Medium sizes are becoming a viable option for truck shoppers

Medium sizes are becoming a viable option for truck shoppers

It’s a great time to be in the market for a midsize truck. Midsize trucks are a viable option for truck shoppers looking for something smaller and less expensive than a full-size truck.

But there’s a lot going on right now that potential truck buyers may not know about. Popular models like the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma have been completely redesigned. Others, such as the Jeep Gladiator and Nissan Frontier, receive significant new features and capabilities.

Edmunds experts report on the most promising trucks of 2024.

Toyota Tacoma

The best-selling Tacoma receives a complete overhaul for 2024. It features more aggressive styling and an improved interior with an optional large center touchscreen. Under the hood is a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine that replaces the Tacoma’s previous underpowered base engine and the optional V6.

The new engine comes with three different power outputs led by a new hybrid powertrain called i-Force Max. It produces an impressive 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque as well as the best fuel economy in the Tacoma lineup. As before, the new Tacoma is available with two or four doors and continues to emphasize off-road capability.

Starting MSRP estimate: About $30,000

Ford Ranger

The previous Ranger’s poor ride quality and lackluster interior make it among the least competitive midsize trucks. But the new, redesigned 2024 Ford Ranger looks to change that. It has a bolder design and a modern interior. The previous 270-hp four-cylinder engine is joined by an optional 315-hp V6. There’s also a 405-horsepower V6 installed in the new Ranger Raptor that mimics the larger Ford F-150 Raptor off-road truck.

Ford has also equipped the new Ranger with some useful towing technology features previously seen in the F-150. This includes a blind spot warning system that can be customized for trailers of different sizes and a new Pro Trailer Back Assist feature that helps steer the truck when backing up a trailer. The new Ranger has a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Starting MSRP: $34,160

Chevrolet Colorado

Chevy has redesigned the Colorado for 2023 with a larger appearance and a significantly improved interior that features a large 11.3-inch center touchscreen. The touchscreen has a new Google-based interface that includes useful features for voice commands and integration with other Google services. As with the Tacoma and Ranger, the Colorado is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It comes in two states of tune: 237 hp and 310 hp.

Three of the Colorado’s five trim levels are off-road oriented and include the top-level ZR2. The latest ZR2 comes with plenty of trick hardware including locking front and rear differentials to maximize available traction on tough trails. There’s also an available 2024 Bison Edition package equipped with massive 35-inch all-terrain tires. A properly equipped Colorado has a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds.

Starting MSRP: $30,695

GMC Canyon

The Canyon is the Colorado’s more luxurious sibling that shares much in common in styling, body style, engines and technical features. The higher starting price gets you a more powerful 310-hp four-cylinder engine, all-terrain tires, and an off-road-tuned suspension in the base Elevation model.

The off-road-oriented Canyon AT4X shares many of the Colorado ZR2’s upgrades and can be upgraded to a new 2024 AEV version that’s similar to the Bison version of the Colorado. If off-road driving isn’t your thing, opt for the luxurious Denali model. Standard features include exclusive leather upholstery and interior trim, a premium audio system, and a head-up display that projects essential vehicle information onto the windshield for easy viewing.

Starting MSRP: $38,395

The current Nissan Frontier was launched in 2022 and has received minor updates since then. For 2024, a new Hardbody Edition pays homage to the Hardbody truck of the 1980s and 1990s. It features retro-looking three-spoke wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires and plenty of black exterior trim.

The Wrangler-based Jeep Gladiator was introduced for the 2019 model year and will receive updates for 2024. These updates include a redesigned front grille and a redesigned dashboard with a new standard 12.3-inch center touchscreen. The latest crop of trucks can challenge the Gladiator for off-road supremacy, though none can match the open-air feel of the Gladiator’s removable top.

Finally, there’s a new TrailSport Edition for the 2024 Honda Ridgeline. It comes with all-terrain tires, underbody skid plates, and a retuned suspension to help give the truck a little more off-road capability. The Ridgeline gets a larger central touchscreen, too.

Automakers are adding more technology, nicer interiors and more powerful engines to their midsize trucks. It’s worth it for shoppers to spend some time researching which model is best for them.

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