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Best pickups for payload

  • Every double cab pickup ranked for payload
  • Includes X-Class, Ranger, Amarok and Hilux
  • Payload capacities vary by nearly 200kg

Need to know which pickup can carry the most weight in the back? We’ve been through the technical specifications of every model currently on sale in the UK – including the new Mercedes X-Class and 2018 SsangYong Musso – and have listed them in order of payload rating below.

The payloads listed for each of the pickups below is the official maximum for a double cab model – meaning four proper doors and five seats. These are the pickups compared:

Click here to jump straight to the Parkers guide to best double cab pickups for payload

Info about pickup payload ratings

Remember, the actual payload amount available will depend on fitted equipment, and must also account for the weight of people on board.

If you want to fit a hardtop over the load area, you’re also best looking for a pickup with a payload rating of at least 1,045kg, as hardtops are given a nominal 45kg weight value.

If you spec your pickup with a hardtop from new and that 45kg takes the remaining payload capacity below 1,000kg (1.0-tonne), you could be liable to pay tax at regular car rates rather than at the more favourable light commercial vehicle rate. Worth keeping in mind.

>> For more info about running a pickup as a company car click here

>> For info on the best small, medium and large vans for payload, click here

Best double cap pickups for payload

= 8) Fiat Fullback 2.4-litre LX automatic – 1,050kg

Fiat Fullback payload rating

The Fiat Fullback is merely a rebranded version of the Mitsubishi L200, rather than a fully re-engineered one. As such it’s no surprise to find it matches the L200’s payload ratings – which is to say you’ll need the automatic if you want to maximise your load.

The difference is only 5kg, so if you prefer the control (and refinement) of the six-speed manual versus the five-speed auto, maybe skip the odd big lunch to compensate.

>> Read the full Fiat Fullback review

>> Find a Fiat Fullback for sale near you – new, used or lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Fiat Fullback via

= 8) Mitsubishi L200 2.4-litre automatic – 1,050kg

Mitsubishi L200 payload rating

The manual gearbox L200 has the exact 1,045kg payload needed to cover the nominal weight of a hardtop while retaining one-tonne pickup tax status, while the auto gives you 5kg more – the gross vehicle weight is adjusted across the range so it’s the same on all L200 double cabs.

The L200 has always been excellent value, and with an update in early 2018 boosting its towing capacity to 3.5 tonnes, it's now even more of a bargain.

>> Read the full Mitsubishi L200 review

>> Find a Mitsubishi L200 for sale near you – new, used or lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Mitsubishi L200 via

7) Nissan NP300 Navara 2.3-litre 163 – 1,059kg

Nissan Navara payload rating

The lowest specification Visia and Acenta Navaras have the highest payload rating at 1,059kg. However, when you step up to the fancier trim levels, going for the optional – and rather good – seven-speed automatic claws back most of the difference.

Yep, the auto is 7kg lighter than the six-speed manual, despite having an additional gear – meaning those Navaras where it’s fitted have an official payload of 1,054kg.

>> Read the full Nissan Navara review

>> Find a Nissan Navara for sale near you – new, used or lease

>> Get an insurance quote for a Nissan Navara via

6) Mercedes X-Class 2.3-litre X 220 d – 1,087kg

Mercedes X-Class payload rating

The X-Class is the newest kid on the pickup truck block, and the international specification initial gave it a very poor showing for payload. But now we have full details of the UK spec, and the entry-level X 220 d version now claims a top five finish here.

Despite being based on the Nissan Navara, the X-Class can officially carry nearly 30kg more. Exactly what makes the difference Mercedes isn't saying, but we do know that the X-Class has a stronger chassis than the Nissan thanks to additional reinforcement.

>> Read the full Mercedes X-Class review

>> Find a Mercedes light commercial vehicle for sale – newused or lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Mercedes X-Class via

5) SsangYong Musso 2.2-litre manual – 1,095kg

SsangYong Musso 2018 payload rating

SsangYong has introduced an all-new Musso pickup truck for 2018, and among the extensive list of improvements is a significant increase in payload capacity – taking it from joint-bottom of the class to fifth.

On top of this, you now get a seven-year warranty, and it can tow up to 3.5 tonnes while carrying over 1.0-tonne of payload. Yet it’s still the cheapest double cab pickup on sale. Worth a look.

>> Read the full SsangYong Musso review 

>> Find a SsangYong Musso for sale near you – newused or lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a SsangYong Musso via

4) Toyota Hilux 2.4-litre Active – 1,130kg

Toyota Hilux payload rating

Now we’re talking. If you’ve got heavy stuff to haul, the legendary Toyota Hilux offers a massive 71kg advantage over its old foe the Nissan Navara, with a maximum payload rating of 1,130kg available from the entry-level Active specification. Fancier models carry 1,120kg.

Despite this it still misses out on a top three finish here – which just goes to show the strength of the modern pickup market. And while the Hilux has a lovely interior these days, with relatively decent comfort levels, too, it is rather slow.

>> Read the full Toyota Hilux review

>> Find a Toyota Hilux for sale near you – new, used or lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Toyota Hilux via

3) Isuzu D-Max 1.9-litre Eiger – 1,136kg

Isuzu D-Max payload rating

Unusually, the highest payload variant of the D-Max isn’t the entry-level Utility working variant – it’s the first of the lifestyle models, badged Eiger. The difference is apparently due to the lighter weight of the Eiger's standard alloy wheels, whcih save 20kg over the steel items fitted on the Utility.

The D-Max has also seen payload ratings improve in 2017, thanks to the introduction of its new 1.9-litre engine – which replaced the larger 2.5-litre motor without any compromise to the 3.5-tonne towing capacity. It’s quieter and more fuel-efficient now, too.

>> Read the full Isuzu D-Max review

>> Find an Isuzu D-Max for sale near you – new, used or lease

>> Get an insurance quote on an Isuzu D-Max via

2) VW Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI Trendline – 1,154kg

VW Amarok payload rating

The Amarok V6 is only available in Trendline or Highline specification at the time of writing – which means lots of standard kit, including an eight-speed automatic gearbox on all models. That 3.0-litre engine packs a massive punch, too.

Despite all this, Volkswagen also gives you a huge 1,154kg of payload capacity on the Trendline (dropping to 1,112kg on the Highline), thanks to a chunky 3,290kg gross vehicle weight (GVW) allowance. Shame it’s only homologated to tow 3.1-tonnes in the UK, though.

>> Read the full VW Amarok review

>> Find a VW Amarok for sale – new, used or lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a VW Amarok via

1) Ford Ranger 2.2-litre XL – 1,217kg

Ford Ranger payload rating

Crushing all its rivals into the dust, the double cab pickup with the biggest payload available in the UK is the Ford Ranger – the entry-level XL model with the smaller 2.2-litre engine able to carry a massive 1,217kg. Which is more than some medium-sized vans.

Even the minimum Ranger double cab payload is 1,059kg – that’s the top-spec 3.2-litre Wildtrak automatic. For your further reference, the 3.2 costs 48kg, the auto 19kg, versus equivalent 2.2 and manual gearbox variants. Just another reason the Ranger is the UK’s best-selling pickup, no doubt...

>> Read the full Ford Ranger review

>> Find a Ford Ranger for sale near you – new, used or lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Ford Ranger via

Also read:

Van and pickup taxation – everything you need to know

Does a pickup make sense as a company car?

New pickups coming soon – plus recent launch round-up

The Parkers Vans guide to the best vans for payload

Best double cab pickups for payload montage