Pickup trucks are hugely popular in the United States, but most of them carry huge dimensions and huge price tags to match. That's where the rapidly expanding midsize truck market comes into play. With options from nearly every major manufacturer in America, there are plenty of midsize trucks to consider, but the best midsize pickup trucks are more comfortable, more capable off-road or more luxurious than the rest of the crowd.
Put simply, there's an excellent midsize truck for every buyer, whether they want to save money with a low starting price and strong efficiency, tackle technical trails, surround themselves with leather and wood or even hit the road with the wind in their hair on their way to the beach. We've tested all of the midsize trucks in America available for 2024 and picked out the best choices for any type of buyer. Read on to find out which option is the best midsize truck for you for 2024 or 2025 (expect more versions of the Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator in 2025, too).
Suffice it to say, we're big fans of the latest Chevy Colorado. In fact, we think the Colorado is the best midsize pickup truck in America overall. Thanks to the base WT offering, the starting price is reasonable, but the Colorado is really at its best in one of its more specialized forms. The Trail Boss expands its off-road capabilities with a suspension lift and chunky tires, the ZR2 adds an even larger suspension lift and a gaggle of off-road special bits and the ZR2 Bison tops the range with sensational Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers, special bumpers and underbody cladding for rock-crawling prowess.
In between those specialist packages lie the LT and Z71 trims, which is what will make up the majority of sales. A low-power turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder making 237 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque is standard, while the more common engine is a more powerful version with 310 HP and 390 lb-ft. A High-Output engine option keeps the same 310 HP but boosts torque to 430 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; four-wheel drive is, of course, available and standard on the off-road models.
The Toyota Tacoma is finally all-new for the 2024 model year. Over the last decade or so, the Tacoma gradually fell further behind a growing collection of competitors while, paradoxically, its sales increased. People love them, which makes it even more important that it’s in fact improved. They all deserve a better Tacoma, and it finally is one.
As before, there are multiple cab and bed configurations and loads of trims, including multiple off-road versions, but the variety of options increases further for 2024. There are two suspension variants, with lower trim models getting traditional leaf-spring rear suspension, while higher trim versions get coil springs. Turbocharged four-cylinders are available across the line, replacing the naturally aspirated four- and six-cylinder options. There’s also now a hybrid as the range topper, with more than 300 horsepower and more than 400 pound-feet of torque. Two- and four-wheel drive are available, as is a manual transmission with the more powerful turbo-four.
We've had the opportunity to try out the non-hybrid versions, and they are finally strong competitors with good performance, economy and comfort. We still haven't had an opportunity to sample the high-performance hybrid models, but we've driven the Tacoma enough to know that it's finally worthy of its segment-leading sales figures.
The GMC Canyon shares most of its underpinnings with the Chevy Colorado that we rate as the best midsize truck overall. Pretty much all the good things we said about the Colorado apply to the Canyon as well, but GMC focuses more on high-end buyers than the more mainstream focus of the Chevy option. That means the average transaction prices of the Canyon are going to be a lot higher than the prices paid for the Colorado.
The good news is high-end Canyon models like the AT4X AEV and especially the range-topping Denali both look and act the part of off-road readiness and ultimate luxury, respectively. And, despite its seemingly high base price, the Denali is a surprisingly good deal when compared to the Toyota Tacoma Limited, which is more expensive and decidedly less luxurious inside than the GMC.
Honda made some welcome changes to the Ridgeline for 2024, but just like in years past, the Ridgeline is the most car-like truck on the market. That's because, unlike every other midsize pickup truck (but similar to the compact Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz), the Honda Ridgeline rides on a unibody chassis instead of a traditional ladder frame.
All of that means midsize pickup rides and comports itself better on the road than the Ridgeline, making it this truck’s biggest selling point. Most trucks give off the rough-and-tumble vibes when cruising around town, but in the Ridgeline, it’s so SUV-like that you may as well be driving a Honda Pilot with a bed (because that's basically what it is). The Ridgeline’s innovative swing-out tailgate tech continues to be a segment-exclusive feature — we loved it on our long-term Ridgeline test truck. Its interior doesn’t try to overwhelm with rugged, tough-looking styling. Instead, it’s similar to the family-oriented SUVs from Honda, remaining pleasantly ergonomic and full of storage/cubbies.
As we mentioned at the outset, new for 2024 are a revised interior (it's still very car-like and without the overt trucky tones of its competitors) and an available Trailsport trim with a unique spring rates, damper valve tuning and stabilizer bars for the suspension along with chunky General Grabber A/T Sport tires.
The 2024 Jeep Gladiator greatly benefits from a new interior (borrowed, like most of the truck's bits and pieces, from the ever-popular Wrangler off-road SUV), excellent infotainment and lots of cool off-road tech. New Mojave X and Rubicon X trim levels add more capability and, seemingly paradoxically, more refinement at the same time. Sadly, while the excellent 4Xe plug-in hybrid powertrain is coming to the Gladiator, it won't be here for the 2024 model year.
Even though the 3.6-liter V6 engine, with its 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, isn't going to set any speed or efficiency records and is clearly falling well behind class leaders from General Motors and Toyota, it's at least decent. It's offered with either a standard six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic, and it sends power to all four wheels through multiple heavy-duty transfer case options.
If there's one killer app that the Jeep Gladiator offers that none of its competitors can match, it's the ability to completely remove the top and doors, and even fold down the windshield for ultimate wind-in-the-hair fun. If that's what's most important to you as a buyer, the Gladiator remains in a class of its own. For most buyers, though, a more well-rounded truck like the Chevy Colorado or Toyota Tacoma will be nicer to live with on a day-to-day basis.