Trucks Trucks & SUVs

6 Mid-Size Trucks with the Highest Payload Capacity

Pickup trucks may have gotten more capable in recent years, but that increase in payload capacity has also come with an increase in size. A mid-size truck, on the other hand, is significantly easier to park and maneuver around a city. And with modern engines and transmissions, they can still haul around plenty of stuff. Here are the top six pickups with the highest payload capacities that can be bought at your local dealer.

6. Chevrolet Colorado

2018 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel
2018 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel | Chevrolet

A two-time MotorTrend Truck of the Year winner, Chevrolet’s Colorado also recently beat out some of the other trucks on this list in a head-to-head comparison held by Car and Driver. Although a 2.4-liter gasoline inline-four is standard, and a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel is also available, the Colorado’s maximum payload capacity of 1578 lbs requires getting a WT Crew Cab Short Box with the optional 3.6-liter gasoline V6, and skipping all-wheel drive.

5. Honda Ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline
NEW YORK, USA – APRIL 12: Honda Ridgeline is displayed at the New York International Auto Show, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, United States on April 12, 2017. | Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Honda’s Ridgeline has had a slightly ‘odd duck’ reputation in the mid-size truck segment. However, its design and unique features were what led Car and Driver to call it the Best Mid-Size Pickup of 2019. Interestingly, it is also one of the few pickup trucks on this list to achieve a higher payload capacity when equipped with all-wheel drive. Picking the Sport trim with all-wheel drive (there’s only one engine, a 3.5-liter V6) nets a maximum payload of 1580 lbs, just edging out the Colorado.

4. Jeep Gladiator

Jeep Gladiator
The new Jeep Gladiator is introduced on stage during the Jeep press conference in Los Angeles, California on November 28, 2018 at Automobility LA. | Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

Jeep fans have been asking (read: ‘begging’) for a factory pickup, and this year Jeep delivered with the Gladiator. Although the Gladiator failed to win first place in recent comparison tests run by MotorTrend and Car and Driver, overall reviews have been positive. Plus, how many pickups can you buy with removable doors and roof? Although potential owners may want to go straight for the off-road ready Rubicon, to maximize payload capacity, the one to buy is the 6-speed manual Sport S with Trailer Tow Package. Do so, and you can haul up to 1600 lbs in the bed.

3. GMC Canyon

GMC Canyon
TORONTO METRO CONVENTION CENTRE, TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA – 2015/02/13: GMC Canyon in the Canadian International AutoShow, CIAS for short, is Canada’s largest auto show and most prestigious consumer event in Canada. | Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Interestingly, although the GMC Canyon is essentially a more luxurious Chevrolet Colorado, offers the same engine and transmission choices, and only differs from the less expensive truck in one exterior dimension (total length: the Canyon is 0.3” shorter), the two have different maximum payloads. The latter’s max payload is 1578 lbs. The former, when equipped with the V6, has a maximum payload capacity of 1605 lbs.

2. Ford Ranger

Ford Ranger
DETROIT, MI -JANUARY 14: The 2019 Ford Ranger midsize truck makes its debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show January 14, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The Ford Ranger returned in 2019 after a hiatus from the US market. Although its bigger brother the F-Series is still the best-selling vehicle in the States, the mid-size Ranger is a workhorse in its own right. MotorTrend and Car and Driver were impressed with its hauling capabilities, if not its suspension or interior quality. Still, it doesn’t matter which trim level of the Ranger you buy. With a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four, each 4×2 SuperCab Ranger gets a maximum payload capacity of 1860 lbs. That’s the biggest payload capacity of any truck available in America.

1. Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – JANUARY 13: Volkswagen Amarok pickup truck with sales people standing next to the vehicle on display at Brussels Expo on January 13, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Unfortunately, American buyers can’t buy the mid-size truck with the biggest payload capacity on the market. Volkswagen doesn’t sell its Amarok pickup in the US, which is a bit of a shame. When equipped with VW’s 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 and all-wheel drive, this German pickup delivers a maximum payload capacity of 1147 kg or 2528 lbs.