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Believe it or not, only three midsize trucks in 2023 come standard with a V6 engine. Some pickups, like the Chevy Colorado, no longer offer six cylinders. But thankfully, three midsize trucks still come standard with a V6 engine. And that means you don’t have to pay extra for that benefit. 

Does a midsize truck need a V6?

Traditional thought does say that a midsize truck should have a V6 engine. But modern engine technology has come quite a long way. Some of the turbocharged four-cylinder engines of today actually have more power output than the naturally aspirated V6s featured in the pickups on this list. 

That said, there is a question of longevity and cost of maintenance with those powerplants. The more complex an engine, the more costly it can be to maintain. Plus, a turbo is just one more component that can potentially fail. That said, you can be sure most manufacturers put quite a lot of resources into engine development. So ideally, they function properly for many miles and years. 

3. 2023 Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine. It makes up to 285 horsepower and 260 pound-foot of torque. A pretty significant benefit of this powerplant is that it is used in an array of FCA products and has been for some time. 

A red 2023 Jeep Gladiator parked outdoors, it is a midsize  truck with a standard V6 engine.
2023 Jeep Gladiator | Stellantis

Because of that, common problems are well-documented. And most mechanics should be able to work on it. The Pentastar V6 is not the only engine available to the 2023 Gladiator. For the time being, you can opt for a diesel V6 engine if you’re looking for extra torque. 

2. 2023 Honda Ridgeline

Now, some folks might debate whether or not the Honda Ridgeline is actually a truck. But Honda certainly considers it to be a midsize pickup. According to Car and Driver, the 2023 Ridgeline comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. 

A 2023 Honda Ridgeline climbs a hill, it might be the longest-lasting midsize truck.
2023 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

This engine makes 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. On the road, this translates to a fairly competent driving experience. And having driven a Ridgeline with the same engine myself, I did not find it to feel underpowered. Remember that Honda’s truck is unibody, so it doesn’t drive like a typical small pickup. 

1. 2023 Nissan Frontier

For the 2022 model year, Nissan introduced a new Frontier. And as it stands, this midsize truck is currently limited to one engine. Each 2023 Nissan Frontier comes outfitted with a 3.8-liter V6 engine. So gone is the base four-cylinder engine that this pickup used to offer. 

The Frontier’s V6 engine makes 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. That makes it more powerful than the optional V6 featured on the Toyota Tacoma. So, that is one benefit that Nissan’s truck has to offer. 

A 2023 Nissan Frontier sits in a remote location. It has a standard V6 powertrain.
2023 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X | Nissan

Limiting engine options does limit versatility though. Smaller engines do typically get better fuel economy, and not everyone wants a V6. In terms of sales, the third-gen Frontier has certainly breathed new life into the model. And it might be that new engine that is helping there.


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