Although nowhere near as full-size trucks, mid-size pickups can be pretty capable too. They are a perfect compromise if you need utility but don’t want to spend half an hour finding a parking spot every time you go downtown. The main advantage over full-size trucks is maneuverability, but a good thing to know is that these vehicles can also a lot of pounds.
That’s why we’ve decided to make a shortlist of the best mid-size pickups for towing. On this list, you will find a lot of info about pickups, not just regarding towing capacity, but regarding other aspects as well. The list includes all mid-size trucks that are currently available on the market, ordered from most to least capable regarding towing.
If your main concern is towing capacity and utility in general, search no more. The Chevy Colorado is still a class leader, which can tow up to 7.700 pounds if you pick the right configuration. Of course, we are talking about an RWD model, equipped with a 2.8-liter turbodiesel, which puts out around 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough for a class-leading towing rating, while you may also count on the max payload of 1.500 pounds.
The V6 gasoline engine is also a great choice. With this engine, you may count on the max towing capacity of 7.000 pounds and 1.550 pounds of the max payload. Furthermore, models with this engine offer way better driving dynamics and a much smoother ride. However, mpg ratings are much lower.
All in all, Colorado is still a golden standard in the segment, despite that, we are talking about a truck that has been around since 2012. For that reason, it feels a little bit outdated, especially in terms of the interior design and advanced safety and tech features. Therefore, if you’re looking for a truck that’s more than just about towing, you should probably consider some other models from the list.
The 2022 Chevy Colorado won’t feature too many changes. We could see a new color option in the offer, as well as a couple of new standard features. Other than that, things will remain the same.
Max Towing Capacity: 7.700 pounds
Max Payload Capacity: 1.550 pounds
Starting Price: $26.300
- Great towing capacity
- Lots of torque with diesel engine
- Great fuel economy with diesel engine
- Poor interior quality
- Lacks some essential safety features
As we are talking about Colorado’s mechanical twin, it’s no wonder that max towing ratings are the same. You can choose a diesel version and tow up to 7.700 pounds, or get the V6 and enjoy more refinement. Just like in the case of Colorado, the base four-cylinder engine isn’t a great choice for towing.
Still, the Canyon has a few advantages over Colorado. It looks nicer, whether it’s about styling or interior design. Its cabin features nicer materials and looks more upscale. Furthermore, you can get a couple of exclusive versions, such as the AT4 and Denali. The former is an off-road version of the truck, which offers suspension upgrades and a little bit more serious off-road hardware. On the other hand, the Denali is characterized by unique styling details, lots of standard equipment and a more luxurious overall feel. Still, keep in mind that none of these two is great for towing. Base versions are way better in this aspect.
The next year shouldn’t bring any notable change.
Max Towing Capacity: 7.700 pounds
Max Payload Capacity: 1.550 pounds
Starting Price: $28.000
- Great for towing and hauling
- User-friendly infotainment system
- More attractive than Colorado
- More expensive than Colorado
Jeep Gladiator debuted a few years ago, as a pickup version of the legendary Wrangler. Not only that it looks attractive, but it’s also one of the most capable trucks in the class. The max towing capacity goes up to 7.650 pounds. Interestingly, the best result comes from the 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine. The V6 turbodiesel can tow few pounds less, but it does the job in a much smoother way. The diesel is our choice for towing, no matter the numbers.
Besides high towing capacity, the Gladiator is the best off-roader in the segment. Standard models are already very capable, while you can also pick the Rubicon trim, which adds goodies like Fox off-road shock absorbers, locking front and rear axles, an electronic sway bar disconnect etc.
The biggest drawback of Gladiator is on-road ride. While the harsh ride is typical for all pickups, this one goes really extreme and what’s more troubling is the handling. There is plenty of body roll, while the steering is super loose. That may cause some real trouble at higher speeds.
One of the possible novelties for the 2022 Jeep Gladiator is a plug-in hybrid powertrain, which recently debuted in Wrangler. However, the officials are still quiet on this matter.
Max Towing Capacity: 7.650 pounds
Max Payload Capacity: 1.700 pounds
Starting Price: $35.500
- Excellent off-road performance
- Strong towing and hauling capacities
- Wrangler-inspired styling
- Not so good on the road
- High price tag
Unlike the previous models on the list, the Ford Ranger is coming with big novelties for the next year. It will receive a full redesign, which means we may expect improvements in every aspect. The new model will look better, it will ride better and it will bring more tech features. Of course, we expect it will be able to tow more than before.
The outgoing model can tow up to 7.500 pounds with the optional towing package. Unlike some rivals, it’s now available with a diesel engine and the next generation won’t be either. However, we will see a new engine option. Besides the current 270-hp turbo-four, the new Ranger will also come with a 2.7-liter V6 in the offer, which puts out 310 horsepower. More importantly, this engine offers much more torque, so we may expect improvements in terms of towing as well. We believe that the Blue Oval company could come up with numbers pretty soon.
The new model should hit the market by the end of 2021.
Max Towing Capacity: 7.500 pounds
Max Payload Capacity: 1.860 pounds
Starting Price: $26.500
- Smooth and refined turbo-four engine
- Great towing and payload capacity
- Impressive maneuverability
- Subpar interior quality
- Lack of some modern features
Toyota Tacoma is by far the most popular mid-size pickup on the market and that’s for a reason. With the max towing capacity of 6.800 pounds, it’s far from the most capable pickup on the market. However, it offers a great balance between utility, off-road performance and convenience. The 2020 update has brought a couple of new tech features, which made this pickup even better. Finally, let’s not forget that this pickup offers a max payload capacity of 1.650 pounds.
While the more basic variants are best for towing, we particularly like the TRD Pro trim. It brings a lot of off-road upgrades, which make it one of the best off-roaders in the class, along with the Jeep Gladiator. The 2022 model comes with a suspension upgrade and will feature a 1.5-inch higher ground clearance. Another novelty is the new Electric Lime paint.
The current generation has been around since 2015 and we expect that the current generation will remain in production for a few more years.
Max Towing Capacity: 6.800 pounds
Max Payload Capacity: 1.650 pounds
Starting Price: $27.500
- Full load of tech and safety features
- Compact but capable
- TRD Pro offers impressive off-road performance
- Rivals can tow more
The Frontier will finally receive a full redesign, after more than 15 years. Of course, it will bring improvements in all aspects, particularly in terms of refinement and interior design. On the other hand, it will continue to ride on a familiar F-Alpha platform, though with significant changes regarding suspension and chassis setup.
The new 3.8-liter V6 engine already debuted and it features a max output of 310 horsepower. It ensures the max towing capacity of 6.720 pounds and if we consider that the next generation won’t feature radical changes, we shouldn’t see significant improvements in terms of towing either.
On the other side, the new model will bring a completely new styling, new cabin design and a much higher dose of refinement. We count on much higher on-road comfort, which would make the Frontier a far more useful machine. The new model should hit the market by the end of summer.
Max Towing Capacity: 6.720 pounds
Max Payload Capacity: 1.460 pounds
Starting Price: $28.000
- Strong V6 engine
- Completely redesigned
- Lots of tech features
- Rivals are more capable
- Not exactly all-new
Compared to rivals, the Ridgeline plays a little bit different game. Instead of a traditional body-on-frame platform, this Honda rides on a car-like, unibody platform. As a result, it offers superior ride quality, a car-like comfort. Furthermore, it features the most spacious and most comfortable cabin in the class, while some smart cargo bed solutions make it pretty versatile as well.
On the other hand, the obvious drawback of such a design is poor towing capacity. With this pickup, you may count on the max towing capacity of just 5.000 pounds, which is on par with typical mid-size crossovers.
The 2021 update has brought a lot of novelties, including refreshed styling. Therefore, we don’t expect bigger changes for the next year.
Max Towing Capacity: 5.000 pounds
Max Payload Capacity: 1.583 pounds
Starting Price: $38.000
- Car-like comfort
- Smooth and refined powertrain
- Spacious cabin
- High starting price
- Less capable than rivals