- Midsize Trucks
Best Midsize Trucks of 2020
While not offering the ultimate hauling capabilities of the biggest models, the best midsize truck suits most needs, be it business or leisure. Not as cumbersome as full-size variants, they maneuver around town more easily while still being able to go off-road. With an array of options in the segment, our reviews of midsize trucks compare ratings based on performance, practicality, value for money, and driveability.
As with larger machines, you’ll have to decide between 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, gas or diesel engines, and whether you’ll be getting a regular cab or a crew cab. That is a lot to consider, so we’ve outlined the key aspects you need to know about in each of our reviews. If you prefer to scan through your options, our vehicle summaries get to the point quickly, while in-depth information provides more context on our scoring. Before you commit to a test drive of a shiny new midsize pickup truck, use our rankings to help to guide you in the right direction.
What to consider before buying midsized trucks
So, why exactly should you consider a purchase from this segment? In what way do these middle children differ from their big and small brothers? Every tool serves a purpose, and we’ve determined what they do well, or not so well.
- Engine options - Whether you just want a daily driver or a genuine workhorse, there is a powertrain to suit almost any task. Very few come equipped with anything less than a 200-horsepower generator, while most offer considerably more and allow a choice in transmission, too. And, while they may not be able to handle the most heavy-duty jobs, these pickups certainly complete most everyday tasks without breaking a sweat.
- Off-roading - Although they may not be as rugged as their enormous, chunky siblings, the best midsize pickups offer 4WD for genuine off-road prowess. This means that they work just as well around town as they do out in the mud.
- Maneuverable - Since they are more compact by design, these machines handle the hustle and bustle of the city more easily than the big brothers. Sometimes, you do not want to pull into a full-size loading bay just to make a quick delivery, and that is where these hard workers in civvies come in.
- Pricing - These automobiles are cheaper to manufacture, and therefore, purchase. They also do not sip as readily from the tank when going about their business. This is not to say that they have good gas mileage, but it is certainly better than a one-tonner.
- Limitations - Due to their smaller size and less potent powertrains, these machines cannot do the heaviest of labor. If you want to tow an entire stable of horses, you may have to consider an upgrade.
- Not actually that affordable - Despite costing less to buy and run than their larger brethren, these vehicles still don’t get the best fuel economy. Most average out at around 22 mpg combined.
A Comparison of some of the top midsize trucks
Naturally, you want to know how some of the top names stack up against each other - here are a few of our top-rated models for sale in the USA. The Jeep Gladiator takes first prize for its competitive towing capacity and off-roading skill. The Ford Ranger is just behind it with handsome looks and a robust power plant. In third position on our list, the Chevrolet Colorado offers an available diesel engine for efficiency and hauling proficiency. The GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier deserve a mention too.
Specifications of midsize trucks
What is it that makes a ute such as this unique? There are a few commonalities in the segment, and these include:
- Engine capable of sufficient horsepower and torque to get moving
- Capacity for towing, hauling and carrying stuff
- Rugged underpinnings for rougher terrain
- Function over form with hard-wearing interiors
- Lower price than more sizeable options
What is the best medium-sized truck for 2020?
We give the Jeep Gladiator the highest score of 8.9 in this segment. It is a bit pricier than most of its rivals, though, and will cost you at least $34k for the base trim. Moving up through the trims sees this price increase to over $43k.
Is a midsize truck worth it?
While not as rugged as a full-size variant, these mid-tier workhorses are still hardier than your run-of-the-mill SUV. You won’t find any ludicrously powerful V8 engines under the hood, but these cars still do a fair amount of work. None offer conventional trunk space, but the cargo beds can usually be customized to suit most requirements, while still supporting impressive payloads. And, if you wish to accommodate the entire family, you can generally opt for a larger cab and a 4-door body.
Are there any affordable medium-sized pickups?
This is a reasonably priced market, for the most part. You can pick up a new model for as little as $23k (the Chevy Colorado). But, if your budget is below $20k, perhaps look at some used vehicles from 2019 or 2018. Depending on how hard they have been worked, you may need to replace a part or two, such as the tires, but you will likely still save in the long run.