After a not-particularly-great decade, mid-size pickups are once again very popular. The demand for smaller-scale pickups is on the rise and models like Tacoma and Colorado are marking some pretty impressive sales results in the last few years. Other players in the segment have a lot of things to offer as well.
The next year will be particularly interesting, as several big novelties are expected. Models like Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado are about to come completely redesigns, while there are rumors that Tacoma might come completely new as well. On the other hand, the Gladiator is expected to get a hybrid version, while there is always a possibility to see Dodge Dakota revived.
Here is our list of top 2023 mid-size pickup trucks:
There is no better way to start this list than with the best-selling model in class. The Tacoma is the most popular mid-size pickup by a large margin and we have no doubt that will remain the case in the future as well. Still, the Japanese manufacturer doesn’t take any risk, so we expect that the new generation will arrive pretty soon, maybe already for the 2023 model year.
At this point, we know for sure that the new Tacoma will ride on the new TNGA-F platform, just like the new Tundra. The new styling will also be inspired by the full-size pickup, while we also count on notable improvements regarding ride quality. That’s why we expect to see a coil-spring rear suspension, among other novelties. Also, we expect to see loads of new tech features, including a larger infotainment screen, standard wireless smartphone integration etc.
Big changes are expected under the hood as well. The current, Atkinson-cycle V6 will certainly be dropped and the most probable replacement is a new 2.4-liter turbo-four from Lexus NX, which offers a similar amount of power but way more torque. A hybrid version is expected too.
The 2023 Tacoma should hit the market sometime in the last quarter of 2022.
The current generation of Colorado has been around for too long, for almost a decade. So, even though the sales numbers are still good, the new generation will debut next year. The test mule has been spotted on the road and it wears heavy camouflage.
Of course, the styling is still a mystery but the thing we can see despite the camouflage is that the new generation will feature slightly bigger dimensions. The test mule comes in a double cab/short bed layout but we have no doubt that the single cab model with a long bed.
Considering that the new generation will continue to ride on the same platform, we may expect the same or similar engine lineup. A 3.6-liter V6 will remain in the offer for sure, while we expect the 2.8-liter turbodiesel to carry on as well. On the other hand, there is also a chance to see a hybrid version one day.
Of course, the Canyon will go in the same direction as Colorado. The two trucks will continue to share their parts and feature the same mechanics. On the other hand, the Canyon will come with a distinctive exterior design, a more upscale cabin and a few more exclusive features.
At this point, it’s still early to talk about the details, but we expect that the styling will be heavily inspired by the current-generation Sierra. Also, we expect to see the AT4 version on the offer, equipped with all kinds of off-road upgrades, as well as with numerous exclusive styling details.
Some sources also speculate about an even more rugged, AT4X version, which would come with even more off-road upgrades, including locking differentials, more capable suspension, off-road tires etc. Furthermore, we can also hear rumors about the addition of a 2.7-liter turbo-four engine, which features a max output of 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque.
The current generation of Ford’s mid-size pickup has been around for a full decade. So, it’s no wonder that the new generation is on the way. The test mule has been spotted and the new generation will debut next year in North America, as the 2023 model. Versions for abroad markets may arrive even earlier.
From what we know so far, the new generation will bring evolutionary changes only. It looks like the new model will continue to ride on the T6 platform, which will undergo a significant update. Of course, the new styling is one of the things that come to mind and we presume it will be heavily inspired by the new F-150.
When it comes to the powertrain, base versions will feature a 2.3-liter turbo-four, while higher trim levels should utilize a 2.7-liter V6. Furthermore, we also count on a plug-in hybrid version. Allegedly, this one will feature a system based on a 2.3-liter engine, with a total output of around 362 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. The international version will also get a new version of a 2.0-liter twin-turbo oil burner.
The Gladiator has been around since 2019, so we may conclude that the current generation still has several more years before the complete redesign. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing novelties in the near future. Allegedly, the 2023 Jeep Gladiator will come in a new, plug-in hybrid variant.
It’s not hard to presume that the new version will carry the same 4xe badge as the Wrangler. The system should be the same as well, based on a 2.0-liter turbo-four. The total output goes around 375 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque, while a 17-kWh battery should ensure around 25 miles of the all-electric range.
Other versions will carry on in the same way. We are about to see two familiar powertrains on the offer. Base models use a 3.6-liter V6, which puts out around 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The optional turbodiesel is good for about 260 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. Both versions can tow way over 7.000 pounds.
The Frontier has just been redesigned after more than 15 years, so we have no doubt that the new generation will remain in production for a long time. Moreover, we are pretty sure that the next few years won’t bring any particular changes. We count on familiar design characteristics and as the Japanese manufacturer has no plans for electrification, the current V6 will certainly remain the only engine option on the offer.
The engine is pretty capable. It is a 3.8-liter unit that puts out around 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, while the new 9-speed automatic transmission does a very good job too. However, the new Frontier isn’t more capable than its predecessor and the max towing capacity still goes around 6.700 pounds.
We are still waiting to hear something more precise from the officials but if we can trust the latest reports, it looks like the new Dakota is really coming back. The new generation may arrive already in the next year and we expect that it will once again represent the company in the mid-size segment.
We presume that the platform and most of the mechanics will be shared with the Gladiators. The two models will ride on the same chassis but we expect Dakota to be more of a work truck, so more basic variants with less standard equipment are expected to be offered, while the single cab layout should be offered too.
When it comes to the powertrain, base models should come with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, while the more efficient 2.0-liter turbo-four is also a possibility. A diesel version is possible too, just like the hybrid. More details about the new Dakota should come in the near future.