Let’s take a moment to remember when trucks were used simply as trucks—when utility and practicality were paramount.

If you want to see how this compact pickup truck battle unfolds, please check out my latest video below! Which compact truck would you have purchased in ’86?

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