We ranked the best mid-size trucks of 2023 based off of their powertrains, interiors, technology, and options. Which truck wins?

Ranking the Best Mid-Size Trucks of 2023

Looking for the functionality of a truck but in a slightly smaller size? Mid-sized trucks are what you’re after. These lighter duty models feature the utility of a truck bed, can tow moderately sized loads, and are ready to take things off-road. Some of these trucks can be basic work horses while others come with unique features and luxurious appointments. We took a look at the available mid-sized pickup trucks for 2023 and ranked them based on how they scored with our team. Find out who comes out on top!

5. Ford Ranger

2023 Ford Ranger - ford.com
2023 Ford Ranger - ford.com

The Breakdown

Punchy engine

Great towing capacity

Plenty of configurability

Cheap interior

Dated technology

Fuel efficient

Can’t wait for the Ranger Raptor

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CARSFORSALE.COM SCORE
7.3/10

How Do We Score?

CarsForSale.com takes into account key metrics to compile an aggregate score. Click to learn more.

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MSRP
$28,895 – $36,995

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BEST FUEL ECONOMY
21 City / 26 Hwy (MPG)

The 2023 Ford Ranger is the final iteration of the fourth-generation mid-size pickup truck with the all-new model coming in 2024. A 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder engine puts out 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and comes with either rear-wheel (RWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). Towing tops out at 7,500 pounds, which is pretty good for this class. Inside of the Ranger is a dated exterior featuring a tiny 3.5-inch infotainment screen or a decent 8-inch one available. Additional advanced safety features are only optional packages, and the added warranty isn’t noteworthy.

4. Nissan Frontier

2023 Nissan Frontier - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Frontier - nissanusa.com

The Breakdown

Great engine

Pro-4X off-road capability

Attractive styling

Underwhelming tech

Lack of standard safety aids

No stand out features

A hybrid engine or diesel would be good

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CARSFORSALE.COM SCORE
7.4/10

How Do We Score?

CarsForSale.com takes into account key metrics to compile an aggregate score. Click to learn more.

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MSRP
$30,485 – $40,015

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BEST FUEL ECONOMY
18 City / 24 Hwy (MPG))

For 2023, the Nissan Frontier carries on its new good looks, but still falls a bit behind the competition in a couple of aspects. Under the hood of the Frontier is a 3.8L V6 engine that generates 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent through a 9-speed automatic transmission with either RWD or 4WD. The Pro-4X gives this mid-sized truck some off-road chops, but its towing capacity its middling at 6,720 pounds. Inside is somewhat modern take on a truck interior with better quality materials than its predecessor. The tech is a bit better here too with a standard 8-inch infotainment touchscreen or an optional 9-inch unit too. Forward collision mitigation is the only driver assistance made standard from Nissan with all else coming from available packages.

3. Honda Ridgeline

2023 Honda Ridgeline - automobiles.honda.com
2023 Honda Ridgeline - automobiles.honda.com

The Breakdown

Best-in-class handling

Excellent build quality

Clever storage

Underwhelming engine

Only one cabin/bed configuration

Middling fuel economy

We want a bigger infotainment screen

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CARSFORSALE.COM SCORE
8.1/10

How Do We Score?

CarsForSale.com takes into account key metrics to compile an aggregate score. Click to learn more.

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MSRP
$40,095 – $47,525

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BEST FUEL ECONOMY
18 City / 24 Hwy (MPG)

The Honda Ridgeline has always been the odd one out when it comes to this class of trucks, but it continues to make an impact as the unique mid-size truck option. Not much is really different from the previous model, which is kind of a good thing. The same 3.5L V6 making 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque is the lone option mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is the only drivetrain available for the Ridgeline and it comes with the lowest max towing figure of this group at 5,000 pounds. That lacking towing capacity is made up for in the bed that features a dual-action tailgate and an in-bed trunk. Inside is a nicely finished interior that adds more cargo options like the rear folding magic seats. Entertainment duties are handled by an 8-inch infotainment system that not only plays music in the cabin but through the truck bed. Honda rounds out their options with a nice list of standard advanced safety features.

2. Jeep Gladiator

2023 Jeep Gladiator - jeep.com
2023 Jeep Gladiator - jeep.com

The Breakdown

Grunty turbodiesel option

Old-timey manual windows

Doors and roof come off

Snazzberry paint discontinued

No standard driver aids

Packages required for the good stuff

The throwback modern Jeep pickup

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CARSFORSALE.COM SCORE
8.3/10

How Do We Score?

CarsForSale.com takes into account key metrics to compile an aggregate score. Click to learn more.

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MSRP
$40,570 – $56,270

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BEST FUEL ECONOMY
22 City / 28 Hwy (MPG)

The Jeep Gladiator is one of the best performing trucks when things go off-road. For 2023, the Gladiator features much of the same ruggedness from last year with a couple of minor appearance and trim updates. The same 3.6L V6 making 285 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque is standard, but an EcoDiesel 3.0L turbodiesel V6 making 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque is also available. A 6-speed manual is standard fare while an 8-speed automatic transmission is optional. Being a Jeep, 4WD is the only drivetrain available, but the Selec-Trac shift-on-the-fly system is optional. Towing maxes out at 7,700-pounds with the Max Tow package installed on the gas unit Gladiator. The EcoDiesel makes some of the best gas mileage numbers for this class of mid-sized trucks too.

The Gladiator’s off-roading centric demeanor continues inside with a nicely crafted interior. Being based off the Wrangler, the Gladiator is able to have its doors and roof removed completely for those hot summer months. The infotainment touchscreen starts with a 7-inch unit but moves up to an 8.4-inch option on higher trims. Jeep lacks on adding and standard advanced driver aids, but the added three years of complimentary maintenance sweetens the deal.

1. Toyota Tacoma

2023 Toyota Tacoma - toyota.com
2023 Toyota Tacoma - toyota.com

The Breakdown

Bulletproof reputation

Plenty of standard driver aids

Manual transmission

Weak base motor

Getting old

Unimpressive safety ratings

Dependable as ever

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CARSFORSALE.COM SCORE
8.4/10

How Do We Score?

CarsForSale.com takes into account key metrics to compile an aggregate score. Click to learn more.

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MSRP
$28,585 – $48,020

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BEST FUEL ECONOMY
19 City / 24 Hwy (MPG)

The Tacoma has been a top contender in the mid-size pickup truck segment for a long while now, with 2023 being no different. Toyota still provides a reliable platform that checks all the boxes for those looking at trucks of this size. Shoppers have the choice of a 2.7L four-cylinder engine making 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque or the larger 3.5L V6 generating 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard on either engine option, while a 6-speed manual is only available on the V6 or TRD trimmed models. Off-roading enhancements can be found throughout the trim line, especially the TRD Pro models, and it makes a decent towing max of 6,800 pounds. The interior of the Tacoma is nicely appointed, albeit smaller than some of its competition. A 7-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard equipment on the base model with everything else getting an 8-inch unit. Toyota adds a number of standard advanced driver aids and rounds out the purchase with two years or 25,000 miles of complimentary maintenance.

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Jesse McGraw

Jesse McGraw brings his life-long car obsession into his writing. A fun childhood that involved growing up around race tracks, working on a rusty ‘99 Dodge Dakota held together by zip ties, and collecting Hot Wheels developed into a strong appreciation for automotive history. If there is an old, obscure, or rare car, he wants to know about it. With a bachelor's degree in Web Development & Design from Dakota State University, Jesse can talk shop about car or computer specs, focusing on classic cars, imports, and car culture.

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