I enjoy taking the family camping on long weekends to spend time away from technology and quality family time. As I get older, tent camping is becoming less desirable for me. My wife and I still want to go camping in remote areas, so we recently bought a small pop-up camper that provides a soft queen bed for my wife and me and bunk beds for the two kids. Now that we have a small trailer, we need a truck to haul it. Thus the hunt for the perfect medium sized pickup to pull our new trailer.
As I search for a midsize truck, I am looking for the following features:
- Four wheel drive
- 4K pound towing capacity
- Roomy back seat for the kids
- A reasonable fuel efficiency
Of course, I want the pickup to have good off-road performance, towing package, and safety features. I want my new truck wheels to look good and perform well so I will upgrade to American Truxx for better performance and style for my wheels. I have whittled the list to a few popular medium-sized pickups in 2023. They are all great trucks, but each has pros and cons; here is the list I have compiled for our particular needs.
- Ford Ranger:Pros:
- Known for its strong towing and payload capabilities.
- Offers a variety of engine options, including turbocharged four-cylinder engines for fuel efficiency.
- Equipped with advanced tech features like Ford’s SYNC infotainment system and driver-assistance technologies.
- Good off-road capabilities with available off-road packages.
- Some competitors offer more advanced interior quality and comfort.
- Limited rear-seat legroom in the SuperCab version.
- Toyota Tacoma:Pros:
- Renowned for its legendary reliability and resale value.
- Offers off-road-oriented trims like the TRD Pro, ideal for enthusiasts.
- Multiple powertrain options, including a V6 engine, for enhanced performance.
- Comes with advanced safety features as part of Toyota Safety Sense.
- Interior quality and technology features might not be as advanced as some competitors.
- Ride comfort might be compromised, especially on rough roads.
- Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon:Pros:
- Offers a range of engine choices, including a diesel option for better fuel efficiency.
- Comfortable ride and well-designed interior.
- Available with various configurations, including an off-road ZR2 trim.
- Some competitors provide more modern tech features and advanced safety systems.
- Interior quality might not be as upscale as some rivals.
- Nissan Frontier:Pros:
- Recently redesigned with updated styling and technology.
- Strong V6 engine and capable off-road variants.
- Improved interior quality compared to its previous model.
- Fuel efficiency might need to catch up to some competitors.
- It might have a less extensive range of available configurations.
- Honda Ridgeline:Pros:
- Unibody construction provides a more comfortable and car-like ride.
- Innovative features like the in-bed storage trunk and dual-action tailgate.
- Well-equipped with advanced safety features and modern technology.
- Towing and payload capacities might be lower compared to traditional body-on-frame competitors.
- It may not have the same off-road capability as some rivals.
- Jeep Gladiator:Pros:
- A unique design combining Jeep’s off-road heritage with pickup functionality.
- Impressive off-road capabilities, especially in the Rubicon trim.
- Open-air driving experience with removable roof and doors.
- Might not have the same towing and payload capacity as some competitors.
- On-road ride quality might not be as comfortable as some pickups.
Consider your specific needs and preferences when looking for the perfect medium-sized pickup in 2023. Consider factors such as towing capacity, payload capability, fuel efficiency, tech features, off-road capability, and interior comfort. Test-driving multiple options and comparing their pros and cons can help you decide based on what matters most for your particular needs.
After a thorough search and many test drives, I chose the Toyota Tacoma, mainly because I had had a Toyota truck before and loved it. The Toyota truck rides like a car but performs like a truck. The Toyota, All Access Cabs with the V-6 and 4WD are rated up to 6,500 pounds, perfect for my needs. This combination is available with the automatic in the SR, SR5, TRD Sport, and TRD Off-Road trim levels and with a manual transmission only in the TRD Sport.
All the trucks reviewed are great; depending on your personal needs and style options, you won’t go wrong with any of these choices. You will have a fantastic time on the road camping once you pick the best truck for your needs.