3 Best Midsize Trucks Money Can Buy and What to Consider When Buying One

All right, you need a truck. And a midsized one at that. You may think well, it’s all pretty much the same. I’ve decided on the size, now all that remains is to pick a color, some accessories, and I’m good to go.

However, we are sorry to point out that there is a lot more to consider. It’s more than just looking at the list of “best midsize truck 2018”. It’s more than just pointing your finger at the bestselling model and going off to track one down.

Luckily, we are here to make your truck-buying experience a whole lot simpler and easier. We are not only going to give you three midsize trucks we consider to be the best currently on the market, but we are also going to give you some invaluable tips on but how to buy the best one for you and your needs. Prep yourself for the truck-shopping extravaganza by reading on.

Honda Ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline has become increasingly popular in recent years, and not without a good reason. Although it’s a Honda, not a company you would traditionally associate with pickup truck, it’s rather good. When we say rather good, we mean to say exceptional. Who says the best midsize truck has to be a Ford?

Yes, this truck doesn’t have the body-on-frame type of construction, and yes, its less-than-rugged looks might have you thinking it’s more at place at a daddy day care than towing anything even remotely resembling a heavy cargo.

However, what it lacks in presentation in the “traditional compact truck” sense, it makes up in virtually every other segment. It’s quiet, extremely comfortable, and very agile and versatile. Certainly not what you would expect by simply looking at it?

Also, there are some unique features you may find quite useful. For example, the bed comes with a storage trunk that is completely water-proof. What’s more, the tailgate is two-way, which means that, depending on your needs, you can open it up-down, or to the side. The options even cover a stereo system for the bed. The engine of Honda Ridgeline is a V6 of 3.5 liter. It is smooth, offers plenty of power when you need it, and is rather economical for its size. The only real downside of this amazing truck is its all-wheel-drive, a system Honda designed as an alternative to 4WD. The all-wheel-drive is simply not capable of talking the same terrain as 4WD is. Not to say it cannot go off-road. It certainly can, but just not everywhere a 4WD truck can.

GMC Canyon

The Canyon is a bit more traditional that the Honda. It’s a thoroughbred, if that’s the type of word you like to use. Its looks are more traditional, so is its pedigree, and if you want the best midsize truck that is just a tad old-school, you’ve found your pick.

Not that it’s really old-school. Not by a long shot. It offers smartphone integration, a high-res screen, great touch response, USB ports, and much more. If it’s modern you want, this is it! Only the voice control is a bit hit and miss…

However, it’s probably other stuff you want from the truck. You will get it here, don’t sweat. The engines are several to choose from, and the 3.6 liter one, which is also a V6, offers not only excellent speed and acceleration, but also decent fuel economy. The steering is precise, the brakes are strong, but not uncomfortable, making the overall driving experience quite good.

The ride is very comfortable, and it is surprisingly well-suited even for longer trips. The interior is functional, logical, and simple, and you will easily get used to operating all the controls. The only real downside to this truck is the utility side of it. The tailgate is not as practical as with the Honda, the cargo space is a bit smaller, and the storage space for small items seems to be lacking in practicality. However, all things considering, the GMC Canyon is still an excellent pick. Especially if you don’t plan on keeping plenty of knick knacks about.

Nissan Frontier

Finally, at the end of the top three, we come to another non-traditional midsize truck currently available on the market. And there are reasons for it. Although it does lack some of the features in functionality when compared to the Ridgeline and the Canyon, it makes up for it in an also important category – price. It’s the most affordable of the lot!

Don’t assume that just because it’s cheaper than its competitors, that it’s not an option to consider. Sometimes the price tag does not say it all! Quite simply, Nissan are relatively late to the mid-sizeD truck race, and they have to play their hand in the best possible way. Let’s say something about its downsides first. The interior is not at the same level of quality as it is in the Honda or the GMC. Although everything is intuitively laid out, is simply isn’t made with the same attention to detail and quality.

Furthermore, the fuel economy is less than stellar, especially when compared with its direct rivals. The on-road steering and braking are also less precise, and it seems that some compromises were made on the rear-seat space, due to the size.

However, what it lacks in the aforementioned, it makes up in off-road capability. It is, by far, the most useful vehicle when you want an adventure off the beaten path. The Pro-4X model offers unparalleled rough-terrain usability.

When you take it to its home turf, it begins to shine. It’s nimble, sturdy, and oozes an aura of confidence with every muddy mile you put behind it. If you want a vehicle that can take you wherever you want to go, that the Nissan Frontier is the best midsize truck for you!
Now that you know about our picks in the best midsize truck category, it is time to offer some tips on how to choose the truck that is perfect for your desires.

Know Your Own Needs

Different people have different needs. Different needs require different tools. The same holds true for trucks. Once you’ve come to a decision to buy a truck, the first thing you should do is think about what exactly you’ll be using it for.

And, depending on those needs, you can start thinking about the size, the power, and all the other aspects of the truck-buying process. Don’t think we’ve misheard you. We know you want the compact truck. But who says there are no differences among them as well?

And let us tell you right away – yes, there are. And not only in the size. As mentioned, there are many more things to think about – the power, the type of power distribution, the cab size, the bed size, the… You understand!

And how can you even begin to answer all these questions? By knowing exactly what you want from your pickup. By knowing what its use will be, by knowing what the terrain configuration is, and by knowing how many people you plan on driving in it at any given time.

All right, we admit we may have gone a bit over the top with terrain configuration, but it just goes to illustrate how carefully you need to think about the truck’s purpose, before thinking about all the other aspects. Start with this, then continue with the rest.
This is usually what people spend most time choosing. It’s always difficult to settle on an engine, especially if you fall into the category of petrol heads. You probably want to squeeze as much power from your budget as possible. Those last couple of horse powers are always just a bit beyond your reach.

However, we, again, have to take all the fun out of the discussion. We know how you feel, we would also like a thousand horse power truck parked in our driveway. But, there is more than acceleration and top speed.
You have to be realistic, and return to the previous question of purpose. Do you really need the extra power? Do you really need to get from zero to sixty in under ten seconds? Chances are, you probably don’t. And, if you truly do not need it, then it is better to focus on something else. For example, gas mileage. Perhaps all you need from your truck is for it to be the best gas mileage truck it can be. Perhaps you don’t need it to be a speedy gas-guzzler, but rather a careful drinker. And that is where you make the decision about the engine.

But, if you need as much horse power as possible, than go for it. If it’ll put a smile on your face, who are we to deny you that. Our point is that you should just be realistic of your needs and expectations, and choose accordingly.

Finally, the fuel type. You thought thinking about power and economy would be the end of it, didn’t you? Well, sorry to disappoint. There is still room for some more information we hope.

Diesel trucks are the choice of many. Why? One of the reasons is better fuel economy. A more important reason is the torque. Diesel engines produce more torque, which is enormously important for towing. The more torque, the more capable the truck for towing. So, if towing is your game, diesel is your aim.

Petrol engines are reserved for better overall performance, in terms of speed and acceleration. Also, they are the choice of motoring purists, who hate the sound of a diesel engine and claim that sound is the stuff that wakes them up at night, the stuff nightmares are made of.

On a more serious note, petrol engines do tend to be less economical, but also more enjoyable to drive. Their performance cannot be matched by a diesel engine, not for all the torques in the world. So, if you want to blitz around the neighborhood, think petrol.

What Type of Transmission Is Fit for You?

Choose your destiny! There really is no definitive advice we can give you on this matter. To speak the truth, it mostly comes down to personal preference. Some people like the relaxed driving experience automatic transmission provides, while others like the control manual transmission brings to the table. In any case, is there really no difference at all?

As you may have guessed it, there is. It’s nothing substantial, mind you, but it still exists, and we are here to point that out. Automatic transmission is far more present in the midsize truck range. The reasons for that are many.

Automatics are more comfortable to drive. They allow you to focus on the road more, and some might call it safer because of that. However, the safety is still mainly up to the skill of the driver. What’s more, an automatic gearbox will be, God forbid, easier to repair. Since they are more prominent, there are more spare parts, and more mechanics up to the task. It is, perhaps, more future proof to opt for an automatic, rather than the manual.

That being said, manual transmission still has its merits. These engines are more rugged, sturdier, less prone to various malfunctions. They are simpler too, and have been built for longer time than automatic engines, meaning the manufacturing process has almost reached perfection.

Also, they offer driver a lot more control over the drive. If you want, you can rev it easier than you would an automatic. You can choose when to change up, and when to change back down again. You can do all of this with an automatic too, but there is still more control with the manual.

Some even go so far as to hint at the fact that manual transmission is still the best option for towing. We wouldn’t go so far as to claim that, but it certainly has been true in the past. With all the advancements that automatic transmission has gone through though, we are not quite sure whether it still rings true. The simple truth is this – opt for the transmission you are most comfortable with.

4WD or 2WD

This is an area you should give more attention to than to that of transmission. It affects the driving capabilities a lot more than the gearbox does. And, if you want to find the best truck for you, it is definitely something you should carefully consider.

Now, back to terrain configuration! You though we were kidding, right? You though we were exaggerating? Never! This choice is, again, based on your needs, and the environment where the truck would be used.

For most people, two wheel drive is enough. They don’t plan on hauling great weights, nor driving up mountains on rough terrain. They just want the comfort of a bestselling midsize truck, and enough power for their money.

Others, on the other hand, do need every bit of off-road capability a four wheel drive can offer. They either plan on using the truck for hauling, or they are avid nature lovers, prepared to test their new vehicle to the brink of snapping. Either way, 4WD is a must, and nothing other than it will suffice.

Just bear in mind that mid-sized truck with four wheel drive are far less economical than their front or rear wheel drive counterparts. No matter the engine, the power, or the trim, they remain inferior in this aspect.

The Options, the Trim, the Packages

Lastly, after reaching a decision on all of the above, it is time to have a bit of fun. You know it, it’s options time! And you would be surprised how much truth there is in this. People genuinely look forward to customizing every part of their new vehicle.

Part of this is in the fact that vehicles, are extensions of our personality. They present an image of ourselves to the world, they reflect our character. And that is why people like to do it. That is why people find joy in it. Other aspects may be more important, but this one is a lot more enjoyable!

We really wouldn’t want to give you any advice on this. As for the cosmetics side of it, it is up to you. Whatever you like, do it. Whatever you can and want to pay for in order to get vehicle of your dreams, do it! Don’t let anything other than potentially insufficient money stop you.

There are, also, options that go beyond the looks. Not every options is about embroidered leather seats, or two-tone paint. There are those options that add to the functionality of your truck. And, if you want some of these, think back to the purpose.

Maybe you do need exterior storage bins, maybe you don’t. Maybe you are desperate for a suspension system for off-road driving, maybe you don’t need it. Or maybe the tow package is just what would solve all your tow troubles for the foreseeable future. Whatever the answers, only you can give them. All we’re going to say is be careful with the price. Some of these seem useful, but you might end up never using them. Why not then spend that money on something else? Just a suggestion.