Best pickups for payload

  • Every double cab pickup ranked for payload
  • Includes Ranger, Amarok, L200 and Hilux
  • Payload capacities vary by over 80kg 

Need to know which pickup has the highest payload rating? We’ve been through the technical specifications of every model currently on sale in the UK – from the Ford Ranger to the Toyota Hilux, the Mercedes X-Class to the SsangYong Musso – and have listed them in order of payload rating below.

The payloads recorded for each of the pickups below is the official maximum for a double cab model, meaning four proper doors and five seats, making them suitable for business and lifestyle use

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 (LCV) tax rate. Worth keeping in mind.

We also have guides to the best large vans, medium vans and small vans for payload, too.

Best double cab pickups for payload

8) Mitsubishi L200 Series 6: 1,080kg

Mitsubishi L200 Series 6 - find out where it comes in the best pickups for payload 2019

Although it looks radically different, the latest L200, launched in August 2019, is really a heavily updated version of the previous model under the skin. Those updates include a new 150hp 2.3-litre engine but sadly this is less powerful (by 31hp) than the 2.4 it's replaced.

Despite this, and the basic truck being heavier, payload has been increased to 1,080kg across the range. It's still the lowest of any pickup in the UK, though.

>> Read the full Mitsubishi L200 review

>> Find a Mitsubishi L200 for sale near you

>> Get an insurance quote on a Mitsubishi L200 via mustard.co.uk

7) SsangYong Musso: 1,095kg

SsangYong Musso - find out where it comes in the best pickups for payload 2019

SsangYong's latest Musso pickup can tow up to 3.5 tonnes while carrying over 1.0-tonne in the back, something no other pickup can manage. For the maximum 1,095kg payload you'll need the manual gearbox (which can only tow 3.1-tonnes), but the auto's max is still 1,085kg.

On top of this, you get a seven-year warranty, and lots of standard equipment. The previous-gen Musso is still available for budget buyers, too.

>> Read the full SsangYong Musso review 

>> Find a SsangYong Musso for sale near you

>> Get an insurance quote on a SsangYong Musso via mustard.co.uk

6) Nissan Navara: 1,105kg

Nissan Navara - find out where it comes in the best pickups for payload 2019

Nissan has done some substantial re-engineering on its Navara pikcup for 2019, including revised rear suspension, a new manual gearbox and better brakes. As a result, the payload rating for the Visia double cab model has shot up to 1,105kg - a substantial improvement over the 1,059kg it could carry before.

The entire range uses the twin-turbo version of the 2.3-litre engine now, too. But be warned that top spec models are limited to 1,040kg payload.

>> Read the full Nissan Navara review

>> Find a Nissan Navara for sale near you

>> Get an insurance quote for a Nissan Navara via mustard.co.uk

5) Toyota Hilux: 1,130kg

Toyota Hilux - find out where it comes in the best pickups for payload 2019

The Hilux is one of the legendary standard setters of the pickup truck world, and with a 1,130kg payload available from the entry-level Active specification, it's certainly not short on strength. Fancier double cab models carry 1,120kg.

But while the Hilux has a lovely looking interior these days, with relatively decent comfort levels and refinement, it's 150hp is one of the least powerful available, making it rather slow.

>> Read the full Toyota Hilux review

>> Find a Toyota Hilux for sale near you

>> Get an insurance quote on a Toyota Hilux via mustard.co.uk

=3) Ford Ranger EcoBlue:  1,140kg

Ford Ranger - find out where it comes in the best pickups for payload 2019

As of mid-2019, the Ranger has a new selection of 2.0-litre EcoBlue engines, replacing the old 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre engines in all but one model in the line-up. This is great news for refinement and engine performance, but has slightly clobbered its maximum payload rating.

So what used to be the best pickup for payload in the UK is now only joint third - and that's in its most basic XL specification; the high-performance Raptor model carries just 640kg, but doesn't really count as a commercial vehicle.

>> Read the full Ford Ranger review

>> Find a Ford Ranger for sale near you

>> Get an insurance quote on a Ford Ranger via mustard.co.uk

=3) Mercedes-Benz X-Class: 1,140kg

Mercedes X-Class - find out where it comes in the best pickups for payload 2019

The X-Class is perhaps best described as an interesting experiment for Mercedes - despite extensive re-engineering, no-one's really been willing to overlook that fact that it's based on a Nissan Navara but costs far more. As such, there are strong rumours it's not going to last mucn longer.

Still, the payload rating for the entry-level X 220 d version is impressive, and higher than even the most recently updated Navara can manage. However, the X 350 d V6 is limited to 1,067kg.

>> Read the full Mercedes X-Class review

>> Find a Mercedes light commercial vehicle for sale

>> Get an insurance quote on a Mercedes X-Class via mustard.co.uk

2) Isuzu D-Max: 1,143kg

Isuzu D-Max - find out where it comes in the best pickups for payload 2019

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, which save a few kilos over steel items fitted on the Utility.

The D-Max got new rear suspension set-up in late 2018 that, together with the improved refinement of the 1.9-litre engine, has made it much more pleasant to drive.

>> Read the full Isuzu D-Max review

>> Find an Isuzu D-Max for sale near you

>> Get an insurance quote on an Isuzu D-Max via mustard.co.uk

1) Volkswagen Amarok V6: 1,146kg

VW Amarok - find out where it comes in the best pickups for payload 2019

With the entire range now powered by 3.0-litre V6 engines, and only available in well-equipped Trendline or Highline specification, the Amarok is a weighty truck. But this doesn't really make a different to the mighty punch of its engine - or its impressive payload capacity.

Pick the 204hp Trendline with the automatic gearbox, and it'll carry a huge 1,146kg, though this drops to 1,070kg with the manual transmission, or 1,112kg if you step up to Highline spec.

>> Read the full VW Amarok review

>> Find a VW Amarok for sale

>> Get an insurance quote on a VW Amarok via mustard.co.uk

Also read:

>> The Parkers pickup group test - every double cab model compared

>> 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