Trucks & SUVs

Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger Lose to Toyota Tacoma

Mid-Size trucks are all the rage right now. In fact, all pickup trucks pretty much are. But, the mid-size truck segment, in particular, is seeing a revival of sorts. The Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Tacoma have each sliced a good piece of the market pie for themselves. But, the Tacoma has received the biggest slice of the three and continues to do so today.

2020 Toyota Tacoma is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Toyota Tacoma | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The mid-size truck segment

During the late 1980s, the mini-trucking was all the rage. Tuning companies were modifying all of the small trucks they could get their hands on. The Chevy S10, the Dodge Dakota, the Ford Ranger, the Mitsubishi Mighty Max pickup, the Nissan Hardbody pickup, and even the Mazda B-Series trucks were selling like hotcakes. Then, as the SUV craze began to take hold in the early 1990s, the small pickup interest waned a bit. Some of the trucks disappeared in the following years. The rest that remained, reinvented themselves into mid-size trucks. The market has changed so much that there are no remaining real mini-trucks offered by the manufacturers in the United States.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The 2020 Chevy Colorado | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

It is now 2020. Some of the manufacturers are still dabbling in the mid-size truck market, perfecting their offerings year after year. The Colorado and the Ranger have been doing fine. The new Jeep Gladiator is too. The Nissan Frontier, however, is dying on the vine, waiting for a refresh that is scheduled for next model year. None of them, though, can measure up to the Tacoma in sales. Even with the COVID-19 related plant shutdowns around the globe, the Tacoma has been selling better than all of them.

Red 2020 Ford Ranger with Ford Performance Level 2 Package in the desert in front of a mountain range
2020 Ford Ranger with Ford Performance Level 2 Package | Ford

The Tacoma is the strongest mid-size truck player

The sales figures were just released for the second quarter of 2020. According to Good Car Bad Car, an automotive sales data and statistics aggregator, the Toyota Tacoma sold 51,062 units. The Ranger came next at 25,007 units. Next, the Colorado came in at 19,843 units. The Jeep Gladiator moved 19,568 units. Finally, Honda and Nissan did not even break 10,000 units each. Dodge, Mazda, and Mitsubishi are no longer players in the pickup market. Keep in mind that those numbers were all stunted a bit by the global pandemic.

To say that the Tacoma is the strongest player does not really give an accurate picture. The Tacoma dominates the field. The closest competitor is the Ranger, but it only put up half the numbers of the Tacoma.

The market players are changing again

Things are changing, though. Manufacturers have re-evaluated their involvement in the segment, or lack of involvement and have plans to achieve Tacoma greatness or beyond. Jeep just recently joined the party. Two other manufacturers, Dodge, and Hyundai are about to join. Dodge will be re-introducing the Dakota soon, possibly based on the Gladiator chassis. Hyundai will be introducing their first pickup next year, called the Santa Cruz. So, the market will certainly continue heating up. For now, though, the king of the hill is the Toyota Tacoma, a title it has proudly held for years.