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How much do you trust a critic’s opinion when they review things? Whether it’s movies, music, video games, or cars, we look to experts for their opinion on the matter. Sometimes bad reviews don’t mean many people won’t still enjoy a product. For Q1 of 2022, the best-selling midsize pickup trucks prove critics wrong. Midsize trucks with the worst reviews from significant outlets sold more than many well-reviewed models.

Best selling midsize pickup trucks

The 2022 Nissan Frontier is one of the best-selling midsize pickup trucks, proving critics wrong.
2022 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

According to TFLTruck, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier were the best-selling midsize pickup trucks in Q1 of 2022. Although the Tacoma saw a massive dip in sales, it still leads the pack by a wide margin. Contrarily, the Frontier more than doubled its sales figures since Q1 of 2021. In addition, it’s the only model that sold more in 2022 than in the same period in 2021. Every midsize pickup besides Nissan’s offering declined in sales.

That raises the question, why are people buying poorly reviewed midsize trucks? In short, the story is a bit different for the Tacoma and the Frontier. For the former, it’s primarily due to the model’s popularity dating back many years. The Toyota Tacoma has established itself as the best option in its class, and it outsells other models every year because people love it. A few bad reviews won’t deter loyal Tacoma customers from buying the newest model.

On the other hand, the 2022 Nissan Frontier is redesigned for the new model year. Everything about it is new, including the look, features, and off-road trim level. Will the Nissan midsize pickup’s stellar sales continue through Q2 and beyond? Only time will tell, but the hype surrounding the redesign is probably beginning to wear off around now.

Midsize pickup trucks prove critics wrong.

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline, is one of the best-selling midsize pickup trucks, proving critics wrong.
2022 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

Using two of the most prominent and most well-respected critics, we can see how sales have defied reviews. For example, Consumer Reports rated the Honda Ridgeline as the best overall midsize pickup truck. However, it sold fewer models than all but the GMC Canyon. Next, the Ford Ranger sits in CR’s second spot for best midsize option, and only the Canyon and Ridgeline sold fewer units. On the other hand, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier are ranked fifth and fourth. However, they’re the best-selling models in the segment.

MotorTrend named the Chevy Colorado as the best 2022 midsize pickup to buy. For Q1, it took the number three spot behind the Tacoma and Frontier, which isn’t too bad. However, MT also loves Honda’s pickup, ranking it second on its list of best midsize models. The third best is the GMC Canyon, which managed to sell fewer models than any other truck on the list. You’ll have to travel back to the fifth and seventh-best trucks to find the 2022 Tacoma and Frontier on MT’s rankings.

Why are sales and rankings so different for midsize pickup trucks?

There’s no single answer for why rankings and sales differ so much. A variety of things come into play, such as manufacturers’ inability to produce, redesigns, brand loyalty, etc. Furthermore, every truck customer values something different. Most reviewers recommend the Honda Ridgeline because of its luxurious interior, smooth ride, and innovative storage compartments. However, it struggles off-road and isn’t great for towing.

Both Toyota and Nissan’s midsize pickups have a roughly 1,000-2,000 pound higher towing capacity than Honda’s. Additionally, both models excel off-road. In conclusion, customers value brute pickup truck capability more than interior comfort. Lastly, compact models like the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick arrived this year and likely stole sales from the Ranger, Ridgeline, and more.

Which midsize pickup truck are you interested in buying? There’s something for everyone in this crowded segment. For Q1 of 2022, the best-selling midsize pickup trucks prove critics wrong. Well-reviewed models sold the fewest, and poorly-rated ones outsold the competition.


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