3 Best Base Models for a 2020 Midsize Pickup Truck

The midsizers are rapidly rising in popularity. We’ve seen the birth of a new Ford Ranger, and we’ve watched it take on favorites like the Toyota Tacoma. The small truck segment is capable and banks on the versatility of compact size paired with the perks of a pickup.

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD parked in sand on a mountain top
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD | Toyota

But, as you know, brand new pickup trucks can be expensive. If you want the most bang for your buck, go with one of the more tricked out base models that offer the most for your money. You’ll want one of the 3 best base models for a 2020 midsize pickup truck.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator

What do you want a midsize truck for? Off-roading. Ultimate utility. To live the truck life, right? The Jeep Gladiator is considered a ‘lifestyle vehicle,’ which by all respects rings true. It is the most capable base model midsizer by far. In spite of the higher price tag on the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, we feel that you get a lot in the base model. It’s the only one that is standard with a part-time 4×4 drivetrain.

The Jeep Gladiator Sport in its base model starts at $33,545. 3.6-liter six-cylinder with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Standard features include cloth upholstery, skid plates, a rearview camera, transfer case, and the 5-inch touch display with Uconnect infotainment system, two USB ports, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker audio system. An infotainment upgrade with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a larger display screen and safety suite can be added for under a thousand each.

The 2020 Honda Ridgeline

US News and World Report named this 2020 midsize pickup truck the best of the year. Its base model has a starting price of $33,900, and AWD can be had for $2,240.

The Ridgeline Sport includes standard features which include zoned automatic climate control, an infotainment system with an 8inch display that comes equipped with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. A push-button start, seven speakers, Bluetooth, and two USB ports are also included.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. Some of these features are part of the Honda Sensing suite of driver technology.

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The 2020 Toyota Tacoma

This base model truly honors what these trucks were originally meant to pull off. It is simple and utilitarian, and it is not trying to be sophisticated at all. But that’s OK because it’s a Toyota Tacoma. AWD can be had in other trims that start a little over 30 grand. But you can get a lot from the standard trim Tacoma if you’re willing to forgo the AWD feature.

The Toyota Tacoma off-roading on a dirt road
The Toyota Tacoma off-roading on a dirt road | Courtesy of Toyota.com

But the 2020 Toyota Tacoma SR starts at $26,050. In its base model, it has the 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. In the way of standard features, it comes equipped with cloth seats, a 4.2-inch display, manually adjustable front seats, and a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa. Plus, a satellite radio, Bluetooth, voice recognition, three USB ports, and a six-speaker stereo. It also gets the full upgraded Toyota safety suite.

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Which is the best base model for a 2020 mid-size pickup truck?

These three midsize pickup trucks are all pretty sweet in their base trims. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is the most capable, while the 2020 Honda Ridgeline is the most comfortable for daily driving. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma is a great deal. It starts considerably lower than the other two and lacks AWD, but boasts fantastic standard tech and safety.

2020 Jeep Gladiator
2020 Jeep Gladiator