There was a time when the range of choices in the best mid-size Truck category was both broad and deep. It, uh, really isn’t like that any more. You’re basically looking at three models, and truth be told one of them is arguably a compact pickup. Fortunately for the category, General Motors launched its all-new Colorado and Canyon for the 2015 model year, making this more than a two-horse race. At any rate, your nominees for best mid-size trucks are…
Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
The mid-size Chevy/GMC share mechanicals, so we’ll cover them both in one entry. The models offer both four- and six-cylinder power. The four-cylinder engine displaces 2.5-liters and is good for 200 horsepower and 191 ft-lbs of torque. It’s rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. The 3.6-liter V6 is endowed with 305 horsepower, 269 ft-lbs of torque and can tow 7,000 pounds. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, but a six-speed manual can be paired with rear-drive versions of the pickup (four-wheel drive is an option). Colorado and Canyon are offered with an extended cabs with six-foot beds and crew cabs with five- or six-foot bed lengths. Colorado pricing starts at $20,120, while Canyon starts at $20,955.
The mid-size Toyota Tacoma light duty pickup is also offered in two cab styles for 2015 (extended and crew), with two bed lengths and rear- and four-wheel drive. The Tacoma’s base powerplant is a 2.7-liter inline four with 159 horsepower and 180 ft-lbs of torque. The engine comes with either a four-speed automatic transmission, or a five-speed manual, and is good for towing up to 3,500 pounds. Tacoma’s 4.0-liter V6 makes 236 horsepower, 266 ft-lbs of torque, and has a towing capacity of 6,500 pounds. Pricing starts at $20,765.
Completing our list of the best mid-size trucks, the Nissan Frontier is offered in both extended- and crew cab body styles. Frontier’s base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 152 horsepower and 171 ft-lbs of torque, which is good for towing up to 3,500 pounds. For more power, the Nissan Frontier runs a 261-horsepower 4.0-liter V6, good for 281 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard. A five-speed automatic and four-wheel drive can be had as options. The V6 Frontier is capable of towing up to 6,300 pounds. Pricing starts at $17,990.