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Midsize pickup trucks are good alternatives to full-size models for drivers that desire better maneuverability — and don’t need such high towing and payload capacities. The midsize pickup truck segment is fiercely competitive, with some great choices. According to Car and Driver, the three best midsize trucks to buy in 2023 are the 2023 Honda Ridgeline, the 2023 Jeep Gladiator, and the 2023 Nissan Frontier.

2023 Honda Ridgeline is the best midsize pickup truck, says Car and Driver

Front angle view of red 2023 Honda Ridgeline, best new 2023 midsize pickup truck to buy, says Car and Driver
2023 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

According to Car and Driver, the 2023 Honda Ridgeline is the best new midsize pickup truck to get in 2023. Choosing the Ridgeline as the best midsize truck is undoubtedly controversial for some pickup enthusiasts. With its unibody construction, the Ridgeline is not like traditional trucks that have a body-on-frame construction. Therefore, some enthusiasts don’t consider it a “real truck.”

However, Car and Driver likes the Ridgeline — and its non-traditional design is part of the reason. The unibody construction helps it handle better than any other midsize truck. The Ridgeline provides the functionality of a truck — but with the handling and comfort of a smooth-riding SUV. 

Also, the Ridgeline comes standard with a capable 280-horsepower V-6 engine and a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system. Plus, the cabin is more upscale than in rivals — and provides a generous amount of passenger space. Plus, the pickup bed provides a great deal of practicality — with features such as the in-bed trunk and a dual-action tailgate.

2023 Jeep Gladiator is another leading choice

Overhead view of silver 2023 Jeep Gladiator, second-best new 2023 midsize pickup truck to buy, says Car and Driver
2023 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

The second vehicle on Car and Driver’s list of best midsize pickup trucks is the 2023 Jeep Gladiator. The Gladiator combines the off-road capabilities of Jeep SUVs with the added functionality of a pickup bed. It’s geared toward truck enthusiasts that enjoy having some fun in the great outdoors. 

Like the Wrangler SUV for which it is based, the Gladiator features a removable top and doors. However, the midsize truck builds upon the Wrangler’s towing capabilities. When properly equipped, the Gladiator can tow up to 7,650 pounds. Other highlights of the Gladiator include its powerful engine options, spacious interior, and user-friendly infotainment system.

2023 Nissan Frontier has an ‘old-school’ truck formula

Front angle view of gray 2023 Nissan frontier midsize truck
2023 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

In some respects, the 2023 Nissan Frontier, Car and Driver’s third-best midsize truck, is the opposite of the 2023 Honda Ridgeline. While the Ridgeline has SUV-like comfort and handling, the Frontier goes heavy into traditional pickup truck characteristics and charm. 

As detailed by Car and Driver, the “boxy Frontier has looks that are inspired by the original Nissan Hardbody compact pickup from the 1980s.” The automotive site also stated that the Frontier is the “best it’s been in a long time.” It combines an “old-school” truck formula with the amenities and technologies of a modern truck.

Also, the Frontier boasts impressive off-road capabilities, especially with the PRO-4X model. Plus, it comes standard with a potent 310-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 engine.

Honorable mention: Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger

The 2023 Honda Ridgeline is the best new pickup truck to buy in 2023, according to Car and Driver, followed by the 2023 Jeep Gladiator and the 2023 Nissan Frontier. It’s worth noting, though, that the Toyota Tacoma, the best-selling midsize truck, is only fifth in the Car and Driver rankings.

The Tacoma is starting to show its age. However, it will likely get a complete redesign for the 2024 model year — so it might make a jump in the rankings next year. The same goes for the Ford Ranger, the fourth-place model. The redesigned next-generation Ranger, which is already available in some international markets, will arrive in America for the 2024 model year.


2023 Honda Ridgeline Beats Toyota Tacoma in 1 Huge Way